Characteristics of Elasticia

Sub-millisecond latency even during high loads and massive throughput

NGM hosts thousands of ETP instruments that are heavily quoted by the market makers. The quotes of the ETP’s in the NGM markets are directly related to the underlying securities’ quotes as well as the fluctuations in the currency rates of the underlyings’ traded currency and the currency of the ETPs’. Let’s put it this way – the system manages a huge amount of quote transactions each second with very low latency figures.

The same high performance is available for everyone. Elasticia was the first exchange trading system offering native FIX as a means to connect to the system. Traditionally exchange trading systems have had a couple of layers that FIX messages traverse through prior to reaching the exchanges’ native/internal protocols, as demonstrated in the picture below.

 

Traditional FIX

 

Furthermore, the part of the Proprietary protocol usually tend to be translated into the native protocol of the inner parts of the exchange. This means that there is transformation in two steps on the way towards the matching engine.
In Elasticia, we moved the two legacy steps away completely and made FIX/FAST truly natively to the core of the system. This ensures a very low latency for FIX-connections and better yet, using FIX is not more any disadvantage for the latency sensitive market participants.

 

Native FIX in Elasticia
FIX 5.0 / FAST 1.1
In order to simplify electronic communication between parties in the financial industry, standards have emerged. FIX over FAST is the best known and most widely used protocol and compression solution for this. Interaction with Elasticia is always done via FIX over FAST. This means that a rich set of 3rd party system/service providers will be ready to connect to the system, apart from the ones that are already integrated and conformance tested with NGM Elasticia.

Software: At NGM we believe simplicity is a key to high software quality – from the architecture to the design and to the lines of code in the system. The simpler the solution – the easier the maintenance and further development. Add to this rigorous automated test suits and well defined release processes and you have three key factors to Elasticia’s reliability.

Management: A reliable system requires a reliable management of the system and automation is favored to manual interaction. Scriptable interfaces allows for automation of IT operations as well as market operations.

Network: Apart from having the possibility to manage network resilience on the network level, connecting systems may connect multiple redundant sessions over different networks to ensure redundancy on the application layer as well.

Hardware: Core components that are automatically replaced in the system in case of hardware failures.

Site: Site replication is supported and allows for rolling over operations to a recovery site, would the disaster on the primary site be the case.

Scriptable automation

Elasticia supports easy scriptable management and automation of the IT and market operations. Anything from small and simple tasks such as managing user accounts to larger and more complex tasks can be scripted through the Elasticia scripting engine. The engine provides a single interface to manage the system in a uniform way. As a compliment to the scripting engine day to day market administration can also be managed through the market administration GUI.

Examples of usage:

  • integration of existing external data sources and tools to manage markets, instrument data, user accounts etc.
  • using realtime information from external sources to automatically adjust the state of an instrument
  • setting up and configuring system components
Horizontal and vertical scalability
Although Elasticia in its basic setup with one single instance of each core component performs extremely well, we know that the development in the financial markets demands a never ending need to for more and more transactions to be managed. If the basic setup is not enough, the Elasticia components can be split up in multiple instances without any loss of latency, and most components can be scaled out in runtime.
Built for expansion

As the name indicates, Elasticia is an elastic system. The hardware requirements are modest and a full setup of the core trading system can be run on a single commodity server. As the need for more performance evolves new hardware can easily be accommodated and the Elasticia system scaled. The system components is then easily setup and managed through the scriptable management interface.

The market is changing all the time. Regulators publish new requirements, market participants request new functionality, the exchange wants to differentiate from its competitors. An exchange must never rest and for the exchange trading system, this means that an endless number of expansions are rolling in. We have been operating our markets for many years, and we live with it. We focus on keeping the architecture of the system and the design of the components as simple and clean as possible and this is essential for our ability to quickly move from request to roll-out.

Notable features of Elasticia that provides for a long and rewarding use of the system:

  • Simple and powerful architecture and design that promotes quick turnaround times when extending the system with new functionality
  • Simple scaling of the system components
  • Modest commodity HW requirements even for the high-end system setup