100G Ethernet

Colt Taps Infinera for Ultra-Low-Latency Service

Colt Technology Services Group Ltd today announced two new services, based on new fiber optic routes and Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) switches, designed primarily to feed the financial services industry's hunger for ultra-low-latency services to enable faster trade execution.

The newly built Frankfurt-to-London route for Colt's Fastnet Ultra portfolio connects exchanges in those two cities with a service that has guaranteed latency of 4.22 milliseconds or less, while the new Paris-to-Brussels route clocks in at 2.65 milliseconds of latency. The lower-latency routes appeal to Europe’s top 25 stock exchanges, hedge funds, central banks, market data providers, and financial services organizations.

"Through last year, 2009, we had equipped our existing European backbone with Infinera switches, shaving off latency -- this has gone on in the background for all of our clients," says Tony Moulange, Colt's senior business development manager. "But this is a new route that we have engineered and built between banks and brokers in London to the European derivatives exchange, which is run by the German stock exchange in Frankfort. It is a key route for global derivatives trading."

The new service is already selling within the financial services industry, Moulange says, despite the pricey nature of the offering. "This service is demand driven -- it's not cheap."

By building a line-of-sight network between London and Frankfort and putting Infinera boxes at each end, Colt has eliminated the need for repeaters, each of which adds minute amounts of latency to services delivered over traditional, fiber networks that are built in rings connecting major cities, Moulange says. Colt can now guarantee the level of latency even during periods of high congestion on the network in general.

Infinera has been working with Colt over the past two years to address the latency challenge, according to Chris Liou, vice president of network strategy at Infinera.

"We looked at how to eliminate latency in the optics as well as the electronics," says Liou. "There is a lot of technical detail on exact optimizations. There are ways and techniques to streamline the latency -- it might only be squeezing nanoseconds here or there, but the cumulative effect is what organizations are interested in."

— Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, Light Reading

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