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Sun host Developers Workshop of complementary technology for low latency

Sun host Developers Workshop of complementary technology for low latency

February 16, 2009 0 Comments

Last month I was invited to speak at a Developers Workshop sponsored by Sun Microsystems on building low-latency trading applications. I had a 25 minute time slot to fill with the goal of educating an audience of 110 architects, engineers and technical managers from Wall Street on CEP and Apama's vision of it.  I'm usually able to sequester an audience for a lot longer than that to give them my perspective and since I tend to ramble just a bit, it was a tall order to me to whittle it down to this shorter time slot. 

To go one step further, I also did a demonstration of the Apama Algorithmic Trading Accelerator (ATA) and our graphical modeling tool, Event ModelerTM. So I had to move fast to accomplish this.

Since this was a Sun sponsored event, there were a number of sessions devoted to Solaris and Sun hardware. Sun has done some great work with the Solaris operating system to leverage multi-core processors for scaling low-latency applications. Still, you need ample knowledge and expertise to be able to fine-tune the OS to unlock that capability. There were a few demonstrations of how, using a few of the Solaris OS command tools you can better apportion  processor cycles to starving applications to achieve tremendous gains in performance. One has to be quite scholarly in Solaris systems management so one does not shoot thyself in the foot.

Besides myself representing Apama and CEP, I thought Sun did a great job of bringing together a group of complementary vendors that touched upon the theme for the workshop - low latency. Just to highlight a few... Patrick May from Gigaspaces discussed distributed cache technology and  Jitesh Ghai from 29West described the benefits of low-latency messaging to the trading infrastructure.  I've always considered both of these technologies very complimentary to CEP.  Among many other uses, distributed caching engines provide a basis for a recoverability model for CEP applications. Low-latency messaging brings new possibilities for architecting CEP applications in a distributed model.  

As for me, I presented a number of CEP themes in my talk:

1) Drivers for CEP Adoption. 

Fitting with the theme of the workshop, the drivers for CEP adoption are the increasing demands for low-latency applications. It's the race to the micro-second on Wall Street whether we like it or not. Additionally, the need for rapid development and deployment of complex applications is pushing CEP technology into the hands of the sophisticated business users. Graphical modeling tools empower these astute users, the ill prepared will get left behind.

2) Evolution of CEP  in Capital Markets.

 From single asset broker algos to cross asset, cross border smart order routing to real-time risk and surveillance. CEP is growing and maturing in Cap Markets on numerous fronts.

3) Anatomy of  CEP Architecture.

I presented a macro-level anatomy of the Apama vision of that architecture. There are 4 key components: 1) the CEP engine itself. 2) Integration to the external world. 3) Tools for development and deployment. 4) Visualization across a wide spectrum from richly interactive desktop click trading to widely distributed web-based user interfaces.

Lastly, I want to thank my pal Gareth Smith the Apama Product Manager and slide designer extraordinaire for these slides on the architecture. He's a wiz at putting ideas into compelling visuals.

You can download the slides of my Apama CEP presentation here.

As always thanks for reading,


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