I recently saw a presentation that included lots of numbers about the 2012 Olympics – how many people were involved, how many TV channels covered it, etc.
One of the numbers that was impressive was about the huge amount of Internet capacity that was being used during the Olympics – over 65 Gbps. But that made me pause for a second, because I had also recently seen the statistics from FIF (Financial Information
Forum). This is an industry body (www.fif.com) that monitors network usage and projected capacity requirements for the financial market data sector. That has been showing for some time that an individual firm needs more
than 1 Gbps to receive all of the market data in real time from OPRA (Options Price Reporting Authority) without the data bring throttled.
It starts to make you think. Each firm’s trading room that wants to follow the Chicago markets needs to have access to that feed – and each firm needs a backup link as well. And there are several hundred trading firms that are members of the Chicago exchanges.
You can quickly see that the 65 Gbps that the Olympics was producing starts to pale in comparison to what the Chicago markets are kicking out.
Then add on the other financial centres – Nasdaq and BATS data feeds are each going over the 1 Gbps level as well. And each individual firm has to be able to deal with that kind of capacity.
When we think about the public Internet, we generally think that it must carry zillions of times more traffic than any other networks. But it makes you think twice when you add up the enormous volumes of data that are being pumped into all of the dealing
rooms around the world.