Capital markets firms around the world are set to spend $13.4 billion this year, across asset classes, on trading infrastructures, according to a report from Tabb Group.
The research house expects 41% of spending on data servers, servers, storage and networking, will come from North America,
However, despite the costs and complexity created by meeting high bandwidth, low latency and global reach requirements, the industry's current data centre-centric server-to-server approach has actually simplified underlying networks, says Tabb.
Less equipment, fewer hops and robust management tools are allowing networks to actually flatten as they expand, claims Kevin McPartland, senior analyst, Tabb, who argues that they can run beautifully "if people don't get in the way".
"Switches are handling much of the work once left to routers. As a result, Storage Area Networks are quickly becoming an integrated part of Local Area Networks and lines between LANs and Wide Area Networks are blurring. This is giving way to what Tabb calls the redefined Total Area Network," says McPartland.
Using the Total Area Network, he says, network equipment and protocols will be more standardised regardless of their function, and moving data between computers will be seamless despite physical location or the underlying data type.
However, although "tomorrow's flattened network will be simpler to manage, knowing what to deploy, how to deploy it and what to think about based on business needs will be ongoing concerns".
He concludes: "Unfortunately, there is no perfect architecture, but by understanding the relationships between latency, bandwidth, scalability and cost, the latest and greatest networking technology can underpin an infrastructure that delivers the highest possible ROI. That technology exists today; but since money never sleeps, neither can the men and women designing the networks of tomorrow."