cPacket Networks today introduced the world’s first high-speed network probe capable of delivering highly accurate, one way distributed latency and jitter measurements at sub-microsecond accuracy, for networks operating at 10 gigabits per seconds and beyond. The probe, called the cTap Latency Probe (cTapLP), is a key addition to cPacket’s cTap monitoring product family. MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA NOVEMBER 6, 2009 cPacket Networks today introduced the world’s first high-speed network probe capable of delivering highly accurate, one way distributed latency and jitter measurements at sub-microsecond accuracy, for networks operating at 10 gigabits per seconds and beyond. The probe, called the cTap Latency Probe (cTapLP), is a key addition to cPacket’s cTap monitoring product family.
cPacket probes perform one-way, hop-to-hop, and round trip latency measurements in real time, and a centralized dashboard provides correlated results from distributed probes across the network, using state-of-the-art integrated time-synchronization technology. The latency monitoring solution specifically targets algorithmic trading platforms for high frequency trading where latency can cost traders millions of dollars per millisecond, but also has applications in data center management, streaming media, and scientific computing.
In the context of high-frequency trading, network latency is the delay from the time a transaction is issued to the network, to the time it is received and executed at the exchange. It is also the delay between the time a price is sent from the exchange to the time it is received by the trader.
Latency can vary dramatically, from microseconds to several milliseconds a range of three orders of magnitude depending on the actual work load and network traffic conditions. In algorithmic high-frequency trading applications, this latency variability can drown out the competitive advantage that one trader’s proprietary algorithms may have over another, and creates an exposure to latency arbitrage, hostile manipulations, and malicious attacks.
"You can’t control what you can’t measure, says Bob Iati, partner at financial markets trading-industry analyst TABB Group. "And controlling network latency is one of the most critical issues faced by high speed traders today. Iati explained that over 30% of buy-side shares in the U.S. are now executed by algorithmic trading platforms, and that latency as little as 10 milliseconds could cause a firm to lose up to 10% of its revenues. "It’s a real, hot issue, he maintains.
cPacket’s cTapLP features unique technology that is capable of measuring network latency at 1,000 times the accuracy previously attainable with existing approaches. Moreover, the fully passive inline probes can be distributed pervasively through the network, enabling a detailed one-way and hop-to-hop analysis of network behavior, including spikes and microbursts, with reporting to a centralized dashboard.
As totally passive probes, cTapLPs do not affect the performance of the network. They feature the ability to synchronize a group of probes to an accurate GPS clock source, and limit the clock skew between the distributed measurement points. This enables, for the first time, simple and effective deployment of distributed probes for one-way and hop-to-hop latency and jitter analysis.
The central dashboard provides reports of application behavior and network utilization, and pinpoints excessive sources of latency and jitter before they impact business operations. It can also generate "triggers to alert users, or programmatically alert another application, such as a trading platform, to alter its behavior in response.
"Existing approaches to measuring network latency are based on software and network interface cards that receive data from switch or router SPAN ports or aggregation devices that introduce unacceptably high variability and inherent measurement error, says Rony Kay, president and chief technology officer of cPacket. "Our cTapLP utilizes cPacket’s own custom chips and proprietary hardware and software that can consistently achieve accurate analysis under any traffic conditions."
"That’s just the ticket for high frequency traders, and other users with stringent latency requirements, he added.
The cTapLP Latency Probe is available today directly from cPacket and through its OEM partners.
cPacket Networks is an emerging leader in chips and technologies that offers breakthrough, Pervasive Network Intelligence(TM) at a fraction of the complexity, power, or cost of preexisting approaches. Based upon its powerful "complete packet inspection" architecture, cPacket provides manufacturers of routers, switches and other network appliances a low-impact means to easily drop game-changing, wire-speed active network traffic analysis and response directly into their existing or planned designs whether targeted at the service providers, the enterprise, or the small office. The exploding use of 10 Gbps networks and beyond to support a relentless growth in media-centric applications makes the availability of
truly pervasive network intelligence timely and critical.
cPacket was founded in 2003 and is located in Mountain View, CA. For more information, visit www.cpacket.com .
Editors, note: All trademarks and registered trademarks are those of their respective companies.
Additional background information is available at www.roeder-johnson.com .
See also:"Beating Network Latency is Crucial for High Frequency Traders, October 9, 2009,