Trading triples for Alpha Trading Systems

Alpha Group Inc., a trader of Canadian equity securities, needed to make transactions faster to accommodate the increasing amounts of trading, so it decided to implement ProLiant server from Hewlett-Packard Co.
HP supplied them with the necessary hardware to decrease their trade processing transaction time to 750 microseconds from 2.5 milliseconds. Using the new server developed by HP, market data is delivered faster to the company’s clients and trades can be completed faster online.

“We increased our ability to perform better, we tripled out performance and doubled our (trading) capacity,” said Karl Ottywill, Alpha’s chief information officer.

Alpha paid millions to use HP’s platform for trading but the company has not made that money back so far. However, Ottywill said he expects they will soon. He did not want to disclose the exact amount Alpha paid HP.

Using this technology, Alpha and other companies should be able to see a return on their investment in as little as two months, according to HP.

About a year ago, Alpha wanted to change their trading system and ended up changing their infrastructure totally, integrating HP ProLiant servers for their trading platform and added more physical storage. The trading company launched their new server platform November 2010 making the infrastructure is more efficient according to Ottywill.

“With our HP Converged Infrastructure, we’ve achieved the fastest native execution speeds in Canada for our trading platform and are closing the gap on execution speeds in markets around the world,” Ottywill said. “This not only puts our trading capabilities at the forefront of the Canadian marketplace, but enables us to aggressively compete at a global level.”

Another benefit from using HP servers is they are energy efficient by reducing power consumption by 35 per cent. This is possible because of built-in power capping and prevents power outages, according to Randy Milthorpe, business development manager, ProLiant & BladeSystem Solutions at HP.
The switch over to HP’s fast servers allows for Alpha to accommodate market growth according to HP.
“With trading transactions increasing and users looking to capitalize on split-second nuances in the market, the ability to process more trading capacity quickly equals competitive advantage,” said Dave Frederickson, vice-president of enterprise servers, storage and networking at HP Canada.
HP has also supplied servers to other Canadian companies such as the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.

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