STAC Summit, 4 Jun 2015, London

STAC Benchmark Council Logo

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Hyatt Andaz Hotel, 40 Liverpool Street, London
Great Eastern Room


Click on the session titles to view the slides (may require member permissions).


Big Compute Big Compute

Big Data Big Data

Fast Data Fast Data


STAC Update: Big computeBig Compute

Peter will review the latest STAC-A2 benchmark results for high-performance computing stacks and discuss recent actions by the STAC-A2 Working Group.

What Makes Julia FastBig Compute

Julia is a young, open source programming language from MIT, whose creators sought to combine the best features of Matlab, R, Hadoop, and shell scripts in a language that performs like C. At last year's June STAC Summit in London, Avik gave a brief orientation to Julia and its roadmap. Since then, Algocircle and Julia Computing have put Julia to the test by implementing the STAC-A2 benchmarks. In today's talk, Avik will discuss progress against the Julia roadmap, particularly with respect to performance. The Julia team's original design and ongoing enhancements have created a language that they believe achieves something that has always been elusive: a dynamic language that is very fast.

Open Standards; OpenPOWER; Open ChoiceBig Compute

A movement began in the early 1990s that has as much impact on computing today as Moore's Law: open intellectual property. This movement--which ranges from open standards to open source--started with software and has now expanded to include services and even hardware. In this talk, Terry will argue that openness at the level of the processing platform is a key evolution of the open movement and that the OpenPOWER standard being advanced by Google, IBM, NVIDIA, and others is a crucial element. After outlining the roles that over 150 organizations are playing in the OpenPOWER Foundation, Terry will review some unique architectural aspects of the OpenPOWER standard, along with important proof points from financial services.

Intel: Crossing the frontierBig Compute

Jim will show historical trends in performance and how Intel is working to overcome the frontiers they impose.

Frontiers in Quantitative ComputingBig Compute

The choice of computing platforms continues to expand. So do the platforms themselves, with each product more parallel than the last. Meanwhile, the number of programming languages and optimization tools are also proliferating. If an organization needs to improve application performance or price-performance, what are the best approaches to navigating this mix? Our panel will debate these questions and those from the audience.

Adventures on AWS with High-Performance WorkloadsBig Compute   Big Data

Cloud services are on the agenda in one way or another for most financial services firms today. Even firms with no short-term plans to use an external cloud provider want to monitor the options, either in anticipation of eventual usage or as something against which to benchmark their internal IT services (including private clouds). For these reasons, STAC has begun testing a number of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings using different financial workloads, comparing the price-performance and absolute performance of various cloud offerings to each other and to standalone systems. We've also documented key learnings and gotchas encountered along the way. In this talk, Peter will share some of the work done to date with the compute-intensive STAC-A2 and data-intensive STAC-M3 workloads on various configurations offered by the market share leader in public cloud: Amazon Web Services.

Innovation Roundup: round 1Big 

Compute   Big Data
"Introducing Cray in Financial Services – more than just supercomputers"
    Philip Filleul, Segment Director – Financial Services, Cray
"On-demand real-time trading analytics with Hadoop and HBase: Scaled Risk approach"
    Pierre Bittner, CTO, Scaled Risk
"2 innovative NoSQL usages in market finance"
    Edouard Alligand, President and CTO, quasardb
"MarkLogic - An Alternative to Schema Tyranny"
    Rupert Brown, Chief Technology Officer, Financial Svc, MarkLogic



STAC Update: Tick analytics stacksBig Data   

Peter will review the latest STAC-M3 benchmark results for solution stacks used in tick analytics.

Innovation Roundup: round 2Big Data
"Lenovo Enterprise-class Servers & Technologies for Low Latency & Analytics"
    Dave Weber, Director, Lenovo Financial Services Industry, Lenovo
"Breaking through the performance and scale limitations of current financial data analytics"
    Glenn Wright, Systems Engineer, DataDirect Networks


STAC Update: Big data, including algo backtestingBig Data   

Peter will provide an update on the STAC Big Data SIG and detail one of its deliverables: benchmark standards for infrastructure used in backtesting. Today's markets place a premium on the quality of trading strategies and the speed at which a firm can develop them. Such development requires a huge amount of trial and error, in which numerous potential strategies are backtested against out-of-sample historical data in order to find a few that survive the test. As firms devote more resources to the development of potential strategies--sometimes churning them out automatically via machine learning algorithms--the infrastructure used for backtesting is coming under increasing pressure to scale. Peter will provide an overview of the emerging STAC-A3 benchmark suite, which measures the performance, scaling, and cost efficiency of any system designed for backtesting trading algorithms.

The Megatrend is Your Megafriend: Storage Architectures for Competitive SuccessBig Data   

Financial firms are adept at turning broad computing trends to their advantage. In Dan's opinion, they now have the opportunity to do that in storage. According to Dan, performance and capacity requirements—particularly in crucial areas like strategy development and backtesting—are increasing so much faster than technology budgets that sticking with a traditional architecture will endanger a trading firm's competitiveness. Firms need to take a new approach. In this talk, Dan will explain four “megatrends” of computing and the benefits that a firm can realize by applying them to its storage architecture.

Musketeer: All for One, One for All in Data Processing SystemsBig Data

Many systems for processing big data exist today (such as Hadoop, Spark, GraphLab, Naiad, etc.). Yet few users can (or should) rely on intuition to determine which system or combination of systems is the best for a given workflow. Furthermore, once a system has been chosen, porting workflows to another system is time consuming. The Systems Research Group at Cambridge believe the answer to these challenges is to decouple applications from implementations. In this talk, Malte will describe a system called Musketeer that maps front-end workflow descriptions to a shared intermediate representation, and from this to a range of back-end execution engines. According to Malte, mapping is automatic and generates highly performant code that comes close to hand-tuned implementations. This enables rapid exploration of the available data processing system choices, and in many cases speeds up workflow significantly at lower development effort.


STAC Update: Network I/OFast Data   

Peter will explain new developments related the STAC Network I/O SIG.

Innovation Roundup: round 3Fast Data   
"How to be Fast, Simple, Adaptable"
    Charles Thomas, Founder, Co-CTO, Metamako
"NovaTick feedhandlers - Get it all: Speed, Coverage and Functionality"
    Yves Charles, Business Development VP in CC, NovaSparks
"The ExaLINK Fusion switch and application platform: latest developments"
    Matthew Grosvenor, Staff Engineer, Exablaze


If market data is now a commodity, why is everybody still complaining?Fast Data   

Having begun as an upstart challenger in software for market data and trade execution, SR Labs recently catapulted to a leadership position by acquiring the market data related business from NYSE Technologies. In one step, it took responsibility for a large global customer base and a broad set of additional products. What SR Labs thinks and does matters to a lot of people. In this talk, Dave will outline the current state of the market data technology industry--from low latency solutions to enterprise distribution--and offer his perspectives on the woes that customers often express. He’ll discuss the solutions that customers say they dream about, and explain why, in SR Labs' view, these dreams can be reality.

Cybersecurity and High-speed Trading: Immovable Object vs Irresistible Force?Fast Data

Few technology topics today get as much attention as cybersecurity. According to experts, security breaches that make the headlines are just the tip of a growing iceberg. Among the many risks that policy makers are grappling with is the potential that bad guys could exploit trusted connections to disrupt global markets, either for financial gain or terrorist purposes. Accordingly, some regulators and exchanges have begun to signal a desire for enhanced security. But trading organizations are generally not receptive, because more security often means more latency. Without clear, industry-wide regulation, firms must trade off the hard-to-quantify possibility of a security disaster against the easy-to-quantify, day-by-day impact of higher latency. Nevertheless, many observers feel that it is only a matter of time before regulations or a major industry incident shift the calculus. When that day comes, those trading technologists who understand how to engineer security with the least latency will be poised to lead. This is familiar territory for Dexter Casey. As a security specialist who has worked for major sell-side firms and several hedge funds, Dexter understands the tension between speed and security. More importantly, he has strong opinions on what approaches do and do not resolve that tension. In this talk, Dexter will sketch the security landscape as it affects the front office of electronic trading and outline approaches that small shops as well as big shops should consider.

Defense in Depth: Re-enlisting the Host as the New Network EdgeFast Data   

Ron will provide a perspective on how to view the role of host-level security in light of threat evolution and technology advancements.




MarkLogicSolarflareDataDirect Networks



About STAC Events & Meetings

STAC events bring together CTOs and other industry leaders responsible for solution architecture, infrastructure engineering, application development, machine learning/deep learning engineering, data engineering, and operational intelligence to discuss important technical challenges in trading and investment.