The need for speed in trading has not abated. Infrastructure that minimizes latency is simply the "greens fee" to trade in liquid markets today. Without it, you just can't play.
While many factors affect the end-to-end latency of a trading system, the network is still crucial. That's why the STAC Benchmark Council continues to focus on it. What keeps this topic hot is that advances in network technology continue to offer lower, more predictable latency while increasing functionality. Some of those advances flow from established players, but new entrants are also driving a significant amount of re-thinking.
The STAC Network I/O SIG has established benchmark standards for complete host network stacks including software and hardware STAC-N1), oriented around applications that access the network API directly without intervening middleware. Other tests focus on switch performance. And the STAC-TS Working Group looks at the accuracy, capacity, and latency impact of network-level timestamping and capture solutions. (Some of the materials are reserved for paying members of the STAC Benchmark Council. For information on how to get access, click here.)
As data rates increase and other parts of the solution stack become more efficient, interconnects and their interfaces will continue to be a lynchpin to high performance. We'll keep researching these innovations and let you know what we find!