Dedicated Server for Unattended Automated Trading

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by CPTrader, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Could experienced users recommend me ultra reliable providers for dedicated servers to run an unattended ATS - preferably in the Chicago area due to exchange proximity.

    I need 100% uptime, low latency, reliable & secure servers, etc.

    How do others handle securing data, proprietary information, files on these dedicated servers?

    What are estimated costs for this?

    What are pros/cons of a dedicated server?

    What are pros/cons of a dedicated server vs a VPS?

    Thank you.
  2. Are you worried about reliability from a trading point of view or is it because you are not located in Chicago so you don't want to be driving/flying back & forth to the rack if something breaks?

    Depending on what you are doing you can get a small 1U half depth rack with dual power supplies, NICs and RAID1 and be fine for a few years... for about $1,500. SuperMicro sells some good ones.
  3. Does not exist. Point.

    * 100% uptime is something noone has. They strive for it, but even with redundant power, redundant plinks OMETIMES things go wrong. I had that case last month for 15 minutes. 2 separate power intakes into the center, 3 diesel backups, 71gbit ethernet bandwith, fully redundant router infrastructure... and a routing processor went so awrry the backup did not kick it out. Result was 15 minutes bad connectivity / lost connectivity. Happens. Live with it. Any professional data center should be good enough. Although sometimes I think the standards in the US are quite low compared to some european major sites.

    * Note:: 100% uptime with a server is impossible. You need a miniimum of 2, better 3 servers. Called redundancy. Servers fail, too.

    * Exchange proximty is MOSTLY irrelevant for you. Unless you really trade extremely fast, having a 10ms or 30ms delay will not make a real difference. You can put your servers into pretty much every major data center and the latency is good enough. Ask your tech provider for a special data center for better data streams (like Rithmic - you host with a special cetner and you can get the complete exchange feed via local multicast), but a 10ms time difference will not make or break you unless you try trading sub-second. And then you are in a totally different ball game. I would mostly go with a good center that you can access (for repairs). This may be more important than taking out another 5ms latency.

    * Security is overrated. Seriously. Trust the data center. Make sure you have a good one with decent protocols. Do not rent a server, but a rack - or a part of it that an be independently locked. My server(s) are in a half rack in an access controlled data center. Could the staff there look into the servers? Possibly (not without me realizing, though), but there are 100.000 servers there and the staff is monitored.

    Now, comparing:

    Server vs. VPS - a VPS is a shared server (virtualized), the machne is "made up" in the computer from a smaller part of the large server. This CAN be good - all my workhorses are virtual, although I own the hardware. Physical servers can do more, virutal are just guests in the physical form - if the physical form sucks, the VPS will do so, too. Further, as the VPS is shared, you can not use the complere power of the host. The rest depends on price. For example, I am OK with VPS, but I own the hardware and make sure I do not overload anything (CPU maxed out etc.). I could not go with a normal VPS host, because my main server has like space for 24 discs (database work needs discs) and no "normal" VPS hoster offers me the physical capacity I need.

    VPS can be better as when a server fails, the VPS can restart on another server (automatically, if the host has a professional cluster setup).

    Pricing REALLY depends. Like REALLY. 1 rack unit server hosting was quoted to me with 1500 USD "close to exchange", 100 in a normal data center. This is a VERY wide distributed price curve.
  4. Thanks NetTecture and all for all the insights.

    I am being quoted approx $700/month for a 1U rack in a Chicago close to exchange data center. Sounds high to me. What do you guys think.

    i don't think for my trading that I have to be in Chicago. I don't need microsecond latency. I'll take it...but I certainly do not need it.

    i just want a reliable, very reliable data center that is safe and very very secure.

    Any specific recommendations of data centers. How much should I expect to pay?

    Also any recommendations on the specifications ( memory, processor type/speed, etc) for the 1U server I will need. The server should be able to run an ATS, perform some simulations and backtesting. I want a system that can perform excellently without nay form of system resource issues.

    Thank you.
  5. I have to ask - I'm not trying to call bullshit - but I kindof am - who do you clear through and what do the other traders at your clearing firm do? Latency in and around Chicago should be zero to a matching engine unless you are FAST subsecond (filled under 50ms) and if you are getting fills that quick you wouldn't be asking these questions.

    I'm in NYC and we have 3 racks in the office. We also have 3 racks (each) at two seperate data centers in NYC all with 0-1ms latency from our quote/risk/execution servers to the NYSE/NASDAQ/AMEX. How is it that you are considering rack space and co location without asking your clearing firm where thier quote, risk and execution servers are? $700 is stupid money - in NYC you can get a locker for $3k/month and shove a 42Us in there. I see the bills each month and for a full racked cage (meaning all 42 slots filled) its only $3,600/month. Whoever is quoting you is ripping you off. My clearing firm does not charge for rack space FYI. They waive the nominal monthly fee to big traders - and I'm not one of them...

    Seems to me like you are getting in a little above your head. If you are truly ready for rack space you would know the market, know your trading strategy and what its requirements are and not need to ask info on ET.

    $700/month plus internet plus data plus fees is ~$1,500/month. Anyone ready to make an $18k/year move would know the market you are about to get into.

    Sorry to be rude but if you are genuine about this then you really have no clue what you are getting into - PM me and I'll be happy to give you my email/phone, etc. and will be happy to send you invoices for what I pay in NYC to give you a gauge. I'll be happy to send what the overall rack charges are and then the net breakdown per U for cost vs. charge, etc.

    Sorry again for being a prick but I know futures and equities guys in Chi-town paying zero for decent rack space. Maybe you need to switch clearing firms?
  6. Goodness, your hostility was unnecessary!

  7. for someone intent on schooling the op, you seem to be pretty confused as to what a clearing firm does.
  8. Any suggestions for colocation service providers or dedicated server service providers?


  9. Eight


    you mention security here, are you worried about a hacker just screwing up trading for you or are you worried about protecting your intellectual property?
  10. BOTH :

    security against Internet attacks/hacking, system failures/downtime


    protecting my intellectual property.
    #10     Aug 24, 2010