Most people justifiably take technology vendors’ claims of blazing speed with a grain of salt. As a result, industries that live and die by IT performance have developed independent, audited benchmarks to enable “apples to apples” comparisons between competing solutions.
For capital markets technology – that is, for systems like algorithmic trading, risk analysis, and order matching – these tests are defined and managed by the Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC). In STAC's own words, it "provides hands-on technology research and testing tools to the trading industry, focusing on the most challenging workloads." It also verifies test results, to make sure participants don’t cut corners.
McObject has increased its presence in the financial technology sector, recognizing an opportunity there for a fast, deterministic and affordable database system. We reached a key milestone last week with the release of eXtremeDB Financial Edition, which includes powerful, specialized features for managing market data. Our own tests showed eXtremeDB Financial Edition to be approximately three times faster performing the same tasks than a competing, specialized DBMS with a reputation for speed in financial applications.
However, we considered it critical to verify our performance using STAC’s audited benchmarking process – specifically, with the STAC-M3 benchmark suite, the trading industry’s gold standard for comparing performance in the management of time-series data such as tick-by-tick quote and trade histories.
I am pleased to announce that STAC has released its official report, confirming eXtremeDB Financial Edition best-in-category performance. The report – which STAC offers for free download (registration is required) – documents that eXtremeDB Financial Edition achieved the lowest mean response time ever published by STAC in 15 of 17 STAC-M3™ benchmark tests covering a wide range of key capital markets computing tasks.
Interestingly, McObject is only the second database system vendor to approve publication of its STAC-M3 results. We have it on good authority that several competing DBMS vendors in the financial arena underwrote STAC’s testing (it costs $5,000, plus a considerable investment in engineering and coordination with partners) but opted not to release their less-than-stellar results.
Speaking of partners, some impressive hardware helped eXtremeDB Financial Edition deliver the record-setting performance. McObject provided the database management software in a “system under test” consisting of a Dell R910 PowerEdge server with 40 Intel E7 cores and 512GB RAM and Kove® XPD™ L2 memory-disk SSD storage, mesh-connected via Mellanox ConnectX®-2 InfiniBand adapters through a Mellanox InfiniScale® IV QDR InfiniBand Switch to the Dell server. (The hardware is exactly the same as the previous performance record holder for the STAC-M3. We didn’t get better results by throwing faster hardware at it.)
The STAC-M3 benchmark is comprehensive in a way that our earlier, in-house tests (or probably any vendor’s tests) couldn’t approach. Its focus is real-world, based on complex queries that were designed by trading firms on the STAC Benchmark™ Council. A few highlights of eXtremeDB Financial Edition’s STAC-M3 results include:
- 9x the previously published best result on tests using the "Theoretical P&L" algorithm
- 7x the best previously published result for the "Year High Bid" algorithm
- Double the previously published best results for both “National Best Bid and Offer” (NBBO) and “Market Snapshot” algorithms
- Lower standard deviations of latency than the previously best results for 13 of the 17 operations.
This last result, record-setting low standard deviation, points to eXtremeDB Financial Edition’s high determinism – a characteristic that differs somewhat from pure speed. It means that financial calculations will be predictably fast. Capital markets developers tell us this is important, in that it means they can expect tighter bounds on application performance (performance will not swing wildly). Opportunities in algorithmic trading are fleeting, after all – and determinism means confidence that processing will not bog down at critical times.
Read McObject’s press release on eXtremeDB Financial Edition in the STAC-M3 benchmark.