Discussion:
The importance of accurate time keeping and latency
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Dirk Munk
2017-04-03 11:56:57 UTC
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We have had several discussion about accurate timekeeping and latency in
this group lately.

Let me add a nice excerpt from a news article on this matter.

The BBC has a news article on its web site, called "Tick tock: The
importance of knowing the right time". It is written by Tim Hadford, who
is also writing for The Financial Times.

The excerpt reads:

"Some financiers recently calculated it was worth spending $300 million
drilling through mountains between Chicago and New York to lay
fibre-optic cables in a slightly straighter line. That sped up
communication between the two cities' exchanges by three milliseconds."
Kerry Main
2017-04-03 12:57:05 UTC
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-----Original Message-----
Dirk Munk via Info-vax
Sent: April 3, 2017 7:57 AM
Subject: [Info-vax] The importance of accurate time keeping and
latency
We have had several discussion about accurate timekeeping and
latency in this group lately.
Let me add a nice excerpt from a news article on this matter.
The BBC has a news article on its web site, called "Tick tock: The
importance of knowing the right time". It is written by Tim Hadford,
who is also writing for The Financial Times.
"Some financiers recently calculated it was worth spending $300 million
drilling through mountains between Chicago and New York to lay
fibre-
optic cables in a slightly straighter line. That sped up
communication
between the two cities' exchanges by three milliseconds."
Volume matters .. billions (trillions?) of transactions over X time x
3msec is a big deal.

Especially when NY is currently the centre of stock exchange trades.

On a semi-related "importance of time" note, there is an update in the
latest VSI roadmap for support of Precision Time Protocol (P2P) -
V8.x, Q1 2018.


Regards,

Kerry Main
Kerry dot main at starkgaming dot com
j***@yahoo.co.uk
2017-04-03 14:45:22 UTC
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Post by Dirk Munk
We have had several discussion about accurate timekeeping and latency in
this group lately.
Let me add a nice excerpt from a news article on this matter.
The BBC has a news article on its web site, called "Tick tock: The
importance of knowing the right time". It is written by Tim Hadford, who
is also writing for The Financial Times.
"Some financiers recently calculated it was worth spending $300 million
drilling through mountains between Chicago and New York to lay
fibre-optic cables in a slightly straighter line. That sped up
communication between the two cities' exchanges by three milliseconds."
Related article:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39129620

Tim Harford (nb spelling) is the Undercover Economist at the
Financial Times and also presents the generally excellent
BBC Radio 4 programme "More or Less", which is "the BBC's
guide to statistics in the news and in life" - a co-production
with the Open University. Lots of "more or less" related stuff
on the web, much of which should be available outside the UK.

I suspect that in the case of financial trading etc it's being
3 milliseconds (or whatever) *faster than the competition* that
matters, not specifically the absolute timing. When something
hits the market wires, and you're 5ms behind your competition
in responding (buying/selling before the price changes much),
you're nowhere, at least in the world of high performance
trading.

If you can be 3ms ahead of your competition by spending huge
amounts of (other people's) money that the competition can't
afford, e.g. to build a 'shorter' network route that others
can only access for an extortionate fee, well what's not to
like?

Other less drastic options are available but may not be
directly relevant to the normal business of comp.os.vms...
Bob Gezelter
2017-04-03 16:34:27 UTC
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Post by j***@yahoo.co.uk
Post by Dirk Munk
We have had several discussion about accurate timekeeping and latency in
this group lately.
Let me add a nice excerpt from a news article on this matter.
The BBC has a news article on its web site, called "Tick tock: The
importance of knowing the right time". It is written by Tim Hadford, who
is also writing for The Financial Times.
"Some financiers recently calculated it was worth spending $300 million
drilling through mountains between Chicago and New York to lay
fibre-optic cables in a slightly straighter line. That sped up
communication between the two cities' exchanges by three milliseconds."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39129620
Tim Harford (nb spelling) is the Undercover Economist at the
Financial Times and also presents the generally excellent
BBC Radio 4 programme "More or Less", which is "the BBC's
guide to statistics in the news and in life" - a co-production
with the Open University. Lots of "more or less" related stuff
on the web, much of which should be available outside the UK.
I suspect that in the case of financial trading etc it's being
3 milliseconds (or whatever) *faster than the competition* that
matters, not specifically the absolute timing. When something
hits the market wires, and you're 5ms behind your competition
in responding (buying/selling before the price changes much),
you're nowhere, at least in the world of high performance
trading.
If you can be 3ms ahead of your competition by spending huge
amounts of (other people's) money that the competition can't
afford, e.g. to build a 'shorter' network route that others
can only access for an extortionate fee, well what's not to
like?
Other less drastic options are available but may not be
directly relevant to the normal business of comp.os.vms...
John,

A good point. Disparate latencies are a problem in markets.

A nicely readable article on the problem appeared in The New York Times magazine a while back. See https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/06/magazine/flash-boys-michael-lewis.html

Hint: As was noted in "The Sum of All Fears" the way to get a pulse to arrive at the same time through disparate wires is to cut the wires to the same length.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
j***@yahoo.co.uk
2017-04-03 16:36:41 UTC
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Post by j***@yahoo.co.uk
Post by Dirk Munk
We have had several discussion about accurate timekeeping and latency in
this group lately.
Let me add a nice excerpt from a news article on this matter.
The BBC has a news article on its web site, called "Tick tock: The
importance of knowing the right time". It is written by Tim Hadford, who
is also writing for The Financial Times.
"Some financiers recently calculated it was worth spending $300 million
drilling through mountains between Chicago and New York to lay
fibre-optic cables in a slightly straighter line. That sped up
communication between the two cities' exchanges by three milliseconds."
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39129620
Tim Harford (nb spelling) is the Undercover Economist at the
Financial Times and also presents the generally excellent
BBC Radio 4 programme "More or Less", which is "the BBC's
guide to statistics in the news and in life" - a co-production
with the Open University. Lots of "more or less" related stuff
on the web, much of which should be available outside the UK.
I suspect that in the case of financial trading etc it's being
3 milliseconds (or whatever) *faster than the competition* that
matters, not specifically the absolute timing. When something
hits the market wires, and you're 5ms behind your competition
in responding (buying/selling before the price changes much),
you're nowhere, at least in the world of high performance
trading.
If you can be 3ms ahead of your competition by spending huge
amounts of (other people's) money that the competition can't
afford, e.g. to build a 'shorter' network route that others
can only access for an extortionate fee, well what's not to
like?
Other less drastic options are available but may not be
directly relevant to the normal business of comp.os.vms...
Grrr. Forgot a piece... memory error correction required.

Tim probably simplified his story for the benefit of the
Radio 4 audience. And why not. But that's not us.

Fast trading is one of a number of classes of application,
some niche and some not so niche, some low value and some
not so low value, that no sensible organisation will want
to put in any kind of "cloud". One size does not fit all.

*Now* hopefully returning you to normal comp.os.vms.

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