STAC Benchmark Council Issues First-Ever Standard Benchmark Specifications for Trading Systems

Specifications and tools will reduce the cost of R&D for trading firms. NEW YORK – 22 September 2008 – The Securities Technology Analysis Center (STAC®) today announced that the STAC Benchmark Council has approved the STAC-M1 Benchmark™ specifications. This marks the first industry-standard benchmark for trading technology. The STAC Benchmark Council is a group of 40 leading trading firms and technology vendors that was formed one year ago to develop standard ways of measuring the performance of trading technologies (see www.STACresarch.com/council). STAC-M1 is the first benchmark suite to be approved by the Council. It measures the latency, throughput, power efficiency, and other key characteristics of solutions for handling high-speed market data from exchanges. The specifications can be adapted to any exchange feed. The first variant, STAC-M1.OPRA™, is adapted for the US options market, the world’s most prodigious real-time data producer. In addition to benchmarks for low-latency market data technology, the Council is currently developing specifications in event processing and high-speed messaging, and in 2009 will expand to trade execution and risk management. STAC has also released STAC Tools™ to support the STAC-M1 specifications. These tools enable trading firms and technology vendors to run the standard benchmarks in their own labs. For the first time, all providers and users of trading technology can make exact, apples-to-apples performance comparisons. “This could not have come at a better time for the securities industry,” said Peter Lankford, director of STAC. “Many securities firms are under intense cost pressure, but if they are slow to adopt new technology, they will get out-smarted in fast markets. Trading groups simply cannot afford to make mistakes with their technology investments, but their processes for finding the right technology mix are expensive and slow. STAC Benchmarks and STAC Tools change the game. These best-of-breed standards slash the cost of technology R&D for trading firms. By simplifying the testing process and producing results that can be compared precisely with published benchmarks, STAC standards dramatically improve the productivity of a trading firm’s engineers.” Information on the specifications and tools, as well as a free copy of the first STAC Report to use the specifications, are available at www.STACresearch.com/m1. About STAC The Securities Technology Analysis Center (www.STACresearch.com) conducts private and public hands-on research into the latest technology stacks for capital markets firms and their vendors. STAC provides performance measurement services, advanced tools, and simulated trading environments in STAC Labs, which are underwritten by the world’s largest technology firms. Public STAC Reports document the capability of specific software and hardware to handle key trading workloads such as real-time market data, analytics, and order execution. STAC also facilitates the STAC Benchmark Council, an organization of leading trading firms and vendors that specify standard ways to measure the performance of trading solutions. STAC, STAC Benchmark, and all other STAC names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the Securities Technology Analysis Center LLC.

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