ASX opens first high-density pod at Australian Liquidity Centre

Maria Nikolova

The new pods provide customers the same equal access to all ASX markets as standard cabinets, and can directly connect to alternative trading venues and liquidity platforms via ASX Net.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) today announces that it has opened the first of its newly constructed high-density pods at the Australian Liquidity Centre (ALC).

The high-density space is biometrically secured, with cold-aisle containment featuring in-row chillers, and is capable of delivering up to 24 kilowatts of power into an individual cabinet. The new pods provide customers the same equal access to all ASX markets as standard cabinets, and can directly connect to alternative trading venues and liquidity platforms via ASX Net.

ASX explains that the growing adoption by financial markets of data analytics, machine learning and computational grid computing is increasing the power requirements of Field Programmable Arrays (FPGAs) and similar technologies. Customers are also seeking more efficient cooling solutions for their increasingly power-hungry equipment, as super-fast overclocked servers and the thermodynamic boundaries generated by this business processing technology continue to escalate.

Dealing with the new cooling and power requirements is a challenge for data centre operators globally. Adoption of liquid-based cooling is increasing as it is considered more efficient than air-based cooling. The use of liquid-based cooling techniques by data centres is expected to grow significantly in 2020, posting a Compound Annual Growth Rate of almost 16% during the forecast period.

Energy turnover has become a major limiting factor to the performance of a trading firm’s high-density compute stack, rather than the clock rate or number of chips used. For a specific segment of the user base within the ALC ecosystem, the performance of these finely tuned trading plants primarily depends on how much heat can be dissipated.

Adam Bradley, ASX’s Global Head of Sales, said:

“Reducing risk and cost feature heavily in our conversations, and ASX is actively addressing this. The introduction of high-density pods helps firms deploy their next generation trading architecture in a less complex and more efficient manner. Subject to demand and the advancement of technology, we have the capacity to deploy additional high-density pods”.

The ASX’s ALC, launched back in 2012, is a data centre built exclusively for organisations in the financial markets ecosystem. It provides customers with a range of communication, execution and information services including the most secure and fastest possible access to all ASX liquidity – ASX Trade Match, ASX Centre Point and ASX 24. There are more than 120 customers at the ALC including international investment banks, Australian brokers, market makers, proprietary firms as well as data vendors, software and system vendors, and all major telecom carriers.

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