In March, first bits will start flowing between the NYSE Euronext data center in Mahwah, New Jersey, and other sites over infrastructure operated by providers other than NYSE itself.
New Jersey-based Hudson Fiber Network has beat others to completing a network route connecting the Mahwah site to four others in the state – each of them hosting major-exchange infrastructure. On 1 March, HFN will start providing customers with connectivity to and from the massive NYSE facility, HFN president Brett Diamond said.
Other carriers have announced plans to extend infrastructure to the Mahwah data center, including Sidera and Lightower Fiber Networks, but HFN was first to complete its build, according to Diamond. He says all the infrastructure has been ready to go, and the company has been waiting for NYSE's official launch date to turn up its customers on the route.
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Letting other providers in is a first for NYSE. “You never had a choice before,” Diamond says. Clients who wanted to connect to NYSE before had to use the exchange operator's services, such as SFTI. And if demand for services on HFN's new route is any indication, there has been a need. As of mid-February, the carrier had pre-sold 35% of capacity on the route.
Diamond says all major financial-services companies will be customers on the route. “Anyone that needs to be affiliated with NYSE at the Mahwah site,” as he puts it.
Each of the four data centers on the route besides the NYSE facility has a trading engine. The Verizon data center in Carteret has NASDAQ infrastructure; the Savvis one in Weehawken has BATS; the Equinix facility in Secaucus hosts Direct Edge, while the Halsey data center in Newark is home to NYSE's SFTI infrastructure.
HFN found out NYSE would open its Basildon, UK, data center to outside carriers before the operator announced it would do the same in Mahwah in May of last year. The connectivity provider decided to take a “calculated risk” and start designing a network that would connect the Mahwah site to the four key financial-services data center locations in New Jersey to get a head start on competitors in case NYSE was planning to do the same in the US, Diamond says. This is why the carrier was able to deliver a product earlier than others.
While an unorthodox move for NYSE, making their data centers carrier-neutral is generally common practice for exchange operators. Diamond said NYSE was probably under a lot of pressure from customers to open itself up to other providers.
The Mahwan data center and its UK counterpart, located in the City of Basildon, are the result of a recently completed data center consolidation effort by NYSE. The company had six facilities across US and Europe prior to the project.
The Mahwah facility is designed to contain five 20,000 sq ft modules, and its total power capacity is 28MW. In Basildon, NYSE can go up to seven 3MW 10,000 sq ft modules. This does not mean NYSE now operates out of two data centers. It has infrastructure hosted in other companies' data centers around the world.
In December, NYSE Euronext announced that its board had accepted a bid by IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) to buy the operator of the New York Stock Exchange for US$8.2bn. The deal is currently going through the regulatory approval process. US regulators blocked a joint 2011 bid by ICE and Nasdaq to buy the operator for $11bn.