It has come to pass that high latency can be disastrous to a business. If your business relies on getting data faster than your competitors, the extra milliseconds it takes to deliver content can constitute an unacceptable degradation in service quality. For example, consumers expect telephone conversations to have pin drop signal clarity without echoes, delays and other types of distortion. If you are a phone company suffering from such occurrences, you are bound to be swept away by the competition.
This being said, there is plenty of reason to get excited over the advances in low latency. To date, it is estimated that $100 million per year has been spent on improving latency performance. And while it is traditionally assumed that advances in low latency will help the banking industry specifically, a number of new factors are combining to make improved latency important to a wider world of corporate IT and mainstream technology vendors.
Financially-based message acceleration, multicore processors, solid-state disk storage, real-time business intelligence and analytics have always been part of the quest for low-latency. But with low latency growing, there becomes room for new participants outside of the financial industry. New advances are affecting any vendor with real-time aspirations, those who deal with high workloads and those who are involved in Web-scale computing. Such vendors include post-relational database companies, middleware and messaging vendors, storage and network equipment suppliers, infrastructure management companies, and even software tool and development companies.
Through compliance, deregulation and automated trading of market data, multicore processors and a host of other elements, the financial industry has inadvertently created an emergence of low latency in a host of new industries. It has become clear that the continued quest for low latency will not only shape the banking landscape, but will have significant implications for other markets and the vendors that supply them.
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