Monday, December 14, 2015


By Audrey Rasmussen, Bill Moran and Rich Ptak

Dell recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire EMC, including its approximate 80% ownership in VMware. Shortly after, EMC and VMware announced the creation of a joint venture in Cloud computing, named Virtustream. Does this mega-merger makes sense – for the companies, the industry, customers and shareholders? This report focuses on the potential impact of this acquisition on the companies, industry including potential competitors, and customers. We need to qualify this document by saying that this merger is an evolving situation and developments after the completion of this document will affect many of our conclusions.  

Read the report at:

Monday, December 7, 2015

POWER8, Linux, and CAPI provide micro-second information processing to Algo-Logic’s Tick-to-Trade (T2T) clients

By Rich Ptak and Bill Moran

Rapid processing of data improves decision-making in trading, research, and operations, benefitting enterprises and consumers. Computer servers accelerated with Field Programmable Gate Arrays[1] (FPGAs) operate at the greatest speeds to collect, analyze, and act on data. As data volumes sky rocket, processing speed becomes critically important.

Algo-Logic[2] leverages the speed of FPGAs to achieve the lowest possible trading latency. Their clients have access to data in 1.5 millionths of a second, enabling them to make better trades. Algo-Logic Systems’ CAPI-enabled Order Book is a part of a complete Tick-to-Trade (T2T) System[3] for market makers, hedge funds, and latency-sensitive trading firms. The exchange data feed is instantly processed by an FPGA. The results go to the shared memory of an IBM POWER8 server equipped with the IBM CAPI[4] card and specialized FPGA technology. Then, in less than 1.5 microseconds, it updates an order book of transactions (buy/sell/quantity).

Stock trading generates an enormous data flow about the price and number of shares available. Regulated exchanges, such as NASDAQ, provide a real-time feed of market data to trading systems so that humans and automated trading systems can place competitive bids to buy and sell equities.  By monitoring level 3 tick data and generating a level 2 order book, traders[5] can precisely track the number of shares available at each price level. Firms using Algo-Logic’s CAPI-enabled Order Book benefit from the split-second differences in understanding and interpreting the data[6] from the stock exchange feed.

Algo-Logic released their CAPI-enabled Order Book in March 2015. Multiple customers now use it in projects that include accelerated network processing of protocol parsing, financial surveillance systems, algorithmic trading, etc. with many proof-of-concept projects underway.

Algo-Logic found success with Linux, POWER8, and CAPI. We expect to write more about, Algo-Logic and other OpenPOWER Foundation[7] partners as they continue to develop solutions and POWER8-Linux systems demonstrate their ability to handle big data at the speeds developers, architects, and users need.

[2] Located in Silicon Valley; see:
[3] See, also see:  “CAPI Enabled Order Book Running on IBM® POWER8™ Server” at:
[5] We oversimplify stock market operations for clarity. For more details visit the footnotes.
[6]  This is  High Frequency Trading (HFT), for information, see:

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

IBM Watson + Power Systems mainstream Cognitive Computing

By Rich Ptak

Five years ago, powered by IBM POWER7 servers, a master-bedroom sized Watson broke into public consciousness making headlines as an undefeated champion against past Jeopardy winners. Since then IBM has put "Watson to work" with the latest POWER8 technology, OpenPOWER Foundation partners and multiple support centers...IBM is "mainstreaming" what's being done and our take on it....