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John Hoffman - Tata Communications


John Hoffman is the Head of Ethernet Product Management, Tata Communications.




John Hoffman
John Hoffman
What does the launch of the low-latency network mean for the global financial services industry?

Typically, low latency connectivity has been delivered within a city or a region only. Tata Communications has entered the market with a global low latency network that literally encircles the globe. We are a leader in the global Ethernet market and are offering our suite of award winning, certified services on our Low Latency network that allows financial businesses which require millisecond real time connectivity to operate over a single low latency global network. By seamlessly connecting the world’s financial capitals with our Ethernet Multipoint services – London, Singapore, Chicago, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and New Jersey for New York City – we enable businesses to achieve up to 35% savings on capital expense and around 50% savings on on-going monthly operational costs. For arbitrage or algorithmic trading, connectivity can literally be a deal-breaker. This new low latency network enables high frequency transactions to travel between two locations in milliseconds. To put it another way, a millisecond is1/1000 of a second so data is transferring between the locations on our network in less than a ¼ of a second, depending on the locations and distance between the locations.

What about security?

Sometimes there is a trade-off between speed and security, as encryption and other security measures can slow down data transfer speeds. To ensure both speed and security, we’re using a truly unique, cutting-edge solution called ‘Provider Backbone Bridging’ (PBB) to transmit our Ethernet services. We are the first global provider to use the PBB technology on a global scale. The provider backbone bridging technology adds an extra layer of security by encapsulating the entire customer frame in a layer 2 PBB header. No other technology used to deliver Ethernet Services encapsulates the entire customer frame. This eliminates the need for the Ethernet switches to hold or use a customer’s MAC address when sending information, as our network moves frames based on our network MAC address. As a result, if a customer suffers a DDoS attack, no other customers on our network will be impacted by the DDoS attack. Also, by encapsulating the entire frame, it is more difficult for people without customer authorisation to snoop, sniff or replicate frames on our network. Finally, multipoint customers using our network will get a completely private network, further securing the data that flows between their sites.

How does this service differ from previous low latency offerings?

All services are influenced by the underlying technology used to deliver the service. Our technology allows us to deliver services over a predetermined path with a constant low latency. Our services provide transparent pipes so our customers have the flexibility to control their applications with their own Classes of Service and own Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs). We have installed sophisticated and constant monitoring on our network, with data being collected every five minutes and stored for trend analysis. What is really different with Tata Communications’ offering is our ability to provide our customers with a low latency multipoint service. This enables customers to operate over a single global network, as opposed to multiple country-specific point-to-point network providers, without huge increases in cost. In fact, the service enables businesses to achieve up to 35% savings on capital expense, and around 50% savings on on-going monthly operational costs.

What if my bandwidth requirements change?

The service is designed to be scalable, depending on the changing needs of each business. There is a huge range of topologies, bandwidth options and monitoring options available, which allow you to create the best low latency network solution for your requirements. You can also upgrade your bandwidth and add sites, without the risk of a service outage on your network, or additional CAPEX.

What kind of SLAs do you offer?

The SLAs include near-real-time latency guarantees. Latency is measured every five minutes on a 24/7 basis, up to two decimals after the millisecond range from point-of-presence ("PoP") to PoP. All of this data is stored for trend analysis to ensure continuous low latency. We also offer an ‘Enterprise SLA’ option, which includes performance monitoring and troubleshooting capabilities. This option extends the standard SLA guarantees with guarantees for Service Uptime, Packet Delivery Ratio, Latency and Jitter from a customer’s premise to premise, instead of from PoP-to-PoP, which is more traditional.

Could firms outside of the financial services sector to use the new network too?

Certainly and we are seeing more interest in low latency from firms outside the financial services sector. Due to rising complexity and importance of mission-critical applications in sectors such as gaming and media, for example, we are witnessing an increasing demand for near-real-time connectivity. It is not unprecedented to see a unique feature start in the financial sector and then be adopted by the wider market. This is what we believe we are seeing with low latency. As a result, Tata Communications was careful in the design process to build the low latency network to be an effective tool for more than just the financial markets.

What are your future plans for the low latency network?

While we’ve successfully connected the top financial capitals of the world, we see this as just the beginning. In phase two, we will extend the network to South Africa and India, as well as other emerging markets, which we see as the driving force behind global economic growth.

Vendredi 22 Juin 2012
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