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Solarflare Creates New Paradigm for Auditing, Monitoring and Analysis for High Frequency Trading Networks With Precision Time Stamping

Solarflare, the leader in application-intelligent 10GbE networking hardware and software, today announced the industry's first high-performance, low-latency 10GbE server adapter with precision time stamping. The Solarflare SFN5322F dual-port 10GbE SFP+ server adapter enables a new model for monitoring, auditing and analysis of high frequency trading and other types of networks. It is a thousand times more precise than the previous generation of network time products, and a fraction of the cost of specialized network time appliances. By leveraging Solarflare's new class of products, IT managers can improve the performance of high frequency trading networks by implementing precision time. Furthermore, precision time stamping gives businesses a tool for greater transparency for internal compliance, as well as conformance with external legal and regulatory requirements.

The IEEE 1588 precision time protocol (PTP) is deployed when a common clock is needed across networked servers for logging, auditing, instrumentation and analysis. The Ethernet PTP is more accurate than the widely deployed IP-based network time protocol (NTP), offering sub-microsecond timing accuracy compared to NTP's limited millisecond accuracy1. IT managers now have the ability to extend the reach of clock synchronization in their 10GbE Ethernet networks with off-the-shelf 10GbE Ethernet networking gear without having to deploy multiple, expensive, dedicated appliances.

"Time is the next utility for data centers," said Henry Young, an internationally recognized precision time expert and CEO, TS-Associates. "Having precision time available on high-performance servers enables compliance with internal auditing and external regulatory requirements. Solarflare's SFN5322F adapter saves valuable PCI slots and allows the deployment of precision time more broadly in high-density server environments."

The SFN5322F enables the server to participate in a precision time network via PTP or other precision time schemes. It can act as a PTP master clock or synchronize its clock with an upstream PTP master or grandmaster clock, usually sourced from GPS. The adapter participates in an automated time distribution and messaging scheme to accurately and consistently set time on all servers in the network to the correct time. Beyond high frequency trading, precision time is used in enterprise and service provider networks, and for applications as diverse as broadcasting, cellular networks, military, aerospace, national security and high performance computing.

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