Switch and Data Targets Financial Services

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Switch and Data (SDXC) is leveraging its network of data center peering facilities to seek a larger foothold in the lucrative world of low-latency financial trading. Switch and Data, which operates more than 30 colocation centers, has launched a financial services practice to provide high-speed access to electronic trading exchanges in the equity, options, futures and currency markets. The move is the latest reminder that although Wall Street is downsizing, financial companies continue to invest in algorithmic trading – and that means infrastructure.

“Regulatory changes and fragmented liquidity have driven an explosion of market data volume and the need for highly secure data center space,” said John Panzica, Vice President of Switch and Data’s Financial Services unit. “Switch and Data’s new practice understands this demand and helps customers develop custom solutions to meet their ever-growing low-latency connectivity, space and power needs in North America’s leading financial centers.”

The market for low-latency trading continues to attract investment, but Switch and Data will find itself battling for business with multiple rivals with established business powering trading operations, including Equinix (EQIX), Savvis Communications (SVVS), Telehouse, Telx, DataPipe and CRG West.

Switch and Data originally focused on colocation services in second-tier markets, and in 2003 purchased the PAIX assets out of bankruptcy for $40 million. The PAIX deal formed the nucleus of Switch and Data’s interconnection business, which has since grown to more than 20,800 cross-connects generating $13.6 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Financial firms often favor high-density data center environments. and in the past several years Switch and Data has upgraded its data center infrastructure to support up to 200 watts per square feet in its newer facilities, including data centers in key financial hubs New York, Chicago and Toronto.

“As the need for processing power and speed has increased dramatically, so too has the demand for data center space in proximity to major market centers,” said Kevin McPartland, Senior Analyst, TABB Group. “A team dedicated to supporting financial services clients is crucial for data center providers looking to fill this need.”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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