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Tibco Launches Hardware Messaging Appliance

The supplier of Rendezvous infrastructure messaging software is bringing out its first hardware product, looking to speed up communications for brokerage houses and other industries requiring fast messaging services.

Tibco, supplier of Rendezvous infrastructure messaging software, is bringing out its first hardware product, the Tibco Messaging Appliance P-7500.

Tibco got its start in the 1980s on Wall Street when it supplied the messaging that traders wanted between software applications tied up in trading. Faster messaging meant faster trades. That's still the story today and the reason Tibco has produced a hardware messaging device, said Srini Vinnakota, product marketing manager, in an interview.

"One millisecond [speed up in trades] means $1 million in additional revenue for a large brokerage house. With the market drop, a few milliseconds makes the difference in whether you survive or not," he said. As much speed as possible has been wrung out of the software-only messaging approach, but additional milliseconds can be gained by burning Rendezvous into a chip and building a message routing box around it.

When a system fault shut down the Tokyo stock exchange 20 minutes early two years ago, Tibco found the options trading part of the exchange was handling 1.2 million messages a second. Several message exchanges are required between systems to complete a single trade, he noted.

The messaging appliance will reduce message latencies by 50%, while allowing a 10X increase in messaging volume, he said. It comes in three configurations: four 1-Gb Ethernet connections; eight 1-Gb Ethernet connections; or two 10-Gb Ethernet connections. It consumes 375 watts of power.

The appliance fits into a 4U space of a data center rack and replaces the equivalent of 10 servers running Rendezvous. Vinnakota said it's the first of a series of messaging appliances that Tibco plans to offer.

Other industries in addition to financial services are looking for such messaging gains. Telecommunications suppliers face surges in text messaging around big events. The Barack Obama inauguration produced 1.3 million text messages in a short period from the crowd assembled in Washington, D.C., Vinnakota said.

Manufacturing and public agencies with large caseloads also need fast messaging, he said.

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