Welcome to Liquidnet’s Tech Blog!

By technologists and for technologists, the Liquidnet Technology Blog is where we’ll share how we research and apply new technology to build better systems.

We will share stories about what worked well for us, like our recent progress building AC3: our next-generation trading platform using ultra-low latency Java. The task of optimizing what happens inside the JVM and unsafe memory turned out to be easier to manage than the task of communicating with the hardware—and thus other systems—without memory allocation and accumulating garbage. We used open source and improved on some already-efficient libraries such as for logging to eliminate garbage and reduce latency. Our existing messaging libraries and APIs had to be replaced with more efficient messaging, and we moved whatever we couldn’t optimize out of the core processing engine. We’ll talk more about AC3 and ultra-low latency Java in an upcoming post.

We might share stories about what didn’t work out so well, too. We’re constantly looking at new technologies and techniques, and learn from them whether they succeed or fail. We’re currently experimenting with orchestration software and feeling the growing pains. Now we know that simply changing the subnet of an OpenShift/Kubernetes cluster is basically unsupported. But we know we’re on the right track towards massively increasing scale, and the big data platforms we are building out to drive analytics are set to take advantage of the auto-scaling and tooling that orchestration can deliver. But more on that in an upcoming post.

We’re not all about servers; we build user interfaces for humans, too. Our user interfaces are on thousands of customer desktops around the world. We use C#/WPF to deliver a rich user experience, with a custom-built auto-upgrade solution that enables efficient distribution of new features. Our developers and UX teams work together to build sophisticated work flows that delight our users, inform their trading decisions, and enable them to execute those trades efficiently. Browser technology is great and getting better but, even with PWA and Web Assembly, we believe that we aren’t quite there yet and a browser app can’t match the richness of a thick application in a trading environment. More on that, too…

Welcome to our journey.

Steve Cooper, Head of Front Office Technology

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