June 16, 2008
The Microsoft "High-Performance Computing Capital Markets Survey
2008," conducted by Washington, D.C.-based KRC Research, found that
capital markets firms in the last 12 months have faced increased
demands to run real-time market risk analysis (25 percent),
middle-office risk analytics (34 percent) and portfolio-related
calculations, such as rebalancing and hedging strategies (42 percent).
At the same time, Wall Street firms are turning to their growing HPC
resources to assist with these activities, with companies reporting "a
lot or some" demand for HPC to handle real-time market risk analysis
(51 percent), middle-office risk analytics (50 percent) and
portfolio-related calculations (54 percent).
The survey also found that while outright performance (27 percent)
continues to be a primary purchase factor when selecting an HPC
operating system, capital markets firms ranked ease of management (14
percent), ease of deployment (16 percent), and support of existing
third-party applications (21 percent) of similar importance. By
comparison, in a similar Microsoft HPC survey released last year, 37
percent of respondents reported performance as the most critical
factor, with ease of management and other factors in the single digits.
"Impacted by the credit crisis, capital markets firms are aligning
their HPC resources toward uncovering and managing risk," said Craig
Saint-Amour, U.S. capital markets industry solutions director at
Microsoft. "At the same, it appears that companies are seeking more
bang for their buck from their HPC vendors in terms of greater ease of
deployment, manageability and support. In this tough economic
environment, lowering operational costs and increasing overall
productivity at all levels of a firm's HPC value chain -- from end
users to developers to operations staff -- is at the forefront of every
Recent hardware and software advances, such as powerful, low-cost
processors and familiar, widely supported operating systems such as
Windows HPC Server 2008, have made it easier for analysts, traders and
portfolio managers to conduct HPC tasks. According to the survey, the
most common lines of business using HPC environments today include
equities (30 percent), fixed income (20 percent), commodities (13
percent), foreign exchange (13 percent), derivatives (23 percent) and
algorithmic trading (18 percent).
More information on Microsoft high-performance computing is available at www.microsoft.com/hpc.
Washington, D.C.-based KRC Research conducted the Microsoft
"High-Performance Computing Capital Markets Survey 2008" from May 26 to
June 6, 2008, and garnered responses from more than 100 qualified
high-performance computing users at capital markets firms. Survey
respondents work for investment banks, brokerage firms, hedge funds,
online investment companies, financial advisory companies and financial
planning companies. Each respondent was a user, application manager,
developer, evaluator, recommender or authorizer of purchase decisions
for hardware and software related to technical computing. The full
survey results can be downloaded from www.microsoft.com/industry/financialservices/capitalmarkets/sifma_tech.mspx.
About Microsoft in Financial Services
Microsoft's Financial Services Group provides software that helps
financial firms transform the customer, employee and operations
experience so they can maximize opportunities for increased market
share and profitability. Microsoft software helps empower people and IT
staff within financial firms -- and across key focus areas such as
advisor platforms, channel renewal, insurance value chain, enterprise
risk management and compliance, and payments. Through a combination of
Microsoft- and partner-provided solutions, customers enable their
employees to turn data into insight, transform ideas into action and
turn change into opportunity.
More information about Microsoft's Financial Services Group can be found at www.microsoft.com/financialservices.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft
is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Source: Microsoft Corp.
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