RTS 25 Compliance beyond the NIC

The new ChronOS Application Suite offers timing measurements within the Linux trading server from the NIC to the Application Layer. The operation of ChronOS is based on lightweight Linux applications measuring time at the Application Layer that is analogous to the time stamps generated in Trading Applications. In addition to these lightweight tools, a second timing reference is required in the server to qualify these measurements against the time base of the server being used by the Trading Aplications themselves.

Novel techniques are used to achieve previously unattainable levels of accurate time measurements inside the server/application layer. These timing measurements are then available through the management system dashboard which connects to all trading servers. By comparing the data from ChronOS with offset measurements within the 1588 PTP daemon, full end to end RTS 25 compliance can be demonstrated, and data stored for later retrieval for audit purposes. To date this part of the timing connection from UTC through the Point of Trade has been almost impossible to measure although it is an integral part of MiFID II.

Timing protocols such as PTP carry timing from a UTC source (typically GPS / GNSS) via a 1588 PTP Grandmaster (GM) across the network to the trading server where the NIC incorporates a 1588 PTP slave and terminates the timing packets. The measurement of the timing offset between the GM and the slave can be determined to ensure compliance for this element within the overall system. Usually these network-based measurements cannot extend into the trading application in the server as the internal machine architecture presents unknown and varying errors that are accumulated along the timing trail into the end-application. ChronOS removes this restriction and allows accurate measurements right up to the application layer.

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