Blog from the witnix consulting practice

Why team witnix are heading off to the Big Apple?

· by James Cuff · Read in about 5 min · (1034 Words)

| fintech | meetings | hpc |

High performance computing is now essentially ubiquitous, and it turns up in the most exciting and interesting places, none more so than within financial services. Technology has driven the shape of markets and investment techniques since the advent of the telegraph and ticker tapes. Today, advances in low latency interconnects, high speed large capacity clustered storage systems and accelerated offload computing engines have dramatically impacted not only the speed of executing transactions, but also the ability to handle ever more complex volumes of data. This is a good thing, we need ever more advanced systems to manage the deluge.

Accordingly, team witnix are extremely honored to join financial industry experts at the HPC on Wall Street conference, which is taking place at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC on the 13th of September. Witnix area leads have considerable expertise in each of their advanced technology, algorithm and business practices, but importantly we see an immediate and direct alignment with the challenges and opportunities faced within the financial services vertical to what we do on a daily basis here.

This «rebooted» conference hosted by Tabor Communications and BluSky is inordinately timely for the entire industry which is currently at a critical inflection point of requiring ever more complex software and systems infrastructure to enable success at scale. This meeting essentially contains all of the words we love to use here at witnix: scale, complexity, performance and business value and alignment, it’s basically a chocolate and peanut butter recipe for us.

As a true litmus test of applicability, one only has to glance at the conference themes. Every aspect of modern and advanced technology that the witnix team supports is represented at this meeting. From artificial intelligence to cloud computing and containerization all wrapped up in cyber security and the now ubiquitous computational challenges of cryptographic currency and blockchain technologies.

The meeting hosts a number of technology companies, that we will cover shortly, but also and this is very important, the meeting specifically hosts the actual domain experts who have real world use cases at the very sharp end of the modern financial services industry. To highlight this specifically, in the morning Tassos Sarbanes from Credit Suisse is due to open the show. Sarbanes is a mathematician, data scientist, and data architect and will focus on the impact of AI integration with cloud computing where the business use cases are now quickly becoming mainstream in global capital markets. Mainstream, is the critical and operative word here, this is the piece we all need to pay attention to.

As another example, Ankit Manoj Vasa, data specialist and privacy lead for GDPR and cyber threat management at Nasdaq (and inspiration for our cover art for this article) is talking in the afternoon about aligning global initiatives at Nasdaq to improve process and infrastructure to their research mission. Aligning research and business mission, more chocolate and peanut butter material right here. These are real world, significant global companies talking about the challenges and opportunities of advanced high performance computing, this is the real deal folks.

The general session takes time to dive deeper into the actual nuts and bolts of technology needed to help our domain and industry experts manage their ever more complex systems. Anshul Sadana, chief customer officer at Arista will talk about programmable networks for financial trading. The network is now so critical and it underpins the entire industry, so building and deploying low latency high quality reconfigurable networks with the appropriate telemetry built right in to understand what they are actually all doing is the name of the game here. Digging in further Don Burr from AIG will host a sponsored panel by Cisco, Dell, Intel, Mellanox, Redhat, SNIA and VMWare which they have simply titled «Cloud», that given the players involved should be fascinating.

As a reflection of opportunity gains you can have with modern storage systems, Intel are presenting Optane and the 3D X-point technology, but this time with their eco system partners Vexata, Levyx and Datera. These partners are leveraging solid state persistent memory to solve real business challenges in the financial services, and these folk play in the millisecond and petabyte levels of storage systems. Two attributes have been considered mutually exclusive for many years in our field, but now it would appear not so much.

Jennifer Smith, who leads global marketing at Hewlett Packard Enterprise will moderate a panel called «blockchain for the real world» with experts from the Global Debt Registry, Accenture and Intel that we are particularly interested in hearing about the advances in this segment. Much industry noise has been developed and exists around blockchain, and being able to distill this down into actual real world applications is so critically important right now.

Kristin Boggiano, chair of the board and president of women in derivatives is due to talk about transforming finance, in particular seeing the impact of emerging technologies which is important given that Boggiano’s other hat is the chief legal officer at AlphaPoint who enable institutions to launch and operate digital asset networks and worldwide exchanges. Again, another critical indicator of the real-world application of blockchain and cryptographic technologies.

Finally, Addison Snell, CEO of Intersect360 Research is hosting a panel to discuss the adoption of HPC in the enterprise with important lessons learned. Timothy Harder and Greg Kurtzer respectively of RStor and Sylabs will join Andre Younge senior member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories to talk about what they have been working on. This panel will no doubt be of significant interest to the witnix team mostly due to our long heritage in containing the complexity of advanced computing and HPC, but there is always something new to learn here, this field continues to move at 100 miles an hour.

So all in all, it should now be pretty obvious why we are heading to the Big Apple. We will check back in with you when we return, and if you have time I’d encourage you to join us on Thursday. We are super excited to reconnect with old friends and meet some brand new ones while we discuss some of the most fascinating use cases of HPC, software, algorithms and business at scale.