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Nasdaq Commits To HP's NonStop Platform

The Nasdaq Stock Market has turned to Hewlett-Packard for the first major overhaul of its trade-reporting systems, agreeing to a three-year contract that extends an existing 20-year relationship between the two companies.

More than 30 HP S88000 NonStop severs running HP OpenView enterprise-management software and containing more than 500 MIPS R16000 processors were recently installed at the Nasdaq data center, says Steve Randich, executive VP and CIO for Nasdaq.

The contract is valued in the tens of millions of dollars and demonstrates that the NonStop server line "continues to have the flexibility and reliability to really meet the needs of the financial community," says Pauline Nist, VP of the NonStop enterprise division for HP.

The NonStop servers, introduced in January, provide a 30% increase in processor performance, allowing the stock market to handle up to 20,000 transactions per second, a threshold that has increased from peak demand of about 1,000 transactions per second only four years ago, Randich says. "That [transaction] number continues to climb at what appears to be 20% to 30% per year," he says. "We're seeking to manage our capacity today by ensuring we can handled the projected peaks based on trends 18 months in advance."

In the past, Nasdaq has built its trading infrastructure using multiple contracts with varying life cycles. But the company last year decided to renew the entire platform so it could create a regular three-year life-cycle refresh pattern, Randich says. When that next refresh cycle rolls around in 2007, Randich knows that the NonStop platform that Nasdaq has used since 1984 will have migrated away from the MIPS processors to new systems based on Intel's Itanium 2 processor.

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