The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has dramatically slashed round trip latency times for proximity hosting, in collaboration with Colt, on its Novell SUSE Linux-based MillenniumIT matching engine.

The LSE said that as it hit a new speed milestone, it had also vastly expanded capacity and reliability for the system. UK traders using the service connect through Colt's state of the art data centre in Wapping.

Nigel Harold, head of business development technology at the LSE, told Computerworld UK: "We now have sub-100 microsecond latency on proximity hosting."

Traders who typically use a proximity hosting connection include those looking for a more managed service, whereby Colt handles their networking connections and bandwidth, and aims to ensure highly reliable uptime. Speed is highly important, but reliability and managed scalability are also vital attributes for these clients.

The speed compares to sub-30 microsecond latency cross connections on co-location, a setup in which trading firms place their kit within the stock exchange's datacentre. It is the preferred option of many of the high frequency trading firms, such as the LSE's largest client Nomura, for which speed is everything - and they have a large team of their own to manage the technology.

Harold said the proximity trading solution is preferred by those traders looking to have a powerful, fast, all-round service. "It's connectivity in-a-box. The key is to offer the managed route onto the exchange for those traders, handling scalability, reliability, capacity and functionality.

"There are all shapes and sizes of client, with diverse speed requirements, but what they have in common is the need for ease of use and reliability."

The LSE's MillenniumIT matching engine is based on Novell Suse Linux, and was developed in C++. It offers trading on the FIX and ITCH protocols. "We feel we've got the fast, reliable, secure system that the market needs," said Harold.