NYSE launches New hybrid trading system

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) recently launched the third phase of its Hybrid Market, enabling members to buy and sell a limited number of stocks electronically as well as continue trading with human auctioneers on the Exchange floor. It's the start of a major shift for the NYSE that involves 250 software releases, 60 upgraded systems and 1 million lines of code. NYSE CTO Steve Rubinow, who joined the NYSE Group Inc. last year after it acquired the Archipelago electronic trading system, is helping to oversee the launch. He talked to Computerworld recently about the launch's the challenges.

Excerpts from that interview follow:

How did the launch go? The Hybrid Market launch has been very successful. With trade execution times [for Hybrid Market] decreasing from an average of nine seconds to less than 0.3 seconds, our customers and the trading-floor community are using the system effectively throughout the day. We are looking to complete the rollout to all NYSE-listed securities in December 2006.

Will Hybrid help the NYSE avoid losing business to nimble electronic exchanges? We all know [that] for very good reasons, the NYSE needed enhancement, because speed historically wasn't an emphasis. Now it is. A lot of the expertise from Archipelago, where there was a huge emphasis on speed, will be injected regularly here. We don't want to have a situation where NYSE Group has both slow systems and fast systems. We want all of the systems to be as fast as the marketplace demands them to be.

How closely is Hybrid modeled on the Archipelago system you oversaw as CTO of that company? Archipelago was purely an electronic system. The attempt to achieve the proper blend of floor-based and electronic activity is unique. There is no technology that was used in Archipelago that is being used today in Hybrid. It all originates from NYSE before the merger. It is mostly HP systems, ranging from Tandems to smaller HP servers running both HP-UX and Linux, along with some IBM. We have grid technology that uses data that comes out of the NYSE systems that feeds other applications.

Did you add new technology for Hybrid? Wherever we needed more capacity, we added more servers, but we generally didn't get rid of the older stuff.