European bank upgrades network analysis

Flow of financial data smoothed

European banking giant BNP Paribas’s equities and derivatives division has installed a network analysis appliance from Network General to ensure the smooth transmission of financial data.

BNP Paribas has to send and receive information to several investment banks simultaneously throughout the day, using live feeds known as “multicasts”.

It will use Network General’s Sniffer Infinistream product to identify and troubleshoot problems across the network that could hold up the financial data.

The Sniffer Infinistream product will also be used to capture and store detailed information on network traffic, providing the bank’s IT department with a retrospective picture of the network at the time that problems arise. This will allow IT managers to identify the root cause of problems without having to recreate the problems.

Arnaud Huret of BNP Paribas says “Financial information is very critical and time sensitive. One missed or delayed packet of data can cause huge problems for our traders. The multicast data we receive tends to arrive in spikes rather than a steady stream.

“As a result, our systems must be able to handle the information quickly and efficiently. A delay of just five minutes could result in losses of approximately £200,000 (NZ$554,000).” The bank also intends to use the improved network performance data for its overall business and capacity planning.

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