60 Minutes has a short and interesting piece on their NYSE data center in Mahwah, NJ.  It provides a nice and high-level look at the concepts that are in action at the most modern data centers around.  Key points:

  • Facility is the size of “3 football fields” – research shows it has a 400,000 sf capacity with 25% held in reserve for expansion via pods.
  • Only 15 employees are typically on-site at a time.
  • The difference in latencies (microseconds) that computers had just over the network runs in the facility was significant enough to require the NYSE to implement network throttles to level the playing field to a fixed latency of 65 microseconds.  Here’s high frequency trading in action again.