CanDeal finds reliable host for trading service

CanDeal, an electronic money market trading service, has chosen Q9 Networks Inc. to host its Web operations, citing Q9’s dedication to Web hosting and promise of 100 per cent reliability as main factors in the deal.

“Q9 has a singular focus,” said Stephen Schrump, chief technology officer for Basis 100, CanDeal’s technology partner. “They are looking to be the best at (Web hosting). They’re not trying to be a massive professional services company.”

Schrump added Q9’s narrow focus allows the company to be very competitive in terms of pricing.

The one-year agreement, announced Wednesday, is valued at $1.7 million. Under the terms, Q9 will provide a suite of managed hosting services to help facilitate real-time consolidated price feeds and money market trading when CanDeal goes live in the fourth quarter of this year. CanDeal, which hopes to move brokers from phones to computer screens, will begin trading in Canada Treasury bills and bonds, and eventually encompass all forms of institutional investments, Schrump said.

The company was launched in late June by Basis 100 and six of Canada’s biggest banks, and is aiming to be a northern version of New York-based TradeWeb LLC, in operation since 1997. CanDeal’s founding partners include BMO Nesbitt Burns, CIBC World Markets Inc., MoneyLine Network Inc., National Bank Financial Inc. RBC Dominion Securities Inc., Scotia Capital Inc. and TD Securities Inc.

Schrump said these large banks trade heavily on their reputations, and will take extra care and spend excessive money to ensure perfection.

“When they start to spread outside their four walls, that expectation doesn’t go down,” Schrump said. “We’re dealing with in the order of $5 trillion to $10 trillion of trading taking place on an annual basis. The requirement (of reliability) is absolute. Q9 is able to deliver a solution that mitigates all of the risks that are there.”

Osama Arafat, chief executive officer for Q9 said the backup systems for every power source and piece of technology in the company’s 20,000 square foot Toronto data centre help ensure 100 per cent reliability. If one of Q9’s multiple backbones fail, traffic is rerouted for uninterrupted service.

“The reason we’re able to (guarantee 100 per cent reliability) is because of the levels of redundancy in our systems,” Arafat said, noting the company’s eight transit providers and more than 20 peering arrangements. “No service provider going down has any appreciable affect on our network.”

As an independent managed hosting services company, Q9 maintains access to numerous networks. Most other Canadian hosting outfits, such as the former Bird On A Wire, has been swallowed up by large telecommunications companies which rely on their own networks.

“We’re not forcing our network on our customers,” Arafat said.

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