Corvil Review

Provides visibility into microsecond timestamping


What is our primary use case?

We are using it mostly for order entry and FIX protocol.

How has it helped my organization?

Most of the tools that we have don't have any visibility into microbursts. Corvil can provide that visibility into microsecond timestamping. It has more granularity into the scope of how data has passed.

The performance analysis that Corvil provides for electronic trading environments is very nice. That is what we primarily use it for: To monitor order routing and order execution to all the venues, as well as to our trading partners. It performs very well.

What is most valuable?

We use the whole suite of features:

  • Latency management
  • Gap detection
  • Microburst sideloading
  • Dashboards
  • Analyzing payloads.

We like the dashboards because they essentially organize all the sessions into one viewpoint. The dashboard are very nice. We have a central location where we can look at all sessions, instead of searching for each session. Everything is in front of you in groups in dashboards.

What needs improvement?

The analytics feature is very nice, but it's mostly software. We are hoping that it could be embedded in ASICs, so it could be faster. The competitors are going through providing hardware solutions. So, that's what the trend is, going through ASICs. Hopefully, Corvil can do the same.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Corvil is pretty stable. We just have too much data going into the boxes. Because of that, it requires more maintenance than average.

We have one person in the USA and one person in Europe maintaining about 90 devices. The product is high maintenance. We have a lot of sessions, more than Corvil's overload. So, we get packet drops, high CPU rates, and disk drive discards.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is pretty good. We just have to buy another unit and snap it onto the CMCs.

We have less than 100 people using it right now, e.g., market data teams and market data support teams. Since market data rates are going up, we will probably increase our usage in the future. With market data rates going up, we will be getting more clients. Once you get more clients, you have to add more order execution sessions.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good. They usually respond within 24 hours and are very knowledgeable.

A recent example where we contacted support: We had an issue where we installed the latest decoder pack 1812, but it was causing Watchdog errors. They had a fix right away. They found out the decoder which was having issues and recommended installing 1901.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

The company did not have a previous solution for market data monitoring. They decided to purchase this solution for visibility into market data, order routing, and market data feeds.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. Everything is almost done out-of-the-box, as the decoders do all the work. Plus, Corvil has session auto-discovery built-in, making it pretty simple.

The previous upgrade was pretty smooth. Though, from the previous version to 9.4, it did take a while. However, once you have 9.4 loaded and install 9.4.2, it's pretty quick. The major releases can take up to an hour per box, but the deltas, like 9.4.2, take about 20 minutes.

The initial deployment process took about a week. This includes prepping switches and dashboards, installing the license, and having LDAP working.

What about the implementation team?

We used our own network deployment team, who handles these type of equipment rollouts. It required two network development engineers.

What was our ROI?

It helps us determine where to focus our performance improvement efforts. We can ensure the round trip time: From the time we push out an order to the time that we receive an ACK back. Before we started using this tool, we didn't have any visibility into this scope of information. Now that we do, we can tweak our performance on the smart order routing (SOR) engines.

Corvil reduces incident diagnosis time. Market data feed going down triggers a traffic detection gap, which will send an alert to our SNMP destination. Without Corvil, it would take 20 to 30 minutes, and with Corvil, it takes a minute. We have incidences pretty often, so this solution is saving us about two hours a week.

We have seen increased productivity from people using Corvil in the bank. From a fixed point of view, they get a look at the data and payload. 

It has reduced the time that it takes to isolate root causes.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is very expensive. Corvil could work on the pricing.

It is also pricey versus its competitors.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The company also evaluated Ixia and cPacket.

I am familiar with Ixia TradeVision, but I don't think it is up to par. They just entered this realm.

What other advice do I have?

Corvil is a great tool. It is the only one of the vendors that has 100% visibility into the market data stream. I would give it a thumbs up.

We break down the latency to each of our clients. It provides the accurate timestamping on most of the sessions that we use for ordering, showing us the time that we send out an order to the time we get our execution report back. So, we can monitor that latency very closely.

We do measure latency of our market data feeds coming down from the exchanges. If it breaches a threshold, we do contact the venues, then they make necessary corrections. This helps us improve our order routing decisions, because if it is too high of a latency, we just go through another venue.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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