Q&A: Nasdaq’s journey to transform the capital markets industry

Nasdaq Inc. and Amazon Web Services Inc. have had a 12-year relationship, and their partnership announcement in 2021 indicated that they wanted to create a blueprint on how to transform the entire capital markets industry.

So how are they doing, and what has the last year been like as they continue to take on this goal?

Brad Peterson (pictured, left), executive vice president, chief information officer and chief technology officer at Nasdaq, and Scott Mullins (pictured, right), general manager for worldwide financial services at AWS, spoke with theCUBE analysts Lisa Martin and Dave Vellante at the recent AWS re:Invent conferenceduring an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. (* Disclosure below.)

They discussed the ways Nasdaq has moved to the cloud over the past year. [The following content has been condensed for clarity.]

Martin: Get us up to speed on what happened last year and where you are now.

Peterson: We made the commitment that we were going to move our markets to the cloud. Everyone said … the last frontier to be moved was the actual matching — where all the messages, the quotes get matched together to become confirmed orders. And we said we were going to move one of our options markets — in the US, we have six of them — and options markets are the most challenging. They’re the most high volume and high performance. [On Nov. 7, 2022], we are live, we’re in production. We started with a phased launch of symbols, so you kind of allow yourself to make sure you have all the functionality working, then you add some volume on it, and we are going to complete the conversion [soon].

Mullins: Many times people will ask me, ‘Who’s using cloud well? Who’s doing well in the cloud?’ Andean Nasdaq is an easy example to point to of somebody who’s truly taking advantage of these capabilities — because the cloud isn’t a place; it’s a set of capabilities. And so this is a shining example of how to use these capabilities to actually deliver real business benefit — not just to your organization, but … the market technology piece of how you’re serving other exchanges.

Vellante: So talk about how you actually do that. Is it all in the cloud? Paint a picture of what the architecture looks like.

Peterson: So we look at this as a modernization of the capital market infrastructure, but we happen to be the leading technology provider for other markets around the world. So you either build your own or you source from us. So we took the edge compute that was announced a few years ago, [AWS Outposts], and we were one of their early customers. So we started immediately to … jointly innovate with Amazon. And we said, ‘This looks interesting for us.’ So we extended the region into our … [Equinix NY11 Data Center] in northern New Jersey, which gave us all the services that we know and love from Amazon. So our technical operations team has the same tools and services, but then we’re able to connect because in the markets, what we’re doing is we need to connect fairly.

Vellante: You had alternatives. So why did you choose Outposts?

Peterson: We saw this ability to grow the cloud geographically. And, of course, we’re in Sweden, so we … work with the AWS region in Stockholm, but not every country has a region yet. So we saw it as an investment that Amazon had to grow the geographic footprint, and we have customers in many smaller countries that don’t have a region today.

Mullins: This is our opportunity to bring the cloud … to an existing ecosystem. And if you think about Nasdaq’s data center … there’s an ecosystem of Nasdaq‘s clients there that are there to be with Nasdaq, and so it was actually much easier for us as we worked together over … a four-year period thinking about this and how to make this technological transition to actually bring the capabilities to that ecosystem, rather than trying to bring the ecosystem to AWS in one of our public regions. And so that’s been our philosophy with Outposts all along — is actually extending our capabilities that our customers know and love into any environment that they need to be able to use that in.

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of AWS re:Invent:

(* Disclosure: This is an unsponsored editorial segment. However, theCUBE is a paid media partner for AWS re:Invent. Amazon Web Services Inc. and other sponsors of theCUBE’s event coverage have no editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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