CyrusOne News and Blog

CyrusOne congratulates partner Small Exchange on one-year anniversary, Aurora now preeminent financial services campus


July 21, 2021

Time is money, but so is connectivity in the online trading world. When milliseconds mean millions of dollars, there can be no down time.

Two years after inking a deal to house the Small Exchange in its Aurora II data center in Chicago, CyrusOne celebrates the anniversary of this partnership that has kept the exchange constantly connected and thriving while propelling both parties to success in the financial services sector.

In June 2019, the Small Exchange chose CyrusOne as its partner to facilitate the launch of proprietary futures contracts in equities, interest rates, metals, energy and foreign exchange.  These were designed to allow traders of all sizes to participate in the futures markets. Simultaneously, CyrusOne had its own goal to turn Aurora into the world’s preeminent data center campus for the financial markets.

CyrusOne put together a combination of major trading platforms, multiple public cloud access providers, an equidistant cross connection platform with traditional interconnection options, a wireless tower, and a wholly owned substation providing onsite power and compute capacity to create a rapidly growing financial services data center hub in the region. Small Exchange just had to plug in to make its first four products available to the public in June 2020.

Today, one year after trading began, Small Exchange offers eight products. Its monthly average volume is up 42%, unique users have risen more than 50% and open interest (essential to activity on an exchange) has spiked 250%.

Small Exchange CEO Don Roberts credits CyrusOne with the exchange’s stability. He said the company chose the data center as a partner because of its location, personnel, security, infrastructure and accessibility for market participants.

“We’re a startup and we needed somebody that would understand our needs, understand that we needed capacity to grow, and we needed someone to work with us as we got our feet wet and got traction,” Roberts said. “CyrusOne provided that.”

Within the confines of Aurora, Small Exchange has a private, highly secure cage with a unique platform that allows it to provide an equidistant cabling system to anywhere in the campus to foster and enable equal access. This is imperative to running a financial exchange, which simply cannot have an outage.

“The worst thing in my job would be to wake up and see an alert saying the system is down,” Roberts said. “But we haven’t had any of those issues. I am happy with the mundane. I love when technology works, and we don’t have to work hard to make it work.”

Its platform in Aurora also gives it the ability to scale, which Small Exchange has taken full advantage of since its launch.

The Small Exchange now has 21 partners, including some of the world’s largest trading firms and brokerages. Its products cover everything from stocks and bonds to commodities and currencies, and it has to-date traded more than $2.4 billion in notional value.

In June 2021, Small Exchange debuted its eighth product, the first Cannabis Equity Index Future (S420), which measures the performance of 21 marijuana stocks driving the future of the cannabis industry. The index includes growers, recreational producers, medical marijuana producers and CBD companies.

“The partnership with CyrusOne has been mutually beneficial with our explosive growth since our launch one year ago,” Roberts said. “The superior performance supporting our rapidly changing infrastructure has enabled our ability to meet our zero-tolerance operational standards and client connectivity needs. As long as we can keep moving in the right direction, I know CyrusOne will be there to back us up and keep our infrastructure strong.”

CyrusOne has also reaped the benefits of this successful partnership. The work with Small Exchange has established CyrusOne as a leader in the financial services sector and in addressing the unique needs of proprietary trading firms, high-frequency trading and integral players in the financial services market.

Over the past two years, CyrusOne’s Aurora campus has now evolved as the preeminent financial services risk management campus in the region and home to two financial exchanges. It has drawn an ecosystem of financial service companies, ISVs and market data service providers serving the sector, which all recognize the value of interconnection and scalability.

Further, CyrusOne one has continued its leadership in supporting High-Density Environments for High-Performance Computing and custom liquid cooling capabilities.

Aurora has become renowned as the standard for operational expertise, supporting the mission critical infrastructure of highly regulated firms like the Small Exchange. Today about 14% of CyrusOne’s revenue now comes from the financial services sector.

When trading firms place their mission critical data platforms in Aurora, they know and have confidence their daily operations flow through the nerve center of the financial markets.

CryusOne is honored to continue its partnership with the Small Exchange as we help its participants with easy, fast and secure access to the markets.