Over the years Rithmic had several demo systems. Currently they have 2, UAT and paper trading.
Uat is connected to the test systems of the exchanges. Rithmic customers and prospects typically connect to uat to test basic functionality of programs they write that incorporate R | API. They test placing orders, getting market data, cancelling orders, etc. The test systems of the exchanges are run like actual exchanges so the market data in the exchanges’ test systems is the market data that the exchanges’ systems generate in response to new orders, modifications of orders and cancellations of orders. That market data is not market data form the live market. As there may not be many users connected to the exchanges’ test systems at any one time, and different users may be testing using different prices, the exchanges’ test system are not suitable for evaluating trading strategies or volume testing.
So Rithmic built it’s own exchange simulator and hooked it up to real live market data. Rithmic customers and prospects may be granted access to this system, subject to exchange market data distribution rules, and test Rithmic’s front end screens, R | Trader and R | Trader Pro, third party screens like MultiCharts or SierraChart or their own proprietary trading software built with R | API. The paper trading system is a pretty good system for testing certain types of trading strategies and for testing basic functionality of a trading program and for testing trading programs with respect to market data throughput. The market data is the market data from the live market, but it is Rithmic that generates the fills. In our opinion its very accurate but it is not a substitute for the real thing. Many users find it to be a very useful tool.
Rithmic production systems run on machines different from the machines used by Rithmic’s uat and paper trading environments so that prod is not affected by users testing. The paper trading environment is not in Aurora (so the CME data it gets which originates in Aurora takes a few milliseconds to get to it (compared to Rithmic’s prod systems running in Aurora). The cost profile for Aurora and the cost profile of the paper trading environment are quite different, substantially lower for paper trading. Consequently, “you get what you pay for” translates into a paper trading system that is a good image of the live market but a bit slower.
Colo 75 is another hosting facility for Rithmic for those who collocate.