1 (edited by Sam M. 2012-01-08 21:46:41)

Topic: Looking at Hardware, Set Up

Hey everyone, hope it's been a profitable year for you so far.

Inspired to save time and improve efficiency in generating/refining strategies (and admittedly by SpiderMan's great set up http://forexsb.com/forum/topic/2568/my-cluttered-desk/), I'm considering adding another hard drive to my current set up.

Nothing too powerful, as I'm just looking to run FSB and maybe an instance or two of FST and MT4. Bare minimum to run our stuff smoothly is just fine for now.

Would love to hear what some other users are currently working with. What works for you? Opinions, suggestions?

Many thanks-

Re: Looking at Hardware, Set Up

Thanks

Re: Looking at Hardware, Set Up

You might want to get a UPS as well.

Re: Looking at Hardware, Set Up

Ah yes, thank you. It had crossed my mind reading of the PCI stop in your post. I've had some unfortunate internet/power incidents of my own so certainly, that is something I'll be looking into.

Do you use an actual (physical) UPS, if you don't mind me asking? I was thinking something similar could be accomplished by using alternate location/web based drives or hosting. Have yet to look into pricing or viability for either option.

For any others considering drives or set up I found this topic to be informative: http://forexsb.com/forum/post/8505/#p8505

Re: Looking at Hardware, Set Up

I have a large UPS which is connected to my PC and the router. They are also good protection against surges and lightning. Not sure about the VPS options, I prefer to be in control myself rather than have my trading platform in a cloud in the sky I can't touch.

Re: Looking at Hardware, Set Up

Ok, that's something I'll probably look into. How a VPS provider would be able to offer a guarantee of continued round the clock stability is certainly something which I'm interested to learn. Beyond the concept I have no familiarity with the technology though, so I suppose I'll form an outlook as I look into it.

Many thanks again.

Re: Looking at Hardware, Set Up

For further consideration or just for the record, I added a 4 core/4GB/1.4 GHz drive to what I was previously working with. (which is 2 core/2GB/1.6 GHz)

The new drive is able to run 3 instances of FSB, and several (4+) instances of FST/MT4 simultaneously before reaching full CPU usage. It runs smoothly all the way up to full usage, performance doesn't suffer and there are no disruptions/hiccups etc.

This is an improvement over the 2core/2GB, which suffers in a significant way when approaching 100% usage.

Old drive was able to to run 2 instances of FSB, along with the multiple instances of FST/MT4.

Of course there's are other variables when comparing performance in terms of the kind of processor etc., but on the face of it the additional cores and small RAM increase offered a nice performance boost.

Re: Looking at Hardware, Set Up

im a fan of working in a vps environment (been doing this for years), mostly because i can access the system from anywhere, but also because i like to dedicate entire (virtual) machines to the task at hand. For example I do not like to mix research/testing on the same machine as live trading platforms.

On the test platform, i run WinXP with the max of 4gig RAM. Under this scenario i can run at least 8 instances of MT4/FST along with at least 3 instances of FSB (I say 'at least' because i havent seen the memory fully maxed yet)

When running instances of both FST and FSB, ive found it helpful to reduce priority of FSB to below-normal or even low, because i want FST to always be prioritized above testing operations. You can do this easily by going to Task Manager-> Processes and right click the FSB instances to adjust.

Another thing that is helpful, if on a multicore physical box, is that you can assign each FSB to a separate processor affinity. In this way you can fully utilize your processing horsepower.

Re: Looking at Hardware, Set Up

One of my goals for this year is to develop a single unit FST that is capable to trade multiple strategies. This will be specially designed for VPS and will use minimum resources.
One of the specifics of FST is that it uses, so called "Named Pipes" for connection with MT4. This are something like virtual channels(files) for transfer info between applications. Unfortunately, there are some cases when the communication through the pipes is restricted. It mostly happens when the computer is overloaded. There are some applications that also block the pipes for some time.
For that reason I recommend you to use a dedicated PC for live trading with minimum other applications running.

Re: Looking at Hardware, Set Up

Btw, I wanted to mention -- one of my favorite parts about your design of FSB and FST is it's modularity. For example, unlike a typical MT4 or Tradestation autotrade strategy, it would be relatively easy to port any bots to another non-MT4 platform ... since you have so well kept each component independent. A broker platform like Interactive Brokers (assuming they have an API) would be a really exciting way to grow, once you are ready to look beyond MT4.