For all the legacy-busting promise of innovation like SaaS, cloud computing and virtualization, there's at least one big complication: Even the simplest of transactions can get lost in a sea of virtual servers and shared platforms, making it tough to locate and troubleshoot costly delays, reduce trading latency and ensure SLA compliance.

"In the world of just a few years ago, a single transaction such as looking up an account balance or executing a trade would run on a few servers. Today, even checking a balance or making a payment may require dozens of systems and servers, interaction with external systems and dozens or even hundreds of tiers," says Russell Rothstein, a vp at OpTier, a tech firm backed by Cisco, Morgan Stanley and VC cash that's part of a burgeoning tech market aiming to bring serenity to an often maddening new world of retail and capital markets transaction monitoring, where the stakes are high.

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