Nasdaq hardware malfunction causes another outage

Nasdaq OMX has called for improved Securities Information Processor (SIP) system testing, after a server hardware fault led to another, albeit brief, outage on the exchange.

Share

Nasdaq OMX has called for improved Securities Information Processor (SIP) system testing, after a server hardware fault led to another, albeit brief, outage on the exchange.

On Wednesday, Nasdaq OMX said that it had experienced a “six-minute outage” as its Securities Information Processor – the system which receives external quote orders - failed, affecting a small number of stock symbols.

An initial investigation of the outage showed that the fault was caused by a hardware memory failure in a back-end server, occurring at 11.35 am.

However the issue was “promptly resolved”, with the system successfully failing over, and there was no major disruption to trading.

The outage follows a three-hour halt to trading in August, caused by a combination of an ‘unprecedented’ influx of quote messages being sent from rival exchange NYSE’s Arca system which overwhelmed Nasdaq's SIP, and a software fault in it's own internal infrastructure which prevented its own systems from properly failing over.

Following the outage, a 15-member Unlisted Trading Privileges Securities Information Processor (UTP SIP) committee, which includes Nasdaq OMX, convened on Wednesday to discuss plans to improve the resiliency of the SIP.

Suggestions included short-term measures to strengthen the SIP technology architecture by disconnecting the front- and back-end processors when a failover occurs.  Connections can also be manually terminated if unusually high traffic is experienced on a single port, as was the case with the August 22 outage.

The SIP UTP committee commented: "The SIP will continue to work with market participants, our members, and the broader investing public, to help ensure efficient, transparent and reliable markets."

"Recommended For You"

Nasdaq critical trading systems running on Windows Server 2003 Nasdaq launches algo trading testing facility for clients