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08 November 2010, 16:45

Stock exchange delays switch to Linux

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As reported by Computerworld, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has now postponed switching to the new, Linux-based, Millennium Exchange platform following concerns that the system has insufficient capacity to cope with peak trading loads. While Millennium Exchange can currently process 50,000 messages per second, market experts have said that 300,000 would be a better target, particularly when compared to rival systems. Originally the system was planned to go live on the 1st of November, but the LSE has now formally acknowledged that more work is needed on scaling the infrastructure. The launch has been put back at least until the 15th of November and most probably won't occur until the new year.

On the 20th of October, the LSE had announced that, following pilot tests on its associated Turquoise exchange, it had the fastest trading system in the world, with latencies of 126 microseconds and would be migrating this system to its cash markets. However, questions were raised about capacity and these concerns escalated when, during the night between the 1st and 2nd of November, the Turquoise exchange experienced a massive network hit.

Given the growth in automated trading, speed is now vital for any stock exchange to remain competitive. Following the LSE announcement of world record breaking speed, a number of other exchanges have claimed better figures for their own new systems: the New York NASDAQ claims its system is capable of typically 100 microseconds, although it conservatively quotes 250 microseconds to clients to allow for peak loads. The Singapore Stock Exchange, which is buying in the NASDAQ system, has said it achieved benchmarks of 90 microseconds and Algo Technologies claims it has a system design capable of 16 microseconds. The LSE's current latency with the old Microsoft based, TradElect platform is around 2,000 microseconds.


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