Bats Europe hit by trading breakdown

Bats Europe hit by trading breakdown

Bats Europe has suffered a trading breakdown just days after finalising a deal to acquire rival platform Chi-X Europe.

The exchange operator suffered a hardware systems failure at 09.36 GMT and shut down trading for the entire day while it investigated the outage.

Bats Europe says the fault was traced to an external hardware component that has now been replaced by the third party supplier. It says trading will re-open as usual at 08.00 GMT, Wednesday.

In a statement, Bats says: "We strongly regret today's issue, particularly the interruption in trading for participants. A forensic examination was promptly initiated and further information will be disclosed after a full analysis is conducted."

The breakdown comes at an awkward time for Bats, which is planning to move Chi-X Europe trading participants onto it own platform as part of the merger integration process.

The episode will be a severe embarrassment for Bats, which takes great pride in its technological firepower. It has in the past been a vocal critic of the London Stock Exchange, which suffered a series of damaging technical mishaps last year.

Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 06 December, 2011, 17:29Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The problems of technology! One thing is certain there will be another outage of any of the exchanges at some time in the future. Nothing is 100% and its the speed of recovery and the ability to keep problems down to a minimum that will set exchanges apart. So no crowing by any exchange it might be you next

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 07 December, 2011, 08:44Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Reliability versus speed ...

There used to be extremely reliable fault tolerant computers running the trading systems of most major exchanges. At those times (only a couple of years ago) such outages were practically unheard of.

But since then, many exchanges decided to give up on some reliability for gaining more speed in return, which they felt was necessary for high frequency trading.

Maybe exchanges should look for a better way to balance their systems, to provide both extreme reliability and very high speed. Hybrid architectures to support both are very well possible.



A Finextra member
A Finextra member 07 December, 2011, 14:32Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Not sure there is a technical trade-off between reliability and speed, it’s a question of investment priorities. Agreed that over last 5-ish years it has been all about speed and perhaps some re-balancing is required.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 13 December, 2011, 17:26Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Money alone cannot fix the reliability problem. Just raising some spending priorities and pouring even more money into the currently preferred and very fast X86 technology won't work. You would have to go back to fault tolerant technology for post-trading tasks.

Pre-trade checking and bid matching do require very high speeds in a HFT environment, and would therefore remain on X86 technology. Failures in that area can be recovered easily by activating hot standby components, provided that you still have the market data held in the fault tolerant section of the trading engine.

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