Nasdaq moves to strengthen SIP after second outage

Nasdaq moves to strengthen SIP after second outage

Nasdaq has outlined a series of steps to improve the resilience of the Securities Information Processor following a second brief outage just weeks after a malfunction in the market data feed forced the exchange to shut down for three hours.

The six-minute outage in the SIP on Wednesday proved a mere hiccup compared to the breakdown late last month, when Nasdaq was forced to halt trading for three hours after a flood of messages from Nyse Arca triggered a software flaw that overwhelmed the processor.

Nasdaq is one of 15 members of the UTP SIP Committee - which determine policy matters and oversee system operations - and is responsible for operating the feed, which provides equities pricing data on Nasdaq-listed securities to market participants.

In a statement following the yesterday's outage, the committee says it has agreed to consider several proposals from Nasdaq designed to tighten the structural framework and provide additional clarity around roles and responsibilities.

It has also moved to the strengthen the SIP technology architecture by implementing a trip switch that will automatically disconnect the front end and back end processors when a failover occurs.

In an effort to improve operational integrity, the SIP will now also manually terminate connections if unusually high traffic is experienced on a single port.

Nasdaq has additionally called on market participants to increase the frequency of stress and failover testing and proposed a formal certification process for any significant code changes by users that may affect interaction with the SIP.

With the SEC on the warpath over last month's outage, the industry is keen to demonstrate the effectiveness of self-governance in ensuring the stability and efficiency of the markets.

In a statement, the UTP SIP Committee says: "Our objective is to learn from the events and work together to identify appropriate solutions that improve the reliability, governance and operations of the SIP."

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