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The Tokyo Stock Exchange suffered itsworst outage ever on Thursday, taking trading offline for the day and casting the spotlight on the bourse’s bespoke Arrowhead computer system developed in collaboration withFujitsu Ltd.
The operator of the world’s third biggest exchange said the outage was due to a hardware breakdown, although it didn’t specify the company or system responsible. Fujitsu spokesman Takeo Tanaka declined to comment on the cause or whether Arrowhead had failed.
The latest upgrade to the computer system underpinning the TSE wasannounced in November, with Fujitsu noting it consists of 400 Fujitsu Server PRIMERGY RX2540 M4 units and has triple redundancy “enabling the system to switch servers in seconds when there is a fault.” Speed improvements at the time meant information delivery delay would be halved to 0.5 milliseconds and order response time would be reduced by a third to 0.2 milliseconds.
The Arrowhead system, introduced in January 2010, proved resilient during the powerful earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011. Strong shaking was felt in buildings in Tokyo but trading remained uninterrupted. However, a computer glitch in 2012 halted trading hundreds of securities, while asystem error later that year took derivatives trading offline for over an hour.
In 2015, Fujitsu and the exchange launched anoverhaul under the banner of “Never Stop!,” acknowledging their close collaboration as a unified team and the focus on ensuring reliable operation given the importance of the TSE to global markets. Among the changes implemented then was a new modular approach that could disconnect malfunctioning servers and offload their processing tasks without data loss, thereby maintaining operation in the event of errors.
Read more:Tokyo Bourse Halts Trading for Entire Day in Worst-Ever Outage
While no definitive announcements have been made about the causes of the disruption, there were no indications the outage was related to hacking, the exchange said. The halt prompted a reaction from Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, the top government spokesman, who said it was “extremely regrettable” that trading opportunities have been restricted.
Japan’s Financial Services Agency has been reaching out to brokerages to examine the impact of the incident on clients, people with knowledge of the matter said.
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