So far, no one is pointing fingers at specific technology vendors for the September 8 meltdown of the London Stock Exchange. But one thing is certain: Microsoft and its hardware and services partners are on the short list of companies that power the LSE.
Microsoft lists the LSE as one of its touted customers, as profiled among its "Get the Facts" case studies. From Microsoft's LSE case study, dated 2006:
"Using the Microsoft .NET Framework in Windows Server 2003 and the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 database, the new Infolect system has been built to achieve unprecedented levels of performance, availability, and business agility. Launched in September 2005, it is maintaining the London Stock Exchange’s world-leading service reliability record while reducing latency by a factor of 15. Its successful implementation, with support from Microsoft and Accenture, shows the London Stock Exchange’s leadership in developing next-generation trading systems."
The other major tech provider powering the LSE is Hewlett Packard. From a 2006 HP press release announcing the LSE customer win:
"HP powers Infolect with a scalable hardware platform based on around 100 HP ProLiant servers, distributed across three London sites. The application is based on Microsoft.NET and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 and was developed in partnership with both Microsoft and Accenture. HP also provides ongoing support for Infolect."
I asked Microsoft whether failure of any of its technologies contributed to the nearly seven-hour LSE failure.
"We are working closely with the London Stock Exchange to understand the root cause of the problem," a Microsoft spokeswoman said, via a prepared statement.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Monday's outage was the second major technical failure for the LSE in less than a year. The Journal noted that problems with the TradeElect platform, which the LSE developed in conjunction with Microsoft and deployed in 2007, also may have played a role in the latest London Exchange failure.
If and when more information on what went wrong in London becomes available, I'll update this post.
Update No. 1: (Not from Microsoft, but from a reader of this blog.) Avenade is another tech vendor working with Microsoft on the infrastructure that powers the LSE.