ASX promises to bolster systems after 'unprecedented' outage

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ASX promises to bolster systems after 'unprecedented' outage

Claims vendors have never seen such a malfunction before.

The ASX's top two executives have promised to make the exchange's systems more resilient following a damaging outage last week that saw the equity market go offline for most of the day.

A problem with connections to a back-up version of the ASX's trade database - which were triggered by a hardware failure that prompted failover procedures - were blamed for the outage in the ASX's post-incident report last Friday.

Sub-systems that connected into the back-up database were misconfigured and kept attempting to tap into the broken primary database.

It was only the fourth time in the past decade that the ASX had been forced to close operations due to a technical issue.

ASX chairman Rick Holliday-Smith and the exchange's CEO Dominic Stevens today apologised to shareholders for the "regrettable" outage and pledged to shore up the resilience of the ASX's systems.

"We failed to live up to our own high standards, and the expectations of our customers," Holliday-Smith said at the ASX AGM today.

"We put significant effort into building the resilience of our platforms. We will now do even more."

Stevens told shareholders the outage "did not reflect the standards to which we hold ourselves".

"This is particularly disappointing as ASX prides itself on its strong record of uptime and reliability," he said, pointing out that the equities trading platform had boasted 99.96 percent availability in the past decade.

"Last Monday was regrettable. People are understandably upset because it rarely happens. Nevertheless, we are working hard to make our systems even more resilient."

Stevens labelled the nature of the systems failure as "highly unusual" and "unprecedented".

"At this stage, our software and hardware vendors confirm having never seen this type of malfunction before," Stevens told shareholders.

"I am determined that in understanding what happened we will emerge stronger and better able to manage the market’s many challenges. We have already taken steps to guard against a recurrence. I am satisfied that we are currently doing what needs to be done."

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