Financial firms left stranded by Reuters datacentre failure

Financial firms in Europe were left without key data on market prices for about 10 hours last week owing to a power failure in...

Financial firms in Europe were left without key data on market prices for about 10 hours last week owing to a power failure in one of Reuter’s datacentres.

The Reuters data feed, which is used by firms to automatically update their own prices, crashed at about 2.30pm London time and was restored at midnight on Tuesday 13 October.

The electronic news and information provider said a power outage at its Docklands Technical Centre caused disruption to services, specifically its IDN-based information services in Europe.

"Customers globally may have lost access to European end-of-day data and foreign exchange transactional capabilities. Reuters is working with customers to recover any outstanding services currently not available," the company said.

A spokesman for Reuters would not comment on its disaster recovery arrangements.

Daniel Mayo, lead analyst in the financial services practice at analyst firm Datamonitor, said he was surprised that Reuters did not have the necessary back-up procedures to stop a power outage from causing severe disruption to one of its main its services.

"Ideally, if one datacentre goes down, everything should be shifted to another site in another location," he said. "This should take about 10 minutes rather than 10 hours."

He predicted that future corporate governance regulations will require financial firms to check that suppliers of key information services have adequate back-up procedures.

In 2002 Reuters suffered an embarrassing IT failure, when about half of its information terminals - which supply vital financial data to stock markets around the world - went down.

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