Turquoise CTO confident platform can survive market upheaval

Share trading platform Turquoise said today that it is confident its core trading platform can cope with rapid rises in trading volumes as the markets face further turmoil.

Share trading platform Turquoise said today that it is confident its core trading platform can cope with rapid rises in trading volumes as the markets face further turmoil.

The failure of investment bank Lehman Brothers, the merger between LloydsTSB and HBOS, and fallout from the US sub-prime mortage lending debacle have pushed trading volumes to unprecedented levels in recent weeks.

But Yann L'Huillier, CTO at Turquoise, said the company has completed a rigorous programme of testing which pushed the exchange to its limits.

"When we did our testing we ran the platform for eight hours at 6,000 orders per second and we created more than 18 million orders," he said.

The exchange, which launched on Monday, ran tests for months and ran as a scaled down operation for weeks before going live.

The testing programme will allow Turquoise to minimise the risk of downtime, which is particularly critical for investors when the markets are volatile.

"Downtime at exchanges is counted in milliseconds and seconds, whereas in the wider industry it is counted in minutes, hours and even days," said James Milne, senior consultant at AppLabs, which carried out the testing for Turquoise.

AppLabs tested the Turquoise platform for volumes of up to 13,000 trades per second. Turquoise's use of standard software made it easier to make changes to the platform during testing, he said.

Earlier this month the London Stock Exchange's trading platform was unable to complete trades for almost a day following technical problems.

The London Stock Exchange did not give precise details of the cause of the problems but said it was the result of "a combination of technical processes occurring at the same time". Clients have called for a more detailed explanation.

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