CME Group relocates backup data center to New York

CHICAGO Mon Jan 6, 2014 6:32pm EST

CHICAGO Jan 6 (Reuters) - CME Group Inc, the world's largest futures exchange operator, said on Monday it moved its primary backup data center to New York from Chicago last month to make its backup facilities more secure and reliable.

CME, owner of the Chicago Board of Trade and New York Mercantile Exchange, moved the backup center to space in the building that houses the Nymex trading floor in lower Manhattan, Securities and Exchange Commission documents show.

The center is the company's "primary backup for electronic trading, clearing and regulatory infrastructures," according to the documents.

CME's backup site for electronic trading, which comprises the majority of its trading volume, had previously been located in Chicago, about 50 miles from the company's main data center in Aurora, Illinois.

The move makes CME the latest financial firm to increase the physical distance between its main and backup data centers to reduce risks from large-scale disruptions in one geographic area, such as those caused by extreme weather.

CME told regulators the change "will help to ensure that CME has sufficient physical, technological and personnel resources to enable the timely recovery and resumption of operations following disruptions, resulting in an increase in reliability and security of its backup data facilities," the SEC said in a Dec. 31 order approving the move.

The move also will decrease the risk of disruptions in connectivity because the New York data center "will feature single IP connectivity," according to the order.

Chicago-based CME had been developing plans for an out-of-region backup data center for more than a year, a company spokeswoman said on Monday. She declined to detail the costs of the switch and said it was unrelated to a cyber attack on CME in July.

The New York site previously operated "in part as a tertiary data center" for CME, according to SEC documents. CME told regulators it planned to redesign the site to make it an "all disaster recovery data center."

Regulators have been encouraging firms to increase the physical distances between main and backup sites since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, crippled New York's financial system for days.

Direct Edge, a stock exchange operator, last year completed a move of its backup data center to Chicago from New Jersey, which also was home to its main data facility.

The company wanted more distance between its main and backup data equipment and a "diversity of infrastructure" that supports the equipment, such as electrical power, said Kevin Carrai, head of market data and connectivity services.

"We really haven't seen any negatives from our decision to do this," he said.

BATS Global Markets, a stock and options market operator, also moved its backup data center to Chicago from New Jersey, which was home to its main data center.