The stock market gave every indication of a crash this morning, and I have been checking to see how the web infrastructure for Wall Street would fare. It has mostly held up, but the results are far from pretty. On popular sites you might wait ten minutes for the advertising on a page to load completely so you can get the stock quote. Five minutes after the open, I saw apps providing garbage data, partly from Friday, rather than the intended live data.
The trading day now looks more like a flash crash than the rout that was expected at 9:30, but if this is a stress test of Wall Street, it is abundantly clear it is not ready for a real crash. Even now, with volume falling back to an approximation of normal levels, there are data problems, pages that won’t load, apps that can’t get quotes. It is not a heavy traffic day on the Internet as a whole, so the bottlenecks are in the securities industry’s own data centers, and after today there should be plenty of data that shows which areas and connecting points most urgently need improvement.