- The Stock Exchange, Mumbai, had three separate communication
channel networks: LAN, WAN, and VSAT. It combined them
into a single Ethernet-based core backbone with the
help of an intelligent switching architecture. The new
single network was cost-effective and offered effective
QoS features. by Soutiman Das Gupta
volume of business conducted at BSE - The Stock Exchange,
Mumbai is staggering. In 2001-2002 (April-March) the
average daily turnover of the exchange was Rs 1244.10
crore, and the number of average daily trades was Rs
5.17 Lakh. In order to support this large volume of
daily transactions, the exchange had three separate
communication channel networks. It had a robust LAN,
a nationwide WAN, and an elaborate VSAT network.
BSE - The Stock Exchange, Mumbai is the oldest
stock exchange in Asia, with over 7500 listed
scrips, amounting to over 90 percent of market
capitalization. In 2001-2002 (April-March) the
average daily turnover was Rs 1244.10 crore,
and the number of average daily trades was Rs
The exchange had three separate communication
channel networks: LAN, WAN, and VSAT. It wanted
to integrate them into a single, intelligent,
and cost-effective network which has QoS features.
It combined the three networks into a single
Ethernet-based core backbone with the help of
an intelligent switching architecture from Nortel.
The exchange can provide faster, reliable, and
secure services to brokers over a more efficient,
manageable, intelligent, and cost-effective
on image for larger view
LAN was a Layer 3 network, between three BSE buildings
namely P.J. Towers, Rotunda, and Cama. It was set up
in June 1996, had a capacity of 2500 nodes, and ran
on an optical fiber backbone.
The WAN primarily used Managed Leased Data Network (MLDN)
links and connected its offices in Mumbai and all the
regional stock exchanges. This provided access to services
like the BSE Online Trading Systems (BOLT), settlement
systems, derivatives trading, and central depository.
The MLDN network allowed 300 2MB links and 1,500 64K
BSE set up its own VSAT earth station with an 11 meters
antenna in P.J. Towers. DoT had allotted a full transponder
in the extended 'C' band on Insat 3B. The exchange was
able to extend BOLT to more than 400 cities. BSE now
covers 414 cities, has installed 1,871 VSATs and 7,829
Trader WorkStations (TWSs).
S.B. Patankar, Director, Infor-mation Systems, at the
exchange said, "We had multiple mediums of communication.
We had a mix of leased lines of different bandwidths
and our own VSAT network with hubs that needed to be
managed by us."
BSE was looking forward to expand its network and introduce
more services, trading members, nodes, and TWSs. And
in order to make the task of managing and scaling the
networks simple, they felt the need to integrate into
a single network. The single network needed to work
across all its systems and bind together the three separate
channels of communication.
The integrated network needed to:
Work across systems and offer integration.
Offer QoS features.
Support additional applications like derivatives and
Provide substantial benefits to the member, who is
as an intelligent coordinator of the various services.
The exchange was not interested in supporting separate
networks for each communication channel. And it needed
to have the single integrated network at minimum cost,
which offered the desired QoS.
Among the various considerations, BSE placed high emphasis
"The exchange's applications have security and
risk management as an inherent component. So it was
essential that the vendor solution had very good security
features in it," said Patankar.
BSE evaluated solutions from various vendors and found
that Nortel's solution offered the best price/performance
had used Alteon switches in our network earlier, and
they performed very well. The New York Stock Exchange
uses Nortel's solution and has benefited from it. That
makes it a proven and safe technology," said Patankar.
BSE found that the switches perform load-balancing functions
well. This ensures that the servers are used efficiently
and increases throughput levels. It also allows for
virtual IP address, which provides additional security
and flexibility. Since security is an in-built feature
of the Nortel solution, it adds value and intelligence
to the existing robust security framework.
The integrated network
The three networks at BSE: LAN, WAN, and VSAT now integrate
into a core Ethernet backbone based on Nortel's Passport
8600 switch. The exchange's server farm which houses
the infrastructure for BOLT, Central Depository Services
Limited (CDSL), and Derivatives Trading and Settlement
System (DTSS), also connect to a stack of Nortel's Passport
8600 switches, used as a resource switches stack. The
resource switches stack connects to the core switch.
A Nortel Backbone Node Concentrator (BCN) backbone router
connects to the core and extends connectivity to a Nortel
Advanced Remote Node (ARN) edge router at the member
end. The ARN is a low-end router, which is linked by
a 2 Mbps leased line, backed up by an ISDN link. Passport
8300 floor switches connect to the core, and link to
Baystack switches at the member end. The exchange also
uses Nortel Networks Optivity network management, and
Alteon Web switches.
The new merged network connects around 3,000 WAN routers
to make multiple applications available to more than
"Nortel has been very proactive and meticulous
in providing the solution. We furnished Nortel with
details of the real-life scenario technology systems
at the exchange. The company replicated the same environment
in their test lab in USA. The BSE systems configurations
were deployed on the switches and a number of quality
tests were performed on them," said Patankar.
The final test was on broadcast traffic and went on
for around six months. BSE provided the traffic parameters
and the test lab loaded ten times the required parameters
to test the equipment. After Nortel was satisfied with
all the results, the products were shipped to BSE. So
it got a pre-configured, ready-to-use, and plug-and-play
solution which it deployed on its network. The solution
was found to be at par with international solutions.
The solution provided features like:
Broadcast traffic support
Guaranteed response time for trading applications.
Priority traffic settings so that interactive traffic
confirmation and order flow get more priority
Consolidation of server-side management.
Increased reliability and intelligence.
Switches functions in a halt-tolerant mode, i.e. no
single point of failure will bring the systems down.
No additional network management headache as it integrates
with the current network infrastructure.
In the operation of a stock exchange, downtime leads
to huge losses in revenue and opportunities. So BSE
has combined all its networks into one, and it is positioned
to provide faster, reliable, and secure services to
brokers over a more efficient, manageable, intelligent,
and cost-effective network.
"We have always been open to explore benefits of
advancements in technology, and feel the integration
of our networks will provide us a road to better technology
benefits," said Patankar.
Das Gupta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org