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The New York Mercantile Exchange Inc. has finished putting into place business-continuity measures prompted by the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., having installed a fully redundant backup trading floor outside of Manhattan that replicates data over a 100-Gbit/s DWDM link (see Nymex Picks MFN's Optical Service).

The secondary site, which comprises about 30,000 square feet of space, was brought online at the end of March 2003. It's somewhere on Long Island (exchange officials would not disclose the exact location), designed to spring into action instantly if anything should disable the primary trading floors at Nymex's headquarters in the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan.

"It's really just about making sure that access to the global energy and metals markets are available in any eventuality," says Nymex spokesman David Garland.

Officials estimate the redundant trading floor -- the construction of which began in April 2002 -- cost about $12 million to build and will require another $1 million annually to keep operational.

The impetus for the project was the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which destroyed the World Trade Center towers and crippled much of the financial industry for several days. The New York Mercantile Exchange was forced to suspend trading for four days after 9/11 because its backup facility -- located a few blocks away from its primary site -- was without power, telecommunications, and other services.

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