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NYSE Moves to Linux 351

Posted by Zonk
from the penguins-with-dollars-in-their-bills dept.
blitzkrieg3 writes "The New York Times is reporting on how the NYSE group now feels that Linux is 'mature enough' for the New York Stock Exchange. They are using commodity x86 based Hewlett-Packard hardware and Linux in place of their traditional UNIX machines. From NYSE Euronext CIO Steve Rubinow: 'We don't want to be closely aligned with proprietary Unix. No offense to HP-UX, but we feel the same way about [IBM's] AIX, and we feel the same way to some extent about Solaris. Other reasons cited for the switch were increased flexibility and lower cost.'"
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NYSE Moves to Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @09:33PM (#21704712)
    ...I one-upped the people that skip reading article summaries and skipped reading the title.
  • It should be noted that the problems the NYSE is dealing with are very remote from those that the average desktop user is.

    Now I know this seems obvious, but the "WOW if the NYSE is doing it!" crowd should try and control themselves at least a little.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @10:07PM (#21704958)
      Why, what's your stake? So people use desktop Linux at home. I do. Doesn't that make you mad? I love that. My wife runs Linux on her computer, too. My kids do, too. Does that piss you off? I'm glad. Lots of the people I work with use Linux on a home desktop, too. Linux is better than Microsoft in every way. Doesn't that just whip you into a foaming mad frenzy? Lots and lots of people use Linux every day, and they're smug and happy and laughing at you. Are you busting a blood vessel yet? I sure hope so.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I love the internet. Only there can what is probably a perfectly reasonable man come off as a flaming dickwad. Or, what is probably a flaming dickwad can pretend he was a wife and kids.
    • by reporter (666905) on Friday December 14, 2007 @10:40PM (#21705180) Homepage
      Although Linux is free, the NYSE did not simply download Linux and install it on some Hewlett-Packard (HP) hardware purchased through Costco. The NYSE purchased a packaged solution from HP (or another solutions bundler like Accenture), and HP will guarantee that this installation of Linux will be reliable to 6 sigma. The contract between the NYSE and HP will likely include some sort of guaranteed uptime.

      If Linux has a bug that diminishes uptime at the NYSE and if the Linux "team" of volunteer programmers does not offer a fix within 24 hours, then HP management will order its commercial slave programmers to develop a solution -- pronto.

      If a you or I encountered a bug in our Linux downloaded from the Web for free, we would have no immediate remedy to our problem. We must wait for the next release, which could take weeks.

      • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Friday December 14, 2007 @10:52PM (#21705240)

        If a you or I encountered a bug in our Linux downloaded from the Web for free, we would have no immediate remedy to our problem. We must wait for the next release, which could take weeks.


        And this is different from other OSes the average person can buy...how, exactly?

        Chris Mattern
        • And this is different from other OSes the average person can buy...how, exactly?


          It could take...months?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by timeOday (582209)
          Maybe he's saying it's no better (nor worse) than Solaris with an uber-expensive support license? I don't know.
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Do you have any idea what a Solaris support license actually costs? It's about half that of a Red Hat support license on the same iron.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by BosstonesOwn (794949)
              Don't use facts ! It seems that a lot of folks here don't actually know the costs associated with support licenses, but speak like they do.

              Most of the good IT folks in big shops know that Sun contracts are less then redhat , but the real question is what is hp using for a distro ? Is It centos ? Or redhat ? Suse maybe ? And how are they cutting the cost of support ? To be honest I don't think a support rep from india and a couple on location engineers are going to cut the mustard here.
      • by NNKK (218503)
        Or you might just have to go look online for a patch or new package that a community member created. Or if you have the requisite skillset, you might even be able to fix it yourself.

        This is one of the advantages to FOSS. Yes, you might end up having to wait for the next release like any other package (or you might just prefer to wait, if you lack time or the bug isn't severe enough to motivate you), but you might have other options/choices.
      • by xaxa (988988)

        If Linux has a bug that diminishes uptime at the NYSE and if the Linux "team" of volunteer programmers does not offer a fix within 24 hours, then HP management will order its commercial slave programmers to develop a solution -- pronto.

        And the great thing is that the NYSE could (if they needed to) ask any software company to fix the bug in the free software! They don't need to rely on the original vendor :-)

        The marketing crap [hp.com] says the London Stock Exchange is the world's fastest, using Microsoft software on HP hardware.

        • by hullabalucination (886901) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:21AM (#21705766) Journal

          The marketing crap [hp.com] says the London Stock Exchange is the world's fastest, using Microsoft software on HP hardware.

          Yes, it's highly impressive. When it's working.

          http://www.computing.co.uk/computing/news/2203101/lse-technical-glitch [computing.co.uk]

          * * * * *

          I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants.
          —A. Whitney Brown

      • by Vellmont (569020) on Friday December 14, 2007 @11:12PM (#21705358)
        Very few businesses really care much about the sticker price of an operating system. What many businesses are catching on to is that Linux has little to no vendor lock-in. It goes something like this:

        Develop all your software and systems on one Linux. Then find out you don't like HP? Fine.. take your business to Dell. The distribution they're running on starts to suck rocks? No problem, switch to RHEL. RHEL starts to not meet your needs? Customize your own distribution.

        Not being tying your business to the whims of whatever company you're dealing with is truly powerful. If you ask me, that's the real power of Linux, and open source software. Linux makes operating systems into a true commodity like grain, where switching to another vendor is low cost.
        • Psssst... The NYSE has been running on an IBM mainframe for quite sometime now.

          They had a choice of moving from a 1,600 MIPS mainframe to a 2,500+ MIPS mainframe OR rewriting all the code and moving to a distributed setup. They chose the distributed setup to avoid hardware related vendor lock-in, not because of software.

          Even though they're saying "We don't want to be closely aligned with proprietary Unix," he said. "No offense to HP-UX, but we feel the same way about [IBM's] AIX..." their new system will be
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by azrider (918631)

            FYI - Their mainframe was running COBOL and JCL

            No, their mainframe was running OS/390.
            JCL is the mainframe equivalent of bash or csh.
            COBOL is the business world equivalent of C/Java/Basic.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Vellmont (569020)
            I didn't get any of what you're saying from the article. When I see statements like:

            "We're trying to be as independent of any technologies as we can be."

            and:

            Rubinow acknowledged that Solaris has the ability to run on multiple hardware platforms, including x86-based systems from Sun server rivals such as HP. But he added that he thinks Linux "affords us a lot of flexibility."

            I take that to mean exactly what I just said. If you have any references to more information to support what you're saying about hard

      • by timeOday (582209)

        The NYSE purchased a packaged solution from HP (or another solutions bundler like Accenture), and HP will guarantee that this installation of Linux will be reliable to 6 sigma.

        Read the summary:

        From NYSE Euronext CIO Steve Rubinow: 'We don't want to be closely aligned with proprietary Unix. No offense to HP-UX, but we feel the same way about [IBM's] AIX, and we feel the same way to some extent about Solaris.

        Does this sound to you like a naive customer who simply wants to purchase a "solution" and doesn'

      • If a you or I encountered a bug in our Linux downloaded from the Web for free, we would have no immediate remedy to our problem. We must wait for the next release, which could take weeks.
        Or produce your own dirty hack/work around/legitimate fix int he mean time.
      • The NYSE purchased a packaged solution from HP

        Which makes the phrase "commodity hardware" in the summary somewhat disingenius. Commodity hardware is whatever is commonly available "off the shelf", and certainly wouldn't have a guaranteed-six-sigma-uptime support contract available. Hell, with commodity hardware, you're lucky to get anything more than a 1-year warranty on most stuff. And that's a ship-it-to-our-Far-East-support-center-and-we'll-fix-or-replace-it-within-thirty-days 1-year warranty.

        Best to stick with something like "standard x86 hardw

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by djrok212 (801670) *
        Funny that you mention an OS downloaded from the Internet. Nasdaq runs on a Linux OS, which they inherited from their purchase of INET ATS (Formerly Island ECN) which was built on Fedora and Gentoo, downloaded directly from the Internet. INET ATS migrated to Linux in 2002 when it was called Island ECN, and they migrated from DOS, yes DOS running a FOX Pro database. So you can run mission critical applications on a COMPLETELY free OS, on commodity hardware. Island and INET used both Rackable Systems servers
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Actually that's just not true. In the case of Linux components (such as Samba for example) you would log a bug on the project web site and if it's important or interesting enough you'd get a fix immediately, sometimes in less than a day. I know this is true as we did this recently for someone testing the Windows Vista SP1 release candidate.

        Yes, we don't guarantee that but then we don't guarantee it for the NYSE either. The different with Linux and Free Software is that your bugs are treated exactly the same
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Foofoobar (318279)

        If a you or I encountered a bug in our Linux downloaded from the Web for free, we would have no immediate remedy to our problem. We must wait for the next release, which could take weeks.

        You just don't get open source and Linux at all do you? If there is a bug, we ALL have the ability to track it down ourselves and even fix it ourselves if we have the know how. I've had to fix many a bug before a patch was released and had to create work arounds before patches were released. I was able to do this because

    • by timeOday (582209)

      the problems the NYSE is dealing with are very remote from those that the average desktop user is... the "WOW if the NYSE is doing it!" crowd should try and control themselves at least a little.
      Umm, why? Running the NYSE is a whole lot more impressive than running solitaire.
    • by Ajehals (947354) <a.halsall@pirateparty.org.uk> on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:24AM (#21705778) Homepage Journal
      From a marketing perspective this is very good news, Microsoft ran an advert for a long time after the London Stock Exchange switched various systems to Windows [mainframemigration.org] (but not the trading system apparently... correct me if I'm wrong). Of course those adverts don't seem to be around so much anymore, possibly as they have had some problems [timesonline.co.uk].

      Anyway if this is a success (and there is no reason it shouldn't be) and since Linux excels on the server (and frankly is perfectly suited to 90% of corporate desktops) this kind of public roll out is a great selling point and a driver for others large and small to do the same, after all little 10 man operations can suddenly point to their two Linux mail servers and proudly tell their clients that they are using the same technology as the NYSE! (Not the same software or the same hardware (and definitely without the SLA's and support) but the same technology....:) ) .

      For those nut bothering to read the links - salient parts are:

      As part of its strategy to win more trading business and new customers, the London Stock Exchange needed a scalable, reliable, high-performance stock exchange ticker plant to replace its earlier system. Roughly 40 per cent of the Exchange's revenues are generated by the sale of real-time information about stock prices. Using the Microsoft® .NET Framework in Windows Server® 2003 and the Microsoft SQL Server(TM) 2000 database, the new Infolect® system has been built to achieve unprecedented levels of performance, availability, and business agility.
      - mainframemigration.org (December 01, 2006) (Emphasis mine)

      Furious traders were left twiddling their thumbs for the last 40 minutes of trading yesterday after the London Stock Exchange's IT system collapsed. .... One trader said: "I've not known this to happen since the start of electronic trading. If they're saying trading is still going on, that's just not true." ....
      - www.timesonline.co.uk (November 8, 2007)
  • And who wins? HP of course. Who loses? Sun. Now if they had switched to/from Windows, then it'd be big news. As it is, it's not that big of a deal since Linux is in plenty of mission critical systems. The hospital I used to work at had Linux machines controlling their linear accelerators in radiation oncology.
    • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday December 14, 2007 @10:07PM (#21704960) Journal
      And who wins? HP of course. Who loses? Sun. Now if they had switched to/from Windows, then it'd be big news. As it is, it's not that big of a deal since Linux is in plenty of mission critical systems. The hospital I used to work at had Linux machines controlling their linear accelerators in radiation oncology.

      NYSE, the Ivory Tower of capitalism, switching to Linux.

      You know who won? Richard Stallman, that's who won. Congratulations dude.
      • by Deanalator (806515) <pierce403@gmail.com> on Friday December 14, 2007 @10:49PM (#21705218) Homepage
        Hahaha, you mean GNU/Linux right?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mjwx (966435)
        I have never really understood the analogy between Linux and Communism. MS seems more communistic than Linux, under the Ideal Microsoft world (TM) we would all be running Microsoft Windows Desktop OS (TM) connected to Microsoft Windows Server (TM) using Microsoft Office (TM) with Microsoft Exchange (TM) chatting via Microsoft Live Messenger, visiting web pages on www.msnbc.com (ninemsn.com.au for Aussies) or playing video games on Microsoft Games For Windows Live (TM).

        Microsoft seems to want to control e
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      Linux canabilizing commercial unix was predicted long ago and has been happening for years. The whole 'this will topple MS on the desktop' is a fanboy attitude with little footing in reality.
    • by xaxa (988988)
      The London Stock Exchange [google.co.uk] switched to Windows (is it bigger or smaller, in terms of number of transactions, than New York? I don't know).
    • by Vellmont (569020) on Friday December 14, 2007 @11:31PM (#21705486)
      And who wins? HP of course. Who loses? Sun.

      Don't kid yourself. Microsoft is also a competitor to Sun, HP, and the Linux OS. Microsoft would have killed to get the freaking NYSE, if for no other reason that it'd be a feather in their cap.

      As it stands, the NYSE partially running on Linux is quite a major deal, at least to the Big Business Guys who like to follow what other Big Business Guys are doing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 14, 2007 @09:40PM (#21704756)
    "If there's one thing the market hates, it's crashes."
    • no fooling. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Friday December 14, 2007 @10:13PM (#21704998) Journal
      "If there's one thing the market hates, it's crashes."

      No fooling.

      I used to work on Amdhall's unix for their mainframes. Among other things it was used by brokerages to support trading and all the Baby Bells to support data collection for billing.

      If a baby bell's billing system went down all the phone calls dialed, started, or completed while it was down were free. This made downtime cost something like $4 million / hour.

      Brokerage support going down cost far more.

      So imagine a trading system going down (equivalent to all the brokerages going down at the same time...)

      Needless to say, much of the point of mainframes is to keep this from ever happening.

      So the hardware is built so it performs the correct computation despite component failures, radiation-flipped bits, or on-the-fly hardware changes (adding/deleting/resizing peripherals, CPUs memory, switching out failing components), etc. And the software is built to similar standards.

      This can cause problems. Like sizing event counters to stand uptime measured in decades. Or getting non-critical patches installed. (I recall a minor patch to a driver, too small to rate forcing a couple million bux worth of reboot, that had been installed on all the customers' machines to go live at the next reboot. Two years later (last I heard) they were still supporting the bug because some systems hadn't rebooted yet...)
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by aztektum (170569)

        This made downtime cost something like $4 million / hour.

        Boohoo. I mean not to sound utterly cynical, but an outage didn't cost them squat, other than whatever extra expense they would incur to expedite repair. That's almost like saying the MAFIAA loses money to piracy. You can't LOSE what you don't have.

        Right I know, it's economics, accounting, Wallstreet math. Blah blah. I had those classes too. I am really not every sympathetic to billion dollar businesses potential for failure.

        A) It won't happen because the Gov would just bail them out on our dime (ala the a

        • It appears you have listened to the argument, digested it, and still not understood.

          Money is already an abstract concept. It's a nothing. There is *no* difference between having 4 billion dollars, losing 4 billion, and gaining 4 billion later; and having 4 billion dollars, losing none of it, but not gaining 4 billion later. This isn't blind obedience to some high school teacher. It's simply the fact that (4 - 4) + 4 = 4 + (4 - 4).

          You can be unsympathetic to the losses of multibillion dollar corporations
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        If a baby bell's billing system went down all the phone calls dialed, started, or completed while it was down were free.

        I call bullshit. Telco switches record the calls to CDR (call data records) files before sending the data on to the billing systems. If the billing system goes down no big whoop, the files are processed the next day.

        Now there are some cases when calls could get lost - but those are due to emergency traffic through the switch during overload conditions having a higher process priority than
        • I call bullshit. Telco switches record the calls to CDR (call data records) files before sending the data on to the billing systems.

          As it was explained to me the CDRs were being recorded in the mainframe live, not buffered in the switches (except for network streaming).

          I was on the OS side of things, not the apps, and told this by another OS type. So it's possible you're right and I'm propagating a myth.

          But I do note that storing them in the switches and later uploading them to the mainframe can increase t
      • by darkuncle (4925)
        the answer to five 9s uptime is to stop building systems that rely on single points of failure. Compare Google's approach to processing and uptime to that of the mainframe era. Totally different infrastructures with similar goals and globally, similar uptimes/reliabilities. Design your systems such that any component (any switch, router, power supply, hard drive, server ... to a certain degree, even any individual data center) can fail without resulting in a loss of data. Sure, it's complicated - but it can
  • by headkase (533448) on Friday December 14, 2007 @09:51PM (#21704814)
    Linux this, KDE that, Wikipedia here... What all of Free has in common is "Openness" - imagine twenty years from now: I believe that more and more content will move towards a modern variation of the "stone soup" parable until its the defacto standard. Openness allows the rapid creation and innovation of practically anything under the sun. And that pool only gets larger everyday. The only thing that can stop it is if government explicity steps in and makes giving away your effort illegal - other than that it is simply inevitable, give or take twenty years - that Openness will be the primary regulating force for all manner of content.
  • by compumike (454538) on Friday December 14, 2007 @09:56PM (#21704854) Homepage
    The NASDAQ exchange, which has always focused more on technology, is totally a Microsoft fanboy. Maybe that's because MSFT is the largest stock on the NASDAQ exchange.

    --
    Educational microcontroller kits for the digital generation. [nerdkits.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by djrok212 (801670) *
      Unfortunately you are absolutely WRONG. Nasdaq's trading system currently runs on about 100 systems from Rackable Systems running LINUX. They inherited this technology from their purchase of INET ATS (formerly Island ECN) which had been running on Linux for many years (since about 2002 when it migrated to Linux from DOS, yes I said DOS) And unlike the post above where they supposed NYSE has a customized built directly supported by HP, the INET ATS OS, ran in different forms based on both Redhat Fedora and
  • Linus Torvalds, Congratulations. MJ
  • "Proprietary UNIX"? (Score:3, Informative)

    by upnarms (766320) on Friday December 14, 2007 @10:27PM (#21705082)
    I never thought I'd see these two words together. UNIX [unix.org] is what happens when you meet a set of interfaces [unix.org] defined by a standards body known as The Open Group [opengroup.org].
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "I never thought I'd see these two words together. UNIX is what happens when you meet a set of interfaces defined by a standards body known as The Open Group."

      "Proprietary" is not the opposite of "standard." Nor is it the opposite of "open." It is entirely possible, and in fact almost inescapable, to have an open, standard, product that is also proprietary.

      Automobiles are based on open standards, which is why you don't have to buy Ford gas, drive on Ford roads, or even use Ford spark plugs. But Ford auto
  • by Tracy Reed (3563) <treed&ultraviolet,org> on Friday December 14, 2007 @10:30PM (#21705118) Homepage
    ...the latest issue of the "Highly Reliable Times".
  • I am curious to know what the real costs involved are. Our Redmond folks would point to these costs as one of the reasons why an investment in Linux might not be a wise idea.

    The other thing is: How is the NYSE handling integration of Linux into a windows network? I am sure there are a few windows boxes at the exchange. There is this guy at www.linux.com who is claiming or alleging that Ubuntu is hard to integrate in a Windows network. Here is the link http://www.linux.com/feature/122681 [linux.com]

    On a personal note,

    • by Secrity (742221)
      NYSE started migrating from a mainframe this past summer, somehow I don't think that they care about Windows interoperability. Apache is likely to provide all of the Windows compatibility that they would ever need.
  • Linux uptime. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Friday December 14, 2007 @11:03PM (#21705320) Homepage
    Well Guys...

    For what it's worth:

    When I went to Iraq, I had a laptop running ubuntu. I setup apache2, php5, and mysql5. We created our own "series of tubes" in our barracks area and I supplied our own intranet website (read: porn server). Oh, and America's Army server.

    This thing ran for several months at a time without a reboot. The only reboots were due to other problems, like when a stray 7.62mm bullet knocked out our generator one time, but as for linux running...this thing ran like a champ. In 11 months of service, it never had a problem.

    Of course, it wasn't under the same kind of load. But my NIC was usually maxed out for 40% of the day.

    For consumer-grade hardware with free and open software, 0% downtime not energy related, I feel that Linux did a fine job. Seriously, 11 months, 3 reboots due to power. Nice.
    • by rubycodez (864176)
      I'm curious about the 7.62mm. was that a 7.62 x 39 or 7.62 x 51mm?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by theurge14 (820596)
      "The only reboots were due to other problems, like when a stray 7.62mm bullet knocked out our generator one time, but as for linux running...this thing ran like a champ."

      But you can't say it was bulletproof.
    • by risk one (1013529) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @12:03AM (#21705666)

      Wait a sec. You fought in Iraq, and while there, during your time off, you played America's Army? Holy crap.

      Or are all AA servers located in Iraq, for added realism?

  • by rubycodez (864176) on Friday December 14, 2007 @11:15PM (#21705384)
    NYSE moves to Nonstop on Itanium2, and oh yeah also some GNU/Linux x86 servers on the side. Time will tell if Nonstop is as good on Itanium as it was on MIPS.
  • If I recall correctly, 1 year and a half ago only IBM was able to put 64 CPUs on a Xeon based architecture. SLES 9 was only certified for up to 16 CPUs. The 64 bits version did not even support NUMA, and that had a direct impact on OS performance under high load, which I was able to measure very easily. The memory bus could saturate just because the OS was not able to put the processes on the memory chip which was near the assigned processor. That distribution had a 2.6.5 kernel version. Redhat was almost o
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dvice_null (981029)
      > Linux has it's role in the server market, and it's a very important one. But I think it's not still mature enough to compete in high-performance,

      Linux is not competing on high-performance computers. It OWNS the high-performance computers. Currently about 85% of the top500 super computers are using Linux:
      http://www.top500.org/stats/list/30/osfam [top500.org]
  • I wonder what will happen to regular slashot ads of Get the facts - "Roll over this ad to know why NYSE switched to Windows Server from Linux to lower its TCO". /duck
  • Considering that their electronic division has big problems paying for software they buy, the fact that they go to a "free" option is a HUGE shock.

    NOT!

    Hopefully their application developers are getting substantial percentages in advance.
  • Been running one of the redhat rip-offs for a while now. CentOS I believe?

    Buy hey, glad to know the 'old boys' are finally catching up.
  • Good for them (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kilodelta (843627) on Saturday December 15, 2007 @03:02AM (#21706374) Homepage
    I worked for the RI Sec of State's office for nearly four years. In that time I saw us go from a 90% OSS shop to a 50% OSS shop because the incoming I.T. director was a Windows only guy.

    But the best part is the Windows migration isn't going so well. I left back in September but they had just bought new servers about five months before. They got no further than Server 2003 being installed on them due to documentation procedures, etc.

    One server was to be an Exchange 2003 server to replace the Qmail server they were using. I just got email from someone there the other day and guess what, it's still Qmail.

    The big push to Exchange btw was a woman named Catherine Avila, the Director of Administration. She was petrified that I.T. could potentially read her email because Qmail stored everything in the users home folder.

    When I'd left the tally for hardware and software was up around $60,000. Both we systems guys loudly protested the Exchange bit. Also told them that if you were going to present an Exchange box to to world, you damn well better put something in front of it to stop the bullshit.

    And of course when I left I made a prediction that within two months of my departure there'd be some catastrophic event. Sure enough, their web server crapped. The server in question was a LAMP box, and MySQL needs to be tuned occasionally to fix kludgy indices and queries. And that's what brought their web server down. There was a MySQL slave on the box that started consuming mass CPU cycles because of bad queries.

    The PR guy said it was a rootkit. I call bullshit.

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