Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Linux Business Software The Almighty Buck Linux News

Wall Street Becoming a Linux Stronghold 214

Posted by Soulskill
from the quite-an-investment dept.
alphadogg recommends an article about the rise of Linux on Wall Street. We discussed the beginnings of this trend last year. From NetworkWorld: "Wall Street firms increasingly are buying into Linux, but some still need convincing that open source licensing and support models won't make using the technology more trouble than it's worth. Linux providers, speaking this week at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association conference in New York City, stated their cases that Wall Street firms have nothing to fear about diving into open source. Red Hat and Novell argued that's especially true now that specialized Real Time Linux has been developed that meets strict low-latency and messaging requirements of brokerages and trading firms."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Wall Street Becoming a Linux Stronghold

Comments Filter:
  • This is it! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:28PM (#23787283)
    This will surely usher in the year of Linux on the desktop!
    • Well, I've recently gone from dual boot with Windows most of the time and Linux once in a while to Linux with Windows there for the one or two things I can't do. (My router runs Linux but can only be updated by IE -- go fig!) For me, this is the year of Linux on the Desktop.
      • by PitaBred (632671)
        Keep at it. Eventually you'll get to where you have one computer that can boot into Windows if you absolutely have to go to that LAN party, and that's it ;)

        At least, that's where I am. And I have 6 machines.
        • by Yetihehe (971185)
          Yup, it will be pretty standard setup for another several years. Many people will have windows to run those old proprietary programs (and will pay through the nose)
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by deblau (68023)
      Thanks for posting AC, you heartless bastard, now I don't know who to send my dry cleaning bill to.
    • Re:This is it! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Flammon (4726) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:52PM (#23788285) Homepage Journal
      The year of Linux on the desktop will be evident when Apple makes its first

      Hi I'm a Mac and Hi I'm Linux
      commercial.
    • Bravo...
      I really laughed outloud at this for some reason.

      One of these days! It'll happen!
  • by DAharon (937864) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:38PM (#23787353)
    While I don't doubt that moving some of their infrastructure to a Linux environment would yield nothing but gains for them, the fact remains that a ton of those guys are wedded to Excel. Many have spent years fine tuning massive VB macros.

    I have the same problem at my work. I want to automate and speed up a lot of the reporting my coworkers do by moving the processing over to one of our Linux servers, but Excel is always a problem. Some of our people actually see Excel as a platform in itself. It's become kind of a joke among some of us there. "Excel would make a great Operating System if only it had a decent spreadsheet."
    Some of our macros can take upwards of twenty minutes to run.

    I suppose they could use OpenOffice-server, and I've considered playing around with it, but it seems like too much unnecessary overhead. Right now I think I'm gonna give JExcelAPI a whirl as soon as I get a break in between projects.

    • by radish (98371) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:50PM (#23787453) Homepage
      The move isn't from Windows to Linux but from Solaris to Linux. The desktop is, and will continue to be, Windows - so all those backoffice mega spreadsheets will continue to run fine. We're fighting a constant battle to replace them with real applications though - and whilst Solaris has been the server platform of choice for years it's being very quickly replaced by Linux. When I'm ordering machines for my apps these days all I'm allowed to buy are Linux/Intel servers - just a year ago most purchasing was Solaris/SPARC. We even have a _very_ large distributed compute farm which is all Linux. In my experience banks have never been fans of Windows in the server room and I don't really see that changing except for a few Windows specific apps (Exchange & Sharepoint being the big ones).

      And I'm sure different banks have different attitudes but we've been all about O/S for a long time now - we dumped WLS for Tomcat/JBoss years ago for example. The biggest hesitation was with Linux as an OS, and that was mainly due to friction from the SA community IMO. Eventually the cost savings (particularly when you dump SPARC) were just too much to ignore.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:10PM (#23787623)
        I work in a bank, and you'd be amazed at the amount of Windows servers that are run. The inter-bank network runs on Windows, all our public facing websites are IIS/MSSQL running on Windows servers. Internet Banking runs on IIS. Almost every internal application we use runs on Windows (except the ones that are so ancient that they predate NT4, and yes we have apps that run on NT4). All the new applications that are being developed certainly run on Windows servers.

        Of course, the actual central processing is not done on Windows, all the mission critical stuff is handled by other platforms, None of it is Linux, though. I'm fairly certain the only Linux servers that run are the ones IT support doesn't know about...
      • I totally agree. Sun, "the other Microsoft" held the I.T. world at gunpoint for a long time. While Windows was trying to catch up Linux ran the end-around until eventually Oracle and the other big boys jumped over.

        Quoted with full awareness of the irony -

        Basil Exposition: Austin, the Cold War is over!
        Austin Powers: Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh? Eh comrades? Eh?
        Basil Exposition: Austin... we won.
        Austin Powers: Oh, smashing, groovy, yay capitalism!
      • by fitten (521191)
        Yup... this is what I was going to post... This is another case of Linux pushing out other flavors of Unix more than one of Linux pushing out Windows.
      • by Yetihehe (971185)
        Spreadsheets are to real programs what FPGAs are to APICs. They are still usable in many fields.
    • by abigor (540274)
      They are talking about their servers, where the real crunching and "magic" takes place, not the desktops.
    • by DannyO152 (544940)
      JasperReports won't cut it?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by PPH (736903)
      ...for jumping out of when the market tanks.
    • by Fred_A (10934)

      I have the same problem at my work. I want to automate and speed up a lot of the reporting my coworkers do by moving the processing over to one of our Linux servers, but Excel is always a problem. Some of our people actually see Excel as a platform in itself.

      Excel is today's Emacs. It's being used everywhere for a number of insane things thatregularly really don't make much sense.

      Currently the move to Linux remains on the server side in most institutions. Maybe when OOo's calc has matured a bit... But a lot of users are so wed with Excel (and so many third party tools are designed to work with Excel) that I'm not sure it'll happen soon.

  • Wall Street has always been home to some of Sun's and IBM's largest corporate accounts. I don't doubt Linux and/or BSD can do the job that Solaris can in some cases (with caveats), but it will take years for that to happen. A "Linux stronghold" is misleading at best, TFA doesn't even support the claim.

    And Linux will never replace mainframes. Nothing will.

    At the risk of being modded troll, OO Calc will probably never replace Excel - other than Suns and big iron, corporate america runs on Microsoft Excel (not necessarily a good thing, but still).

    OTOH, I know companies that are still running their websites and outward-facing interface systems on hardware and software that could be easily replaced by off-the shelf open source stuff, which will probably save them a lot of money.

    • by mangu (126918)

      Linux will never replace mainframes. Nothing will.

      I think you're right. I can't see any way that Linux will ever have anything to do with mainframes. Well, at least no more than three million sites [google.com] will ever mention it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by willyhill (965620)
        I know IBM lets you run Linux on their virtualized z-series hardware, and they've been selling the solutions with some success. All that is well and good, but Visa's transaction processing systems don't run on Linux, and never will. More to the point, neither RedHat nor Novell doesn't sell mainframes, or versions of Linux that run on big iron.

        Try to read what you're replying to before making snarky comments.

        • I know IBM lets you run Linux on their virtualized z-series hardware, and they've been selling the solutions with some success. All that is well and good, but Visa's transaction processing systems don't run on Linux, and never will.

          IBM sells more mainframes running Linux than running anything else. Several of the top500 are linux clusters (several built by IBM.) Linux is gaining more traction all the time. Why wouldn't Visa's transaction processing systems eventually run on it? Some of the largest and most reliable sites/systems/et cetera run on Linux right now. Why wouldn't it be only a matter of time?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by cymru_slam (881440)
            Speaking as someone who used to do computational Physics research and now works as a sysadmin for a major Wall Street bank, I know a wee bit about this. The machines that you see on the Top500 aren't Mainframes - they are HPC boxes used mostly by Universities and other organisations to do numerical calculations. The Cray T3E that I used to use wasn't a mainframe it was a massively Parallel machine. They crap on Mainframes for raw CPU power but with the mainframe it's in the bandwidth, reliability and virtua
            • by pimpimpim (811140)
              indeed, apparently more people seem to mix these up. It's a useless list anyway, as I argued in a similar reply to this article.

              A bit off-topic, if you used a T3E you must have been out of science for a while now ;) do you think that in the long run, the loss of freedom in your work and working hours is worth the higher pay and maybe higher sense of usefulness when switching to the big bucks industry?

    • by Excelcia (906188) <kfitzner@excelcia.ca> on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:10PM (#23787629) Homepage Journal

      And Linux will never replace mainframes. Nothing will.
      Excuse me? A lot of new mainframes being shipped are with Linux. Most of IBM's supercomputers now use Linux, and this trickles down into to mainframe market as yesterday's supercomputer designs scale into today's mainframes. Linux isn't replacing the mainframe - Linux IS the mainframe [wikimedia.org].
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by djrok212 (801670)
      You are WAY off base here... Let's take a look at the major stock exchanges for example: NYSE ARCA = Linux based system NASDAQ = Linux based system BATS Trading = Linux based system Most of the big prop trading firms = Linux based systems On the back end, I'd say a good 50% of all electronically trades happen on Linux systems.
    • by pyite (140350)
      Wall Street has always been home to some of Sun's and IBM's largest corporate accounts. I don't doubt Linux and/or BSD can do the job that Solaris can in some cases (with caveats), but it will take years for that to happen. A "Linux stronghold" is misleading at best, TFA doesn't even support the claim.

      I can say, without a doubt, Wall St. is a Linux stronghold. Buying Sun hardware is not popular as it used to be. Linux on blades or Linux on VMWare ESX on blades is becoming the most common solution.
    • by symbolset (646467) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:23PM (#23788147) Homepage Journal

      The list [top500.org] that proves you wrong is right here [top500.org]

      Now go back to the kid's table and play with your toys [wikipedia.org]. The grownups are talking important business. We know you're enthusiastic about today's fad but we don't care. We have work to do and that means using tools that don't have the lifespan of a McDonald's Happy Meal toy.

      • The list [top500.org] that proves you wrong is right here [top500.org]

        Both pie charts have the same date, November 2007.

        Falcon
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by symbolset (646467)

          Both pie charts have the same date, November 2007.

          The list is compiled every six months. It takes a while for the results to be tabulated and validated. New results for May 2008 will be available soon.

          The upper pie is based on the share of systems by operating system family. That giant pac-man shape represents the 85% share tux had in November. The Windows sliver represents 1.2% or roughly six or seven systems in the top 500 most powerful computers publicly known, for all versions of Windows.

          The bott

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        The GP is almost right, for some very specific applications. Though s/he should probably go back to excel. CICS runs very well on IBM big iron under Z/OS. The railroads also use old-style mainframes for routing and control. Transportation and financial processing both have fairly stringent realtime requirements that a Linux cluster can almost certainly meet. Almost is not acceptable though...

        I think the difference comes not when you need a redundancy of computing, but when you need a redundancy of low-level
        • The GP is almost right, for some very specific applications.

          The GGP (now) is a common troll on /. and you should know that. He's wrong in every possible way and I think it's a deliberate attempt to draw out reasoned counterpoints. There's no way a messaging campaign intending to serve Microsoft could fail this horribly without being halted.

          The type of hardware under discussion could simulate the hardware you're thinking of with little difficulty. In fact, a good systems guy and a good hardware guy coul

      • Hi. I've had access to at least two systems of the current top500 list, and let me tell you and others referring to the top500, these are supercomputers, not mainframes. I hope that a mainframe will never reach this list, because of several reasons:
        • the top500 machines are made for showing off computerpower. whereas mainframes have not so much to do with clock cycles, more with handling heavy loads. Probably there are a lot of mainframes in use that can be easily outperformed by my EEE, but do it reliably
    • by donaldm (919619) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @01:26AM (#23789187)

      At the risk of being modded troll, OO Calc will probably never replace Excel - other than Suns and big iron, corporate america runs on Microsoft Excel (not necessarily a good thing, but still).
      The problem with OO Calc verses MS Excel is starting to become like the old "vi" verses "emacs" flame-wars. Spreadsheet users need to get some perspective on what a spreadsheet will do and what it should not do.

      Some things a spreadsheet should not be used for (please add too if you like):
      1. As a Database.
      2. As an Statistical Analysis tool.
      3. A complex programming tool.
      A spreadsheet is a tool that is extremely good at manipulating data (I believe the KISS principle should apply here) and graphically presenting data and IMHO that is where it should end. With regard to presenting data what I find useful is the ability of OO Calc to display and rotate in real time 3D data, that to me is more useful than having to write and debug complex VB scripts which could easily be replaced with a good statical analysis package which has a proven track record (ie. vetted by engineers and scientists with mathematical and programming skills). The problem you get with people (eg. a CPA/Manager/Lawyer... normally with little or no formal programming skills) writing their own scripts is that the people and the firm(s) who use these scripts had better be 100% confident that there are no bugs in them. IMHO keeping auditable track of any mathematical process is much better than putting in data to a "black box" and just getting an answer.

      Once we get over the "mine is better than yours" attitude then maybe you find that there is no fundamental difference between OO Calc and MS Excel since they both are very good at graphically presenting data. Of course the big difference is you can see the source for OO Calc which can be and is vetted by professional engineers and scientists compared to trusting Microsoft's closed source solution see example [betanews.com] where simple bugs can translate into millions of dollars of lost money.
  • by Ilyakub (1200029) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:51PM (#23787459)

    There's a great fear sometimes, that if I use open source, will I lose my intellectual property?" acknowledged Novell's Levy. Other panelists Randy Hergett, director of engineering for the Open Source and Linux Organizations at HP, and Marcus Rex, CTO at the Linux Foundation, sought to assuage those fears. "The current license for Linux requires you give back any changes you make to the open source community, but there's no way anyone can require those assurances and there's no way we'd know," Rex said.

    Excuse me? He could tell them that only changes to the actual code need to be contributed back to the community, and furthermore, that code used within the company and never released does not have to be contributed.

    But what does this spokesman for Linux say? That it's illegal but that there's no way to get caught? Does he work for Microsoft?

    • by khasim (1285)
      Or badly quoted out of context.

      But The Linux Foundation needs to IMMEDIATELY address that with the CORRECT quote or the context.

      Either that or immediately kick his idiot ass to the curb.
    • > code used within the company and never released

      Yeah, but what constitutes a software "release"? Hosting a public website with some GPL code linked on the back end may spell trouble. Passing out CDs containing marketing materials at a trade show may constitute a software "release". Not every company is a software company, and when your primary business is not creating software you may not be the most savvy about these sorts of things or have the strictest policies about what your developers, contract
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by afidel (530433)

        > code used within the company and never released Yeah, but what constitutes a software "release"? Hosting a public website with some GPL code linked on the back end may spell trouble. Passing out CDs containing marketing materials at a trade show may constitute a software "release". Not every company is a software company, and when your primary business is not creating software you may not be the most savvy about these sorts of things or have the strictest policies about what your developers, contractors, or consultants can inadvertently do. Custom software is a major driving factor in most businesses, and there's an understandable undercurrent of cautious distrust of the GPL when the consequences of the smallest touch could unintentionally taint a codebase.

        Uh, no neither of those cases fall under the GPL, both are examples of documents processed by the software which is explicitly called out as NOT being distribution of the software and hence not invoking the clause. It's not that complex of a document to read and understand (the typical commercial software contract is longer, much more obtuse, and definitely MUCH less friendly to the receiving party.) Please don't spread FUD, MS and company do it well enough without your help.

      • Hosting a public website with some GPL code linked on the back end may spell trouble.

        No. Obviously.

        Passing out CDs containing marketing materials at a trade show may constitute a software "release".

        If the CDs include GPLed software it must be accompanied by the source code or an offer to supply it. On the other hand, try passing out CDs with Windows on them at a trade show, you will find the restrictions a lot more stringent.

        cautious distrust of the GPL when the consequences of the smallest touch could unintentionally taint a codebase

        What do you mean "taint"? If you copy someone else's code without permission, then you are breaching copyright. The GPL gives you automatic permission subject to some restrictions.

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:55PM (#23787501) Homepage

    The article includes a lot of confusion and/or FUD about licensing.

    "There's a great fear sometimes, that if I use open source, will I lose my intellectual property?" acknowledged Novell's Levy. Other panelists Randy Hergett, director of engineering for the Open Source and Linux Organizations at HP, and Marcus Rex, CTO at the Linux Foundation, sought to assuage those fears. "The current license for Linux requires you give back any changes you make to the open source community, but there's no way anyone can require those assurances and there's no way we'd know," Rex said.

    Someone needs to sit down with some of these people and explain to them what the GPL actually says. It doesn't require software written to run on Linux to be GPL'd. Even if you had some reason why you wanted to modify the Linux kernel itself (and why the hell would a Wall Street firm want to!?), you wouldn't need to GPL your modifications unless you were turning around and selling or distributing the modified version publicly.

    We seem to be getting a lot of this kind of idiocy [law.com] recently. Maybe it's good news -- it might just be a sign that a lot of PHBs are getting open source on their radar for the first time. But you'd think that lawyers and journalists would at least get it straight before they published their thoughts on the web.

    • by RonVNX (55322) on Friday June 13, 2008 @09:13PM (#23787655)
      The idiocy isn't recent. Having it come from people like the CTO of the Linux Foundation is though. Eben Moglen or Dan Ravicher needs to sit him down and explain to him exactly what he should have known before accepting the position, or he needs to protest the gross misquoting he got from Network World.

      I'm hoping he was misquoted.
    • by pyite (140350)
      Someone needs to sit down with some of these people and explain to them what the GPL actually says. It doesn't require software written to run on Linux to be GPL'd. Even if you had some reason why you wanted to modify the Linux kernel itself (and why the hell would a Wall Street firm want to!?), you wouldn't need to GPL your modifications unless you were turning around and selling or distributing the modified version publicly.

      Maybe 2nd tier Wall St. firms need help. 1st tier do not. They are already using L
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 19061969 (939279)
        I can vouch for that. Linux has been in Wall Street for a long time: it just sits there quietly working without fuss. For those interested, Morgan Stanley funded the development of a new language A+ [aplusdev.org] which is similar to APL. It's also GPLd.
    • by BitButcher (1124605) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:26PM (#23788161)

      The article includes a lot of confusion and/or FUD about licensing.

      "There's a great fear sometimes, that if I use open source, will I lose my intellectual property?" acknowledged Novell's Levy. Other panelists Randy Hergett, director of engineering for the Open Source and Linux Organizations at HP, and Marcus Rex, CTO at the Linux Foundation, sought to assuage those fears. "The current license for Linux requires you give back any changes you make to the open source community, but there's no way anyone can require those assurances and there's no way we'd know," Rex said.

      Someone needs to sit down with some of these people and explain to them what the GPL actually says. It doesn't require software written to run on Linux to be GPL'd. Even if you had some reason why you wanted to modify the Linux kernel itself (and why the hell would a Wall Street firm want to!?), you wouldn't need to GPL your modifications unless you were turning around and selling or distributing the modified version publicly.

      I work in one of the top 5 Wall Street Firms. Linux is our default OS and represents about 85% of our server deployments. I can tell you that we absolutely do contribute kernel modifications back to the community - the main reason being that when we find kernel bugs (and we do) we need them integrated back into a vendor supported kernel before we'll even consider deploying them into production.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jonaskoelker (922170)

        when we find kernel bugs (and we do) we need them integrated back into a vendor supported kernel before we'll even consider deploying them into production.
        Yeah, it'd be a disaster if the vendor didn't support your production-deployed bugs ;)
      • You said you find bugs and report them so they get integrated back into the kernel. Is that a specialty of OSS, or do you also get this with other proprietary products?

        as in

        -as easy to identify bugs
        -no problem contacting the right people (developers)
        -bugs getting fixed on a reasonable timescale
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by BitButcher (1124605)

          You said you find bugs and report them so they get integrated back into the kernel. Is that a specialty of OSS, or do you also get this with other proprietary products?

          Well you can find a bug in a proprietary OS - meaning you have a reproducable malfunction of the OS - but that's not the same as identifying the line of code that's causing the malfunction, changing the source code, testing that the change actually solves the problem correctly *in your environment* and then submitting the fix back to your supporting vendor.

          No you certainly can't do that with a proprietary OS. The move to Linux on Wall Street was largely driven by the decisions of CTOs looking to reduce

    • From your link: For example, implementing proprietary features on top of open source utilities to provide a low-cost computer-controlled product ("smart box"), and distributing a program on hardware that blocks execution of modified software, have proven to be contentious issues. Running commercial Web services using open source software without releasing source code has also caused consternation in some quarters.

      You're totally correct; it isn't things designed using the utilities that are violations, it'

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 13, 2008 @08:56PM (#23787513)
    I work at a Big American Investment Bank, right in the heart of the financial district of New York, and I can tell you that one of our most important technologies that supports pretty much all of our trading systems and pricing algorithms is run on an international Linux computing cluster. Hell, they've got us wrappers for all the usual Linux commands (grep, cat, pipes, etc) so we can use them in the Windows command line.

    However, every single person's desktop is a WinXP with all the usual MSFT goodies. Excel is used extensively by everyone that doesn't code but has to work with numbers. Lots of desktop apps are .Net, since that goes pretty well with everybody's WinXP environment.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Oh, hey, I'll chip in as an AC too, because I'm sure my boss reads Slashdot. I also work tech at a top five ibank; the desktop is *exclusively* XP, and all the task stuff is Linux (with a few odd ducks running FreeBSD and Solaris and what-have-you).

      I hate it, myself, I wish we could use a Linux dev environment, which is what I cut my teeth on. There's talk of letting developers do *something* like this, but the Winboxen are so deeply interlaced with compliance (apps you can't run, sites you can't visit, etc
  • It's true (Score:3, Informative)

    by smartin (942) on Friday June 13, 2008 @10:21PM (#23788135)
    I work for the most successful Wall St. investment bank and it is true. Pretty much all of our internal server machines are linux, yes they have pretty much pushed solaris out of the picture but no one would foolishy allow windows anywhere in the internal server environment.
  • by awitod (453754) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @12:03AM (#23788655)
    You've enabled the trading of trillions of dollars and ginormous salaries for hedge-fund managers based on volunteer-ism.

    Nice job! You really showed the capitalists.
    • So?

      Everybody who benefits out of Linux is good for us all. In the least, it promotes open standards that everybody can communicate with. In the best, it provides a platform we all can use free, in spirit and in money. We are all richer for it, regardless if somebody uses it to make money.

      This is the true spirit of communism: working together for the benefit of all. Who'da figured that a bunch of software geeks would successfully create a utopia where so many others have failed?
    • I trust you're being intentionally funny, but for those that may not realise it...

      The GPL is not anti-capitalist. It's just about extending freedoms.

      Freedom and capitalism aren't mutually exclusive.
  • by afabbro (33948) on Saturday June 14, 2008 @02:02AM (#23789391) Homepage

    I used to have a position where I met quarterly with most of the major Wall Street CTOs/CIOs. Every one of them was heavily involved in deploying Linux. You could sum up their reasons quite simply: commoditization yields cheaper computing.

    All of them were tired of being locked into the hardware that Solaris required (i.e., Sun's vertical stack), and paying Veritas Foundation Suite licensing on top of that. (I mean, come on, no big enterprise shop ever used Solaris Disk Suite as a standard!)

    Sure, today you can run Solaris on x86 more credibly and there's ZFS, but three years ago that was still vapor. Sun was too late with them.

    The writing on the wall for Sun's big servers has been there for some time. Sun could not afford to cannibalize its enterprise offerings by going whole-hog into Solaris x86, which is why it's always been the poor stepchild. In the meantime, Linux came along, reached maturity, and now anyone wanting to buy a Unixy system can let Dell, HP, IBM, Sun, etc. compete to deliver a cheap x86 box. There's no important differentiation between them, and very few people are buying giant Sun servers any more. Heck, Sun's big Lonestar supercomputer sale was commodity x86 running Linux.

    Linux deployments, at least in the sector I worked with, were mainly Unix replacements.

    Oh, and a couple responses to the above:

    • BTW, all of these shops also had huge mainframes. These are not going away any time in any of our lifetimes. I'm not exaggerating. More transactions run through COBOL on mainframes running z/OS in an hour than run through Google in a day. No one wants to mess with all of that.
    • The desktops? All Windows. Someone mentioned that firms still use Excel 97 - very true. No one wants to go through the work of porting the ridiculously massive macro and VBA code. Everyone I've known who worked on Wall Street says that Excel is so deeply ingrained that it's practically the Street's O/S.
  • Does Wall Street really need anything offered in the realtime kernel patchset? I mean standard preemptive linux has latency that I would think would be drowned by network, disk or human response time... Trades don't happen in millisecond time, do they?

    I understand realtime requirements, and I have a half-assed notion of what goes on on the trading floor... what on earth do they have there that demands the realtime patchset?

  • It is really good to see open source growing every year. That said, if very low latency and security are the current issues facing Wall Street CIOs, Linux would not be my first choice of operating system. After all, data transactions are only as reliable as the network and routing. I would implement a solution using OpenBSD as OpenBSD is arguably the most secure operating system with regular and thorough code reviews. OpenBSD also excels as a routing platform with a lean, highly efficient OSPF and BGP i

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai

Working...