Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
GNU is Not Unix Microsoft Linux

London Stock Exchange Rejects .NET For Open Source 498

Posted by kdawson
from the next-stop-world-domination dept.
ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes "This summer, the London Stock Exchange decided to move away from its Microsoft .Net-based trading platform, TradElect. Instead, they'll be using the GNU/Linux-based MillenniumIT system. The switch is a pretty savage indictment of the costs of a complex .Net system. The GNU/Linux-based software is also faster, and offers several other major benefits. The details provide some fascinating insights into the world of very high performance — and very expensive — enterprise systems. ... [R]ather than being just any old deal that Microsoft happened to lose, this really is something of a total rout, and in an extremely demanding and high-profile sector. Enterprise wins for GNU/Linux don't come much better than this."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

London Stock Exchange Rejects .NET For Open Source

Comments Filter:
  • Awesome. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:26PM (#29662369)

    Now how about my desktop?

    • Re:Awesome. (Score:5, Funny)

      by spun (1352) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {yranoituloverevol}> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:30PM (#29662419) Journal

      Now how about my desktop?

      Might I suggest teak? I suppose you could go with faux finished MDF if you are on a budget, but teak is beautiful and will last forever. Then if you have any money left over, nothing says "I have arrived" like a porcelain fountain.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)

        Then if you have any money left over, nothing says "I have arrived" like a porcelain fountain.

        A bidet on your desktop?

  • by H4x0r Jim Duggan (757476) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:29PM (#29662397) Homepage Journal

    De Icaza Responds [slashdot.org]:

    Nooo, wait, come back. I found a way for people ditching Windows to keep using Microsoft technologies..

    • Re:De Icaza Responds (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:33PM (#29662469) Homepage Journal

      Actually from what I have seen .net is a good development environment. Mono has produced some very nice software for the Linux desktop that lots of people use. What I didn't get from this story was just what they where using for the development system?
      I doubt that it is all in c or c++ so maybe they are using mono.

      • Re:De Icaza Responds (Score:5, Interesting)

        by gbjbaanb (229885) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @07:19PM (#29664345)

        The TradElect system was originally developed by Microsoft and Accenture so it was to be a showcase of how excellent .NET was.

        Unfortunately, other companies showed how good their stuff was for this kind of work, and MS showed that you cannot polish a turd.

        (well, ok, .NET would have created a system that would run your line-of-business apps without problem, but when it comes to very high performance, low latency systems, its simply not suitable, a bit like Java is not suitable for nuclear reactors).

        The new system will be written entirely in a lower level language, and MilleniumIT does use C++ - take a look at their jobs board and you'll see the only skill referenced is C++.

        It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that a GC-based, VM-based language that has layers of intermediate execution is going to be slower than is required for a trading system. What I don;t get is that MS thought they could throw hardware at it until it worked. Don't forget that MilleniumIT also was bought for $30m which is roughly half what the .NET system cost (£40m).

        The moral is that you don't want to use the simple-to-code MS platform when you can get a best-of-breed system, based on Linux and good engineering for a lot less. IT managers around the world should be looking at this and thinking what similar lessons their IT departments could learn.

        • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:33PM (#29664949)

          ...you cannot polish a turd.

          Actually you can polish a turd, it was a surprising result from a Mythbusters episode a while back. Denser turds turn out especially shiny.

          Otherwise your post was spot on. I think the concept behind .Net can be very useful in the Enterprise environment, primarily in areas where efficient memory/processor management of apps from multiple vendors is required. This particular case seems more suited to the pure process effeciency you get with C and C++. The only thing that seems strange is the cost disparity. .NET apps are usually much cheaper to develop, and the hardware costs would have to be astronomical to make up the difference were that the case. Obviously something about the structure of .Net did not fit the application and had to be worked around in a big way. Of course I've also seen projects whose primary costs have nothing to do with actually engineering or delivering the system.

          • Re:De Icaza Responds (Score:4, Interesting)

            by Alpha830RulZ (939527) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:41PM (#29665765)

            The only thing that seems strange is the cost disparity. .NET apps are usually much cheaper to develop,

            You caught where they had Accenture as the integrator. That's where your cost came from. And probably where the relatively poor performance came from. Accenture gets projects done, for the most part, but their history is full of situations like this. .Net is not productive enough to overcome the bad effects of legions of inexperienced developers.

            I'd be surprised if a strong team couldn't develop a fast, economical replacement using .Net. Or Java. Or Scala.

            Disclosure: I worked for Accenture for 10 years, a long time ago, before they were Accenture. I was one of the more technical folk, which should scare you.

          • by StuartHankins (1020819) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @10:43PM (#29665779)

            Actually you can polish a turd, it was a surprising result from a Mythbusters episode a while back. Denser turds turn out especially shiny.

            <gagging> Teaches me to read Slashdot while I'm eating...

        • by LostMyBeaver (1226054) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:28AM (#29667633)
          the right tool for the job? .NET is fantastic for many different things. In fact, I have written high end video encoder systems in .NET that performed all real time and file based management for multiple 1.5gbps streams in .NET. However for the high demand code, I used C++ and even a few lines of assembly (I can't resist it, just have to write them, helps me sleep at night).

          Developing high performance systems using .NET is ENTIRELY! possible and even practical. Unfortunately, in a company like Microsoft, the developer with the skill set for such a job will almost always end up on development teams for Windows, .Net itself, Visual Studio, even Office. The developers left over to write database programs for customers will be of a much lower grade. Besides, there are very few good real-time systems developers that would choose to work on a database program rather than on something more interesting, like... I don't know... shaving toe nails for old ladies. Really, database programming is what people do when they can't do anything else, it's the data-entry job of programmers.

          Sometimes Java is still a modern VM environment. CLR generally IS NOT. It has some features you would consider a VM runtime system, but if anything, those features improve performance over straight out compiling the MSIL code. Ideally, it would allow trace metrics to be calculated and where branches can be predicted, long traces can be compiled without cache-misses and penalties... creating MUCH higher performance code.

          As for GC. Well, unless you can develop a system that eliminates memory allocation altogether and uses no threading while doing it. Good GC based environments (like CLR/Mono) are almost always faster than straight memory allocation. I highly recommend you research it... and if you're going to try and prove it with 5 lines of code, don't waste your time. That's not a real world test. Test it instead for example with an XML parser that generates a DOM tree and then deletes/dereferences it.

          As a religious non-Java programmer and a devout Java basher, I'll shoot down the "Not suitable for nuclear reactors" thing. Java is 100 times more suitable for a nuclear reactor in most cases than C or C++ since the "object model" you would use in a Java program would centralize most critical bugs to a few lines of code that can be fixed to repair the whole program instead of spending months on diddling all the little memory and pointer related bugs you're likely to encounter. Also, for applications that are heavy allocators, relocatable memory in a Java environment can cause a system written by an "average programmer" to run much longer without crashing because of one memory abuse situation or another. Almost no "average programmers" even know where to begin to deal with memory fragmentation issues, yet they DO cause tons of problems.

          In the case of this trading system, it's obvious Microsoft tried throwing hardware at the problem. That was all fine and good. Hell, add 500 more web servers and use 5 over those 32 physical Xeon processor machines from Unisys to drive the database. .NET will make NO difference at this level. The flaw at this point was poorly coded SQL. After all, by distributing the load of the web traffic across 500 blade servers, there was little chance that the .NET program they were running was the problem.

          Instead, it's FAR more likely that abuse of the database was the real problem. Most database front ends querying data from SQL servers are written by mediocre database UI developers that have no respect for what the SQL server might actually have to do in order to process their queries. On top of that, they like to do things like create tons of views and indexes that all need to be updated constantly. Queries get SLOWED down and it doesn't matter how fast the application is, the SQL server can't keep up with the crap code on the back end.

          So, while you are bla
          • by Cassini2 (956052) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @12:24PM (#29671167)

            As for GC. Well, unless you can develop a system that eliminates memory allocation altogether and uses no threading while doing it. Good GC based environments (like CLR/Mono) are almost always faster than straight memory allocation. I highly recommend you research it... and if you're going to try and prove it with 5 lines of code, don't waste your time. That's not a real world test.

            Speaking as a real-time programmer, GC and memory allocations are enormously damaging to system performance. You really do need to switch to an almost statically allocated approach, with no memory allocations in real-time execution segments. The x86 architecture has special instructions to make the use of Base Pointer, Stack Pointer, and Index Pointer based memory access usable. If you ever program on a less powerful processor, like an 8-bit PIC microcontroller, you would quickly discover that indirect memory accesses have significant timing penalties. Direct memory access, where data is at fixed locations in system memory, can be accessed in a single instruction on almost all architectures.

            The second problem is that dynamic memory allocation has an unbounded maximum execution time. It can also be incredibly difficult to prove that memory accesses do not fragment, and that the program can execute in bounded memory space. Proving finite execution times and finite resource issues are major issues for a real-time system. In soft real-time systems, some forgiveness is tolerable. However, if you are in a language like C# and discover that one block of code is rate limiting because of memory allocation issues, how do you overcome the problem? In C/C++, you can statically allocate the memory blocks and work around the problem. In Java/C#, the issue is pretty much the end of the project.

            Test it instead for example with an XML parser that generates a DOM tree and then deletes/dereferences it.

            Simply put, you can't have algorithms like that in programs with bounded maximum execution times. What happens if the XML file is corrupt? Excessively large? A pathological case deliberately designed to take down the London Stock Exchange? An unbounded tree based on a customer provided data file is a bug in a LSE style application.

            Whenever I am looking at code blocks that need to execute quickly, the first thing I look for is blocks of code with unbounded memory, or unbounded execution times. C# encourages using these blocks of code. Real-time software requires using a small subset of available computer science techniques. Language and library support for this must be present.

        • Re:De Icaza Responds (Score:4, Informative)

          by Xest (935314) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @05:54AM (#29667751)

          "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that a GC-based, VM-based language that has layers of intermediate execution is going to be slower than is required for a trading system."

          Actually, this is only true in an ever decreasing set of circumstances.

          See here for an explanation of some of the common reasons why this is often not the case:

          http://www.idiom.com/~zilla/Computer/javaCbenchmark.html [idiom.com]

          Also here are some benchmarks:

          http://kano.net/javabench/ [kano.net]

          These sites are focussed on Java, but the points are applicable to .NET also as it's on par nowadays. In .NET you also get the option of using unmanaged code anyway so you can have areas that don't require the VM to underlie execution.

          I'd imagine the real problem in this case was a combination of poor project management with poorly skilled developers in an attempt to make the profit margins for Microsoft and Accenture as big as possible. The net result though, as you can see, is quite bad. I do not believe for a second .NET was the problem as there is no reason it can't be used in a way that performs as well as or better than a C++ application. It would use a bit more memory to achieve that performance, but memory is cheap enough for this to not be an issue for most cases nowadays, particularly when you factor in the benefits of security and resilience you get from the managed parts of the codebase.

  • How fast (Score:5, Funny)

    by overshoot (39700) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:30PM (#29662417)
    did Microsoft take down their triumphant "case report" on the original design-in?
    • Still there (Score:5, Informative)

      by pavon (30274) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:44PM (#29662625)

      Hehe:) For those that are interested, they still have a InfoElect case study [microsoft.com] from 2006 posted on their site, which I believe was the the precursor to TradElect.

      • Re:Still there (Score:5, Informative)

        by schon (31600) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:48PM (#29662689)

        Heh.. I *love* this:

        Benefits

        One hundred per cent reliable on high-volume trading days

        Umm, yeah [guardian.co.uk].. for various definitions of the value "one hundred", right?

    • by xzvf (924443) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:53PM (#29662771)
      "Enterprise wins for GNU/Linux don't come much better than this." Enterprise wins like this are happening all the time for Linux and other free software options. What makes this unique is MS touted LSE running their system as a huge win for their solution. The fact it gets ripped out a year latter for Linux is marketing gold if free software needed to market.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thejynxed (831517)

        Part of the problem is that they DO need to market. They just don't, for various reasons usually having to do with $$$.

        It's one of the main complaints about Linux adoption. If the only two groups doing any form of real marketing are Novell and Red Hat, don't expect the platform as a whole to make more than a extremely small dent against Microsoft corporate and home solutions.

  • by binarylarry (1338699) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:31PM (#29662435)

    I think Microsoft needs to make sure they... Get The Facts. .... oh right

  • It's just a VM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamacat (583406) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:33PM (#29662453)

    .Net is just a specification and a bunch of languages. There is an open source implementation of .Net itself and certainly many open source projects written in C#. "Rejects windows for open source" would have been a more appropriate headline. I hope they still use some kind of language with bounds checking and type safety, given the dangers of buffer overrun exploits in a national stock trading system.

  • by volxdragon (1297215) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:34PM (#29662477)

    Why is this news? Sun/Solaris dominated the high-end financial sector for ages...any exchange/trading house/equity firm/etc that is using Windows is insane IMHO. Linux is just the most recent unix platform to show up in the sector, it's not revolutionary...

    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:51PM (#29662719) Journal

      ...it's news because Microsoft bragged on .NET being in the LSE for a couple of years, pointing to it as proof that they were enterprise-ready and such.

      Then at about this time last year, the TradElect system (which was the .NET bits which ran the LSE) went 'splat', taking the London Stock Exchange down with it.

      The relevant info should be sitting right there in TFA.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jim_v2000 (818799)
        That's great, but there are plenty of enterprise situations where .NET is being utilized. It all boils down to using what works. In this case, Microsoft's solution failed. Hopefully their Linux based solution works better. But lets say that it craps out and crashes too (yes, programs running on Linux systems do crash)...will you be out here saying that Linux isn't read for enterprise deployment either?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fiannaFailMan (702447)

      Why is this news? Sun/Solaris dominated the high-end financial sector for ages...any exchange/trading house/equity firm/etc that is using Windows is insane IMHO. Linux is just the most recent unix platform to show up in the sector, it's not revolutionary...

      Were there any open source solutions being used in there before?

    • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:53PM (#29662749)

      any exchange/trading house/equity firm/etc that is using Windows is insane IMHO

      You mean like an exchange that was the cornerstone of MS's advertisements for 2 years? About how .NET was so scalable, it was used in the exchange, and SQL Server was so wonderful, it was used in the exchange...

      Well, it was the cornerstone of advertising until the exchange had a few day long technical outtage a year or so ago.. That left people in the dark, and they had to suspend all trading for a few days.. suddenly, the ads stopped.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DragonWriter (970822)

      Why is this news? Sun/Solaris dominated the high-end financial sector for ages...any exchange/trading house/equity firm/etc that is using Windows is insane IMHO.

      Its news because, in fact -- whether or not it was "insane" to do so -- the London Stock Exchange was relying on Windows, .NET, and other Microsoft products: "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 earli

  • by MightyMait (787428) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:35PM (#29662479) Journal
    I guess this would be a bad topic to bring up at a Windows7 launch party.
  • Wall Street (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmaUMLAUTil.com minus punct> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:35PM (#29662487) Homepage Journal

    Didn't the New York Stock Exchange move over to Linux because Microsoft couldn't provide a good, low-latency RT kernel? They begged Microsoft, wanted to stay with Microsoft, and Microsoft couldn't provide them with a solution.

    • Didn't the New York Stock Exchange move over to Linux because Microsoft couldn't provide a good, low-latency RT kernel? They begged Microsoft, wanted to stay with Microsoft, and Microsoft couldn't provide them with a solution.

      I could be wrong, but IIRC the NYSE has never been a Microsoft shop for the hard-core trading systems. They may have wanted to switch to Microsoft from the previous big Unix iron, but Linux won out.

      However, Microsoft got added to the DJIA as a consolation prize.

    • Re:Wall Street (Score:5, Informative)

      by IANAAC (692242) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @05:19PM (#29663119)
      They never were with Microsoft, at least not in the Chicago Operations Center when I worked for them. They were pretty hard-core Solaris, and slowly began switching their systems to Linux.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by FranTaylor (164577)

      "wanted to stay with Microsoft"

      Where did that come from? NYSE has used Motif-based apps on HPUX and Linux for years and years.

  • by NoYob (1630681) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:40PM (#29662553)

    TradElect platform, supplied by Accenture, has finally been answered: yes, it will. This hardly comes as a surprise â" the issue of the platformâ(TM)s speed and efficiency as well as Accentureâ(TM)s support has been a hot topic for the market in the last couple of months.

    Accenture? Not exactly a low cost vendor there. Meaning, much of the "costs" of this .NET system is Accenture's high fees.

    âWe want to address the entire suite of products and MillenniumIT gives us that scale.â(TM) Indeed, its offshore development centre â" âa hotbed of top graduatesâ(TM) â" with 94 per cent being top-class alumni from Sri Lanka and around the world, including MIT in the US, caters for such magnitude of scope.

    Offshoring. They're going with a cheaper, although quite smart, set of folks.

    Furthermore, he describes LSEâ(TM)s experience with .Net as âvery positiveâ(TM).

    Ok, this looks more like changing vendors and implementation. They also want âfor more control, less costs, and the ability to build and innovateâ(TM).

    This really isn't a damning of Microsoft and its technology. This is about going with a cheaper vendor and a software platform that gives them more control to suit their needs.

    • by mvdwege (243851) <mvdwege@mail.com> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:45PM (#29662647) Homepage Journal

      If you had read the earlier articles on the TradElect fiasco, you would have known that it was basically written and designed by Microsoft itself. Accenture had a very heavy involvement in the project straight from Redmond.

      So yes, this is an outright condemnation of the quality of Microsoft's products.

      Mart

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pavera (320634)

      As if Accenture can't "outsource" and hire Sri Lankan developers?

      They are buying the whole company in Sri Lanka, not just hiring them to build a project for them. The software in question already exists, the company in Sri Lanka already built it and is selling it today to other exchanges.

      Further, your statement that its about "going with a cheaper vendor and a software platform that GIVES THEM MORE CONTROL" is very much a damning of Microsoft and its technology. With Microsoft you don't have control THEY

  • by shadowrat (1069614) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:41PM (#29662571)

    i read the article and found this.

    while TradElect is based on Microsoftâ(TM)s .Net technology. The choice of the latter, which has raised quite a few eyebrows in the market, is defended by Lester. He claims that LSE is coming off TradElect not because of the .Net technology itself (although its trading speed is 2.7 milliseconds compared to Linux-based Chi-Xâ(TM)s 0.4 milliseconds), but âfor more control, less costs, and the ability to build and innovateâ(TM). Furthermore, he describes LSEâ(TM)s experience with .Net as âvery positiveâ(TM).

    i will grant that the 2.7 ms benchmark is definately slower than .4 ms. However, i don't think you can benchmark the trading speed of .Net, only the trading speed of TradElect. Last time i checked msdn, there was no System.StockExchange namespace provided with the .net framework.

    These articles sound more like MilleniumIT's just got a faster, nicer, cheaper product than TradElect. It sounds to me like Accenture failed, not .net

  • by R2.0 (532027) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:41PM (#29662573)

    From what I understand, it was the app that sucked. Why is this then a stinging indictment of the platform?

    • by notasheep (220779) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:43PM (#29662615)

      Because it's Slashdot, silly.

    • Because.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by symbolset (646467) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:54PM (#29662779) Journal

      They had $60M to throw into development. There's a good chance it's as fast as they could make it.

      Also, Microsoft gets to crow about the awesome power of their platform when they "win" these big installations. It's only fair we get to revel in it when they stub their toe on them.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:59PM (#29662839) Journal
      Strictly speaking, it isn't. However, back before they made the change, the deployment of the app was supposed to be a ringing endorsement of the platform. It was one of the most prominent "get the facts" cases. So, although the relationship between the quality of the app and the quality of the platform isn't obvious in either direction, there is certain symmetry here. If the app's success was going to be an endorsement, and was hyped as such, its failure can plausibly be considered an indictment.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DragonWriter (970822)

      From what I understand, it was the app that sucked. Why is this then a stinging indictment of the platform?

      Because Microsoft used the app and its supposed superiority in the area it was deployed as a major case study in the strength of the Microsoft programming and platform components used in the implementation: the products called out in their case study include the .NET Framework, Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio .NET, Microsoft Operations Manager, ASP.NET, and Visual C# .NET (I may have missed s

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The platform was limited by the run time which was Windows / .NET. If you dig into the stories you can find quotes indicating that a crucial advantage of the new platform is that they were able to examine and tune every layer of the stack from the kernel upwards to avoid latencies right down to the processor level itself. Only Microsoft can do that for windows and they aren't in a hurry to make customized versions of their stack for individual applications.

  • by gadget junkie (618542) <gbponz@libero.it> on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:42PM (#29662579) Journal
    Having read the article, and having traded equities on the London Stock exchange and Borsa Italiana for twenty years, I must say that I believe that the declaration that it was not a performance issue is correct.....to the point that I suspect that no amount of performance gains on Microsoft's part would have turned the scales.
    Stock Exchanges are not national monopolies anymore, even if the few remaining big ones are gobbling each other. Controlling the technology involved is much more important than a slight performance hit. The London stock exchange scores a double hit on this one, since not only it will own the system, but the internals of said system will be open source, freeing it for example from limitation of sale to third parties by the US government. And anyway, when an istitution that big uses only Microsoft inhouse, is like having another stakeholder on your back, with an agenda of its own, like having you switch soon to the latest and greatest of its Server suite, if only for its publicity value. By doing the move, LSE is back to setting its own pace. I wish I could do the same on my desktop in the office.
  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @04:54PM (#29662781)
    ...when I will have seen this mentioned in the next Highly Reliable Times issue!
  • by AC-987654321 (1651321) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @05:27PM (#29663231)

    Typical PHB and incompetent/ expensive consulting services debacle. See below for an older ComputerWorld blog entry.

    _______________________________________

    July 1, 2009
    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

    London Stock Exchange to abandon failed Windows platform [computerworld.com]


    Anyone who was ever fool enough to believe that Microsoft software was good enough to be used for a mission-critical operation had their face slapped this September when the LSE (London Stock Exchange)'s Windows-based TradElect system brought the market to a standstill for almost an entire day. While the LSE denied that the collapse was TradElect's fault, they also refused to explain what the problem really wa. Sources at the LSE tell me to this day that the problem was with TradElect.

    Since then, the CEO that brought TradElect to the LSE, Clara Furse, has left without saying why she was leaving. Sources in the City-London's equivalent of New York City's Wall Street--tell me that TradElect's failure was the final straw for her tenure. The new CEO, Xavier Rolet, is reported to have immediately decided to put an end to TradElect.

    TradElect runs on HP ProLiant servers running, in turn, Windows Server 2003. The TradElect software itself is a custom blend of C# and .NET programs, which was created by Microsoft and Accenture, the global consulting firm. On the back-end, it relied on Microsoft SQL Server 2000. Its goal was to maintain sub-ten millisecond response times, real-time system speeds, for stock trades.

    It never, ever came close to achieving these performance goals. Worse still, the LSE's competition, such as its main rival Chi-X with its MarketPrizm trading platform software, was able to deliver that level of performance and in general it was running rings about TradElect. Three guesses what MarketPrizm runs on and the first two don't count. The answer is Linux.

    It's not often that you see a major company dump its infrastructure software the way the LSE is about to do. But, then, it's not often you see enterprise software fail quite so badly and publicly as was the case with the LSE. I can only wonder how many other Windows enterprise software failures are kept hidden away within IT departments by companies unwilling to reveal just how foolish their decisions to rely on archaic, cranky Windows software solutions have proven to be.

    I'm sure the LSE management couldn't tell Linux from Windows without a techie at hand. They can tell, however, when their business comes to a complete stop in front of the entire world.

    So, might I suggest to the LSE that they consider Linux as the foundation for their next stock software infrastructure? After all, besides working well for Chi-X, Linux seems to be doing quite nicely for the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange), the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), etc., etc.

    _______________________________________

    • by openfrog (897716) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @06:13PM (#29663731)

      From now on, it will no longer possible to take refuge in the idea that you can't get fired for keeping with Microsoft.

      the CEO that brought TradElect to the LSE, Clara Furse, has
      left without saying why she was leaving. Sources in the City-London's
      equivalent of New York City's Wall Street--tell me that TradElect's
      failure was the final straw for her tenure.

  • by forsetti (158019) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @05:54PM (#29663527)

    I can't wait for the GNU\Linux Marketing Department to make a campaign out of this!!! Oh wait ..., well, Slashdot it is then!

  • by suds (6610) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @06:15PM (#29663757) Homepage

    So, when Microsoft makes so much noise with press adverts & getthefacts campaigns, its 'marketing' and when FOSS supporters rejoice they are 'fanatics'!! Just STFU and get back to your windows 7 house party.

  • by ndykman (659315) on Tuesday October 06, 2009 @08:12PM (#29664801)

    But gained a lot anyway. Sure, the LSE has moved on, but the fact that a .Net application on Windows Server 2003/SQL Server 2000 could handle the LSE at all isn't a total loss for MS. I'm sure they learned a lot in this failure. Seriously, .Net 1.0 came out in 2002. In five/six years, the VM held up to a pretty high standard. Sure, the damn thing melted down for a day and getting five/six nines out of any Windows system is/will be a total black art, but doing so for a Linux system isn't a walk in the park either. There is plenty of room for this new deployment to crash. If it does, it's not an indicment of Linux; it is a statement on how hard such systems are at all levels.

    Rock solid systems can be bit on both platforms. It is just a matter of if the costs and benefits are worth it. In this case, it doesn't seem the Windows solution held up. But to call this as proof on how bad MS software is seems to be hyperbole that misses the fact for a good while, it did work. Given how new all the software involved is, I'm surprised.
     

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams

Working...