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NY Stock Exchange Moves To Linux 272

An anonymous reader writes "Even the old mainframe strongholds, the financial markets, are moving away from big iron. The New York Stock Exchange is one of them, as it's leaving the mainframe for AIX and Linux. They're doing it to save money; it seems that transactions are going to cost half as much on Unix and Linux as they did on the mainframe." The first phase of the transition happened last Monday.
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NY Stock Exchange Moves To Linux

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  • by Bicx ( 1042846 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:05AM (#19161039)
    That was the London Stock Exchange
  • by Fifty Points ( 878668 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:05AM (#19161041)
    That was for the London Stock Exchange
  • by mchinand ( 22369 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:15AM (#19161241)
    Here are some of IBM's non-Unix mainframe OSs. http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/os/ [ibm.com]. They could be using some other vendor as well.
  • NASDAQ (Score:4, Informative)

    by rlp ( 11898 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:22AM (#19161347)
    The NASDAQ also uses Unix. They use fault-tolerant Unix boxes from HP (formerly Tandem).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:23AM (#19161385)
    Are you serious? Read the article: "The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is migrating off a 1,600 millions of instructions per second (MIPS) mainframe to IBM System p servers running AIX and x86 Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) servers running Linux"

    They're still using IBM servers and IBM's Unix (AIX) along with HP servers running Linux. This is not a loss by any means, there will be fresh new maintenance contracts for IBM plus the cost of the servers and training of employees on AIX.
  • Misleading Headline (Score:3, Informative)

    by SpaFF ( 18764 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:32AM (#19161545) Homepage
    Actually, according to TFA they are doing most of the work on AIX with some Linux boxes on the front end for "ftp" data transfers.

  • actually it's aix (Score:4, Informative)

    by portscan ( 140282 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:35AM (#19161595)
    the trades will be managed by aix and linux will just be used for "ftp transfers on the front end." this would be bulk data transfers, not data feeds and all i/o as other might have suggested. i can pretty much guarantee you that the nyse is not processing trades and sending out live market data (to bloomberg, retuters, etc.) by ftp.

    also, i am somewhat concerned by this move in light of the trading disruption at the end of february where the existing (mainframe, i presume) trading systems could not handle all the trades and the data feeds were way behind the actual prices of the securities. i know the nyse is a public for-profit company now, so it's silly to talk about "public interest" but shouldn't there be some regulation about the capacity of their IT infrastructure to make sure that their cost-cutting doesn't cause another 4% decrease in stock market value on an abnormally high trading day?
  • "Transaction cost" is a common metric in the financial-processing world; rather than just talking about cost-per-quarter, they take the cost of the equipment and then divide it out by the number of transactions they process.

    It's not the greatest metric in the world, but it does provide some ability to compare "efficiency" across systems. But it's a little misplaced in all but the most predictable workloads, because it's not like your operating costs are really going to fluctuate with the number of transactions you process that day. The system is basically going to cost the same amount regardless; if you process fewer transactions, the CPT just went up even though nothing on the systems side changed. But for someone like the NYSE where the overall number of transactions is predictable, it's probably not a bad way to compare options.

    More on CPT [ibm.com]. (Incidentally I think it was people looking to stabilize CPT that led to the interest a while back about 'metered computing,' where you'd outsource your IT stuff to someone and basically get a bill at the end of the month, and your bill really would reflect the workload that month, basically giving you a flat cost-per-transaction. Apparently this is very attractive to some people due to their accounting methods, although maybe not enough to sell them on it.)
  • Good point. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ayanami Rei ( 621112 ) * <rayanami@gmUMLAUTail.com minus punct> on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:47AM (#19161803) Journal
    But then, if you run say RHEL 4 (2.6.9) or Slackware 10 on a nice piece of kit then you get AIX-like stability. It's when you use fancier, newer features (i.e. experimental filesystems) or more esoteric hardware that you can get yourself into trouble.
    And even so, if they're clustering it then you'd expect they'd build in node failover and monitoring, so a hard freeze should trigger a watchdog and someone goes and kicks it in the head (if that isn't automated). And you log it, just in case a node is actually developing hardware failures.

    We would assume they would test, test, test to identify the stable configurations before hand. It would be irresponsible to do otherwise.
  • NASDAQ is an M$ shop (Score:3, Informative)

    by parvenu74 ( 310712 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:49AM (#19161859)
    Actually, NASDAQ switched to Microsoft and SqlServer 2005 roughly 18 months ago [computerworld.com]. Nasdaq bills themselves as "the stock market for the next hundred years" -- I wonder how long they will stick with MS SQL Server?
  • by dknj ( 441802 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:52AM (#19161915) Journal
    plus the cost of the servers and training of employees on AIX.

    hint: get your aix cert and you will be in high demand for at least the next decade. NYSE is not the only place looking for experienced AIX admins, most major financial companies have a few AIX systems sitting in their dungeon. if you have experience, you will make a pretty penny.

    the last three places i worked at that had AIX had a constant theme; managers were looking for a GOOD AIX admin and were willing to pay well into 6 figures for it. contrast to linux/solaris admin jobs that are barely crossing $100k anymore.

    disclaimer: i live in a major metropolitan area
  • by parvenu74 ( 310712 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:01AM (#19162109)
    I know that it's optional around here to RTFA, but the original poster is wrong to title this entry as a move to Linux: this is a primarily move from mainframe to AIX on pSeries, with a few other tasks (FTP) being tossed to Linux like you'd throw a dog a bone. Using this lack of logic, it would be plausible to suggest that the NYSE is "moving to Mac OS X" because a few people in the advertising and marketing department use Macs for their jobs. I realize this isn't Rolling Stone magazine [slashdot.org], but the lack of journalistic quality control here at /. is pathetic.
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @01:12PM (#19164675) Journal

    TFA said 1600MIPS in the first line. Note that they are moving from an old IBM mainframe to AIX on P-series and Linux on HP x86 machines. AIX on P-series is a serious platform, and it's being sold by IBM as a mainframe replacement.

    What TFA didn't say was how much was moving to AIX and how much to Linux. I wouldn't be surprised if the move is mostly to AIX, since moving from one IBM big iron system to another is well supported.

  • by lp_bugman ( 623152 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @01:33PM (#19165093)
    We are migrating Cobol mainframe applications from OS/360 to micro focus Cobol on i86. For once MC support is much cheaper and hardware maintenance is also cheap compared to IBM mainframe.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2007 @03:35PM (#19167613)
    the current generation is a Power5 (what would have been an Apple G6, if they went that way) PPC

    Not quite... POWER5 is not PowerPC arch, it's POWER arch; (IBM/Motorola/Apple) PowerPC is a subset of (IBM) POWER. The G5 (PowerPC 970) was a derivative of POWER4 plus Altivec/VMX/Velocity Engine. The G6 could and probably would have been a similar POWER5 *derivative*, had IBM shown any signs of really committing to giving Apple the best chips there can be (instead of just regular ASIC customer service) -- remember the "3 GHz G5" fiasco (the careless Jobs statement caused by a promise IBM in all likelihood made to Apple)?

    Otherwise you are correct. :-)
  • by Nutria ( 679911 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @06:47PM (#19171413)
    The P series servers are not even close to big iron. We run them in our little internal lab

    Just like DEC VAXen, DECpaq/HP Alphas & Sun SPARCs, the IBM System P comes is a huge range of configurations, from the deskside p185 up to the big honking p595i.

    http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/p/hardware/highend/5 95/browse.html [ibm.com]

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