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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 ookabooka ( 731013 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:01AM (#19160955)
    Anyone reminded of that ad about the guys printing the newspaper that says they use Windows because its more reliable and stuff? That wasn't for the NYSE was it? I see that ad all the time on Slashdot and roll my eyes every time :-p
  • Re:TWNBWFM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by E IS mC(Square) ( 721736 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:07AM (#19161099) Journal
    Nothing to do with MS in this.

    MS will be affected only when the wall street firms stop using MS Excel, and that may not happen in my lifetime unfortunately.
  • Re:TWNBWFM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:07AM (#19161107) Homepage

    This Will Not Bode Well For Microsoft

    Why? As far as Microsoft is concerned this is either a non-event (they weren't using microsoft before, they aren't now), or a slight move towards using Microsoft (going from a Mainframe to PCs moves them closer to the potential to use Microsoft software).
  • Licensing Fees (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ngarrang ( 1023425 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:11AM (#19161165) Journal
    In my brief experience with an IBM AS/400 (before it was renamed), it seemed like my old company was paying as much annual licensing and support fees as the system originally cost. The software we ran got more expensive as the system went faster. I never quite understand that pricing scheme, since the software didn't actually do anything NEW.

    Good move for the NYSE.
  • Career Opportunity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Black-Man ( 198831 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:11AM (#19161171)
    I think this is only the beginning of large migrations. To have both 3270 and Linux skills (along w/ DB2) right now would be a killer skills combo.
  • by Ace905 ( 163071 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:16AM (#19161259) Homepage
    The article makes it sound like transactions are on a cost-per basis, "[Francis Feldman] estimates the move will halve the cost of transactions" -- does that make any sense?

    I think the author of the article got into a tangent with him about how many transactions they do, and what their operating costs are and then incorrectly made the correlation that there is a cost-per-transaction from a computing stand-point. That can't be true. You don't insert fifties into the A: drive.

    Look at it this way: If they make the big switch, and all of a sudden they can handle double-the-transactions per day - that would halve the cost of transactions. Only there's not going to all of a sudden be double-the-transactions. They're still working with the same number of transactions.

    If they halve their staff, and they do the same number of transactions than that halves their costs. But what if tuesday is a slow day, and they only do 60% of their normal business? They're still paying for all the staff, electricity and third party support.

    Am I wrong, or is it unlikely they can correlate a cost per transaction in this case?

    This is completely free. []
  • Re:hmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xzvf ( 924443 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:17AM (#19161265)
    That's a good question, but on Wall Street, speed and latentcy are becoming more importantant factors than stabiltiy. That's the reason why most brokerages locate their primary data center in Manhatten, or co-locate with the NYSE. A crash that effects everybody equally is preferable to odd processing delays. No data is better than slow data is an old mantra in the trading feild, and even more important when trading is triggered electronically and milliseconds count.
  • by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:23AM (#19161381) Homepage
    Would anyone be surprised if the exchange captured most of those cost savings for themselves?

    I think another post is onto something:
    1. IBM screwed up the relationship so badly that the NYSE is walking away.
    2. IBM has some other, greater, revenue opportunity.
    3. Something is going on inside IBM where the sales people can steal each other's customers.
  • by Major Blud ( 789630 ) * on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:28AM (#19161475) Homepage
    True, but I'm sure that sort of contract is significantly cheaper than if they had gone with a new mainframe contract simpley because of the transaction fees. Also, this basically makes IBM a generic hardware provider; the NYSE could *likely* transfer these apps from AIX on Power to Linux on x86 if they were so inclined. Not trying to troll, you do bring up a valid point.
  • Why not Microsoft? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:32AM (#19161543)
    I mean, the little box on Slashdot keeps on reminding me that the London Stock Exchange has achieved record reliability by switching to Windows!
  • It's Ironic... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saudadelinux ( 574392 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @10:39AM (#19161671)
    ...that the OS so many think of as some kind of IP-lethal, grubby commie hippy project is now running a goodly part of Capitalism Itself. The worm has turned, and eats itself!
  • by einar2 ( 784078 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:16AM (#19162319)
    Ahhh! The reliability myth of the mainframe! One of my favorites.

    Most of the time this extremely reliable systems are used to host brittle software written in house. You paid upfront a fortune to receive a system which overall stability is lousy. And why? Because some techies who could not grasp the whole stack went out and bought the best of breed system! It is like driving your Rolls Royce to transport pigs...

    And yes, I work also for a financial institution. We have mainframes because it is so expensive to get rid of them, not because we love them.
  • Re:hmm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:17AM (#19162353)
    The ones that fanbois ignore but those who are serious about computing have to worry about and deal with.
  • Re:Good point. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thundersnatch ( 671481 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:22AM (#19162449) Journal

    or more esoteric hardware that you can get yourself into trouble

    A high-performance transaction processing system is likely to require "esoteric" hardware. Like extreme processor counts, high-throughput I/O subsystems, TCP/IP offload, InfiniBand clustering interconnects, hot-swap memory and CPUs... the sort of things hardware vendors support only on Z/OS, AIX or Solaris (and maybe Windows).

  • i disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by portscan ( 140282 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:45AM (#19162987)
    while i might be willing to grant you that for individual trading firms, speed is more important than stability, you cannot make that argument for the whole stock exchange. when morgan stanley or some hedge fund loses connectivity, they stop making money for a few hours. no big deal really. if the NYSE goes down, it's a major economic catastrophe. stability and capacity are the most important things! obviously they need speed to keep up with the demands of the traders, but that just translates to high volume for the NYSE's servers.
  • Re:TWNBWFM (Score:3, Insightful)

    by neomunk ( 913773 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:47AM (#19163035)
    Because it puts (another) large dent in the 'linux isn't ready for prime time' and 'OMGLOL its for lusers in thier mommies basement' and 'it's just not a professional choice' and an EXTREMELY large dent in the 'linux security is unproven in the wild' argument (which should by all rights be a joke by now, and an old joke at that).

    Did I miss any, that's right off the top of my head.
  • Re:TWNBWFM (Score:2, Insightful)

    by clintre ( 1078849 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:49AM (#19163071)
    Not a huge deal since they did not use any Microsoft products before, but the fact that they chose Linux and AIX over Microsoft just goes to show that the financial sector wants security and reliability (Hey has Microsoft patented daily crashes yet?). I do not blame them for using Linux since uptime on them tend to be very high (sometimes in the order of years) and does not require a reboot every single time you make the tiniest most insignificant patch."

    Those comments right there tell me you are a fanboy and do not know much about the M$ side of the shop.

    The company I work for runs over 25,000 servers. We use Windows, Suse, Red Hat, and some AIX. This depends on which works best for the application it is used for. Anyone thinks that doing everything on one platform is best or even possible is not all there.

    Second saying M$ has to reboot for every little patch is not even remotely close anymore, at one time yest. As for crashing, we have over 18,000 Windows boxes (2000, 2003) and they have almost the exact same uptime as the Linux servers. Crashes in Windows again are no where near what they used to be in the pre-2000 servers.

    I am not a M$ fanboy, as I primarily work on both sides of the shop. However people who do not see that both have their places in an IT shop or that Linux is all everything needs to pull their head out of their a$$.

    The biggest problem with M$ is their marketing strategies and bullying tatics.
  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:54AM (#19163181) Journal
    As someone who started their IT career as a mainframe operator in the early 90's, then moved on to UNIX/LINUX It would be very interesting to see if the cost savings actually pan out. Computers don't stop doing the job they are doing just because they get old. Besides, modern "mainframe" computers are all microprocessor based (no more cabinet sized processors) just like all other computers. OS/390 (or whatever IBM is calling nowadays Z...something?) is just about bulletproof.

    I would of LOVED to be in on the powerpoint presentation that convinced NYSE that that dumping their current platform was THE thing to do. It must of been dynamite.
  • Proposal for you (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:57AM (#19163235)
    In a disk full of music and movies, where the directory is either music or movie, the next directory down is the movie title (movies) or artist (music). Next is either movie itself or the artist (for music). There may be more directories under them that should not be worked on.

    Now, write a shell script to convert all these to a compressed form. Movies should change to DivX at max 1400kbs and music should become ogg at quality 6.

    Now how would you do that with explorer?
  • by mrbooze ( 49713 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @11:59AM (#19163291)
    Not only that, but the pSeries boxes practically *are* big iron. They're basically smaller mainframes that run AIX and linux virtual machines.

    So I would say they're moving from Venti Iron to Grande Iron.
  • Re:TWNBWFM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Thursday May 17, 2007 @01:38PM (#19165199) Homepage Journal
    OK the good PR for Linux might be damaging for MS, but it is a lot more damaging for both mainframe sales and proprietary Unix.

    Incidentally, I used to work for a vendor of trading systems to stock exchanges. They went from being Solaris only, to any Unix or Linux. In practice, everyone goes for either Solaris or Linux. The smaller new clients all go for Linux.

    At the same time they have been getting bigger and bigger clients, so they may now be displacing mainframes as well. My clients were all small, so I am not sure what is happening at that end of the market.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27