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Wall Street Becoming a Linux Stronghold

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the quite-an-investment dept.

Linux Business 214

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."

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Jeuhhh first? (-1, Troll)

daxomatic (772926) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787203)

Post! uhm oh yeah this is slashdot Ineed to fill in some stuff here....

Re:Jeuhhh first? (1)

daxomatic (772926) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787303)

well after reading TFA i was wondering if Solaris 8 or 9 where really performing like they say: " meets strict low-latency and messaging requirements of brokerages and trading firms."
uhmm AFAIK there using SUN boxes and solaris ( IBM and the rest is also there ) and those did not have "RealTime"
SO,
well i just did put some stuff here so let me be a karma whore.
sorry for the inconvenience

Re:Jeuhhh first? (1)

drspliff (652992) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787423)

I interpreted it as Linux now fulfills the hard real-time requirements with these vendor-specific bundles that Sun and Microsoft don't.

Not a recent development (1)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787315)

I have a few friends who became quants around 2000, and they used Linux for the majority of their work.

Re:Not a recent development (5, Funny)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787393)

Are your friends still employed?

I would warn potential FOSS adopters of the unintended consequences of their altruism: you might be out of your job.

When you spend $2M for software licensing fees, $500k for IT staff doesn't look bad.
When you spend $0 for software, $500k for staff starts to look like a good cost-cutting target for that asshole PHB exec!

Also consider that when something goes wrong with Solaris or Windows, you file a ticket and come out smelling like roses when it's speedily resolved. When something goes wrong with FOSS that you advocated for, more often then not it's your ass.

Re:Not a recent development (5, Funny)

hpa (7948) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787425)

Also consider that when something goes wrong with Solaris or Windows, you file a ticket and come out smelling like roses when it's speedily resolved.


Best joke today...

Re:Not a recent development (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787595)

True, but it at least gives you someone to point at and take the blame.

Re:Not a recent development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787765)

In general, Wall Street doesn't care about who takes the blame. Only the end result matter.

Re:Not a recent development (5, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787801)

Have you ever actually tried blaming your software vendor when a project you were in charge of cratered? As a strategy it is highly over-rated.

That, in my opinion, is the best thing about Free Software. You can actually set it up and try it out before you pull out your checkbook and commit to paying a vendor. If the Free Software solution doesn't work, you've wasted a bit of time, but you haven't saddled yourself with a vendor that already has your money. Heck, if your problem is interesting enough, it might even get fixed.

You can always break out your checkbook later and pay a commercial vendor if the Free Software solution doesn't fit your needs. If you bet on a commercial solution first, and it doesn't work, then you have to write off your wasted licensing fees.

Re:Not a recent development (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787859)

You can always break out your checkbook later and pay a commercial vendor if the Free Software solution doesn't fit your needs. If you bet on a commercial solution first, and it doesn't work, then you have to write off your wasted licensing fees.
With all due respect, you do concept studies and prestudies of commercial software too. Many companies will give you a cheap short-time license for doing a pilot or something like that. Most of the time and cost is spend trying to figure out how your needs are supposed to fit into the solution. Going back to square one with a new tool is a huge setback in any case.

Re:Not a recent development (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788065)

Some even let you do it for nothing, if you are a big enough potential customer.

Re:Not a recent development (4, Insightful)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788707)

That's true. Being the third largest international company in our field, we've enjoyed this benefit many times.

But... Linux vendors let you do it, no matter who you are.

Re:Not a recent development (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788053)

Actually, yes i have had to blame a vendor for a disaster.

It was cause for us to switch vendors afterwards. Ironically, back to a Microsoft solution as it was less expensive and integrated with other components.

Re:Not a recent development (3, Insightful)

3vi1 (544505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788711)

Let me guess... Microsoft made the other components? And, at one time, they used to have competitors.... but no longer?

Re:Not a recent development (0, Offtopic)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787837)

So whos fault is it that the finance corp world is causing the biggest derivitive market to date, at over 1400 trillion outstanding. Even the BIS is saying the Great Depression is coming. All this caused by harvard math genious creating weird financial instruments for investments that sound cool at the start (like CDSs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_default_swap [wikipedia.org] )

The FEDs solution? spread the risk, but then the only final outcome is everyone fails at once like a titanic.

Good luck and stock up on canned food before there are rations and shortages.

Re:Not a recent development (1)

ppanon (16583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788331)

The FEDs solution? spread the risk, but then the only final outcome is everyone fails at once like a titanic.

The biggest problem with a spreading of the risk is that it encourages people to take more risks than appropriate because it lessens consequences. It therefore increases the likelihood of failure.

Re:Not a recent development (5, Informative)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787485)

Also consider that when something goes wrong with Solaris or Windows, you file a ticket and come out smelling like roses when it's speedily resolved. When something goes wrong with FOSS that you advocated for, more often then not it's your ass.
That would be completely true in opposite land. Fortunately, the major FOSS vendors supplying corporate America provide support contracts, just like the non-FOSS guys.

Re:Not a recent development (5, Informative)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787523)

1. If you think you can get an issue speedily resolved because you paying for the software, then you obviously aren't employed in that sector.

2. Using open source does not mean that you can't buy support, its completely up to you

Re:Not a recent development (1)

djrok212 (801670) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787727)

You obviously don't currently and never have worked on Wall Street...

Re:Not a recent development (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787867)

Clearly you know nothing about finance. Quants are not IT. They do the mathematical modeling that makes the money. They make more than the IT staff. And anyway, the IT people I know in finance do well are aren't fired as long as they are getting their job done. Besides, in finance they often write much of their own software, since everything is so proprietary.

Re:Not a recent development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787959)

Also consider that when something goes wrong with Solaris or Windows, you file a ticket and come out smelling like roses when it's speedily resolved.

this is a joke. right? um. have you *ever* filed a support ticket with sun or microsoft? 'cause, i'm thinking you haven't.

Re:Not a recent development (1)

RonVNX (55322) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787521)

You're not kidding. This news is so old that some of the people who popluated Wall Street with Linux back in the 90's are probably close to retirement already.

Re:Not a recent development (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787587)

The kind of use they're talking about isn't really about quants and their modeling. It's about transactional throughput, enterprise messaging, and the guaranteed delivery of various business events (along with the relevant data) to a wide variety of systems across front, mid, and back office domains within a very constrained time window.

As for quants, they often like Linux for a completely seperate reason, specifically because they can use it for Shadow IT purposes without the IT department getting all pissy. Also, many of their favored math packages are old school C and they learned to use them in school on Linux so they tend to gravitate toward it in work as well.

At least that's what I've seen over the last 10-20 years or so since quants have become all the rage.

Finally, Some Linux News!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787207)

Hallelujah!!

Once upon a time, I remember a time when slashdot was a linux and tech news site, not a left-wing pseudo-political blog.

This is actually some relevant linux news on the main page. This doesn't happen much anymore.

I hope we return to the days when slashdot wasn't so political.

Re:Finally, Some Linux News!! (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787285)

Ironically though, the Wall Street Journal, pride of the überrightwing Murdoch Empire -- News Corpse International -- is still as M$ fan boy as any good rightwinger should be.

is "Wall Street Journal" a MS fanboy? (3, Informative)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788723)

Ironically though, the Wall Street Journal, pride of the überrightwing Murdoch Empire -- News Corpse International -- is still as M$ fan boy as any good rightwinger should be.

According to this article, "Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg flirts with Ubuntu" [insidesocal.com] Walt Mossberg is in Apple's camp. He tried a Dell preloaded with Ubuntu [allthingsd.com] and he wasn't too happy, er said it isn't ready for most users yet.

Falcon

Re:Finally, Some Linux News!! (1)

rfunches (800928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788897)

The Journal only came under News Corp's helm in the past year. It's only been since the acquisition that things have really changed to suit Murdoch's taste, according to published reports and accounts from Journal employees. Not to mention Mossberg, the leading technology voice at the Journal, is definitely an Apple fanboy.

Re:Finally, Some Linux News!! (5, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787287)

what you term as 'left wing' news in /. pertains to freedom of the masses in regard to life and internet, what you term as 'psuedo-politics' affects the lives of ALL of us and what we care on the tech world. if many small fights were not won in the areas you so ignorantly despise, today red hat and novell would not be able to make a speech to wall street praising linux.

Re:Finally, Some Linux News!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787559)

what you term as 'left wing' news in /. pertains to freedom of the masses in regard to life and internet, what you term as 'psuedo-politics' affects the lives of ALL of us and what we care on the tech world. if many small fights were not won in the areas you so ignorantly despise, today red hat and novell would not be able to make a speech to wall street praising linux.
Nah. He's just referring to the mobbing the fags gave users this week. They're just targeting Slashdot these days for their lobbying - name calling assault on society.

Re:Finally, Some Linux News!! (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787507)

I hope we return to the days when slashdot wasn't so political.


It's these trying times, defined as they are by political extremism everywhere threatening our once-secure way of life. I'm sure many of us hope to return to a more relaxed atmosphere, so we can once again afford the luxury of political apathy. I know I do!

Re:Finally, Some Linux News!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787581)

Fyi, most slashdotters really never cared for Linux except to the extent they thought it would drive "M$" bankrupt.

No, you don't. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787589)

You don't remember such a time, because such a time never existed. For either contention.

Re:No, you don't. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23788357)

Yes it did, I've been here since 1998. CmdrTaco once said himself this wasn't a political site.

You just pulled that claim out of your ass, and I destroyed you.

I just OWNED YOUR ASS!!!

This is it! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787283)

This will surely usher in the year of Linux on the desktop!

Re:This is it! (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787747)

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.

Re:This is it! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23788001)

Well that's just great. You're well on your way to being a dedicated smug asshole instead of just being a part time one. Thank you for sharing your achievement with others and being a source of inspiration to the rest of us.

Re:This is it! (1, Funny)

deblau (68023) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788229)

Thanks for posting AC, you heartless bastard, now I don't know who to send my dry cleaning bill to.

Re:This is it! (4, Informative)

Flammon (4726) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788285)

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.

Re:This is it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23788335)

The year of Linux on the desktop will be evident when Apple makes its first

It's already out

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-L-0s-7-Z0&feature=related

this is the year of linux.

Re:This is it! (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23789131)

these parody commericals need some updating. now when i watch these, i dunno if they are comparing the operating systems or the hardware. I assume they are talking about OSs. But suddenly they start comparing which one can add additional hardware. so are we talking about the hardware now? Then Linux comes in. What the fuck? Now we are comparing the PC compatibles with the computers from Apple to an open source OS?

I hope people see what I mean. If they started comparing Vista to OS X it would make more sense, since software-wise there are alternatives to Macs (come on, they are fucking PCs with a TPM chip in them) and IBM-clone PCs (I shouldn't even use the reference to IBM since theyve gone a long way technology-wise, but what the hell.)

Re:This is it! (1)

dmsuperman (1033704) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788423)

Duke Nukem Forever is surely soon to follow!

Windows still important (5, Interesting)

DAharon (937864) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Windows still important (5, Interesting)

radish (98371) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787453)

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.

Re:Windows still important (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#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...

Re:Windows still important (1)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787821)

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!

Re:Windows still important (2)

fitten (521191) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788291)

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.

Re:Windows still important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23788687)

How much is this due to UltraSPARC T1/T2 (Niagara) processors now sold by Sun? I've heard that these have fairly dismall performance for the type of workloads that Wall Street needs and that Oracle charges full price per core as if they were each an equivilant Intel core. Thus, customers are paying much more for less power.

I'd suspect that cost to be substantial enough to make them go Intel/Linux, versus anything else...

Re:Windows still important (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787701)

They are talking about their servers, where the real crunching and "magic" takes place, not the desktops.

Re:Windows still important (1)

DannyO152 (544940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788261)

JasperReports won't cut it?

Re:Windows still important (1)

plisskin (979687) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788799)

> Some of our macros can take upwards of twenty minutes to run. That might just be a sign of a poor macro. At my company, a friend of mine inherited a spreadsheet doing some intense pipeline modeling that could take upwards of an hour to run depending on the dataset, but my friend was able to decrease that to under 30 seconds by changing the way the data accessed. I think it was basically changing from accessing each cell individually to reading larger sets of data at a time.

Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (5, Interesting)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787457)

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.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787529)

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:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (3, Interesting)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787601)

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.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787643)

If you think AS400 == mainframe then you have never seen a real mainframe up close.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (1)

carlzum (832868) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788605)

The AS400 is a minicomputer, but your point is correct, IBM offers Linux as an OS option [ibm.com] on mainframe. I'm not sure if the parent meant Linux on x86 won't replace mainframes or that Linux and mainframes are mutually exclusive.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787621)

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).
If you are thinking of macros, OOo will support them soon.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787733)

There are investment bankers who still use Excel 97 to model, because they don't want to learn new menus/break old models. The idea of these people switching to OO is preposterous to anyone who knows them.

macros and OO.org (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788571)

If you are thinking of macros, OOo will support them soon.

I hope so, about a week ago I was emailed a lease form and I tried to open it with NeoOffice [neooffice.org] , the Mac native port of OO.org, and it didn't display properly. After that I checked what version is installed though which is 2.1. The current available version for download is 2.2.3 which I'll try once I install it. Now I don't know if the doc didn't display properly because of macros or what but I hope the upgrade works.

Falcon

Re:macros and OO.org (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23789149)

Give OpenOffice 3 a try. the links to the beta page should be on their front page. It runs without X11. I personally like it better than NeoOffice and havent had any issues, even though its beta.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (4, Informative)

Excelcia (906188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787629)

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:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (0, Troll)

willyhill (965620) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787651)

A lot of new mainframes being shipped are with Linux.

I never said that wasn't the case. But please tell me how many applications that run on the mainframes of large financial corporations are being replaced by applications that run on Linux.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (1)

Excelcia (906188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787741)

Q. How many applications that run on the [Linux] mainframes of large financial corporations are being replaced by applications that run on Linux?

A. Ummmm.... all of them?

Is this a trick question?

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787911)

why do you people even post when it's obvious you have no clue?

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787915)

Are you just pretending to be clueless? The GP is referring to companies replacing applications that run on OS/390 with applications that run on virtualized Linsux. That's what the whole (incorrect) point of the article is, and what I understood from his comment.

I wrote COBOL apps for 20 years (before happily moving to java) for a utilities company in the midwest, and I can assure you that none of that stuff is even remotely portable to any Unix-like OS.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (1)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787993)

You don't know anything at all about mainframes, do you?

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (1)

Excelcia (906188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788117)

You're obviously not getting my point. Perhaps I was just too obtuse, but... well, I just couldn't resist that last dig. :)

Sure the applications will be running on (OS-du-jour), tucked inside what nowadays might be layers of VM abstractions, but my point is when the hypervisor OS itself is Linux, you can hardly discount the importance of that OS. Like any good OS, especially on a mainframe, it's transparent and the end user never sees it, or cares - a measure of how good it is is how invisible it is. Ultimately, though, no matter what virtualization is going on, the application is still running on a Linux box.

So you're right, I honestly don't know what OS the financial biggies use on the mainframes. What I do know is all your applications are belong to us. :)

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788813)

You really DO know nothing about mainframes, the hypervisor is old and stable on S/390 nee zSeries nee System Z. The hypervisor is called Z/VM and it has its roots in VM/370 which was first introduced 1972, linux ain't replacing it. Also unless you can get JCL and the various other mainframe language/apps to run on Linux it's not going to be the OS-du-jour for the vast majority of installations. They might buy or use some linux licenses because the hardware is there but that won't be the main focus of the box/sysplex and it certainly won't be running the show.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23789183)

If IBM are shipping mainframes with Linux, their customers are presumably using Linux for something mission critical.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (3, Interesting)

djrok212 (801670) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787715)

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.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23788365)

Don't look now but there is a pretty good chance that ARCA might be going to a windows server 2008 / sql 2008 platform. (posting AC since I am in fact a coward and don't need the inevitable troll mod but thought I'd let you know that WS is not exactly locked to linux)

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787861)

And Linux will never replace mainframes.
Considering one is an operating system and the other a type of hardware platform, I wouldn't expect Linux to replace mainframes...

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788043)

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.

My big iron. Let me show you it. (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788147)

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.

Re:My big iron. Let me show you it. (1)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788509)

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

Both pie charts have the same date, November 2007.

Falcon

Re:My big iron. Let me show you it. (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788819)

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 bottom pie is different because it represents the operating system family's share of processing power. Here you'll note the Windows systems have disappeared entirely. Usually this represents that the scarce Windows systems were in the bottom end of the range or older systems that are not maintaining a proportional share of processing power.

Since you're making the observation that the data is seven months old, are you anticipating some upswell in adoption of Windows among the HPC crowd, who are presumed to know what they're doing and be unswayed by political or marketing concerns? That would be remarkable. If the petaflop Cell processor supercomputer IBM just built called RoadRunner runs Windows I'll eat an original IBM punch card [columbia.edu] .

What's also remarkable is that Microsoft with its billions can't build and keep a few in-house systems high in this list just to build their HPC credibility and assist their marketing in this area - which they would dearly like to have [microsoft.com] .

Re:My big iron. Let me show you it. (2, Informative)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788647)

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 hardware, coupled with rock-solid reliability. The ability to physically separate a single server into multiple elements thousands of miles apart is attractive to certain financial institution, for certain transactions. Think arbitrage transactions amongst multiple international exchanges. If the Berlin portion of the server goes down, the NY portion completes my transaction, albiet with some latency...

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (1)

SlashDev (627697) | more than 6 years ago | (#23789179)

"And Linux will never replace mainframes. Nothing will. "
Of course it won't, Linux is an OS.
Nobody is looking to replace mainframes. Mainframes were built to perform tasks that the business model dictated. Business models today wouldn't run properly on a mainframe.

Re:Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (4, Informative)

donaldm (919619) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

CTO of Linux Foundation fails to explain the GPL (5, Insightful)

Ilyakub (1200029) | more than 6 years ago | (#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?

Possibly mis-quoted. (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787557)

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.

Re:CTO of Linux Foundation fails to explain the GP (1)

the-matt-mobile (621817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788579)

> 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.

Re:CTO of Linux Foundation fails to explain the GP (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788895)

> 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.

Re:CTO of Linux Foundation fails to explain the GP (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 6 years ago | (#23789133)

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.

confusion/FUD about licensing (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787501)

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.

Re:confusion/FUD about licensing (4, Insightful)

RonVNX (55322) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:confusion/FUD about licensing (1)

pyite (140350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788071)

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 Linux in full force. And to be perfectly honest, kernel modifications are required. Whether a Wall St. coder or a Red Hat coder is writing the change is irrelevant. Wall St. drives a lot of kernel changes. Trust me.

Re:confusion/FUD about licensing (2, Interesting)

19061969 (939279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788495)

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.

Re:confusion/FUD about licensing (5, Interesting)

BitButcher (1124605) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:confusion/FUD about licensing (2, Funny)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788997)

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 ;)

Re:confusion/FUD about licensing (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788597)

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's when you modify the utilities THEMSELVES and then sell your changes or try to copyright them. But I don't know if the commentator here is quite that clueless, based on this paragraph.

This is about 10 years behind reality (1)

RonVNX (55322) | more than 6 years ago | (#23787505)

Wall Street has been a Linux stronghold for nearly ten years already. This meeting at the FCA Conference was a gathering of the clueless.

First hand experience (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Open source support model appropriate for Wall St. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23787969)

In the end, the community IS the support. Consider the concept of "guaranteed" vendor support. All to often, support calls go straight to an Indian call center, often with disappointing results.

Although many open source problems depend on the volunteer efforts of the community, I'll stack of the community vs. a 3rd world call center any day of the week.

In a previous life, I worked in a large data center that was a DEC shop. Back in the day, DEC support was awesome. If your computer crashed, field service would dial in via dedicated modem, read the crash dump, and determined the appropriate course of action. None of this "reboot and see what happens" nonsense. That level of vendor support is long gone.

In the open source model, you _might_ have a vendor contract, but there is ALSO the community, and the all-important last line of defense, your own IT staff. Any of these people can see the source code. Compare this to modern-day closed-source support, where only the vendor can see the source code, and they are unlikely to change it until they feel like it. The user community can't see the source code, and the local IT dept. is limited to whatever the man from Mumbai tells them to try next.

So, if you have money (as they surely do on Wall St.), you can afford to pay for a support contract, backed up by the user community and competent local IT staff, providing 3 levels of defense against problems. I'll take that over a call to the Bangalore Bargain Bin any day of the week!

It's true (2, Informative)

smartin (942) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:It's true (1)

Darkk (1296127) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788301)

Funny when I saw an ATM machine that went through BSOD. Even more comical when I see some kind of a windows error on the screen. Probably by now those ATMs been upgraded to run Linux. Darkk

Not just Wall Street! (1)

timtiminator (1096175) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788373)

Just take a look around... Linux is popping up everywhere these days! Just tonight I happen to land myself at Tucows.com (second only to download.com). Just take a good look at what it says on the front page. :) If the top shareware, freeware, and whateverware sites on the web start promoting "Linux Software" to the masses (Mom and Pop, everyone in general), then what is going on?

Why is this news? (1)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 6 years ago | (#23788459)

Wall Street of all people should know the economic advantages of Open Source solutions compared to the proprietary alternatives (all things considered, of course...to be fair). This really comes as no surprise.

Congrats Linux Hippies (4, Funny)

awitod (453754) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Please don't lie about GPL and then complain later (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23788979)


Please don't spread lies and FUD about the _lack of restrictions_ that is involved in the GPL, and then only _later_ put the rope around the company's neck when they fail to fulfil their obligations.

If the Linux Providers claim that the companies have "nothing to fear", in an environment where proprietary programming can be the key to a competitive advantage, they are liars. There are several companies who have been sought to be ripped apart on these very pages for not contributing.

A fun fact (1)

stim (732091) | more than 6 years ago | (#23789063)

Wal-mart is currently in the process of migrating to linux for their in-store backend servers (i.e. the heart of everything)
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