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Wireless Linux hits Dutch exchange

Cliff Saran
A European financial trading company has achieved a 300% performance boost by adopting an IT system based on the Linux operating system.

Cliff Saran

The system has been deployed by Dutch option trading firm, Amsterdam Option Traders (AOT). Joost Geurts, IT manager for AOT, said that with the system traders can obtain the most up-to-date and accurate prices and buy stocks and options electronically.

"We have used different hardware on other exchanges," commented Geurts, "but Linux is a tenth of the cost of an AIX-based workstation for trading."

Geurts said the new system offers a 300% improvement on the speed of trading, which he said was an important consideration given that the volume of trading at AOT had a direct impact on the profits of the business.

The back-end comprises Dell PC servers running Linux. Using Inprise's Visibroker Corba (common object request broker architecture) technology, a C++ application running on the Linux server connects to the Amsterdam Option Exchange's (AEX) electronic order book.

The front-end uses handheld Windows CE machines from Hitachi to provide AOT's traders on the AEX with direct access to pricing information via a radio local area network.

The user interface for the application on the CE handheld is controlled using a Citrix Metaframe server. This runs an NT client application that is transmitted onto the trader's CE device using Citrix's low bandwidth ICA protocol, which runs over the proprietary wireless network at the AEX.

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