Stock exchange could move to Linux

Hints by the London Stock Exchange that it will move large chunks of its business to Linux as part of an overhaul of its trading...

Hints by the London Stock Exchange that it will move large chunks of its business to Linux as part of an overhaul of its trading system could provide a major boost for open source use within enterprises.

The stock exchange is preparing to overhaul its IT infrastructure in the summer to increase its trading capacity and offer a wider variety of financial tools to trade with. This will involve replacing its predominantly Tandem and Hewlett-Packard hardware and introducing more flexible, open architectures, such as Java, which is capable of supporting a wide variety of operating systems, including Linux.

However, a spokesman for the stock exchange stressed that the upgrade did not necessarily mean it would adopt Linux "in a big way".

Analysts said Linux is an obvious choice for certain kinds of applications, such as high-end file servers, due to its relatively low cost and resilience.

"If you want a cheap, high-end file server, Linux is a no-brainer," said Duncan Brown, consulting director at analyst firm Ovum.

However, Brown warned that the cost benefits of deploying Linux could be reduced if the system has to be frequently modified and updated and staff have to be trained how to use it.

Last year, Computer Weekly revealed the London Stock Exchange's plans to upgrade its Sets trading platform and expand the information services it offers.

The stock exchange's half-year results, released last November, showed that information services accounted for more than £50m of turnover.

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