The Irish Stock Exchange is preparing to deploy Red Hat Enterprise 10, as it modernises its Oracle database system.
The exchange has begun regression testing a bespoke Oracle 10g database application running across a cluster comprising two Dell Xeon-based servers using Red Hat Enterprise.
The application, which takes a feed from the Deutsche B”rse exchange and publishes financial information, was originally written in C++ and has now been redeveloped in Java for Linux. It runs within a secure intranet.
Having evaluated Red Hat in a number of discrete projects, Alan Finan, IT manager at the Irish Stock Exchange said, "Red Hat is stable enough for production."
The exchange's IT staff comprise both Windows and Unix administrators. Finan said admin staff did not need external training to manage Red Hat.
A client application written in Visual Basic running on Windows is used to connect to the Oracle database running on Red Hat, using Microsoft's ODBC middleware.
In order to connect to the Linux system, Finan said, "There was no change needed on the client [application]."
He said end-users on the exchange floor will be unaware they are connecting to a Linux system.
The new system replaces an Oracle 8.06 database application running on Hewlett-Packard 9000 hardware.
In the test environment, the exchange documented a tenfold performance increase for database queries and a twentyfold increase in overall performance.
Finan has been a user of Linux since 1994 and believes the open source operating system is viable for enterprise use. One factor often raised against Linux is support. Finan said, "There are thousands of people on the net who will assist you and get you an answer within 24 hours."