RealTime IT News

The Big Board Goes Linux


The largest stock exchange on Earth is a Linux shop. NYSE Euronext has chosen Red Hat's Linux offerings to power the critical financial trading platform that services approximately $141 billion in daily trading volume. Financial terms of the deal are not being publicly disclosed at this time.

The stock exchange win is a dramatic victory for Red Hat and for Linux as the NYSE and its family of exchanges will be migrating from HP UX, IBM AIX, and SUN Solaris to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

NYSE Euronext (NYSE: NYX) operates multiple exchanges including, the New York Stock Exchange, Euronext, Liffe, Alternext and NYSE Arca Options. Red Hat's (NYSE: RHT) stock itself defected from the rival NASDAQ exchange to the NYSE in December 2006.

"Today, key components of NYSE Euronext's high-speed trading environments rely on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and are managed by Red Hat Network," Steve Rubinow, NYSE Euronext's CIO, said in a statement. "The pace of electronic trading has picked up dramatically, and across the enterprise, the 6.5 hours that comprise the main part of our trading day includes the processing of billions of messages."

At the time of Red Hat's move to NYSE, Dion Cornett, vice president of investor relations at Red Hat, indicated that the change could potentially also yield a technological win for Red Hat.

The hope was that as part of the NYSE's modernization effort, Red Hat Enterprise Linux would play a key role.

Neither a Red Hat nor an NYSE Euronext spokesperson was available for further comment by press time.

According to a Red Hat statement, the new trading platform includes at least 600 servers from HP. (Specifically, the shopping list included 200 HP ProLiant DL585 quad-core servers and 400 ProLiant BL 685c blades with AMD dual-core Opteron processors, according to Red Hat).

The company said NYSE Euronext did an evaluation of two leading Linux vendors and determined that Red Hat was the better fit.

Red Hat added that part of the attraction had been its Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) functionality. SELinux had been developed in partnership with the National Security Agency (NSA) and applies strict access control policies to Linux.

What is not clear is whether Red Hat's Real Time Linux efforts played a role in the NYSE Euronext win.

Last year, Tim Burke, Red Hat's director of emerging technologies, took the stage at the Linux on Wall Street event proclaiming the virtues of Red Hat's Real Time benefits for the financial marketplace.

In any event, Red Hat is coming off one of the most successful financial years in its history, reporting revenues of $523 million for its 2008 fiscal year.

Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has since set a new goal for the company, aiming to be the first open source vendor to hit $1 billion in revenue.