Though the financial services market in the US is in bailout mode this week – the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) is hedging its bets — with Linux.
CME trades in options and derivatives though I like to think of them mostly in the context of commodities. CME Group also includes NYMEX in its group and in 2007 they traded a total of $1.2 quadrillion worth of contracts – that’s not small potatoes.
Seeing as this is a group used to dealing with commodities and looking into futures, they chose not place their bets on Unix and/or Windows but rather on Linux. CME is now officially joining the Linux Foundation as well.
“Our Linux Foundation membership allows us to move beyond just being users of Linux to being participants in the direction of this important technology,” said Kevin Kometer, Managing Director and Chief Information Officer of CME Group in a statement. “Joining the Linux Foundation and being deeply involved in Linux will also help the exchange determine the future use of our own technology.”
So if you’re keeping score at home, that means that both CME and NYSE are Linux users. That’s big business on a true mission critical scale. It is somewhat ironic to think of two of the biggest bastions of Western Capitalism using software born out of the ideals of Free Software.
Yet for CME and NYSE the use of Linux undoubtably has little to do with philosophy and everything to do with money. They figure they can insure their own future and save money in the present by running Linux. As well while Linux is available in Free community versions, there is little doubt that both CME and NYSE are paying vendors (in NYSE’s case it’s Red Hat) to support them as well. With Microsoft being a critical component of the NASDAQ, I’d be very surprised not to see Microsoft working hard to get Microsoft to be a poster child for Server 2008 and Microsoft. to show that Microsoft can compete.