Linked by David Adams on Tue 16th Aug 2011 16:47 UTC
Linux When it comes to the fast-moving business of trading stocks, bonds and derivatives, the world's financial exchanges are finding an ally in Linux. As late as 2007, Wall Street exchanges were still largely run on Unix . . . Over the past few years however, Linux has crept into this market, showing up first in ancillary systems and then running a few core exchanges.
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A Correction
by johjeff on Tue 16th Aug 2011 17:48 UTC
johjeff
Member since:
2007-11-06

Just a correction -- HP has HP-UX, IBM AIX.

Jeff

Reply Score: 1

RE: A Correction
by Kebabbert on Tue 16th Aug 2011 18:35 UTC in reply to "A Correction"
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

NASDAQ uses RedHat. Not Gentoo Linux.

And, no, the matching engine does not run on 60-100 servers. Typically it runs on a few servers. If the exchange is small - medium, it often runs on a single server.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: A Correction
by Kebabbert on Thu 18th Aug 2011 10:22 UTC in reply to "RE: A Correction"
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

NASDAQ uses RedHat. Not Gentoo Linux.

And, no, the matching engine does not run on 60-100 servers. Typically it runs on a few servers. If the exchange is small - medium, it often runs on a single server.

Correction: NASDAQ has several stock systems. The system on Wall street runs on Gentoo. But that is not sold. The largest stock exchange system that NASDAQ sells, runs on RedHat.

Reply Score: 2

RE: A Correction
by David on Wed 17th Aug 2011 05:38 UTC in reply to "A Correction"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I changed our blurb so we're not quoting the original article's error. Thanks for the correction.

Reply Score: 1

c++
by fran on Tue 16th Aug 2011 18:09 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Other reasons.

C++ for real time split second trading
Of the best and highest paid programmers on Earth.

http://adtmag.com/articles/2011/07/29/why-hft-programmers-earn-top-...

The share's racket pays real good.

Reply Score: 2

RE: c++
by JAlexoid on Tue 16th Aug 2011 21:54 UTC in reply to "c++"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

These guys actually use all and any languages. These guys can even make non real time Java to be like real time Java.

But anyone that wants their job is plain crazy... An exceptional SAP freelancer will make 2x-3x more money without the stress.

Reply Score: 2

RE: c++
by Kebabbert on Wed 17th Aug 2011 10:28 UTC in reply to "c++"
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

Other reasons.

C++ for real time split second trading
Of the best and highest paid programmers on Earth.

http://adtmag.com/articles/2011/07/29/why-hft-programmers-earn-top-...

The share's racket pays real good.

Several of the largest and fastest stock exchanges are written in Java. Make sure to never trigger the garbage collector, though.

Java excels on the back end and give extreme performance, if done right. C++ is not needed.

There was a study of algo trading apps, the Java version was fastest. Faster than C++.

JIT compilers can in theory be faster than C++. In the future we might see it.

Reply Score: 3

Pure crap
by AndrewZ on Tue 16th Aug 2011 19:05 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

This article is pure crap. Whoever wrote it ought to be ashamed.

"The trading shops saw that the lowest-latency solutions would only be possible with Linux," Lameter said. "The older Unixes couldn't move as fast as Linux did."

This is simply not true. Linux was NEVER faster than Solaris. Linux was NEVER more stable Solaris. Linux was never better than Solaris.

Linux was cheaper than Solaris, pure and simple, end of story.

Reply Score: 5

UK moved to linux
by REM2000 on Tue 16th Aug 2011 19:28 UTC
REM2000
Member since:
2006-07-25

Although slightly off topic, the uk stock exchange moved to Linux from Windows as it just couldn't operate in the data intensive environment.

I think the other posters have it, it really comes down to TCO, Linux is a cheaper solution with a lot more Linux admins available. Solaris is a big iron OS and running on SPARC it's not really gonna get beaten (apart from other big iron Unix's such as AIX).

Reply Score: 3

RE: UK moved to linux
by lucas_maximus on Tue 16th Aug 2011 19:31 UTC in reply to "UK moved to linux"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Yeah I think they were running .NET 1.1 and SQL Server 2000 ... which weren't exactly brilliant.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: UK moved to linux
by JAlexoid on Tue 16th Aug 2011 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE: UK moved to linux"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I just wonder, why did MS approve of such a setup? They were quite active in developing that solution.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: UK moved to linux
by lucas_maximus on Wed 17th Aug 2011 08:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: UK moved to linux"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Because they wanted cash money.

.NET 1.1 is pretty terrible by todays standards ... SQL Server 2000 wasn't bad but there were various performance problems.

Reply Score: 2

Linux is killing
by SReilly on Tue 16th Aug 2011 20:07 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

...Solaris in the banking industry here in Luxembourg. My next three contracts are Solaris to RHEL migration projects. But the reason isn't that Linux is better than Solaris, in fact quite the opposite. For the enterprise space, and especially the finance sector, Solaris eats Linux for breakfast! All those seamless RAS features you get with SPARC coupled with the tight integration of OS and hardware, even on X86, just makes Solaris the better UNIX. In fact Linux in the enterprise is a bit of a let down as it's such a moving target. I know that RHEL doesn't move as fast as Fedora but the features you get with Solaris (ZFS, easy management of Zones and DTrace) are vastly superior to the Linux offerings.

The reason everybody is jumping ship is purely political. Everybody hates the way Oracle treat their customers! The thing Oracle hasn't quite understood is that it's easier to migrate OS than it is to migrate DB; They don't have the same strangle hold, in the form of lock in, in the OS space than they do in the DB space.

I was talking to a 20 year Solaris admin just last week and he's disgusted with his employer's migration. He compares the current level of tech in Linux with Solaris 2.6. As we are now on Solaris 10 update 9 and edging towards Solaris 11, I can see his point.

I'm sure that for trading apps Linux is great but in the end, with Solaris you only needed to know one tech well to do your job and that was Solaris. With Linux, you need to have a deeper understanding of other technologies like VMWare and high end SAN arrays to get the same standard of RAS capabilities as you do with Solaris.

Sure, Linux will catch up I'm sure but it's still a step backwards for many sys admins. More shame to you Oracle!

Reply Score: 6

RE: Linux is killing
by AndrewZ on Tue 16th Aug 2011 20:10 UTC in reply to "Linux is killing"
AndrewZ Member since:
2005-11-15

Well said. You have framed the issue very well.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Linux is killing
by Soulbender on Tue 16th Aug 2011 20:50 UTC in reply to "Linux is killing"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I'm sure we'd get a completely different picture if we asked a 20 year Linux admin.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Linux is killing
by AndrewZ on Tue 16th Aug 2011 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux is killing"
AndrewZ Member since:
2005-11-15

Considering the age of Linux, there would probably only be one person that qualifies :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Linux is killing
by SReilly on Wed 17th Aug 2011 07:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux is killing"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I'm a 13 year Linux admin, does that help? ;-)

Edit: Typos.

Edited 2011-08-17 07:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux is killing
by JAlexoid on Tue 16th Aug 2011 22:02 UTC in reply to "Linux is killing"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

To add some background to that version. Solaris 2.6 is essentially Solaris 6(released 1998), since Solaris 2.7 became Solaris 7. It's like the J2SE 1.4 to Java 5 move.

Solaris is a very good system, but I wouldn't call it marvellous.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Linux is killing
by SReilly on Wed 17th Aug 2011 07:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux is killing"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

Solaris is a very good system, but I wouldn't call it marvellous.

I'm not calling it marvellous either but there's only one system in the big iron UNIX space that competes and that's AIX. HP-UX seems to be a dying system and Linux just isn't mature enough. The BSDs on X86 would be far more interesting but X86 isn't known for it's RAS capabilities.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Linux is killing
by JAlexoid on Wed 17th Aug 2011 13:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Linux is killing"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Linux just isn't mature enough

Sorry, but Linux on z and Linux on POWER is head to head with AIX. Sure AIX has some nice features builtin, even some features that will not be ported to Linux (EVAR!). But Linux does compete(for the lack of a better word) with AIX on System z and System p.

A lot of the work that I did lately was based on Linux on Z and Linux on POWER.

PS: Before you ask, I am an employee of the three letter company.

Edited 2011-08-17 13:28 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Linux is killing
by SReilly on Wed 17th Aug 2011 17:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Linux is killing"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

I don't know about system z, I'm no sys-prog, but I do know about LoP (Linux on POWER) and compared to AIX, it's a joke. No support for software RAID boot partitions, buggy SAN mulipath drivers and every time I've seen an installation, it's needed to be heavily optimized due to it having lower (and sometimes much lower) I/O performance than AIX. Bad I/O on a POWER system is an oxymoron.

Sure, LoP is OK I guess as a test LPAR but as you've got all the open source server software you need already compiled for AIX, why the hell would you want to add an extra support contract for what is arguably a less powerful OS for your expensive POWER system when you get AIX support added in already?

As for system Z, my sys-prog mates think it's great cause they can implement open source server software without the humongous license fees but again, that's not because zLinux is somehow better than zOS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Linux is killing
by Kebabbert on Thu 18th Aug 2011 10:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Linux is killing"
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

I also read from several people that Linux on IBM maiframes z/OS is quite buggy and not an optimal solution. It does not really work well.

They agree what you say.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Linux is killing
by JAlexoid on Thu 18th Aug 2011 13:37 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Linux is killing"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

You can blame us for not having proper drivers for Linux...

But my point was not about what is better, my point is that Linux is a major competitor to AIX and zOS. Specially zOS, less so to AIX.

PS: They still get to pay those humongous license fees on mainframes. Since it does not matter what OS runs, licensing is done for hardware and clock cycles...

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Linux is killing
by SReilly on Fri 19th Aug 2011 06:21 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Linux is killing"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

You can blame us for not having proper drivers for Linux...

And that's the main reason why LoP is considered a bit of a joke.

But my point was not about what is better, my point is that Linux is a major competitor to AIX and zOS. Specially zOS, less so to AIX.

I'm afraid that from where I'm standing, as in the actual implementation of LoP, that just isn't the case. As for the Mainfraim, it's only ever installed in an LPAR. In no way have I ever heard of zLinux being installed as the main OS. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think that's even possible.

PS: They still get to pay those humongous license fees on mainframes. Since it does not matter what OS runs, licensing is done for hardware and clock cycles...

I know about the licensing costs of the hardware and clock cycles but I'm not talking about the OS, I'm talking about the open source software that can be run on a Mainfraim dues to zLinux. Websphere for zOS costs way more to license than it does on open platforms.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Linux is killing
by JAlexoid on Sat 20th Aug 2011 02:17 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Linux is killing"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

I'm afraid that from where I'm standing, as in the actual implementation of LoP, that just isn't the case. As for the Mainfraim, it's only ever installed in an LPAR. In no way have I ever heard of zLinux being installed as the main OS. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think that's even possible.


zLinux can only be installed on an LPAR. But again, I coming from the trenches saying that Linux is a major competitor there. And I'm in the freaking deep end of the trenches for a long time now...

I know about the licensing costs of the hardware and clock cycles but I'm not talking about the OS, I'm talking about the open source software that can be run on a Mainfraim dues to zLinux. Websphere for zOS costs way more to license than it does on open platforms.


Webshpere for zOS is a very different beast compared to Websphere anywhere else*. But the cost of Webshpere is pretty much the same, if you consider what version is available for zOS and it's supplements. With Linux you can get a cheaper version of Websphere, but with less functionality. If you shoot for the same functionality, then the cost is similar.

*Just like DB2 on zOS has very little in common with DB2 LUW...

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux is killing
by Lennie on Wed 17th Aug 2011 00:25 UTC in reply to "Linux is killing"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I'm actually surprised no vendor in the server space has started an integrated hardware/software/drivers/tooling effort similar to the older Unix systems.

Reply Score: 2

solaris is meehh
by TechGeek on Wed 17th Aug 2011 00:08 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

I have nothing against Solaris, but I really don't think its all that. Its got some cool features, dont get me wrong. But even when Sun owned it, it wasn't the end all be all system. Now, had Sun adopted the GPL for Solaris instead of the CDDL, we might all be using Solaris in the server room now. And Sun would be the size of Microsoft or Apple. But they made their bed so to speak. People were moving from Solaris to Linux BEFORE Oracle bought Sun. I think the hardware was the main reason. People just weren't going to pay the premium for Sun hardware. Now people just want to avoid Oracle.

Reply Score: 3

RE: solaris is meehh
by Lennie on Wed 17th Aug 2011 00:29 UTC in reply to "solaris is meehh"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

My real experiences of Solaris was 10 years ago and people called it Slowlaris so I don't really know.

I think that was the same time that Solaris wasn't very compatible with many open source software because it used a lot of the BSD-/non-GNU-tooling.

So it wasn't very attractive, at least not to me.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: solaris is meehh
by Kebabbert on Wed 17th Aug 2011 10:26 UTC in reply to "RE: solaris is meehh"
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

My real experiences of Solaris was 10 years ago and people called it Slowlaris so I don't really know.

I think that was the same time that Solaris wasn't very compatible with many open source software because it used a lot of the BSD-/non-GNU-tooling.

So it wasn't very attractive, at least not to me.

The reason it was called Slowlaris was because of its slow TCP/IP stack. It has now been rewritten and is called FireEngine. In older benchmarks I found, Solaris gives 30% more TCP/IP performance than Linux - on same hardware.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: solaris is meehh
by bannor99 on Wed 17th Aug 2011 16:00 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: solaris is meehh"
bannor99 Member since:
2005-09-15

"My real experiences of Solaris was 10 years ago and people called it Slowlaris so I don't really know.

I think that was the same time that Solaris wasn't very compatible with many open source software because it used a lot of the BSD-/non-GNU-tooling.

So it wasn't very attractive, at least not to me.

The reason it was called Slowlaris was because of its slow TCP/IP stack. It has now been rewritten and is called FireEngine. In older benchmarks I found, Solaris gives 30% more TCP/IP performance than Linux - on same hardware.
"
Slowlaris was the name given to Solaris x86 in the '90s and it was very slow - if you could get it to install. As for Fire Engine, it was 1/3 faster compared to RHEL 3.0 - that was SEVEN years ago.
Since neither OS has stood still, more recent comparisons of performance and scalability are needed.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: solaris is meehh
by Kebabbert on Thu 18th Aug 2011 10:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: solaris is meehh"
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

The reason it was called Slowlaris was because of its slow TCP/IP stack. It has now been rewritten and is called FireEngine. In older benchmarks I found, Solaris gives 30% more TCP/IP performance than Linux - on same hardware.

Slowlaris was the name given to Solaris x86 in the '90s and it was very slow - if you could get it to install. As for Fire Engine, it was 1/3 faster compared to RHEL 3.0 - that was SEVEN years ago.
Since neither OS has stood still, more recent comparisons of performance and scalability are needed. [/q]
Yes, more recent comparisons are needed. The funny thing is that when I show recent comparisons between Solaris and Linux (Solaris always wins) then I always hear the same argument that say something like

"Come on, your comparison is half a year old! Half a year! Now Linux is on v2.6.43 and not v2.6.39!!! That is not an accurate comparison! More recent comparisons are needed!"

Whereas I have seen comparisons like, Solaris 800 MHz vs a Linux brand new Intel Duo Core at 2.4GHz. And the motiviation is "they have the same price tag, therefore Linux is faster". No, wrong. You should compare the OS on the same hardware. Only then you can draw a conclusion. (And if you compare on the same hardware, Linux looses. Do you want to see links?)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: solaris is meehh
by asdf on Wed 17th Aug 2011 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE: solaris is meehh"
asdf Member since:
2009-09-23

A decade ago, our company was selling software solutions on both solaris and linux. It was very IO / CPU hungry. After seeing 2x >$100k sun boxes handily beaten by single x86 linux machine costing around 15k only ~1.5 years later, it was quite clear sun was on a steep downhill. We really couldn't find anything compelling about sun machines or solaris. Most praises about it seem pretty nostalgic to me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: solaris is meehh
by Kebabbert on Thu 18th Aug 2011 10:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: solaris is meehh"
Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

A decade ago, our company was selling software solutions on both solaris and linux. It was very IO / CPU hungry. After seeing 2x >$100k sun boxes handily beaten by single x86 linux machine costing around 15k only ~1.5 years later, it was quite clear sun was on a steep downhill. We really couldn't find anything compelling about sun machines or solaris. Most praises about it seem pretty nostalgic to me.

Yeah, I heard something similar. One large company switched from Solaris SPARC to Linux and got much higher performance.

Because I know from several official benchmarks, that Solaris gives much higher performance than Linux - on the same hardware (SAP benchmarks, I/O, TCP/IP, etc) I dug further into this. And I found out that...

The company switched from 800 old SPARC servers at 1GHz, to 4.000 brand new Intel duo core at 2.4GHz running Linux. I would be very surprised if they did not see a performance increase?

In your case, the old Solaris servers, did they run at 1GHz, and you switched to Linux octo core cpu servers running at 3GHz?

You know, several benchmarks shows that running on the same hardware - Solaris gives much better performance. Is you installed Solaris on your hardware, you would get an additional boost in performance. You want to see links?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: solaris is meehh
by Lennie on Thu 18th Aug 2011 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: solaris is meehh"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

I think you forgot one part. It is about the money you pay and the performance you get.

Atleast in the past, maybe it is still true:

You had the choice: you wanted "cheap" hardware and Linux, like RedHat and a support contract and a hardware supplier like HP or Dell or whatever.

Or you wanted Sun with Solaris and it's support contract.

Guess what ? You got better performance for your money with Linux.

That is why they compared the old Sun hardware with Intel-based machines.

Reply Score: 2

RE: solaris is meehh
by SReilly on Wed 17th Aug 2011 07:24 UTC in reply to "solaris is meehh"
SReilly Member since:
2006-12-28

People were moving from Solaris to Linux BEFORE Oracle bought Sun. I think the hardware was the main reason. People just weren't going to pay the premium for Sun hardware. Now people just want to avoid Oracle.

Indeed people where moving to Linux before Oracle bought Sun but that was mainly replacing EOL small SPARC systems used for networking with either Linux/X86 or networking appliances(most of which are Linux or BSD based). In the finance sector and especially with big merchant banks the cost of a good SPARC system is well worth it. Retraining your staff on the other hand costs money and running Linux on a three X86 server VMWare setup to get the same reliability than with one SPARC system is not money saved.

Solaris is a very advanced and mature system. Coupled with SPARC it's rock solid which in many ways is vastly more important. As I've mentioned before, the only system that competes with it in the big iron UNIX market is AIX on POWER.

Reply Score: 2

RE: solaris is meehh
by kvarbanov on Wed 17th Aug 2011 14:49 UTC in reply to "solaris is meehh"
kvarbanov Member since:
2008-06-16

Yeah, me neither. I've had and still have experience with various *BSD systems, Solaris 9 & 10, AIX 5 & 6, Linux ranging from RHEL, SLES, Fedora, Gentoo, etc.

I don't know why one would compare Solaris and Linux (which Linux, precisely?). They are not of the same age, same financial supporting, etc.

My experience with Solaris hasn't been that good, I've had the overpriced T series around, and I was comparing with Dell R710 - the first one is 30k, the second is max 11k. Write a single large file to the OS' default filesystem and let me know the results. I was shocked to see how much slower Solaris is.
Had to run couple of industry FS benchmarks, just to find out that these two machines are not comparable for my task.

Certainly, the SPARC processors may be good in other areas, but I'm yet to witness them. But that's not a rant, it's a practical experience. It's the price what concerns me most.

On the other hand, I can install CentOS / RHEL or SLES on whatever hardware I like. Freedom.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: solaris is meehh
by Lennie on Thu 18th Aug 2011 19:11 UTC in reply to "RE: solaris is meehh"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

When you do your own support, Linux is great.

But I guess these people need big support contracts and they depend on these businesses to deliver a good product for them.

They are basically saying they can't find a good Linux company which delivers an integrated solution.

Which to me seems unlikely, but maybe it's true.

I know nothing about their needs.

Reply Score: 2