Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 20th Sep 2006 17:23 UTC
Novell and Ximian Novell plans an October launch for its Suse Linux Enterprise Real-Time product, an operating system geared for Wall Street traders and others who watch every microsecond of the clock. Novell plans to announce the product at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo on Oct. 9, said Justin Steinman, Novell's director of marketing for Linux and open-platform solutions. Novell will share the stage with Concurrent Computer, which did much of the engineering work behind the real-time version that Novell will market, he added.
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hashnet
Member since:
2005-11-15

the mode of operation you're talking about is hard real time.
Also, there is no such thing as 'immediate'. the guarantee is more like 'x microseconds after event y', y being, say, detection of a stuck wheel in an ABS system. Or it could be 'precisely at 21:06.123' , no matter what the machine is doing at this exact time.
Note that above, the notion of 'fast' appears nowhere! It's all about predictability and guarantees.
It is used, for example in medicine, to turn the beam of X-Ray machines on and off. This is critical because failing to turn it off in the prescribed time could result in increased risk of cancer.

Trading, while not life-critical, should offer some guarantees. I want my orders executed within seconds, not minutes. But (soft) RT Linux is only part of it: The order is handled on the user's station, then travels the network to the brokerage, which offers no real time guarantees. Then again handled by the brokerage machines. Then sent again on a network to the exchange. Then it is handled by computers which I believe are from Tandem.

With such a variety of systems and networks to handle an order, it is hard to offer a hard guarantee!

Some brokerages offer 'order sent in x seconds or commission back', which does not really cut it. They simply provision their machines and networks with sufficient capacity to handle their users, even in time of crisis when everybody is trying to sell the same security/future.

A real time linux would not be of use on the trader's desktop because usually, trading is the only activity conducted on it. Maybe at the brokerage so as to enforce a fair queuing of requests...and you won't be seeing Linux at the exchange for a long time!

Edited 2006-09-21 02:26

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