A Lackluster Linux Endorsement

by Chris Josephes

There's a Computerworld article out in the wild about the New York Stock Exchange (Euronet) building out 200 new Linux servers. Articles like this are usually puff-pieces, so technology people are always wondering about the real details behind decisions. I had a few questions about 2 interesting quotes made by CIO Steve Rubinow.

The first interesting comment was the desire to achieve "technology independence". First, what are the benefits of technology independence to the NYSE? More to the point, how can an organization buy 200 servers of any architecture and remain technology independent?

True, there could be growth or a change in the direction, but if you've already committed yourself to 200 servers, you should have a good idea of what your future paths are.

The other comment was on Linux being "polished enough", in comparison to Unix operating systems that have a 20 year history. What does polished enough mean? It almost suggests that the other OS offerings are better, but you're settling for Linux ? What Linux features (if any) convinced you to use it?

Is there something Linux vendors could do to make a better OS offering? Or does it even matter since you've already committed yourself down this technology path? Should Linux contributors be happy that there is more business use, or should they be concerned that the reasoning behind using Linux may not come across as a glowing endorsement?


Stephen Smoogen
2007-12-21 10:48:24
A CIO for an organization that covers stocks has to be extremely 'polite' in their 'political' speech. Saying something like: "We chose Linux because we were tired of our Microsoft boxes were daily rooted, and our Unix boxes were costing us 10x as much as they did last year" is what Linux people would love to hear, but would also open him, the NYSE, etc to possible lawsuits for manipulating stock prices etc. Instead he says what is polite, and what is 'proper', but nothing meaningful.

Also.. one cannot take the quotes at face value whether they are good or bad about something. How much of the quote was trimmed? How much was it in context to what the reporter wrote about? In the end, we end up with questions like yours because there is no depth, no way to gauge if the person was talking about something different or how much they really knew about it beyond a piece of paper their press manager gave them before the interview.

I would say its probably up to O'Reilly to get an interview with him and publish the full thing in Ogg format so that people can get what really happened versus some vague quotes.

Chriis J
2007-12-21 11:09:09
...would also open him, the NYSE, etc to possible lawsuits for manipulating stock prices etc

I find that a little hard to believe. Just because they are the trading market doesn't mean that their IT opinions have any significant weight compared to other corporations.

Choosing an IT infrastructure is very different from a private stock broker recommending a particular stock; and it's nowhere close to stock manipulation.