London Stock Exchange makes the move to Linux

The London Stock Exchange has successfully completed the 'go live' weekend for its new Millennium Exchange, a next-generation trading platform powered by the open source Linux operating system.

Developed and named by MillenniumIT, the Millennium Exchange's inaugural weekend comes after the LSE trialled Linux as a real-time trading platform on its Turquoise trading pool back in October - finding that the switch from its outdated Microsoft .Net platform brought a massive decrease in trading latency.

With the success of the Turquoise pool, the LSE is now using the same technology to power its Millennium Exchange - a major win for open source advocates, and the loss of a big-name client for Microsoft.

The now-live Millennium Exchange uses Novell's popular SUSE Linux Enterprise Server with a real-time kernel to provide fast, secure trading platform - and, thankfully, doesn't appear to have been adversely affected by the acquisition of Novell by Attachmate in November of last year.

"The LSE is the most prestigious and most recognised exchange in the world so we are proud to be the technology partner of choice for this important deployment," said Novell's Sean McCarry in a statement. "As organisations look to enhance their efficiency they are increasingly looking to technologies such as virtualisation, high-performance computing and collaboration platforms to achieve their goal."

It's Novell's belief - shared by the rest of the open source community - that Linux is particularly well placed to meet these demands, featuring integrated virtualisation technologies, support for many-core HPC platforms, and real-time kernel options as standard.

Speaking to thinq, Novell's Brian Green claimed that Novell remains 'very proud' of its open source heritage. "We're also very proud that Linux is continuing to be seen to be 'growing up,' and [the LSE's deployment] is the latest in a long list of proof points along with others including German Air Traffic Control, HSBC here in the UK, BMW, Vodacom, and others. For Enterprise-class customers, Linux is solving enterprising computing problems.

"[Real-time and high-performance computing] is a market in which we're seeing growth, particularly from the financial services sector which is where we're seeing the majority of interest, but also scientific computing is showing an interest in [Linux-based] HPC," Green continued. "We're talking to a number of companies in the financial services sector," he concluded - but spoiled our fun by stating categorically "none of which I'm going to name!"

With Microsoft unlikely to take the LSE's move lying down, it remains to be seen how long Linux remains the platform of choice for the London Stock Exchange - or whether other large-scale trading platforms follow the LSE's lead and make the move to Linux.