Open Verdict

If any doubt about Linux and Open Source technologies existed in Enterprise IT departments it must surely have been erased by last week's news: The London Stock Exchange, one of the engines that propelled the UK to the top of the World Economic Forum rankings, has invested in a Linux trading platform.

And this wasn't just a software deal. In the immortal words of Victor Kiam, the LSE liked it so much, they bought the company - MillenniumIT to be precise, a Sri Lankan-based developer of real-time trading systems. This transaction is expected to save the LSE 10 million per year.

This move has displaced a Microsoft .NET-based trading platform which had itself come in for much criticism in recent times. Whilst this shouldn't be taken to mean that .NET cannot scale (clever people can do clever things with many different technologies), it certainly does disprove the contention that open source platforms are in some way unsuitable for mission-critical IT development. What was once niche is now increasingly mainstream.

All that said, it is worth broadening our consideration of the word "open" ever so slightly. It isn't just about open source after all, but open systems, with the interoperability, portability and adherence to published standards that this term entails. An open-systems approach needn't exclude Microsoft or any other platform, it simply means working from a technology palette that retains the freedom to develop, test, and deploy on a variety of environments as best suits our evolving requirements.

MillenniumIT don't publish a detailed technology specification on their website, but examining their vacancies board we can see the key skills they look for in software candidates include C++, Oracle and Java. We derive some satisfaction from this, because the Longevitas technology stack incorporates those very same building blocks.

And this isn't altogether surprising.

The majority of organisations, of whatever size, who adopt open systems platforms do it not through some misplaced sense of religious zeal, but for the most hard-headed and practical of reasons. Quite simply, these platforms allow us to build and deploy IT systems that are fast, reliable, cost-effective and crucially, can grow with the needs of our business.




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Gavin Ritchie
Gavin Ritchie is the IT Director of Longevitas
Longevitas and Open Systems
The Longevitas technology stack incorporates Java, C++, Oracle, and XML/XHTML, all technologies that are inherently multi-platform. We've tested our software on Windows, Solaris and Linux, and we host our services on servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux.