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Enterprise Linux Today: Stocktalklive.com - A Business Case for Linux

Jul 17, 2000, 08:50 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Brauer)

"Stocktalklive.com had designed an $8 million data center in Atlanta with a UUNet backbone and secured rights to Standard & Poor's/Comstock Espresso quoting application--a big competitive advantage. But Stuart Belloff, Stocktalklive.com's chief technology officer, explained the paradox: if throngs of users showed up, up-front technology costs would be frightening. "Due to the scalability of the [S&P] application, if we were to serve a million concurrent users, the infrastructure cost would've been enormous--exceeding $30-plus million," he says."

"So Belloff, also executive vice president of Jericho, New York's 5B Technologies, turned to Linux--and the Professional Services group of VA Linux Systems. Belloff gave VA an excruciating 60-day deadline to construct a server and software system that wouldn't drain Stocktalklive.com's investment portfolio. "The nice thing about VA is they didn't send over a sales staff to scope the job," Belloff notes. "They sent over an engineer, and while they were looking over job, they actually started porting the code within the first two days of being at the S&P site...."

"Beyond hardware, Larsen says Linux provided compelling scalability advantages. "The Linux benefit was many, many more users can query the database at one time, with fewer boxes. That was a big deal. There are all kind of applications requires that, and it's happening at an increasing rate. All kind of Web sites will benefit. Nothing's a blanket statement in this business, but I would say there's a 90 percent chance your system's scalability will get better using Linux."

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