"One tends to think of "the NASDAQ" as a single exchange based
in the US, but, in fact, NASDAQ OMX operates exchanges all over the
world - and they run on Linux. In the US for instance, that
includes markets like the NASDAQ Stock Market, The NASDAQ Options
Market, and NASDAQ OMX PSX, its newest market that launched on
October 8. At a brief presentation at the Linux Foundation's
invitation-only End User Summit in Jersey City, NASDAQ OMX vice
president Bob Evans talked about the ups and downs of using Linux
in a seriously mission-critical environment.
"NASDAQ OMX's exchanges run on thousands of Linux-based servers.
These servers handle realtime transaction processing, monitoring,
and development as well. The big challenge in this environment, of
course, is performance; real money depends on whether the exchange
can keep up with the order stream. Latency matters as much as
throughput, though; orders must be responded to (and executed)
within bounded period of time. Needless to say, reliability is also
crucially important; down time is not well received, to say the
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