What's Holding Up Linux on Wall Street?

Although the financial services industry has adopted Linux more slowly than first expected, Linux is starting to hold more sway, even if often from behind the scenes.
Although the financial services industry has adopted Linux more slowly than first expected, Linux is now starting to hold more sway, even if often from behind the scenes, according to participants in this week's High Performance on Wall Street conference in New York City.

''I like Linux,'' said Chris Kwasnicki, VP/senior architect for capacity planning at Pershing LLC, one of the speakers at the full-day conference in Manhattan.

Kwasnicki pointed to the advantages of open source development. Linux also ''puts pressure on the vendors to look at the business case--what (vendors say) versus what you're going to get,'' he added.

''We are using some Linux,'' Kwasnicki told LinuxPlanet after his conference presentation. ''But I can't say anything more than that about this.''

But more Linux implementations are actually happening in financial services than is commonly known outside the industry, said some attendees at the show.

Among Information Builders's customers, Linux has grabbed hold faster in government --particularly among state and local agencies -- than in financial services, said Adam E.Cohen, partner marketing manager at IB, during an IBM-sponsored customer and press event at the close of the show.

Cohen listed costs and ease of use as two key drivers for Linux adoption in the government space. On the other hand, though, he pointed to financial services as second only to government in terms of enterprise-level Linux deployments among IB users.

A sales rep for CiRBA also said she sees widening use of Linux in financial circles. In fact, 60 percent of all implementations of the vendor's software are running on Linux, she said. These deployments are split just about evenly between Red Hat and Novell SUSE Linux.

''Although our software is running mostly on Linux, it is being used to configure changes on (RISC-based) Sun and HP servers, too. But (RISC-based) Unix is an older platform that's been around longer,'' she said.

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