tlb
Volume 5, Number 20 -- May 20, 2008

NYSE Euronext Trades Mainframes and Unix for Linux and X64

Published: May 20, 2008

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

As many a company has found out in recent years, merging with competitors in adjacent markets is a great way to build out the revenue stream and, if they execute well, even moreso for the profit stream if cost synergies can be identified and cuts made. When the very brick-and-mortar yet heavily computerized New York Stock Exchange bought the Archipelago online stock exchange in 2006, it was positioning itself for a more electronic future. And in 2007, the merger of the NYSE and Euronext exchanges brought together the two largest exchanges in America and Europe. It also created a mess in the data centers.

And the job of sorting through and straightening out the three different IT approaches and legacy environments used by NYSE, Archipelago, and Euronext has fallen on the desk of Steve Rubinow, chief information officer at the merged companies. It is a big job, and last week, Rubinow, at the coaxing of strategic partner Red Hat, gave the world a small looksee into what NYSE is doing in its data centers. To cut to the chase scene, NYSE Euronext is standardizing its platforms, and for the most part, that means moving applications to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The five exchanges operated by NYSE Euronext--including those two in the name plus NYSE Arca Options (formerly Archipelago), Liffe, Alternext--have operations on six continents, and span just about every platform you can imagine. The NYSE Euronext exchanges trade the stocks for over 4,000 public companies, which have a combined value of over $27 trillion. On an average day, the NYSE Euronext exchanges do a trading volume of about $141 billion, which is about a third of the world's trading volume and which is driven by the processing of billions and billions of messages each day--and milliseconds matter.

NYSE has used a mix of IBM mainframes and Tandem NonStop fault tolerant machines for decades, as well as a collection of AIX and HP-UX Unix gear from IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Archepelago was a poster child for the big data center build out that was targeted by Sun Microsystems, while Euronext had a collection of Unix and Linux gear. And according to Rubinow, NYSE Euronext is moving to a Linux platform as quickly and as completely as it can.

"We have had an interesting collection of hardware platforms," says Rubinow with a laugh, confirming that NYSE Euronext is indeed in the process of replacing its mainframe and NonStop machines with Linux, "not because these are not fine machines," but because the company sees its IT future looking a lot more like the infrastructure used by Web 2.0-style companies like Google than like its own past with mainframe and NonStop clusters.

Contrary to many reports last week, NYSE Euronext has not yet unplugged its last mainframe, and it is by no means through with its revamping of and building out of its IT platform in the wake of the merger of the three companies, which Rubinow says is a key part of the couple of hundred million dollars in savings that NYSE Euronext hopes to squeeze out of the mergers. (IT is but one factor in those savings, and Rubinow was not at liberty to say how much would come from consolidated and standardized IT platforms.) What he did say is that the trading systems that used to run on mainframes and NonStops as well as on a collection of HP-UX servers are being moved to a set of rack and blade servers using X64 processors and running RHEL and smaller number of IBM's Power-based servers running AIX.

Rather than use HP's Itanium-based and very scalable Integrity SMP servers to support its Linux workloads, NYSE has gone with clustered BladeSystem blade servers wherever it can and is using rack-style ProLiant servers whenever it needs more CPU, memory, disk or I/O capacity in a server node. (Red Hat said that one set of the NYSE Euronext workload was supported on 200 of HP's ProLiant DL585 rack servers and 400 of its ProLiant BL685c blades, both of which are four-socket machines that in this case are using dual-core Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices.) In terms of databases, NYSE used a lot of IMS and DB2 on the mainframe, and has a mix of databases on its new systems, with Oracle being the dominant supplier.

The company does not use server virtualization because of the "not insubstantial overhead" it imposes, according to Rubinow, but does use VMware products in its test and development environments because of the flexibility it allows for developers in terms of testing many configurations. The Archipelago systems are still predominantly Sun iron and Solaris, but some HP X64 machines and Linux have been moved in here, and long term, Solaris is probably out for this workload, too.

With IBM making so much noise about mainframe-based Linux, and presumably so much money from selling Linux for mainframes, the obvious question is why NYSE Euronext didn't standardize on mainframes running RHEL instead of X64 iron.

"That's not a bad question, and as you might imagine, IBM has been trying to encourage us to move in that direction." But Rubinow says that while the vertical scaling and on-demand features of the mainframe are appealing, just contrast this approach and its economics to the 1 million servers that support Google today. When a server at Google fails, it doesn't affect the uptime of the applications and Google tosses the machine in the garbage and brings a new one online. (Well, hopefully, they recycle whatever parts work and dispose of defective parts responsibly.) "There is a certain kind of appeal to this kind of flexibility," says Rubinow.

The economics also weigh in favor of the horizontal scaling, too, so long as the applications can be made to scale that way, too. The reason the mainframe persists--and will continue to persist--is that companies can't always spend the dough necessary to rework their legacy applications so they can scale in this manner.

For its part, Red Hat was positioned to benefit because its Linux runs on mainframes, Itanium servers, and X64 machinery. If a mainframe was used to consolidate X64 server platforms, a mainframe support contract costs many times more than an X64 server license, so Red Hat would make its money no matter which way NYSE Euronext went. And if it decides to keep some mainframes around--IBM still has some clout in the data center, after all--Red Hat will still be making money on its support while HP and Sun will be losing out.


RELATED STORIES

Novell Partners with SNA to Make Mainframe Linux Easier

Sine Nomine Shows Off Solaris on System z

IBM Touts the Power Efficiency of Mainframe Linux

The IBM Mainframe Base: Alive and Kicking

Red Hat, IBM Commit to Better Mainframe Linux

Mad Dog 21/21: The Grinchy Code

Novell Gives Mainframe Shops Cross-Platform Linux Licenses



                     Post this story to del.icio.us
               Post this story to Digg
    Post this story to Slashdot


Sponsored By
STORIX

Why File-based System Backup is your Best Bet
File-based, Full System Backups Create Advantages Over Image-based Backups

File-based backups used for system recovery have been around for years. And, until recently, file-based meant a long, painstaking, manual process capable of turning off even the most meticulous system administrator. Image-based backups, then, seemed to solve this problem by eliminating the need to deal with recreating partitions, filesystems, volume groups or other details related to the system's storage configuration. In an image-based restore, the storage configuration and data from the original system are restored as a whole to the new system. While this method produced fast recovery times, Linux administrators began to realize disk image backup was more of an alternative method with its own set of problems and limitations than an answer to the challenges of manual, file-based backup.

Limitations to Disk Image Backup
Since disk image backups make no distinction between files and instead backup the hard drive as a group of sectors, bare-metal recovery can be quick and easy by simply rewriting a duplicate image onto a new, identical disk drive. A fine solution, as long as the old system and new system are indeed identical in types, sizes, locations- basically the exact same hardware. Any differences in hardware, however, could render an image backup unusable.

Many system administrators know first-hand the frustration caused by the inflexibility of image-based backup. "What I hear time and time again from clients is that they switched from image-based backup to file-based because of the limitations they encountered when trying to restore a backup onto different hardware." said Manuel Altamirano, Storix Software Director of Sales and Marketing. "Administrators assume they will have access to identical hardware after a disaster or for migration when the time comes. Unfortunately, so often this is not the case. Companies are left with unplanned, excessive downtime."

Even more advanced disk image backup products, that offer alterations to disk partition tables, still fail to understand more advanced and increasingly common storage configuration tools such as the Logical Volume Manager (LVM) or Software RAID (meta-disks) that also must be altered to match new hard disk configuration before data can be restored. In these cases, users must manually alter and build the configuration, usually through command-line utilities and manual editing of configuration files. This also requires users to have knowledge on how to make a system bootable. Rebuilding a system using a disk image backup requires experienced Linux administrators and could take days, weeks or longer resulting in crippling downtime for an organization.

Advances in File-based Backup
File-based backup tools today can automate the process of recording every aspect of a system separately such as disk, filesystem and boot loader configuration while supporting all popular Linux storage configuration tools (i.e. LVM and Software RAID). This detailed backup information is used to greatly simplify the recovery of a failed system from scratch, even if hardware differences are detected on the new system. Furthermore, systems rebuilt from the ground up using file-based backups often times operate better than the original because there is virtually no fragmentation when the restore is completed.

    Flexible recovery based on file-based backup
    File-based backup products have the ability to reconfigure disks, partitions, filesystems and other storage solutions to fit onto new hardware. This ability to adapt a backup to fit new hardware or alter the system's storage configuration is called "Adaptable System Recovery" or ASR. Only backup solutions that gather details about the original system have enough information and flexibility to make the ASR process of altering configuration so simple even novice Linux administrators can quickly perform the recovery. Once new configuration is completed, data files from the backup are easily restored onto the new hardware. Finally, the system is made bootable based on the new hardware.

    The revolutionary adaptability of ASR found in file-based backup tools creates further added value for system administrators because these products can now be used for far more than just reactive tasks such as disaster recovery.
    Applications for ASR:
    Reactive
  • Disaster Recovery- restore systems in minutes after a crash, even if hardware is not the same as the original
    Proactive
  • Provisioning/cloning- a single backup "golden image" can be used to provision different systems, even if disks, adapters or other elements are not the same.
  • Storage software migration- change configuration on the same system for improved performance and availability
  • Hardware migration- install the same system onto newer or virtual systems
    New system backup management features
    Products using file-based system backup have not neglected to consider a system administrator's daily backup responsibilities. These products now incorporate functionality for backup management as well as some of the most advanced features seen in backup and recovery solutions for Linux and AIX. Some advanced features designed to simplify daily backup management for system administrators include:
  • Graphical, Web and Command line interfaces
  • Local and remote backups to disk or tape devices
  • Sequential and random tape autoloader support
  • Support for SAN storage solutions
  • Tivoli Storage Manager integration
  • Oracle database backup support
  • Backup data encryption
  • Multiple compression levels

File-based Backup Solutions Provide Most Bang for the Buck
Inexpensive products exist that combine both file-based backup management and ASR in one program. Look for a file-based system backup product with advanced features like those mentioned above. In turn, regular backup responsibilities such as automatically verifying backups and encrypting backup data will become much easier. Additionally, combined ASR capabilities greatly reduce downtime and required expertise for both reactive (even bare metal) and proactive recovery projects. File-based system backup and recovery solutions are an economical and more comprehensive option than their image-based counterparts.

About the Author
Anne Stobaugh is an independent contractor working with Storix Software to educate Linux and AIX users on the advantages of file-based backup and recovery solutions.
www.storix.com
www.stobaughmarketing.com


Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
Contributing Editors: Dan Burger, Joe Hertvik, Kevin Vandever,
Shannon O'Donnell, Victor Rozek, Hesh Wiener, Alex Woodie
Publisher and Advertising Director: Jenny Thomas
Advertising Sales Representative: Kim Reed
Contact the Editors: To contact anyone on the IT Jungle Team
Go to our contacts page and send us a message.

Sponsored Links

Bytware:  The power of McAfee with award-winning StandGuard Anti-Virus for Linux
COMMON:  Join us at the annual 2009 conference, April 26 - 30, in Reno, Nevada
NowWhatJobs.net:  NowWhatJobs.net is the resource for job transitions after age 40


 

IT Jungle Store Top Book Picks

Getting Started with PHP for i5/OS: List Price, $59.95
The System i RPG & RPG IV Tutorial and Lab Exercises: List Price, $59.95
The System i Pocket RPG & RPG IV Guide: List Price, $69.95
The iSeries Pocket Database Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket Developers' Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket SQL Guide: List Price, $59.00
The iSeries Pocket Query Guide: List Price, $49.00
The iSeries Pocket WebFacing Primer: List Price, $39.00
Migrating to WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
iSeries Express Web Implementer's Guide: List Price, $59.00
Getting Started with WebSphere Development Studio for iSeries: List Price, $79.95
Getting Started With WebSphere Development Studio Client for iSeries: List Price, $89.00
Getting Started with WebSphere Express for iSeries: List Price, $49.00
WebFacing Application Design and Development Guide: List Price, $55.00
Can the AS/400 Survive IBM?: List Price, $49.00
The All-Everything Machine: List Price, $29.95
Chip Wars: List Price, $29.95


 
The Four Hundred
The Demographics of i Sales and Shipments

The i Edition of the BladeCenter S Finally Launches

HP More Than Doubles Services Biz with EDS Acquisition

Mad Dog 21/21: Saying No No No

A Word Cloud of IBM Server Brand Names

Four Hundred Stuff
Aldon Responds to Business Pressures on IT Departments

Former Magic CEO Sues as iBOLT Sales Channel Widened

MKS Updates Change Management for i OS, Warns of Big Revenue Jump

INGENICA Updates Universal Print Driver

Original Software Now Supports Mainframe in TestDrive-Assist

Big Iron
The Modern Mainframe: A Model of Space and Energy Efficiency

Top Mainframe Stories From Around the Web

Chats, Webinars, Seminars, Shows, and Other Happenings

Four Hundred Guru
Writing Secure PHP Applications

Use PCOMM Scripts to Execute Remote PC Commands

Admin Alert: Things to Do When Adding Drives to a System

System i PTF Guide
May 3, 2008: Volume 10, Number 18

April 26, 2008: Volume 10, Number 17

April 19, 2008: Volume 10, Number 16

April 12, 2008: Volume 10, Number 15

April 5, 2008: Volume 10, Number 14

March 29, 2008: Volume 10, Number 13

The Windows Observer
Microsoft Patches Zero Day Flaw in Windows

HP More Than Doubles Services Biz with EDS Acquisition

Massive Expansion in Progress at Microsoft Data Centers

Microsoft Gives Customers a Break on New SMB Windows Packages

AMD Revises Opteron Roadmaps, Pushes Out Rev Gs

The Unix Guardian
New and Updated Barcelona Boxes Debut from Sun

HP More Than Doubles Services Biz with EDS Acquisition

Java Performance Is OS Agnostic on Power6 Gear

As I See It: Soothing the Savage Programmer

VMware Tweaks Virtualization Stack, Boasts of Greenness and Sales

Four Hundred Monitor
Four Hundred Monitor's
Full iSeries Events Calendar

THIS ISSUE SPONSORED BY:

Storix
Guild Companies
Roaring Penguin
IT Security
ShaoLin Microsystems


Printer Friendly Version


TABLE OF CONTENTS
NYSE Euronext Trades Mainframes and Unix for Linux and X64

Canonical Founder Calls for Synchronized Linux Releases

AMD Ships Low-Power Barcelonas as Two More Execs Exit

New and Updated Barcelona Boxes Debut from Sun

VMware Tweaks Virtualization Stack, Boasts of Greenness and Sales

But Wait, There's More:

IDC Cautiously Reaffirms IT Spending Projections for 2008 . . . Aberdeen Ranks the Top 100 Tech Companies . . . Novell Buys $100 Million in Shares, Joins Google Summer of Code . . . IBM Announces Improved X64 and Cell Blade Servers . . . Virtual Server Sprawl Reeled In with Tideway Foundation 7.1 . . .

The Linux Beacon

BACK ISSUES





 
Subscription Information:
You can unsubscribe, change your email address, or sign up for any of IT Jungle's free e-newsletters through our Web site at http://www.itjungle.com/sub/subscribe.html.

Copyright © 1996-2008 Guild Companies, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Guild Companies, Inc., 50 Park Terrace East, Suite 8F, New York, NY 10034

Privacy Statement