London Stock Exchange in historic Linux go-live

London Stock Exchange in historic Linux go-live

Novell SUSE-based data centre goes live for main market

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UPDATED The London Stock Exchange has successfully set into live trading a new matching engine based on Novell SUSE Linux technology, following successful last-step setup procedures on Saturday.

The move has been billed as one of the LSE's most significant technological developments since the increasing prevalence of electronic trading led to the closure of the traditional exchange floor in 1986. LSE chief executive Xavier Rolet has insisted that the exchange, once a monopoly, will deliver record speed and stable trading in order to fight back against the fast erosion of its dominant marketshare by specialist electronic rivals.

"The London Stock Exchange Group is pleased to confirm that Millennium Exchange is now operational," the LSE said in a statement to clients ahead of the main market trading opening on Monday. "We would like to thank all clients for their support during this migration."

At 8am today, the exchange’s main venue went into live trading with the Millennium IT matching engine, developed in C++ programming language and running on SUSE Linux. Weekend work included setting live all gateways from clients to its network and data centres.

The switchover is being closely watched as the new system will replace the existing TradElect platform - written in C#, based around Microsoft .Net architecture on Windows Server and SQL Server, and upgraded by Accenture in 2007 at a cost of £40 million. The decision to scrap TradElect was made in 2009, after several high profile outages and as rivals beat the LSE on messaging latency.

While the LSE's alternative venue, Turquoise, has already been running Millennium Exchange for four months, the rollout on the main exchange has been delayed several times. The delays came after problems occurred on Turquoise and following testing by main venue clients. 

Initially, capacity concerns were raised: even though Millennium Exchange was processing messages at a round trip latency of only 126 microseconds, clients were apparently unsure of its ability to handle the scale of messages on the main market.

After this, in November last year a major incident occurred on Turquoise, forcing the LSE to take the market offline for two hours and bringing a grinding halt to the main venue migration. The exchange said the problem occurred in "suspicious circumstances", and while it later attributed human error as the cause, newspaper reports claimed the LSE was in close discussions with the Cabinet Office over major ongoing attempted attacks on its network.

Observers watching today's Linux-based launch will likely note that such a large change could bring about some teething problems, as with any technology overhaul. But for the LSE and its customers, a system that is stable and can handle the millions of simultaneous messages on its network while running faster than its growing competitors' technology, will be seen as the barometer of success. 

The one-day TradElect outage in 2007, which angered clients, is a scenario the LSE will strive to avoid. And as it mulls the idea of placing all major systems onto Linux in a merger with Toronto exchange parent TMX, the success of its data centres and networks is of the utmost importance.

Now read: London Stock Exchange tackles closing auction system problem

London Stock Exchange SUSE Linux choice based on HFT capacity

In depth: London Stock Exchange: The road to Linux



  • Willhay99 Anyone know if pointers in C are implicated Suspect the desire for low latency speed that corners were cut with validation removed Seemed to recall that pointers were a constant source of issues when I developed in C especially if you didnt double check where you were writing to - classic example was writing to a non-existant array element
  • Jedibeeftrix kongrats to Novell and the opensuse enterprise teamroll on 114
  • Avoid email forms!!! Great news But why suse
  • Theone The problem was no so much the platform by itself as the crap that Accenture delivers worldwide Big companies management hire them to minimize the risk of being later blamed for hiring an unknown or smaller company but no for qualityA couple of days ago I was there for a project and they told me how they have created their own ORM which has almost as many features as Hibernate When asked why they did that they told me that they had already started their orm and well it was there That is the kind of mindset you can expect
  • FastTrader the new system will replace the existing TradElect platform - written in C based around Microsoft Net architecture on Windows Server and SQL Server and upgraded by Accenture in 2007 at a cost of 40 million The decision to scrap TradElect was made in 2009 after several high profile outages and as rivals beat the LSE on messaging latency
  • Gray I wouldnt be in too much of a rush to admit to that they just scrapped that system as unfit for purpose
  • Leo King Update The new system will replace the existing TradElect platform - written in C in the Microsoft Net framework and running on Windows Server and SQL Server The new system is written in C and runs on SUSE Linux-based datacentres
  • meh. And their new improved Millenium Exchange go live is a total mess Incorrect opening and closing prices yesterday with charting showing up to 10p differences in price People woke up with millions of pounds extra in their portfolios
  • Pszresonation You mean Even if the old system was based on NET that doesnt mean it couldnt have been programmed in C is actualy incorrect You must mean CNET which is not C
  • PixelBobby The NET implementation was written in C I know as I wrote some
  • Roach The Egyptian Stock Exchange already runs on Linux PLUS-SX too
  • Shill Ms Its funny how the article avoids the use of word Microsoft Looks like another article written by a M shill
  • HistoryRepeats and Accenture wrecks another major industry Big bucks competence
  • Saxset Take a look at BOD BPC BHR SOLO SOU and if you really what a sure thing LLOY BKIR RBS
  • None Indeed As redacted the article is OK for an business publication but not for a computer one
  • bobthedino2000 The article seems somewhat confused about the technology involved For example it seems to equate a programming language C with a framework Microsoft NET Even if the old system was based on NET that doesnt mean it couldnt have been programmed in C So what frameworkslibrariesetc does the new system useAlso the phrase based in a C environment doesnt seem to make grammatical sense what is a C environment anyway
  • Bangbang85 Bmr strong buyRns due this week imo
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