Why the London Stock Exchange went for Linux

pounds and dollars

The London Stock Exchange will switch to a Linux-based platform trading system, but it's not because of a love of open source.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) will replace its Microsoft .NET-based trading platform TradeElect with a Linux-based system from MillenniumIT.

Rather than just buy the trading platform though, the London Stock Exchange Group will buy the whole MillenniumIT company for £18 million.

The deal will be fully completed by the middle of October, with the MillenniumIT trading system put in place starting in mid to late 2010.

In an interview with IT PRO, LSE spokesman Alistair Fairbrother said that the main reason it bought MillenniumIT was to bring the system's development within the LSE group.

“It not only gives ourselves a new high performance trading platform called 'Millennium Exchange' which we will be migrating onto, but it also gives us control over future development releases,” he said.

Fairbrother claimed that this was the main reason why the LSE made the purchase rather, than any new focus on Linux and open source technology.

“We’ve had a very good working relationship with Microsoft. This is not about moving away from Microsoft.NET. For us this is about getting control over our IT development,” he explained.

However, he did say that the system change would save £10 million per year from 2011 and 2012, due to the LSE bringing in costs in-house rather than from having an external supplier.

MillenniumIT has already tested the system using data from the LSE. Fairbrother said that the system offered high performance, was highly scalable, and could perform at sub-millisecond speeds.

“We can be a little more responsive, and a little more flexible with future upgrades than we have been in the past,” he said.