Using Open Source in the Enterprise: Two Stories

This was interesting. Just recently MIT announced that they would be replacing their Cyrus IMAP infrastructure with Microsoft Exchange. The reason was that the IS Department wanted to offer Exchange – that is, they wanted to provide Microsoft Exchange services to their “customers” (students and faculty). Isn’t it ironic that it is none other than Carnegie Mellon, another educational institution, that maintains Cyrus IMAP? Many students are also upset, as they will no longer be able to use Pine for their email.

This news can be compared to the recent news from the London Stock Exchange: they are dropping their Windows-based trading system for one based on Linux. Of course, they didn’t go out of their way to choose one or the other: but the Windows-based system halted trading for an entire day; the exchange never stated exactly what the cause was, but information was that it was the trading system that was at fault. Now the CEO that brought in the trading system is out without any comment, and the first order of business for the new CEO is to dump the old Windows-based trading system. ComputerWorld has a nice article on it. This shows the reliability of Linux overall and suggests that the reliability of Linux should be a strong selling point.

Next time management starts suggesting replacing Linux with Windows – tell them the story of the London Stock Exchange. They are also not the only ones; go read the article.

4 thoughts on “Using Open Source in the Enterprise: Two Stories”

  1. I may be being dumb here, but isn’t infrastructure design as important as OS choice?

    Linux still dies, it’s not infallible (and anyone that claims it is is either an idiot or has no real world large environment experience.) I’ve been a linux sysadmin from small environments through to large hosting companies for a number of years now, and whilst I love *nix based systems and will choose them as my first choice without hesitation for almost anything, I’m fairly platform agnostic. Let’s be honest there is crap software out there on both platforms, some of which is claimed to be “Enterprise” level software.

    High Availability design should be a key part of any system that is chosen, to the most practicable level possible. Ideally there should be no SPOF, whether it’s WIndows or Linux.

    With the lack of detail about the LSE’s failure it’s impossible to say it was Windows’s fault. I would suspect most probably it was poor software running on top of Windows which could happen on either OS.
    My first *nix experience came with SCO-UNIX and a piece of software called “Multisoft” that handled stock/sales & accounts stuff for the company. SCO-UNIX was solid as a rock. Multisoft would crash every 3-4 working days.

  2. I think it won’t be long before their shiny new Linux-based trading system performs the same kind of show as Windows did and IT managers will finally come to their sanity and switch to Unix or OpenVMS.

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