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'MS server is easier to hack, not Red Hat'

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CIOL Bureau
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MUMBAI, INDIA: From as rudimentary but time-tested methods like open outcry, stock exchanges have slowly embraced paper-based systems and moved to electronic and technology modernization with panache. Here’s a stock exchange that has chosen Virtualisation to power its trading platforms. It picked Red Hat Enterprise Linux and does not see any problems, existing or potential with Open Source technology alternatives. To get a lowdown on some real issues and questions, we get to chat with Gajendarnath Mudaliar, VP - Technology, Inter-connected Stock Exchange of India Ltd.

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Stock Exchanges have a mission-critical nature with their operations. How does a technology option like this fit here? Specially when virtualization is struggling with latency-related confidence?

Latency can not be attributed to one aspect. There is hypervisor-level latency and there is provisioned server level. Our vendor’s subject-matter experts come down and support the transition. There are some elements that cause latency issues, but it can not be due to open-source issues. Whether and how an end user is connected, also takes into account the hardware configuration bits. A proper database would be required to get things going.

How does functionality compare between traditional solutions and open-source options?

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In terms of security, Red Hat is more secure. I would say an MS server is easier to hack if one does not install Anti-virus engines in between. Red Hat will function very well on those aspects.

Any ecosystem issues?

It is very smooth and gets integrated very well as far as the middle layer goes. But people are used to MS environments. So, a sea change would need more aggressive efforts from Red Hat.

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If you were to share something with other CIOs at this point, what would you say?

Business needs have to be considered seriously before deciding anything. ROI etc should be weighed upon well. One must understand the real worth of something before investing. Like costs, Anti-virus engine needs, lack of add-ons or ROI numbers. I am not against Microsoft. It is a stable platform but for huge scales.

So far, what benefits can you list down? In comparison with earlier environment?

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The legacy set-up was another environment, which is complex, fast and does not allow for any downtime phases. AMC cost was not affordable for us. On that scale, it was not cost-effective to maintain high-end servers. Not to forget, the skill-sets that were also needed to run those. Now, the world is moving to open-source options that give the same throughput. We studied some numbers of other stock exchanges. Compared to last two-three years, today, Red Hat gives a complete suite. One layer is of applications, another for clustering, another for OS, so it is easier to have one full stack.

How was migration from the point of view of potholes if any?

Resources are important part of IT so skill-set availability is a priority. Red Hat’s status is better than others here. Business rule engines are easy to deploy. No dependencies on one hardware and also cost in less when you compare it with license-costs of proprietary alternatives.

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