South American bank switches to Linux - ZDNet UK News
South American bank switches to Linux
May 03, 2001, 16:06 GMT
Bank chooses the free operating system in 'landmark' deal for financial
Venezuela's Banco Mercantil has become one of the world's first major
financial institutions to port its back-end infrastructure to Linux, the
open source operating operating system that is built by volunteer
programmers around the world, distributed for free and yet now provides
proprietary software vendors with serious competition.
Banco Mercantil -- one of the largest banks in Venezuela with 375 branches
-- has already replaced 30 NT servers with a single IBM mainframe, a S/390
G6, running the SuSE flavour of Linux, and plans to move its Sun and HP
servers over to Linux shortly.
"This landmark project is a breakthrough for Linux in the banking sector and
is yet further evidence that Linux for the enterprise is here today," said
John Morris, vice president, IBM eServer z900 in a statement. "The
combination of Linux and the mainframe provides Banco Mercantil with the
superior technology necessary to meet the demands of the uncompromising
The deal also illustrates the commercial viability of open source software
such as Linux, said Dirk Hohndel, chief technical officer for SuSE Linux.
"SuSE Linux, with IBM's mainframe server, delivers a powerful,
high-performing and economical solution for the banking industry," he says.
However, the deal also coincides with Microsoft decision to step up
opposition to software groups that promote freely sharing software code.
Senior vice president of Microsoft Craig Mundie is expected to make a speech
today at the Stern School of Business at New York University claiming that
the open source movement poses a threat to companies' intellectual property.