Targeting Frenetic Trading Floors With Workstations - InformationWeek

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Targeting Frenetic Trading Floors With Workstations

IBM's financial-services unit is introducing a rack-mounted pizza-box workstation with a flat-panel, 20.8-inch monitor for use on trading floors. The machines are designed to help IT departments centralize hardware, give traders more room, boost security, and shave energy costs.

The IBM IntelliStation R Pro workstation is just 1.75 inches high, and about the size of a pizza box. Up to 35 workstations can be stacked in a single rack in a remote location, reducing energy-sucking heat on the trading floor and providing greater security. Traders wouldn't have access to the machines' hard disks or CD-ROM drives, making it harder to accidentally introduce viruses.

The IBM T210 high-resolution monitor is more cost and energy efficient than ordinary monitors because it generates about 30% less heat. Flat-panel monitors also take up less desk space.

Flat screens allow companies to eliminate the tall, wide desks typically used on trading floors and "lets you put more desks in a closer space," says Larry Tabb, an analysts at financial-services research firm Tower Group. Rack-mounting the workstations frees IT support staff from having to crawl under a trader's desk to fix or update workstations. "Working under a trading station is like working under your sink," Tabb says. "There are wires and gizmos, and it's just not the easiest situation to work in."

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