[AUUG-Talk]: Proprietary Unixes (Dead?)

Gary R. Schmidt grschmidt at acm.org
Thu Oct 4 12:21:07 EST 2007

Enno Davids wrote:
> datacentre floor any time soon. No. Can you configure me a box with >100
> cores on an open source platform today?
Yes.  SGI Altix boxen.  You want 10,240 cores?  No problem.  Runs SLES 
(and RHEL, IIRC).

> Can you split it in two or three
> for now and re-arrange its resource allocation in the event of a disaster?
Okay, do you want an ICE system?  New idea, lots of blade-ey type 
things, running domain-ey type problems.  (I have *no* idea what I mean 
here (I still haven't managed to connect to one of them, I was supposed 
to do some sort of QA on it), go read the blurbs on it, just don't 
fixate on the bit where the blades have no local disk.)  Runs SLES. 
(May run others, I slept through the presentation.)

> So proprietary UNIX dead? Not even close.
Damn right.  The Linux stuff is fine for the beyond-the-bleeding-edge 
stuff, where the prospect of down-time is offset by speed and cost (APAC 
supercomputer, frex), and for tightly controlled stuff (how many NAS 
heads are running a Linux variant, or mobile 'phone, or embedded thingie...)


When it comes to *reliability*, long-term, 24x7, five-9's and all that 
crud, you go to the high-end *hardware*, and then, after you've spent 
the money, say, "I'll run so-and-so's Linux distro," and the hardware 
supplier says, "That's nice, but we can't support you at five-9's for 
that, you're on your own," you'll quickly swing back to the proprietary 
OS.  And if you don't, the board will shortly have your head.

		Gary	B-)

P.S.  And yes, IRIX is dead, the last version was 6.5.30, there's a 
collection of (mutually antagonistic) patches that are referred to as 
6.5.31, but that's just to increase confusion.

Armful of chairs: Something some people would not know
                   whether you were up them with or not
                                      - Barry Humphries

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