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

Con Zymaris conz at cybersource.com.au
Thu Oct 4 22:23:05 EST 2007

On Thu, Oct 04, 2007 at 11:25:11AM +1000, Enno Davids wrote:

I don't agree with much of what Enno's said, but can't be bothered
arguing with him. ;-) [Instead, I'll just drop a few ideas into the
melting pot.]

I've been hearing the same verbiage from the proprietary Unix realm for
15+ years, and each year, open source Unix is eating more and more of
proprietary Unix's lunch.
> Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to trade my FreeBSD desktops here at
> home. Open source has made the computing world a much better place IMHO
> and was already doing that back when net.sources and comp.sources.*
> were where we got our fix. But will Linux be pushing the E25k's off the
> datacentre floor any time soon. No. Can you configure me a box with >100
> cores on an open source platform today? Can you split it in two or three
> for now and re-arrange its resource allocation in the event of a disaster?

Over 100 CPU cores on a system image under Linux? Check:


 The new system will be the first supercomputer to operate 2,048
 processor cores and 4TB of memory under a single copy of Linux.

> And you haven't even scratched the surface of replicated SANs, backup,
> odd "only a few in the world" interfaces or any of the other things where
> open source competes poorly if at all.

Sure, and by the time you've finished detailing these requirements,
you've described perhaps a tiny portion of the market which remains the
domain of proprietary Unix. And here too, Linux is moving up the food
chain, viz:


 Euronext, which completed its merger with NYSE this year, has spent the
 past 18 months enhancing its products. One of the most important
 initiatives has been the launch of its IBM Linux-based equities
 platform. The time taken to process a transaction was whittled down from
 90 milliseconds to less than five milliseconds. 

Now, let's forget the tit-for-tat for a moment and let me take you back
about 10 years. 

In 1997, the IT industry was on a flightpath towards a 'Windows
everywhere' reality. HP fell for NT. SGI fell for NT. Even Bill Jolitz
(ex-of-BSDI and developer of 366BSD) was declaring Unix a lost cause. The
only reason this didn't eventuate, the only reason that 'Unix as a
concept' will succeed into the future, is thanks to Linux. 

The growth of Linux specifically, and open source Unix in general, is
why the majority of the 'Unix' community[0] are here at all. It's also
why 'Unix' mindshare has seen such spectacular resurgence. Like it or
not, the rise of Linux has been Unix's saviour.

[0] Most Mac users aren't in the Unix community any more than the
majority of Windows users.
Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne, Australia 
Cybersource: Australia's Leading Linux and Open Source Solutions Company 
Web: http://www.cyber.com.au/  Phone: 03 9621 2377   Fax: 03 9621 2477

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