Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Bang for the Buck: Entry Linux Servers Keep Windows and Unix Honest

Filed under
OS

Only 15 years ago, Linus Torvalds was annoyed enough about the expense of the just-commercialized Unix workstations and systems on the market that he started to create his own operating system, one that had a look and feel very much like Unix. Back then, proprietary operating systems dominated the midrange of the server market, mainframes ruled the high end, and there was no such thing as an entry server, but rather a NetWare file system for file sharing and network printing. How the world has changed. Proprietary operating systems still have their niches--and they will for a long time to come--and a formerly ascendant Unix has been pushed out of the entry server space by Linux and Windows.

Make no mistake. Unix systems, mainframes, and even AS/400s (now known as the System i5 but rarely called that) are still dominant in the data centers of the largest companies in the world. They do a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of batch jobs and transaction processing. But, then again, at many companies, Windows is used for new applications or has even supplanted Unix, and at others, Linux, because it is like Unix excepting its relatively high price, has ousted Unix. Unix platforms have been under assault for a number of years, but Unix vendors are starting to fight back, each in their own ways.

Doing any sort of comparison right now is a bit difficult, because a lot of the core server platforms are in flux right now. The changes underway only play into the hands of the Windows platform as X64 and Itanium servers are making their way to market offering more bang for the buck. Of course, what helps Windows on a server hardware platform usually also helps Linux, since they run on the same iron. But, because Hewlett-Packard supports HP-UX on the same Itanium iron as it supports Windows and Linux, because IBM supports AIX on the same Power iron that it supports Linux and OS/400 (now called i5/OS), and because Sun Microsystems is shipping Opteron machines that support Windows, Linux, and Solaris, the playing field for operating systems is, in some cases at least, more level that it has been in years. Unix has a fighting chance on many platforms, but then again, so does Linux.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Firefox OS media-casting stick strikes Kickstarter gold

The first Firefox OS based media player has arrived on Kickstarter, in the form of a $25 open-spec HDMI stick that supports Chromecast-like content casting. The Matchstick, which has already zoomed past its Kickstarter campaign’s $100,000 funding goal, with 28 days still remaining, was teased back in June by Mozilla developer evangelist Christian Heilmann. The unnamed prototype was billed as an open source HDMI stick that runs Mozilla’s Linux-based Firefox OS and offers casting capabilities. Few details were revealed at the time except that the device used the same DIAL (DIscovery And Launch) media-casting protocol created by Netflix and popularized by Google’s Chromecast. Read more

Open source history, present day, and licensing

Looking at open source softwares particularly, this is a fact that is probably useful to you if you are thinking about business models, many people don't care about it anymore. We talk about FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, but if we really are strict there's a difference between free software and open source software. On the left, I have free software which most typically is GPL software. Software where the license insures freedom. It gives freedoms to you as a user, but it also requires that the freedoms are maintained. On the right-hand side, you have open source software which is open for all, but it also allows you to close it. So here we come back to the famous clause of the GPL license, the reciprocity requirement which says, "If I am open, you need to be open." So software that comes under the GPL license carries with it something that other people call a virus. I call it a blessing because I think it's great if all software becomes open. Read more

Leftovers: Software

Proprietary

today's howtos