Q

Is Linux behind MS Windows and Unix in scalability?

Is Linux behind MS Windows and Unix in scalability? I do believe that Linux has lagged somewhat in terms of its overall ability to scale, though this is changing. A lot of it has to do with overall vendor support for the operating systems. A lot of it is marketing. As everyone knows, IBM has thrown a lot of its weight around with respect to Linux. But, how many people really know that one of its most scaleable technologies is available...

on the SuSE Linux platform, as well as its bread & butter Unix OS, AIX? That would be their pSeries servers, powered by their front-end p690 LPAR based system, sometimes known as Regatta. Similar to mainframe technologies, it is one huge nasty machine. It lets you cut up slices of virtual servers within the one box. It supports Linux on its LPARs, and scales wonderfully. You can add processor, memory or disk dynamically without even taking the environment off line.

There are many other examples of Linux scalability, but, unfortunately once you get a bad reputation in this industry, it is hard to shake. Because Linux has a rep of being wonderful for e-mail or Web servers but not wonderful for scaling well in database environments -- regardless of the truth -- it will take time and lots of publicized success stories to break this rep. Perhaps the Linux folks can hire some Microsoft advertising people.


This was first published in September 2003

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