Flutterby™! : Sun wuvs Winux

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Sun wuvs Winux

2002-02-08 03:57:45+00 by TC 11 comments

Sun Embraces Linux. Now if they used their development dollars for Linux instead of Solaris...and while I'm wishing maybe SGI could drop Irix and fully support Linux.

[ related topics: Free Software Interactive Drama Open Source Current Events Graphics ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:10+00 by: petej

Makes perfect sense to run Linux on your Origin 3000 so you could use maybe 4 of your 512 processors.

When you have a hammer...

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:10+00 by: Dan Lyke

And with Scott McNeally making an ass of himself over .NET misstatments and that earlier James Gosling interview (which I can't find, partially because the News.com search engine sucks) where Gosling shows himself completely out of touch with computing reality, I'm not sure that Linux needs friends like these.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:10+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh yeah: I haven't had an opportunity to use Linux[Wiki] on a more than 4 processor box, but my impression was that as of the mid 2.2 kernels the data structures were opened up such that the scheduler could handle way more than 4 processors.

And I don't think it matters any more, rumors from Pixar are that the desktop Intel boxes they're replacing the SGI machines with are twice the performance for a tenth the price.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:11+00 by: John Anderson

Not way[Wiki] more; 2.4 series kernels only scale linearly up to about 8 processors. You continue to see performance increases with 8+ CPUs, but it goes sub-linear PDQ.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:11+00 by: Pete

The new scheduler stuff being hammered out in 2.5 (and expected to be rolled back in 2.4) is supposed to have dramatic benefits for SMP. Not that it helps anyone right now.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:11+00 by: Dan Lyke

<snide>Okay, so even if that fall-off is such that additional processors do zilch, this still means that Linux[Wiki] should beat Slowlaris[Wiki] out to 16 processors</snide>. At least if my current experiences with the respective I/O scheduling capabilities of each holds true.

Of course this doesn't address the original Irix[Wiki] question, I've quite a bit of respect for Irix[Wiki], and would love to see SGI[Wiki] continue to roll good features from that back into Linux[Wiki] as they flail around in their death-throes.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:11+00 by: TC

PeteJ: I think Linux's nascent steps into big Iron architechture underscores the need for greater comercial support. IBM gets it and Sun is starting to. I used Irix for years while I was at Pixar and it's definately the MAC OS of unices(take it how you like) but if they got on board the Linux bandwagon I bet their harware sales would pick up and they contribute to linux for much cheaper than they could maintain Irix. I don't think this will happen I know they did some testing with linux in 97 and burried the results because the harware ran much fast under linux. The company has been on the slides for 10 years since Clarke left and this makes me quite sad to see such an invative company mismange it's self into oblivion(very apple like hun?) Maybe uncle Jim can come back as the iceo??

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:11+00 by: Mars Saxman

I liked Irix. It had a coherent elegance Linux has yet to reach. Maybe that's not saying very much, though.


#Comment made: 2002-02-11 14:30:01+00 by: petej [edit history]

Todd: I think that SGI has a much better shot at remaining viable if they differentiate themselves in some way from their competition. By abandoning IRIX and switching to Linux, SGI would have much to lose, because you'd be able to swap out their hardware for whoever has the fastest box of the week. This is a terrific thing for consumers, but it's terrible for the company -- commodity hardware is an extremely low-margin business, and it's nearly impossible to produce a quality product in the commodity space. I think IBM is happy to run Linux because they really don't have mind/marketshare with AIX, and their hardware is already differentiated -- there's nobody out there with I/O that can touch a zSeries box. I think reading Sun's announcement as a broad retrenchment away from Solaris and toward Linux is incorrect; rather, they're trying to continue to offer Linux on entry-level systems in the hope of attracting people to the harder stuff (note their announcements did not include Linux running on SPARC hardware other than for embedded environments). I'll bet that Sun's foray into Intel systems is about as successful as SGI's was (I just hope it's not as disastrous for the company).

The presentation for SGI's investors' meetings February 11-13 (Powerpoint -- yuck! They haven't learned that lesson yet!) talks about achieving high performance by integrating hardware, OS, and software. With luck, SGI will realize that they used to have something special before they basically quit working on IRIX and allowed everything else to catch up; then they'll work on it again and make it better. This would be a good thing, as long as everybody shoots for network compatibility -- I don't mind plugging in a different box into my environment, and having to learn a slightly different way of working with it, as long as I don't have to re-engineer my whole environment. And I think homogeneity is dangerous, whether it's an all-Windows world, or an all-Linux one.

#Comment made: 2002-02-11 14:34:40+00 by: petej [edit history]

Stupid back button.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:35:17+00 by: markd

I loved Irix since Purify could instrument executables after link-time. Whenever I had any nasty memory errors to track down, Irix was my platform choice. Anything that required using a debugger against a multithreaded app usually was done on digital unix.