Re: [aclug-L] ntmag
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>a man i used to work with in austin is
considering learning linux.
>his day job is as an nt administrator.
>today he sent me this article asking me what i thought .
truth most of what the author is talking about is over my head.
I understand what the guy's writing about, and from
what I know of Linux internals (not a lot), I'd guess most of what he's
saying is legitimate enough. What he ignores is the simple fact that
while Linux may not scale to the high end enterprise level hardware that
Solaris will, it performs outstandingly well in the nitch it actually fits
As far as I'm concerned, this article is FUD simply
because it wants compare dissimilar things and has a whole lot of technical
mumbo jumbo to confuse those who don't understand such things into believing
that these issues are revelant. Here's my point; Linux has never been put
forward as an ENTERPRISE LEVEL solution!!! It's primary positioning in
the OS world is for a single or dual processor Intel-based server, where is
performs admirably. My Volkswagon van carries a lot of junk, a lot more then
a Ferrari. But it doesn't go very fast, and doesn't pretend to. It's useful
for carrying things around. A Ferrari is great for racing, but it'll getcha
a ticket faster then anything if you try to drive it around town. And
you can't even put a guitar amp in it, much less an entire band's worth of
musical equipment. The point is that Linux wasn't designed to run on a
64 processor system. None of the developers HAVE ONE to work on.
I'd guess that if some kind soul wanted to give someone like David Miller or
Alan Cox a 16 processor system to do development on, you'd start seeing some
really nice support for that kind of thing. but the fact is that these
people are all volunteers (some paid volunteers, but not many get their
hands on big iron...).
It's also FUD in that very few people really NEED an 8
processor system (which the 2.2 kernel supports), and the fact that while NT
may support it, it's not NT's forte either. This article wants to
compare these operating systems by internal technical details rather then
real world performance results. Other then that very questionable
Mindcraft study, every benchmark I've read for server performance (SMB/HTTP)
has place Linux (Samba/Apache) at 2-3 times the throughput of NT on the same
hardware. These are facts, not theory. It's based in the real
world, not in someone's critique of the OS's internals.
You asked to avoid NT bashing, but there's a reason it has the
reputation it has for crashing a lot...it crashes a lot (or hangs a lot, or
has applications that hang a lot and you can't reset them without
rebooting...). I find it particularly ironic that the author of the
article wants to talk about scalability issues, since NT seems to have the
worst problems with that. It seems to work fine when you're not
pushing it's capability, but when you start really expecting some
performance out of it, it starts hanging, crashing, etc.
The Blue Screen of Death is a common sight for an NT administrator
with a busy machine. As are the messages warning users that you're
going to have to reboot to get the Exchange server responding again.
It appears that they have to do our mail server at work about once a
week. I wouldn't bet my enterprise on that. It doesn't have any
built-in remote administration tools either. You think I'm gonna set
something up on a massive multiprocessor machine costing multiple hundreds
of thousands of dollars that I can't dial into to diagnose a problem?
The answer for something enterprise ready is absolutely NOT "Well,
something's not working, we'll have to reboot." The kind of
machines in question typically cost their owners thousands of dollars in
lost business every minute they're down. It'd be outstandingly foolish to
pick NT to run that. It's not very fast, it's not very stable, you
can't get good support out of Microsoft.
Frankly though, I wouldn't bet my billion dollar system
on Linux either. If I really had something that required that amount
of processing power, I'd buy something where someone would jump through
hoops for me if it had a problem. Believe me, if someone spends that
much money on that kind of hardware, the vendor will go out of their way to
make sure the support is exceptional. It's easy to say a vendor like
Sun doesn't give great support for a single low-end workstation, but buy an
Enterprise 5000 and I think your response will be different (especially if
they think you might buy another one...)
understanding is that linux has always had support for SMP,
it is more efficient.
As someone else said, the 2.0 kernel had simple SMP
support, 2.2 improves on it. Apparently it still has a way to
go. I don't see that as a problem. Consider Linux's lineage and
development model and it's not hard to understand. Again, he wants to
compare apples to potatos. Linux never claimed to be an enterprise
class OS, just a lightweight kernel with some nice tools available for
it. The fact that it blows NT off the roadmap for a lot of
applications is kind of amazing in itself. It never tried to compete,
it just did.
>i would like to give him some
constructive feed back, but
>once again this is over my head.
Constructive feedback... Ok, assuming the article
is correct, how many shops have a 16 way NT machine. Really. My
thought is that if they need that much horsepower, they should invest in
someone who's done a lot of work on it.
too much nt bashing please :-).
can't bash it too much, I use it every day I'm at the office. I don't
really dislike it. My workstation's been pretty stable and hasn't
required a lot of effort to maintain. However, it's not under a real
heavy stress, aside from having lots and lots of windows open as I
work. It still amazes me how hard it is to find some relatively simple
things, squirreled away in the morass of menus (or buried in the
undocumented registry). What makes me wonder, though, is what
someone's been smoking when they start talking about NT and enterprise level
scalable hardware at the same time. I don't care if it's got every OS
internal feature to supposedly handle it or not, it's just not that
stable. I hear constant complaints about it from development and
support groups where I work and I've seen enough evidence myself that'd make
me lear away from it. I could, on the other hand, imagine running
Linux on an 8 way Xeon server. Or maybe putting together a Beowolf
cluster for a lot of processing bandwidth. These things seem feasable
- Re: [aclug-L] ntmag, (continued)
- Re: [aclug-L] ntmag, Mohammad Islam, 1999/05/03
- Re: [aclug-L] ntmag, Tom Hull, 1999/05/04
- Re: [aclug-L] ntmag, phrostie, 1999/05/04
- Re: [aclug-L] ntmag, John Goerzen, 1999/05/08
- Re: [aclug-L] ntmag, Jeffrey L. Hansen, 1999/05/04
- Re: [aclug-L] ntmag,
Greg House <=