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IBM Businesses

Oracle Joins IBM AIX Collaboration Center 91

pgsqlDao writes "CRN is reporting that Oracle is joining IBM's AIX Collaboration Center. 'IBM announced the center Dec. 16 as a $200 million investment where it will centralize AIX development, customer relations and advanced features for independent software vendors. While the figure represents existing salaries and equipment drawn together under one roof, it also represents some shift in emphasis by IBM from Linux back to its mature Unix operating system.' In November Oracle announced that it has chosen Solaris 10 as it's preferred development and deployment platform for X64 computing."
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Oracle Joins IBM AIX Collaboration Center

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  • by gee_unix ( 941232 ) * on Sunday December 25, 2005 @11:35AM (#14336145) Homepage
    it also represents some shift in emphasis by IBM from Linux back to its mature Unix operating system

    This isn't necessarily a shift. Linux is perfect for many, many applications but there are a lot of applications and installations out there that are still relying on AIX. Even Linux users should be heartened to hear that IBM won't abandon their customers lightly.

    Look how long they supported OS/2!

    • This isn't necessarily a shift. Linux is perfect for many, many applications but there are a lot of applications and installations out there that are still relying on AIX.

      I'd agree. Linux is great for commodity x86 servers, but on IBM's high-end hardware AIX stands head and shoulders above it. I don't really see a shift here - actually, I'd say AIX has never been away. If you look at the last few releases, you can see IBM has been putting a lot of effort into improving it. The hard work is starting to pay o
      • by TallMatthew ( 919136 ) on Sunday December 25, 2005 @12:54PM (#14336385)
        Linux is great for commodity x86 servers, but on IBM's high-end hardware AIX stands head and shoulders above it.

        That's sort of true.

        I worked not too long ago for a company with an 8xCPU, 12TB Oracle instance running on RedHat Linux 3.0 (32bit). It worked perfectly well, but we were bottlenecked on CPU and memory (needed to move to 64bit) and wanted to hook a SAN up to it (before that we ran it over NFS, which works believe it or not). We tried to find a combination of 64-bit Linux, Oracle and Veritas (to manage volumes on the SAN) to run on the high-end Linux hardware available but there just wasn't enough out there at that point.

        We ended up moving the DB to AIX, at the strong urging of IBM, on whose server the bottlenecked Oracle instance had been running. They were far more motivated to sell us a RISC box than they were to try and find a Linux solution (the profit margin was substantially higher) and we knew that, but we couldn't find the combination we needed to move forward with Linux. IBM went to a lot of trouble to show us benchmarks that showed AIX was superior to Linux, which says a lot about their Linux strategy, namely it's all well and good until it steals market share from their high-margin products.

        It's possible IBM shifted policy after they got burned on 64bit Itaniums. At that same job I was on, they had put one in, wanting to increase Oracle's addressable memory space, but the performance of the CPUs was so abysmal they ended up moving backwards to P4s and 32bit, which as I mentioned did the job until the application finally bottlenecked. At the time we purchased the AIX box from them, they didn't have any x86 boxes in their pipeline that would run 64bit Linux (they had a new xseries that would scale past eight of those 32bit CPUs with 64bit extensions I believe, but it wouldn't run 64bit Linux), so it's possible they've clipped the higher-end x86 boxes from their offerings altogether in order to keep AIX viable in this enterprise market.

        What IBM does or does not do should always be taken with a grain of salt.

        • For Oracle, in terms of CPU power and memory bandwidth, HP's DL585 with four dual-core Opterons running Linux in 64-bit mode is a very attractive option. Getting it to work with a SAN is a challenge, but if you can get similar Oracle performance with locally attached storage and save many hundreds of thousands of dollars in the processes, it might be worth looking into.

          I don't work for HP or AMD or IBM, but the DL585 absolutely makes Oracle fly. Any company still pursuing high performance computing on Ita
      • Linux is great for commodity x86 servers, but on IBM's high-end hardware AIX stands head and shoulders above it.

        AIX provides IBM a guaranteed path to providing a kernel enabling those high-end hardware features. Sure, everything may get into Linux eventually, but AIX milestones are a bit more predictable for IBM.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Not only that, IBM has got contracts with very important people (think: national governments and security forces around the world) which obligate them to continue to support and develop AIX until 2020. Even if IBM believed that Linux was the only future of operating systems (and it doesn't; monocultures are never good), it cannot even think about winding up AIX for another 15 years.
    • Very much agreed.

      With AIX it is one of 3 OS that IBM supports native on the iSeries lines; OS/400, AIX, Linux. With its pSeries line AIX and Linux are both supported. pSeries is a "daughter" or "sister" line of iSeries.

      Both of the lines and have 1 or more OS running at the same time on the same box, each acting as it own machine and talking to the other OSs in the box on a 54G back plane.

      Differently shows the power of Power5 and hardware design.
    • also, IBM is a hardware company at heart. Having a wide array of supported and high quality software only helps sales. If they have to play nice with other vendors or a broad array of hardware, they can offer Linux. If they want software optimized for that particular hardware and that has a long history of proven reliability, they still fully support AIX. Considering how recent some of the enterprise grade features have been put into Linux, there are many who would hold off switching to it.
  • Unix isn't dead (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    SCO has been trying to argue that by promoting Linux, IBM has killed off its Unix business. They want billions of dollars in damages. This development shows that both IBM and Oracle don't think Unix is dead. SCO's business is dead because they have the bad habit of suing their customers not because Unix is going extinct.
    • Re:Unix isn't dead (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rubycodez ( 864176 )
      SCO was dying long before that, no real innovation. Couldn't make it as a technology company, so they're trying their hand at being a litigation company.
      • Are you talking about Caldera or OldSCO when you say they couldn't make it as a technology company? Two seperate companies, remember.

        Guess it doesn't really matter, both companies were utter failures.
    • Did SCO ever sue a customer? Seam to remember them only going after other linux providers.
    • SCO's unix biz was terminally ill long before they started suing people (although that didn't help) The law suits were simply an act of desparation. SCO is dead because their product lacked all the high-end features found in most of the big 64-bit unix flavors like Solaris, HP-UX, and AIX. SCO was living in the the low-end 32-bit intel area of the Unix neighborhood and they just couldn't compete with Linux there and 64-bit Solaris/AIX RISC on the high end. BTW... I heard that SCO's biggest customer (McDonal
  • Just a year ago, the preferred direction as declared by Oracle was Linux boxes as a "grid" building block. IBM was pushing Linux. Sun has been schizo regarding x86 and ultrasparc and Linux support for a few years now.
    • the reason why Oracle went with Sun is because Sun was basically supporting OSS as well. Oracle is just as panicked about OSS databases as Sun is about OSS OSs. And while IBM can lose AIX, Sun can lose Solaris, Oracle will die if oracle the DB dies.
      • You are right and yet oracle will not support more operating systems. FreeBSD is quite popular for webserver use. There is no oracle for freebsd. I've never been able to get a recent version to run on freebsd and its most likely their stupid specific version of the jvm is required installer. (freebsd's linux emulation)

        If oracle doesn't want to die, they need to grow. MySQL releases BINARIES for freebsd. Why can't oracle?
        • you don't use the Oracle installer to install Oracle on FreeBSD

          People have run Oracle 9i, see this [ttp] or use Google
  • AIX Vs. Solaris (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    AIX service and applications are more profitible for IBM than are Linux services. I would bet that shoring up AIX is in repsonse to Sun's greater emphasis on Solaris. Both are formidible for large enterprise applications, but Solaris is now open source and picking up steam. This will be interesting to watch as two giants duke it out.

    Who says non-Linux UNIX OS's are dead? Far from it.
    • I would bet that shoring up AIX is in repsonse to Sun's greater emphasis on Solaris.

      I would amend that to say "Sun's greater emphasis on Solaris for x86, specifically AMD64". The Opteron boxes have very nice price/performance.

      It will be interesting to watch them duke it out - done right, both may benefit. If IBM really wants to compete, they need to start selling low cost workstations to encourage further development on AIX. This could prove beneficial to the OSS community as well - having to debug porti

      • > It will be interesting to watch them duke it out - done right, both may benefit. If IBM really wants to compete,
        > they need to start selling low cost workstations to encourage further development on AIX.

        They've got them, and as low as $5,575. Though I think they are primarily intended for unix graphics packages like Catia:
        http://www-03.ibm.com/servers/intellistation/power / [ibm.com]

        They've also got very low cost power5 servers that start at $3700:
        http://www-03.ibm [ibm.com]
        • Re:AIX Vs. Solaris (Score:3, Interesting)

          by njcoder ( 657816 )
          "They've got them, and as low as $5,575. Though I think they are primarily intended for unix graphics packages like Catia: http://www-03.ibm.com/servers/intellistation/powe r [ibm.com] /"

          I don't know what you uconsider low cost workstations, but something starting at 5,575 doesn't seem to qualify as low cost. If you want to run a real Unix on a supported platform Sun's workstations start out a lot cheaper and similarly loaded workstations are cheaper. http://store.sun.com/CMTemplate/CEServlet?process= SunSt [sun.com]

          • The other area where IBM needs to catch up with Sun is software licensing - I can download Solaris 10 and Studio 11 for free - support does require real money ($120 per socket per year for Sol 10 and somethinh like $900/year for Studio 11). I would be very surprised if IBM's compiler collection wasn't able to run rings around GCC for AIX on Power - having IBM match Sun's licensing could do wonders for the number of people porting to AIX.

            What would make things really interesting if Sun carries out its threa

  • ... Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.
  • And "it's" is not a possessive pronoun.
  • Low Hanging Fruit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Sunday December 25, 2005 @02:07PM (#14336600) Homepage Journal
    Want to make AIX (Or any of the other commercial unices) better instantly? Jettison all those crappy old AT&T utilities and replace them with their GNU counterparts. While functionality has been added to the commercial utilities only when necessary, the people working on the GNU variants have been adding useful features all along. The GNU variants are also more stable than their commercial counterparts.

    Another big win would be to replace the generally crappy packaging systems with something like apt. A few companies have made a stab at implementing package systems that work around dependency hell, but I've never encountered one that works as well as apt does. And I'd sooner dig my eyeballs out of my head with toothpicks rather than work with SMIT ever again...

    Those two steps alone would make commercial unices a lot nicer to deal with. While the other UNIX variants may be more mature than Linux in the kernel department, they are DECADES behind in the user interface arena. OSX being a noteworthy exception.

    • Jettison all those crappy old AT&T utilities and replace them with their GNU counterparts.

      I thought that with AIX 5L (L for Linux compatible) that IBM had provided a GNU userland.

    • "Jettison all those crappy old AT&T utilities and replace them with their GNU counterparts."

      Yeah, what the hell does AT&T know about Unix anyway? It's not like they invented it or anything.
    • Want to make AIX (Or any of the other commercial unices) better instantly? Jettison all those crappy old AT&T utilities and replace them with their GNU counterparts.

      if by "better" you mean "worse, incompatible, and broken", sure, go ahead. the behavior of the existing tools are there in large part because loads of applications (commercial and in-house, binaries and scripts) rely on the existing behavior. further, note that the AT&T folks often omitted functionality not just because they were lazy or

    • As with other replies, I disagree with shifting from the the ATT apps to GNU ones for the same reasons as mentioned in another post. And if you really want a specific GNU tool, just recompile it for AIX or grab it from the AIX Toolbox.

      I do agree with you about the crappy packing system, although I personally like FreeBSD's package system, but apt is nice too.

      The thing with the AIX, and *nixes in general, is that they run on big iron. Backend stuff that needs performance, reliability and predictability o

    • Thank ya Jesus! I'm not the only one! I mean there is some REALLY basic shit that some of these commercial Unices don't have. Command history anyone? This is probably the biggest annoyance. Is it that fucking hard to make my shell support the "up" key? Is it also that fucking hard to support an "insert mode" rather than always replacing? Tab completion? It's like living in the damn stone age working on these boxes I swear. I work in a mixed environment and have to switch back and forth a lot. I can tell you
  • "While the figure represents existing salaries and equipment drawn together under one roof, it also represents some shift in emphasis by IBM from Linux back to its mature Unix operating system."

    How do you figure that? If all it is is shifting the books around, I don't see how it's changing emphasis on anything. Sounds more like simply reorganizing in the name of effenciency.
  • Unix03 compliance (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thanasakis ( 225405 ) on Sunday December 25, 2005 @07:04PM (#14337441)
    Take a look at the unix03 register [opengroup.org]. Only Solaris 10 and AIX are Unix03 compliant. That's why it makes perfect sense for IBM to continue its commitement to AIX (and for Sun to Solaris of course).

    Linux (I mean Linux in the broader sense, not just the kernel) should strive to achieve some sort of formal compatibility to a standard like that.
  • What the hell is AIX? I've been in IT for 10 years now and never heard of it.
  • "it also represents some shift in emphasis by IBM from Linux back to its mature Unix operating system."

    IBM will support OSS including Linux as long as the PR value exceeds any investment and not a second longer. Since they lost leadership of PC development, IBM has never met idea or consortium that they didn't like, but in the end their participation has little impact on the adoption of the technology involved.
  • IBM is a huge company, the IT industry is less stable than for a long time, and they are putting their eggs in more than one basket because they can?

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