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Linux Servers Break out of HPC into Enterprise 66

Jane Walker writes "Watch out, IBM, Dell and HP. Linux server vendors that have carved out a space in high-performance computing markets are taking their tailor-made servers into new enterprise markets, providing a welcome change for businesses that want to save money and get customized products."
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Linux Servers Break out of HPC into Enterprise

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  • Hmm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    I've always been a fan of building, installing and maintaining my own Linux server. :-)
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MindStalker ( 22827 )
      Yes, but sadly its difficult to find server quality highend parts. I'm refering to such things and redundant hot swap parts. If you've ever had your hands on decent power edge server, you wouldn't want to give it up.
      • by wsanders ( 114993 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @05:33PM (#14919313) Homepage
        No, it's difficult to find reliable free distros that will support the features of higher-end woes. I still subscribe to the Poweredge Linux list and it is full of tales of woe from people trying to use free distros, mostly due to RAID controlelr problems.

        OTOH, Dells with supported (RHEL and SUSE) distros seem to be OK, and DL380s (The Cheap Server of the Gods) seems to be even better, although I had a heck of a time a few months ago tring to get the serial port and LOM to work together during boot. (Mostly that was incompetent HP support. Eventually we figrued out the magic BIOS settings to get it to work.)

        So realible hardware is out there but it seems to be going hand in hand with the pay-for-support distros nowadays.
      • This one time at rack camp...
  • by gurutc ( 613652 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @04:49PM (#14918954)
    We need to back up 2 Terabytes nightly from 65 schools for our district. RSYNC on a Linux backup server has been the only way we have found that works for this. And we are saving a cool quarter million dollars yearly versus a commercial enterprise solution.
    • Do you know that rsync also runs on Windows? I even use it to synch some machines at the company I work for.

      I'm all for Linux and FOSS (I run Linux exclusively at home, and I try to convince my boss to use Linux here), but don't be so blind as to say Linux is the only way.
      • Yes, I know RSYNC runs on Windows too and can even be configured as a Windows service. I set the system up initially with that configuration, and for smaller setups it would be adequate. But to run it in Windows you have to use the cygwin dll and a shell that is still contained in the Windows kernel. With data streams coming from dozens of sites the Windows server was overwhelmed, particularly in network and disk bottlenecks. Windows wasn't going to cut it at the level that we needed. But with Linux I wa
  • by hkgroove ( 791170 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @04:51PM (#14918972) Homepage
    Does this mean Scotty can now get more power when Kirk asks for it?
  • This makes sense, since David A. Wheeler [dwheeler.com] has had a lot of good things to say about Linux servers. Plus, I've kept a Linux server/router working for a while elsewhere.
  • So all this time Linux was the predecessor to LCARS? [wikipedia.org]

  • But can you build a Beow ...

    o wait I guess you can
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Each license of Redhat Advanced Server Linux costs me about $1200. How exactly does this save me money? Linux has its uses as does Microsoft Windows 2003, but I don't use Linux because it saves me money in the enterprise. For home users, yes, it might save money although with XP Home being bundled with $299 computers like at Dell I find that hard to believe. For enterprise users, no, price is not an issue.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Each license of Redhat Advanced Server Linux costs me about $1200. How exactly does this save me money?

      If you read TFA, you'll find several companies providing their own solutions with no redhat licenses involved. You can download all of the Redhat enterprise software right now [redhat.com] for free (open source != licenses) and create a new company providing a specific solution for specific customers.

      THat's not something you can do with the "one-size-fits-all" windows solutions.
    • Most windows servers in my client's datacenters have one app per box, because a crash of one app might take out any others. The average utilization of a windows server is under 15%. Now, if you run a real OS that provides isolation and protection of resources, you just might be able to utilize resources better (that's also vmware's sales pitch, but often applies in Unix/Linux/BSD land.
    • Only fools would pay for $1200/license to use somebody's pre-packaged open-source software.

      If you have more than one license, you could easily hire someone full-time to do upgrades on your servers and use a free linux distribution like Fedora or Gentoo. (Or even consider the *BSDs). Plus you get someone you can immediately contact in the case of a problem (rather than a phone number).

      I realize you are probably concened with uptime and availablity (and hence pay for the enterprise editions), but what kin
      • I can't speak for the parent, but in my case, we use Redhat EL because it's certified to work with Oracle, IBM DB2 and about a dozen other relatively expensive application vendors. Sure we could go with Fedora or some other unsupported flavor of linux, but what's the advantage? Redhat vs. LinuxY, it's comparing apples to apples, they are all the same thing. Free is almost never a single selling point for the Enterprise. Especially when the downside is not ever getting support from your vendors.

      • Plus you get someone you can immediately contact in the case of a problem (rather than a phone number).

        Unless he happens to be on sick leave, on vacation, is in an accident or for some reason leave the company. More pay helps but it could be tons of personal reasons that's not enough. One thing I can tell you about one-man operations - they're really sloppy at keeping documentation. It's not bad will or anything but they keep it in their heads instead of on paper, because there's just noone they need to com
      • Only fools would pay for $1200/license to use somebody's pre-packaged open-source software.

        Um, yeah... The enterprise experience you base this statement on is?

        $1,200/license doesn't add up to all that much in the grand scheme of things. Assuming you have a sysadmin total cost of $50/hour - that's compensation plus employer's side of FICA plus bennies. At that rate, a $1,200 license pays for itself if it saves 24 hours of sysadmin time. A well designed packaging and management system is capable of doing
    • Each license of Redhat Advanced Server Linux costs me about $1200.

      Yup, that it does...so if I choose to use this box for a PostgreSQL database server it costs me $1200...if I decide I want RedHat's support and whatever other goodies. If I don't I can go to Novell and get their enterprise product for as little as $350 (1 or 2 CPUs) and no more than $900 (up to 16 CPUs). Or I can roll my own server using a no-cost distribution.

      Note something about these prices too--they are based on servers/server processor
      • > Remote and automated management of Linux boxes is much more powerful than for Windows.

        There are two things I'll give Microsoft credit for technically. One is that the above is extremely not true. The other is VS2005.
        • VS2005 is certaily a stellar development environment, I'll agree with you there, but IT people implement systems, they don't often do heavy developmet anymore. Linux does need a "VS2005 killer" though, so that developers are encouraged to expand on teh libraray of applicatios availabel for Linux.

          I'd have to disagree wih you on the remote and automated management however. Yes, Windows has some great tools to handle automated deploymet of patches/upgrades/etc, but RedHat and Novell have done a great job the
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Linux Servers Break out of HPC into Enterprise"

    Am I the only one that thinks this looks like an episode synopsis you could see in TV Guide for a Star Trek episode?

    "Captain! The Linux Servers have broken out of the Hydrogen Pressure Chamber! They're spreading like Tribbles! We can't hold them off for long!"


  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @05:28PM (#14919270)
    EMC (leading enterprise class storage provider) has made it possible to use EMC Symmetrix and EMC Clariion enterprise storage cabinets with Linux. HP has ported HP ServiceGuard - enterprise level high availability cluster software to Linux. Yes, I would say Linux is enterprise ready.
  • Are we... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by labratuk ( 204918 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @06:01PM (#14919588)
    ...in a five year timewarp?

    ps- 'Enterprise' doesn't mean anything.
    • It does to Star Trek fans.
    • Hah, Slashdot's just having to dig farther into the past to find more stuff to repost. C'mon, Linux has been used in "enterprise" situations since the 90s. Maybe the difference is that now management knows about it.
  • Seriously. It's become so watered-down it's useless as a description. Every jackass and his dog thinks he needs an "enterprise-level" solution. WTF does it really mean?

    If "Enterprise" means "I'm so stupid I'm willing to overpay for a product or 'solution' [which just means 'product you keep paying for every quarter']", then, yes, Linux is very much ready for enterprise setups because it's actually pretty easy to get people to overpay for Linux-based enterprise-level solutions rather than just hire competen

  • by NorbrookC ( 674063 ) on Tuesday March 14, 2006 @06:55PM (#14920053) Journal

    The submission makes it seem like these companies are moving into the "enterprise-level computing" arena dominated by the big players. What the article ends up saying, after the hype, is that these companies are putting together custom-build server sets that use Linux. This is news? Oh, wait, they're "breaking out of HPC" .. yet everything in the article is pretty much devoted to describing their HPC builds and customers. Yes, that's neat, but what does that mean in terms of competing with the big three? Ah...they have plans to move into the "enterprise"! OK, again, it's neat what they're doing, but they're still niche players, and I'm still not seeing how they're any threat to Dell, HP, or IBM. Those three already have and support Linux, a pretty good range of hardware, support, and marketing capability. I think there's a place for these other companies, and they're doing some really incredible things with Linux - but I don't see them pushing the big three.

  • by jphr3ak ( 300464 )
    It means that Picard will get another chance to kill with a crossbow.
  • Slower than MySQL ? Don't have any benchmarks, but I always hear this.
  • News Flash: Linux has been used in "mission critical" applications in the enterprise for at least 8 years now. Anyone who thinks Linux is "almost ready" clearly doesn't know what they're talking about and is nearly a decade behind reality.
  • Places like Pogo are going to need to improve their warranty and support policies if they want to compete against the big players. The person I replaced bought several boxes from Pogo. One had a DVD drive that croaked, so I submitted a warranty claim online. It took a phone call a couple of weeks later to actually get an acknowledgement. Then, weeks passed, and no replacement drive. They claim their vendor dropped the ball on that, so they were shipping one from stock. So it arrives, and they expect t

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