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Microsoft Janus 241

nadador writes "Apparently, Microsoft is readying an enterprise class clustering and failover version of Windows 2000. Techweb, and Microsoft, I'm sure, seem to think this is going to be a "Unix Killer". It also mentions Linux as a driving force in making Windows truly enterprise class software" It actually sounds quite impressive. I can't wait to see what some of the upcoming HA (high-availability) enhancements for Linux will look like.
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Microsoft Janus

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  • by RobKow ( 1787 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @10:28AM (#1804730)

    Whether NT is stable in a single server non-HA configuration or not does not matter; as long as the system as viewed from outside the cluster is up all the time with acceptable performance, there is no loss. Linux can do HA too, but the apps just aren't there. We can't beat this because we don't have control over it. Stability is really the only thing Linux has over NT at the moment in the data center, but this turns the tables. NT with failover clusters is more reliable than any single Linux machine.

    Have Oracle port OPS. Oh, wait, that won't be done until raw devices are in the kernel, and Linus doesn't like them. Same for other cluster-enabled RDBMSs. Linux also has a severe filesystem deficiency right now, but as I understand it, this is being worked on, but I don't see much real progress. Other scalability concerns are being addressed in 2.3 right now, which should be out before 2000 as 2.4, if I am to understand Linus's release schedule correctly.

    Another real problem with Linux is the lack of availablity of midrange and high-end hardware to key developers. My company (Denarius: []) would be more than happy to supply and set up access to high-end hardware for kernel developers as a service to the community. Hardware manufacturers would have an incentive to offer evaluations of their hardware to "sponsor" the project, as well, gaining bonus points with developers and users.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @10:28AM (#1804731)
    I will never use NT again

    I hoped on a NT machine once to port some C shell scripts into NT compatiable perl. (Was not my idea). Grabed Active perl, it installed easy, sweet I though, NT isn't so bad, I take a quick look at the code of the shell scripts, pop open edit and start to port away. 5-10-15 minutes go by, hey this isn't so bad, "NT is kinda nice" I though to myself.

    BANG!! "WTF?" I think, shake shake, "Hrm."

    Edit locked the system up tight. ctrl-alt-del, no good. I walk down the half and jump into the break room, 7 MSCE standing around, "Ok, no problem"

    "Hey can one of you guys help me out, one of the NT machines in there isn't working right"

    "Ohhh does the little unix geek have problem working with the Big Scary NT machines"

    "Ha ha guys, come on help me getting this back to a normal state"

    "Maybe if you didn't use a OS from before you where born you would have a couple minutes to learn a real OS like NT ... geekboy"

    "Will you help me or not"

    They piled into look at how stupid I was, "look he doesn't know how to use a mouse" things like that. After 2 minutes of clicking on the keyboard and messing with the mouse one of em turns to me and 'speaking down" to me said "Look this is a power button, you push it in the machine goes off, you push it in again and the machine come on, ok do you think you can handle that?" and he fliped the power switch.

    "Why didn't you just kill the process" I said

    "Maybe if you didn't keep crashing it we wouldn't be in this mess"

    After 3 hours of crashing 12 differant NT machine multiply times and 7 MSCE that couldn't firgure it out with help from Mirosoft Techo Support. If they can't get a small text editor to work on standard machine with $4000 tech support agreement with Microsoft, I have to take a stand and say "I will NEVER use NT again!"

  • guess you're not familiar with all the problems ebay has had recently keeping their servers up....
  • My laptop, on the other hand, has never crashed, wedged, or otherwise malfunctioned. It's running Windows 2000 beta 3. My desktop back in the states has never crashed, wedged, etc. since I first put Windows NT 4.0 on it several years ago.

    Isn't it funny that all of our pro-MS trolls have a Windows 2000 beta? I wonder what the odds of that are?

    Oh, and if I ever saw two Linux boxes and a BSD box crash within a 24 hour period, I'd figure a) they're doing kernel development or b) Hell froze over.

    But you're right, NT isn't that unstable. I could replace my Linux workstations with NT, and probably never see a crash. However, I'm running Linux because NT is such a limiting environment. I can't do things the way I want with NT. And then trying to work on NT remotely is just pointless.

    BUT the most important thing that zealots (myself included) don't seem to realize is that the competition is more important than either OS alone. A lot of the time, I just want Windows to disappear, but we'd probably be better off in a competitve OS market (with Windows still around, but not a monopoly).

    Win00 is going to be a better OS because of Linux. But Linux is competing openly and fairly, and I wonder if MS will do the same? They never have before...

    And along those lines of thought, I have one reason why using Linux, even if NT was superior in some ways, might be a good idea:
    How many applications do you have on your NT box?
    How many of them are NOT made by Microsoft?
    I'll bet it's a pretty low percentage, and it's even lower for a more mainstream user.

    Do you really feel comfortable with the idea of one company providing nearly every tool you need to use a computer and access the Internet? These things are quickly becoming vital to commerce, research, communication, and entertainment. Do you really want to visit the MS Bank, MS Store, MS Library, and MS Postoffice, and watch MS TV and MS Movies over your MS Cable Modem on your MS OS with MS Internet 2005 (integrated into the OS, of course)? I bet Bill would like it.
  • the apps arent there? um isnt HA mostly used for servers and NOT a desktop machine? if so, then who cares about the amount of apps...linux has a lot of server software, nuff said
  • > Why can't you people even wait until the product comes out to bash it!?!?

    It's frikkin' predecessor isn't even out yet, and Microsoft is already bragging about it. Why can't be start bashing it too?

  • Janus also has preciesly 0 "back orifice"s. Perhaps MS means Janus to be a reasonably secure system?
  • Once again I see folks scrambling to solve problems that were solved in VMS over a decade ago.

    I just mentioned to someone today how much better VMS' system of logicals was than UNIX' filesystems. (Not to mention Win/DOS' lack of either).

    Now, we're talking about clusters and a lock manager.

    Amazing that a masterwork like the Distributed Lock Manager languishes in relative disuse. Open up the source to that, Compaq!

  • Actually, by the time I saw the "Truth about Stability" post, it was scored at "1: Flamebait"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    One of Microsoft's most common marketing strategies:

    1. MS releases X
    2. MS pushes X by massive hype
    3. due to MS hype customers buy X
    4. customers are not happy with X
    5. customers lern about products Y (and Z and ...) by other companies, Y (and Z and ...) seems to fit their needs much better
    6a MS starts FUD attacks against Y (and Z and ...)
    6b MS announces vaporware X+ that will solve every problems customers may have with X and that will be much better than Y (and Z and...)
    7. customers stop thinking about switching to Y (or Z or ...) and wait for X+ to save investments already made for X
    8 sometimes MS really release an X* (the X+-should-be) with massive hype
    9 customers buy X* immediatly
    10 s/X*/X/ and go back to 4.
  • Then why do NT preinstalls like to crash? And why's it so hard to setup a decent NT install? Gee, Linux is a lot like Unix, but it's not that hard to get a working install. Besides, so many NT drivers don't work as advertised (drivers can and do contribute to the instability of their OSes).

    White papers. Oh yes, WHITE PAPERS. Yea, I really trust their white papers. Come on, be serious. After the crashprone piles that Microsoft calls software and they've chosen to release, I wouldn't trust their white papers. And from what I've heard, both the predecessor product (Wolfpack) and the product on which Janus is supposed to be largely based are pretty damn lousy. (I don't run NT at work. Thankfully.)

    I believe in the best tool for the job also. I just happen to not believe that NT is a decent tool for 99% of the jobs I'd want/need to do.
  • Windows 9X supports 1 processor because of its DOS heritage.

    Windows NT has theoretical support for up to 256 processors. The limits in the various flavors (Workstation, Server, Adv. Server, etc) are put in there for licensing reasons (I think). Workstation licences you to 2 procs, Server gives you 8 (I think) and Adv. Server lets you have more than 8. However, if you want to use more than 8 procs you have to write your own HAL.
  • In short, I'll believe their promises about Janus when they can switch Hotmail over to NT, IIS, MS SQL Server and Exchange.

    I wouldn't be suprised to see them switch to an architecture based on Win2000/IIS5/SQL7/Exchange6 next year sometime. (Even if it takes twice as much hardware!) Don't think they've dropped the idea.

    It'll be one less flamethrower for the Unix advocacy arsenel, which is fine because this one is getting a little boring.

  • Tried? Yea, they've tried on at least 2 separate occasions, and failed in both cases. The NT boxes were just plain unstable. They could only run them for a few hours before they just flat out crashed, from what I heard. So HotMail continues to run on FreeBSD and Solaris. What a shame. (not)
  • by unicorn ( 8060 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @01:38PM (#1804748)
    I agree wholeheartedly. Frankly, I didn't see what was so amusing about his 2 bits, at all. The language was incredibly stilted, and the humor, wasn't funny. It was your basic "MS Sucks" piece, with delusions of grandeur.

    I appreciate that most of the readers of this site, are rabid about Linux. But c'mon people. This "humor" site, was just juvenille.

    If the users of Linux can't keep the dialogue at a vaguely sophisticated level, they WILL continue to be ridiculed, and ignored. If you want to be taken seriously, you guys should at least occasionally feign maturity.

    Ok, I'm back off my soapbox now.
  • I'm a systems administrator for a Large enterprise with lots of time running AIX, Linux and NT systems.

    NT average (of 15 boxes) uptime is 11 days.
    Max uptime 45 days, min 2 days

    AIX average (10 boxes) uptime is 321 days
    Max uptime 437 days, min 97 days

    Linux average ( just 6 boxes) uptime 63 days
    Max uptime 85 days, min 14 days

    Note: I'm not the administrator of the NT systems, maybe they are crap administrators. I'm just reporting their statistics. The 1st (official) Linux box was installed 93 days ago.
  • "but it can't grow unless more companies support it, "

    Since when?
  • by ethereal ( 13958 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @10:29AM (#1804752) Journal

    Actually, this quote isn't by the author of the article but is attributed to "One VAR". It's the Anonymous Coward of journalism, in this case probably someone who has an interest in Linux being seen as a toy OS. This article wasn't so much written as pieced together out of quotes from Microsoft and mostly unidentified industry sources.

    And this is all really going to ship 60-120 days after the release of Win2k? Most customers will still be waiting for the first Win2k Service Pack at that point, as explained at the end of the article. Janus sounds like the same old vaporware to me.

  • I think some of the *major* HA vendors do stuff like that. You'd need some pretty expensive hardware, but I think it would work. If you're building an enterprise app, you can do stuff like this using databases, complex transactions and sessions so that the user doesn't see that the server has gone down and he's been switched over to an alternate.

    Yeah, Linux is still in the basic stages of HA, but you *can* actually do it at this point in time, and I'm pretty sure it's reliable. There's some cool stuff going on in HA and virtual servers right now...
  • since Linux doesn't depend on sales to stay afloat, vapourware and fudslinging won't work

    Don't be so quick to assume this is true. Linux doesn't depend on sales, but it can't grow unless more companies support it, port software, and more users use it. FUD can work. MS can't just hope that Linux will lose money and go out of business.
  • Man, what I really love is when some blow smoke like this one:

    "This is supposed to have the power of Unix," said one source who asked to remain unidentified, adding "Janus" will exploit Intel's forthcoming dual-network boards to double throughput.

    talkes about unix as if it's the sh*t, and when you meet him over lunch; he's all over how unix sucks. I wish I had a gigantic vacuum cleaner so I could and suck the fud out through his nose. pana
  • Why can't you people even wait until the product comes out to bash it!?!?

    You would expect the slashdot netizens to be at least a little intelligent and open minded... but alas, you all are a discredit to your OS.

    I looked at the white papers, and it sounds DAMN cool. Yet most of you imediatly start bashing NT... which is completely besides the point.

    Stop bashing and start looking for the best solution to your IT problems... don't use a product simply because of who does, or does not make it.

    I don't know about you, but I use something because it's the best... not because MS does or doesn't make it.

    Get a life...
  • Ok, I know that SGI was helping MS out with adding multiple processor support onto Windows, so that later version wouldn't be limited like NT with 4 or other Windows with 1. But the idea of NT connecting onto 64-128 processors seems, well, a bit far fetched, not even Solaris can seamlessly deal with that many processors. Anyway, what is it going to run on? The price tag on a machine with 64 IA processors would be almost as much as the MS software licenses! Also it isn't like the Xeon or the PPro can handle being placed in such an array. And although it is very possible to cluster Alphas to that scale would it be worth it? Are they going to try and run it on SGI machines?? Even if they were going to try, Irix isn't dead yet and would kick the living ?hi? out of it.

    This is some serious FUD here. Quick throw in more dry ice, there isn't enough fog to obscure the truth!
  • It'll ship exactly on time, like all Microsoft products. They are never late and the first versions kick ass. (Not a troll, sarcasm)

    I'm expecting it REALLY about 2002 based on the article. BTW, funny how the above comment got moderated (+1, insightful) A little /. cynicism maybe (like my own...)

  • Guess you didn't catch the sarcasm at the end of the message.
  • Yeah this is the new "Lemmings" release of Windows...

    When one system crashes, the others follow one-by-one!

    On the other hand it could be a "feature" - an instant get to watch the "blue screen of death" again..and again..and again..

  • You're confusing "success" with "usefulness." Windows is incredibly successful. It's the single most dominant operating system on the market today -- even in areas where it's not trying to compete!

    Yes, it's a lousy operating system. Yes, it's a VERY lousy operating system. Yes, it's a PAINFULLY lousy operating system. But it is very successful.

  • Right. Like there's nothing to learn with NT/Back Office/ SQl Server....I picked everything *I* know from 2 newspaper articles, and my network is running sweet.
  • .. a funny incident I had when working with NT.

    There I was, working away, when suddenly, the console just froze. No blue screen, nothing. "OK", I thought, "It may have just locked up the GDI bit."

    Sure enough, I was able to ping the machine etc. So I went to one of the domain admins, sitting behind me, and asked him to do a remote reboot of my machine (as the responsible computer user does.)

    Up pops his admin tool, he enters my machine name, and presses the button to tell it to shut down.

    "Haha, I bet Word will pop up a dialog saying 'Are you sure you want to exit?', to which I won't be able respond."

    Sure enough, the machine doesn't shutdown, that is exactly what happened.

    We laughed, and tried again. Up comes the admin tool, and this time he presses the 'shutdown with prejudice key' ie. processes are killed unconditionally.

    Except he forgot to change the machine name, and HIS machine goes crashing down, losing all his unsaved work.

    It get's worse.

    When his machine finally came back up, he opened the admin tool, changed the target machine to mine, and pressed the 'shutdown with prejudice' button.

    Nowt, nothing!

    We summised that the monitor on my machine, which listens for shutdown requests, had itself SHUTDOWN first time round, and hence my machine ignored subsequent shutdown requests!

    Big red switch time.....
  • Janus appears to be able to handle quite an amount of processing power, but who needs that much power in a single spot these days?

    There really is a need for massive computing along the lines of what Janus promises to deliver, but it must still be considered a highly specialised niche, where customers are few but powerful. I think that the primary purpose of "advertising" like this is to divert the audience's eyes from an important fact: while Janus might be able to run the most powerful clusters in the world, and that stably, it does not mean that it has any benefits at all to other operating systems when it leaves the domain in which it was tested as the best. The Mindcraft test and the events that followed clearly debunked the hitherto reigning sentiment of "better at this, better at everything", which is, by the way, a formal fallacy.

    Maybe Linux will some day be able to whip Janus' hide in it's field, but what if it doesn't? The nature of Linux, as I see it, is to naturally fulfill the needs of the many, and those who need a highly specialised OS for a highly specialised task may tailor Linux to fit their needs. Janus is a giant that either fits or doesn't, and when it fits, it does its task well.

    Take a university campus, for instance. Would I like to rely on the NT user interface there? No, because I would be severely restricted in my remote operation possibilities. I don't want to rely on a GUI, and especially not when I might be at a slow machine. Where does Janus have a benefit to traditional Unix in such an institution? Here reliability is more important on the individual machine. And what about the availability of user applications?

    There's more to an OS than high-end clustering... and 128 nodes?!?

    Let's put things in perspective, shall we? For every job there's a perfect tool, and if that tool doesn't exist, then we can make it. Universal tools are only so good.
  • by tramp ( 68773 )
    Well after Win 3.1 Win95 Win98 Win CE Win NT Embedded NT: all louzy products who going to believe M$ anyway?
  • when I see it.

    It won't ship on time, we know that much for sure.

    Any guesses on how much of this is just vaporware in an attempt to keep people from switching to Linux?
  • Why was the comment below moderated down to -1 ? This isn't 'flamebait' it's a perfectly valid point. Before the mindcraft tests all the mouthy linux 'advocates' would bang on about speed. Now that's been shown to be a moot point they bang on about stability - many of them I suspect running Linux on a PC in their bedroom where neither is really that important.


    Before any benchmarks were done, linux people wouldn't shut up about how well it performed.

    Now of stability means everything and speed all of a sudden means nothing.

    Yes, I realize stability is a key asset of a web server.

    Yes, I realize that all systems could saturate most leased-lines anyway...

    BUT, for once I'd like to see linux advocates just take on the chin like men. Even Microsoft would be hard pressed to generate this much FUD. Yes, that's right - the linux community is the _overwhelming_ source of FUD online these days.
  • Wasn't Microsoft saying that Open Source was the one that didn't innovate? It looks to me like NT is the one playing catch-up right now. We've had Linux High Availability stuff accessible for a long time right now. As well, Linux boxes have been consistantly showing higher uptimes on average than NT boxes.

    I think the statement about OSS not innovating was just another piece of MS FUD. Linux didn't have the userbase to support the rapid development of applications that are growing right now a few years ago, but now that it does, it has the ability to maintain it's technological leadership.

    Interesting how this battle is waging. I'm sure there will be textbooks written on the OSS vs. the capitalist monopoly stories decades from now. It's quite a classic -- heroes, villans and crusades!


  • ``We have to remember that many features in GNOME and KDE are designed to be ripoffs of Microsoft interfaces. Screensaver, background, taskbar, start button (emphasis mine), control panel settings, system sounds, and many other applets were copied from Microsoft products.''

    I hadn't heard that before. You mean Gnome and KDE have a ``Start'' button? I think I'll stick with Afterstep.

  • Actually your thinking is good. If you want high availability think of Aircraft Flight Control Sytems. I did some work for the Boeing 777. This has 4 Flight computers. If any one fails the others keep going. In addition each computer (In a traditional "Black Box" contains 3 different processor boards. So if there is a bug in a particular processor or compiler only one falls over.
    There is a piece of mathematics called the Byzantine Generals Problem which states that in order to tolerate a single failure of a computer or the communications links in a redundant system you really need 4 fully interconnected computers. And in general for n failures you need 3n + 1 computers all fully cross-connected.
    How you apply anything like this to WEB servers etc I'm not sure.

    And don't worry about flying a 777. Even if the computers give up the pilot can still fly the thing using the analogue electronics.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What, like UNIX vendors (and Linux developers) are sitting still while MS trys to eat their lunches? Vaporware - like everything MS does the *NEXT* version will cure all ills.
  • by gerald_holmes ( 62911 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @09:55AM (#1804783)
    Hey everybodys this is just one more good things that Micorsoft is does and it goes to shows that Bill Gates is a super genius smart man who knows alots of stuff and things.

    Here I prooves that Micorsoft is really really very very good: /geraldholmes/index.html []

  • by hany ( 3601 )
    Stop bashing and start looking for the best solution to your IT problems... don't use a product simply because of who does, or does not make it.

    the only group i know about which is very frequently using arguments and decisions based on "who [does/does not] make this product" are the ones which deploy MS products (notably NT on servers).

  • What it says.

    Right now, Bill is gunning for the enterprise. It
    is no longer about money for him, I guess, but
    'the Microsoft way'. Well, although the 'Microsoft Way' has some good ideas, it doesn't implement a
    lot of them terribly well.

    Let's learn from their successes and their mistakes. I believe component-based development for free POSIX compliant platforms is the way forward.

    And I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is.

    The open source OSes are capable of so much more than Windows. Linux has been hyped up to the nines
    somewhat lately - I'd really like to see the Linux dev groups borrowing more from BSD as they have been.
  • my my... nice assumptions, totally unfounded and incorrect however.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Hmmm, a "bigger" version of NT Server (which runs what, $995?), and you use eight of them...

    Plus per user connection licenses...

    I can't wait to see the price lists!
  • IBM and Sun are more than ready to fight off NT on the high end. Leave the big iron to them. Linux is poised to threaten Microsoft on the desktop and small servers - that's where we should focus our attention. Big servers might be sexy, but the low end is strategic.

    Microsoft needs the desktop and ISP market 1/for revenue, 2/to leverage other products. If Linux can continue to nip away at the low end Microsoft will start to feel it in the pocketbook, and worse, they won't be able to use their dominance to take over the server market.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I seem to recall that in a recent interview Linus said HA software wasn't being pushed hard in linux development because the whole point of linux development was to not have the software crash all the time in the first place. Now, admittedly occaisonally you get hardware failure, but c'mon, this doesn't justify buying 8 boxes just cuz you need one running.

    If MS wants High Availability, fix the durned bugs. I'm sure as hell not paying for 8 1000$+ licenses and 8 quad-whatever comps to do the work of a decent linux box or two with far less hardware.

  • Although Microsoft has an extremely fast application server platform,
    PC Week Labs finds its offering has weaker manageability, fault
    tolerance and load balancing than the other products Doculabs
    tested. (For more on the pros and cons of Microsoft's approach, see

    For example, Microsoft wrote all its state management code by hand
    to get both fault tolerance and maximum speed--IIS' state
    management engine has no support for either fault tolerance or

    In addition, MTS has no load balancing or failover support. Each
    Microsoft Web server was hard-coded to use one specific MTS back
    end--so, had anything gone wrong at the back-end layer (but not at
    the Web server layer), it would have been harder for IIS to recover
    than for any other product tested. Microsoft provides load balancing
    at the Web server layer; application server load balancing will be part
    of Windows 2000.

    Um, so yeah. Also note that none of the servers were running on Linux anyway. Why did you bring this up?
  • I use NT everyday and almost never have a problem. I don't have a choice and would rather use Linux for the experience (and do at home) but NT just aint that bad. You musta had somekind of HW problem, geekboy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The NT solution was:
    a) No Failover
    b) No load balancing
    c) Was NOT portable! C++ isn't considered very portable, nor is ISAPI

    The UNIX solutions were all:
    a) Java based solutions
    b) Robust and much more portable
    c) Most/All had failover/loadbalancing

    The UNIX solution is the only way to go in a true Distributed Enterprise environment.

    Plus, if you read the article, Netscape App Server (NAS) was constantly waiting on the Database server, which means it still has room to grow.

    Finally, NT is not a true app server at all. Think of the inclusion of NT as a baseline for the app servers to compare themselves against. If you implemented the same application using Netscape Enterprise and used C++ and NSAPI, I'm sure you would get similar, if not better performance.
  • Open Source still does not innovate. Linux merely copied its HA stuff from other UNIXes that've had it for quite a while now. Copying something yourself before Microsoft copies it is not innovation.
  • It's also a mutual fund.. check out CNNfn sometime.
  • The point of that line isn't referring to how powerful Linux is, but how it gets used right now. Linux still requires a significant amount of technical know-how of the Linux system in order to install it. Linux is a "toy" for techies because non-techies can't really use it effectively. The real problem is the lack of good technical administrators.

    Some of my co-workers (I work at CSC []) may use computers for the entirety of their job, but they couldn't format a disk without help. Some of them even have trouble understanding how to use the graphical file systems in Windows. They'd never understand how to sort a text based directory tree, much less remember any number of commands for use in the system. Point, Click and Type (normal documents) is about all they can handle effectively. Don't get me wrong, CSC is good at what it does. There are some amazing techies here who can handle mainframes and other very large systems very well. Most of them prefer one of the older UNIX systems over Linux.

    The point being that until Linux is as easy to operate as Windows, it will remain a techie's OS, and stay out of the main-stream of office environments. Before calling the article uniformed, think about what they're trying to say. Linux is a very good OS with lots of up-time... if you know how to tweak it properly and are using a small computer. But, if we're talking about pure up-time, I've yet to see a Win95 machine here crash while running nomral programs (like MS Word, MS Excel or Lotus Notes), and the mainframes they use for back-ground networking have up-times measured in years (well, as a whole. Sections get turned off for vacuuming and internal checks now and again, but they have to, being room-sized machines). I think a few of the core machines have been on and running perfectly since before Linux existed. And I have no clue what they run, except that it was written in-house before getting bought out by the current owners. Until Linux can mach the usability of Windows, it will have a hard time capturing anything more than servers (run by a good techie who isn't using a different UNIX) and techie's personal computers. But that's just my perspective. Maybe I'm missing something since last time I helped a friend install Linux (I personally use Win98 system, since most of what I do is game related. Thanks mostly to Loki, I may soon switch.)

    Just remember, even if you don't like it, it isn't necessarily either bad or false. I've seen Win2000 beta, and I personally liked it as PC OS. I can't vouch for its ability as a server OS, however. And, like Linux, it needs more drivers, but I know those will appear. The Linux ones are more in doubt.
    ~Anguirel (lit. Living Star-Iron)
    "Veni; Vidi; Vi C++"

  • Well actually in Linus's Finnish home land "Linus" does rhyme with "Penis".
  • If you really need raw devices (someone from Oracle said in this thread that they don't) then they are on their way []. Stephen Tweedie is doing them (paid by Red Hat).
  • What masterwork? VMS's DLM wasn't truly distributed, it was "static master with a capability for recovery". As a result, four-node DB scalability using plain old Ethernet never exceeded 0.6. With a truly distributed lock manager and dynamic resource migration, we got up to 0.8. We also never forgave Oracle for retaining all sorts of VMS-specific semantics (the classic six lock modes, blocking ASTs) in the lock-manager specification even when running on non-VMS platforms.

    DEC was pretty much the first to develop HA clustering as we know it today, and to this day leads the pack in terms of functionality. However, they tend to use a big proprietary-hardware crutch quite a bit. It used to be the HSC, now it's MC. If you take away the proprietary hardware DEC's offerings lose a little bit of functionality (though still remaining quite excellent) and a lot of performance.
  • If Linux borrowed features from the Unices and MS is trying to catch up with those Unices, then MS is also trying to catch up with Linux Q.E.D.
  • Because apps still matter for servers, too. Linux has a lot of server software but I can't think of any example of an RDBMS or similar software on Linux that supports clustering for either scalability or availability. Having apps isn't good enough; they have to do what you need, too.
  • Janus... the two-faced god. How appropriate.
  • think about the home users. who might not have their computer networked.

    a couple of times I've had to reach for the big power switch while running Linux because the machine wasn't networked. I was pretty sure I could telnet to the machine and kill the process *if only the darn thing was networked* (it had a modem but that's hardly useful for killing processes now)

    to sell Linux's stability to the home crowd, there needs to be something done about keyboard/mouse lockups that programs can still do ... and which might convince the average Windows convert that the machine has Microsofted
  • Among Romans, Janus was best known as the god of the portal. Statues of Janus were often erected over doorways with one face looking out and the other looking into the house.

    It isn't really fair to consider him one of the lesser gods. More like one of the more personal gods. Roman worship at home was more directed to the hearth gods, the animistic spirits called the Numines, and guys like Janus. The household gods.


    I can't help myself, I'm a mythology geek!
  • First off, a well designed NT box is faster and more stable than Linux. Period. You can argue personal experience all you want, but all that means is that you don't know how to build an NT box.

    Yeah, that's about the classic answer one hears when complaining about NT's reliability. Funny thing is: MS claims that a) "NT is easy to administer" and b) "NT is reliable". Now, your statement proves that at least one of those statements must be wrong...

  • I'll concede your point, in the lack of any first-hand knowledge of the state of the VMS clustering today. I was, indeed, thinking about what they could do with the HSC "crutch".

    I figured they would have got farther with the Ethernet clustering by now. They've been working on it for quite some time. 6 or 7 years, at least?

    To show how really out of touch I am now with the Digital world, what's MC?

  • NT is NOT an easy OS to administrate. Take a look at Microsoft's list of "how to secure Windows NT" sometime. Take a look at the fat stack of books you're supposed to read for an MCSE (as if they teach you anything). Look at all the posts to Slashdot of people saying "NT runs GREAT if you administrate it correctly" (implied 'you bozos' at the end of that one). The fact is, using NT as a server requires every bit as much expertise as using any Unix system, so I don't understand the argument that says "NT is better because it's easy to use." Easy to use? Maybe. Easy to administrate? Absolutely not. Has anyone ever compared, for example, the amount of work that goes into maintaining an NT proxy server with the amount of work that goes into using IP masquerading? How many mouse clicks it takes to copy a configuration from one NT web server to another compared to the ease of moving a "httpd.conf" file over? Sheesh, people...
  • I wouldn't be suprised to see them switch to an architecture based on Win2000/IIS5/SQL7/Exchange6 next year sometime. (Even if it takes twice as much hardware!) Don't think they've dropped the idea.

    I know they haven't dropped the idea. That was what the outages and problems at Hotmail earlier this year were about, IIRC. I just don't think they'll ever manage the switch. If they can more power to them, but my experience is that the fundamental architecture of the MS products is antithetical to high performance and high reliability. They keep throwing more and more into the OS, but the only way I've ever seen to get reliability and performance is to reduce the overhead and number of places bugs can occur by reducing the amount of stuff in the system.

    And if it's next year before they have an OS and software capable of handling Hotmail, that means that Janus is 4-5 years out because Hotmail is a fraction what's needed for what Janus is promising.

  • I don't know if MS was the first, but the first time I used a two button mouse, contextual menus or basically any else Windows does that Mac doesn't, that it was on a Windows box.
    The IDE of VB is unlike anything else. It allows you to code small apps faster and cleaner than any other DE available.
  • I think MS is convinced that W*ndows is so much nicer to use than Un*x that everyone will fall over themselves to run away from Un*x to W*ndows as soon as W*ndows starts to even begin to appear as if it might address some Un*x capabilities.

    So, for damn near 6 years MS has been saying "Un*x killer, Un*x killer." as NT becomes marginally better and thus more Un*x like.

    Some people even believed them, and believed them again, and again, even though it was so much obvious bunk. Now it seems the refrain is growing weak as the Un*x killer gets ever more big fat and ugly.

    Meanwhile they didn't notice the NT killer that came out of the Un*x camp. This killer isn't crying "Wolf!" either.

    It's gonna be interesting.
  • MS has made many interface,

    Lousy ones like Bob and that crappy paperclip. M$ has produced little to no "innovation" in interfaces. They stole most of it from Apple for the GUI, and their CLI was/is a pale and corrupt shadow of Unix.


    bloatware -- massively, hugely, grotesquely bloated (but I do like some aspects of VC++). The only innovation I can see -- aside, perhaps, from being able to visually generate graphical objects -- is in the integration. But that's not innovation; I suspect EMACS beat them there.

    and administration innovations.

    Like forcing you to log out, then log back in as admin, then log back in as a regular user to do administrative tasks -- either that, or running with the admin privileges full time. Very innovative, and a very bad idea.

    Of course, I could be wrong -- so if you have examples of actual *good* innovations by M$, I'd look at them.

  • Techie: The server just went down! Manager: Well, just fail over to the other server! Techie: That IS the other server!
  • I tend to agree because often times the choice of OS is not even there. We standardize our corporate boxes on W9* and NT because it's nearly impossible to retrain everyone to use new software. Windows is here for the long run in spite of it's technical "problems", because that's what they train B-school types to use. Might as well make it as solid as possible (though I've little enough hope for that).

    *nix is great for those of us that need power and reliability (and don't mind the learning curve).

  • I just noticed a discussion post by Henri J. Schlereth [] at the ZDNet web site in which he points out that is possibly running Apache 1.3.6. Since Apache on WinNT is not as mature as for the unices and considering MSN high hit rates, could it be possible that MSN is actually using a unix variant? I tried checking using Netcraft [] but was not successful.
  • I did read the article, and it looks like MS hand-coded a lot of the app in C++, rather than using IIS or any "application server environment" being benchmarked. Great idea. Too bad they didn't let Microsoft develop specialized ASICs to run the app as well...damned editors.

    Let's see... next week we'll benchmark java against Microsoft Visual Assembler... yeah, that's the ticket.

  • I've been hearing this "NT is a UNIX-killer" line since NT 1.0 hit the streets. Hell, I heard it about OS/2!

    NT is crap. I see no reason to believe that Microsoft has either the talent or the inclination to make it into anything else.

  • by Salamander ( 33735 ) <> on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @11:14AM (#1804827) Homepage Journal
    I was one of the principal designers and implementors of both the cluster manager and lock manager for HACMP/6000 version 3.1 (which, BTW, supported 8-way symmetric failover) back in '94, so maybe I'm qualified to comment on some of this.

    First, about MS. The consensus opinion among people who really know HA is that Wolfpack was and is the most pathetic piece of junk ever. The prevailing theory is that they quite deliberately announced it knowing that it was junk, to scare off anyone (such as my employer at the time) who might try to produce their own NT HA solutions.

    This Janus project is just another step in that direction. 64 or 256 nodes? Yeah right. There are several reasons other HA solutions typically only go up to eight. The main one is that nobody really wants a single cluster that big. It's a total management nightmare. What customers actually want to do is set up multiple independent clusters of a reasonable size, and perhaps manage them all from within a common framework, but that's not the same as a single cluster. There's just no benefit to offset the cost of setting up failover relationships that deep and complex.

    Another reason you don't see HA clusters beyond eight is that it's all but impossible to devise protocols (membership, hearbeat, consensus, and so on) that scale that high and yet still handle the simple cases efficiently. Just avoiding all the race conditions in eight nodes booting and trying to join the cluster at once is incredibly difficult. If you don't think it's that hard, try it. Have fun. Come back after you've failed, and we'll talk. ;-) MS has so far exhibited nothing but the most startling ignorance and incompetence in these areas so far, and the idea that they'll suddenly leapfrog the established experts like this is just bunk. It's far easier to believe that they're deliberately making false claims to scare off the competition...again.

    Now that I've bashed MS HA, a few words about Linux HA. It's as pathetic as MS. We have some very basic heartbeat code, and a few other scattered bits and pieces, but that's it. There's practically no fault identification to distinguish different types of failures so that one can respond differently to an adapter or network failure as distinct from a node failure. There's no lock manager. Many of the people working on the designs are only beginning to grasp the basic problems, and they're months if not years from actually implementing industrial-strength solutions. I'm on the mailing list (or I was, before I moved and had to give up my cable-modem account), I see the traffic, and it's Just Not There. I'm sorry, and I wish I could spare more time to contribute more of my own hard-won experience to the project, but that's just the way things are., until I get a new home account
  • No no- flailover.
    That's when one machine breaks, and then flails about until the other ones go down with it :)
  • Although it is not currently a 'Fault Tolerant' solution, TurboLinux Inc. just released an updated beta of the TurboCluster Server product. Users can download the beta, and learn more about the product, from the following url:

    This product is designed to provide scalability and higher availability for standard IP services. Applications such as Apache are natural fits for this model, but many other IP services will also see improvements when deployed with the TurboCluster product.

    As this is a beta, we are very receptive to all user feedback. One of my own tasks is to facilitate the evaluation (and deployment) of our beta product within production environments (ISPs, businesses, corporations, educational institutions, "real world" networks, etc.) I would urge all users who are interested in the software to join our mailing list, listed at the above URL. I will personally try to answer as many questions as I can.

    Best Regards,
    Aaron McKee

    Aaron McKee
    Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer
    TurboLinux, Inc.
    2000 Sierra Point Parkway, Suite 702
    Brisbane, CA 94005
  • Hey, don't look at me: I'm running MacOS 8 too. Apparently it is a great deal more reliable over extended uptimes (such as two days) than Win98 according to some of the Windows advocates' own postings.
    I dualboot LinuxPPC, not on a network. That seems to be very much in line with people's experience- I've sometimes had X crash. I knew I could telnet in- if only I was on a network. X stopped being so delicate when I started using a different version of Netscape.
    I am emphatically on the geeky slashdot weasels' side in this discussion. It's always _next_ year's Microsoft product that is supposed to be wonderful. I contest even the suggestion that MS office applications are so wonderful. That's nonsense. We are talking about a word processor that has consistently had a habit of embedding invisible control characters _in_band_ so that you could delete across a font or style change and have following characters change their style... hell, _Simpletext_ gets that one right.
    The situation is this: MS is not worthy of trust. At all. So are we to be complete blind, brainless idiots who cannot learn from experience, or do we start paying attention to outside information coming in? All of that tends to add up to one fact: nobody can overpromise or underdeliver like Microsoft. Under such conditions, can you seriously advocate taking any of their claims at face value?
  • If (Janus) is not free it's totally irrelevant. Why pay $1295+ support + required apps when the OS their trying to emulate FreeBSD/Linux is free?
  • In other news today, the Version Inflation Index hit 666% as a large software giant released its rewritten office suite onto the market in every distributor channel. Critics call the dumping crminial. The software giant calls it marketing. What gives?
  • I believe is contracted out to someone else and is not hosted by MS. They only branded it. I'm not completely sure though. If this was the case of course the company could choose whatever they wanted to use as long as it got the job done.
  • A Redundant Array of Inexpensive Microcomputers is theoretically possible, designed just as you said. The problem is the interconnect.

    Have you thought about how much raw data gets moved in a computer? Add together all the disk I/O, all the memory I/O, all the miscellaneous bus I/O, and all the intra-processor I/O. Then pass all that over an interconnect to the other four computers in the array. Gigabit Ethernet would choke horribly under such a load. Or rather, your app would become slower than you'd wish.

    In other words, no one wants such a system, at least not to the extent that the I in the acronym holds any meaning. B-)

    RAID works for hard drives because the disks already share a common bus: nothing is lost by going to RAID.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    In an article containing an interview with RedHat CEO Bob Young in last months HPWORLD magazine the following was published:

    "With each passing month, it becomes increasingly clear that more customers and vendors are taking Linux seriously, few more so than HP. Just before press time, sources told HP World that Linux support would soon be extended to the flagship software products WebQoS, VirtualVault, MC/ServiceGuard, and Praesidium VirtualVault. One of the vendors whose Linux implementation will be supported is Red Hat Software."

    You want really good clustering!! This is good clusting. I have built several clusters using this software in my professional career and the have their act together. It can handle upto 16 cluster nodes, has built in automatic failover to a second / standby network interface in the box, and can be managed/monitored using SMNP MIB and Traps which are well documented and published.

    Combine that with the Journaling File Systems support that might come from SGI... and BOOOM! You have just about every "enterprise" feature that all of the other Unixen have except maybe that system partitioning stuff that SUN can do, although that is more hardware trickery than software and could never be done on an Intel platform system.

  • >I figured they would have got farther with the Ethernet clustering by now. They've been working on it for quite some time. 6 or 7 years, at least?

    Longer than that, I think. I vaguely recall reading about it about ten years ago.

    >To show how really out of touch I am now with the Digital world, what's MC?

    Memory Channel. Originally it was based on Encore's Reflective Memory technology, but I've heard that in a later version they redid the whole thing pretty thoroughly.

  • Ok, I'll bite. I've managed to build or purchase *nix boxes that have obtained very good performance and very good uptimes. I've managed to build and purchase NT boxes that have some decent uptimes ( couple of months ), but I've yet to have an NT box retain its performance for any length of time. All my NT boxes become so slow after a couple of weeks of uptime, that if I let them run w/o reboot, then users will start complaining.

    So, how exactly do I go about building an NT box that will outlast and outperform my Linux boxes?
    I'm serious. Do you have some URL's, or whitepapers, that will help.
    I just don't think any kind of hardware I put together will manage to keep NT from leaking memory. It's an OS problem, not a hardware one.
    Maybe I'm not applying the right patches. What do you recommend?
  • Microsoft bought out Convoy Cluster Software for Windows NT in late 1998.

    The clustering software allows for a set of machines with two network cards (one unique IP, one set cluster IP) to split network queries via a random IP address assignment method.
    There is minimal priority configuration, and overall the clustering software is a joke. It does not split/share processing. The SMP support is poor to nonexistant for the Convoy cluster software.

    The network configuration requires the use of a HUB (UGGH!! half duplex!!) to sync/split the cluster queries (and answer them). Switches just won't allow multiple machines to have the same IP. If you've ever tried to push 40 megabits steady out of 4 machines through a 100mbit hub and then out, you surely know the true meaning of the term 'packet loss'. I get nauseous every time i think about how bad it is.

    Microsoft bought out the company and within a week released a press release stating that their new NT 5 (at the time) Enterprise Edition server would come with clustering capabilities built in.

    I use this Convoy clustering software every day, in combination with Apache for NT. If anyone really thinks that this sad software really has the ability to actually threaten many of the SMP/clustering solutions for linux, BSD, or Solaris, they've got at least one ready to laugh in their face.

    I've managed to get my Single PII-350 (128mb RAM) under linux with Apache to push as many queries as THREE Dual-450 (384mb RAM) NT machines using the Convoy Cluster solution with Apache/win32. Of course, I won't claim that my PII-350 is anywhere near standard in setup, but my point is that their big bad great "Linux Killer" is a real POS.

    That's why I'm still converting machine after machine from NT to Linux at work. It's just ridiculous to waste so much money on NT when Linux can do the job I need done better, faster, and with better security.
  • NT 1.0? I think it all started with version 3.5. Then the version numbers got more interesting with service packs and hot fixes, but it was always 3.5 and then the infestation of 4.0 in the workforce. Confusing?
  • Your company, if large enough, will be able to afford such a setup. Any of your collegues use pirated or unregistered shareware and screensavers? Remember the Microsoft/SPA raids? After one of those, there might be a settlement to bring your company into compliance []. They can make you an offer that can't be refused.
  • First off, a well designed NT box is faster and more stable than Linux. Period. You can argue personal experience all you want, but all that means is that you don't know how to build an NT box.

    OK, then, if NT is faster and more stable, why is it that Microsoft's premier high-volume mail service, Hotmail, is running on FreeBSD and (IIRC) Solaris boxes, using Apache, exim, Oracle and a home-brew network file system? Seems to me that if NT can be more stable and have higer performance then it'd be easy to switch Hotmail over, and that if anyone could build a stable, high-performance NT box Microsoft itself could. The fact that they have failed at this task twice (that I know of) seems to indicate that NT just isn't up to it.

    Second, I wasn't even talking about NT... I was talking about the upcoming Janus (Datacenter... whatever.) If you bothered to look at the white papers, you may have seen some very promising features.

    The important ones of which have been stumping the best in the industry for quite a few years now. I'm sorry, but I just don't believe anyone has that many geniuses that they could have solved that many intractable problems this quickly and not have applied some of that to their existing software.

    In short, I'll believe their promises about Janus when they can switch Hotmail over to NT, IIS, MS SQL Server and Exchange.

  • by Crankpin ( 11635 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @12:32PM (#1804894)
    "Why can't you people even wait until the product comes out to bash it!?!?"

    Because, historically, M$ has been all about vaporware as a way to discourage competition. As far as bashing, I see no reason why anyone would spend the amount of $$ needed for an HA system from a company that has always claimed, but never delivered real stability.
    What's _not_ to bash?

    "You would expect the slashdot netizens to be at least a little intelligent and open minded... but alas, you all are a discredit to your OS."

    Fuck you too.
    At work I am the primary NT admin for my company.
    My primary (at home) OS is MacOS 8 - I read /. for interesting news & for links to Linux & Unix resources, as I am learning Solaris & Linux administration.

    "I looked at the white papers, and it sounds DAMN cool. Yet most of you imediatly start bashing NT... which is completely besides
    the point."

    How is it besides the point? NT sucks for high-availability applications, Win2K is just another version of it, with even more M$ FUD to bolster it's market position.

    "Stop bashing and start looking for the best solution to your IT problems... don't use a product simply because of who does, or does
    not make it."

    Obviously, you haven't been reading /. for very long. Most of the IS pros here do just that, _when_ they are allowed to - but often they are forced to use inferior (for their purposes) products. They don't like them, so they bitch.

    "I don't know about you, but I use something because it's the best... not because MS does or doesn't make it."

    Which is why I use a Mac at home for the majority of my personal work (I can hear the flamethrowers ramping up now...).

    "Get a life..."

    Get a _clue_.
  • I initially read this as '...and fallover version of Windows' and thought that already exists.

    So all the bullshit M$ have been touting in the past about Windows being enterprise-ready, are they going to now retract that, say `sorry, oops, we were wrong, it wasn't enterprise ready at all. Actually, the enterprise has changed, yeah that's the ticket'.

    Somehow I doubt it. Just like I doubt this new nonsense will be a Unix-killer.
  • by asianflu ( 54533 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @09:58AM (#1804898)
    Or do you think they will borrow the hotkey virtual console feature of linux so you can switch between the bluescreens to jot down the hex codes before you go off into MSDN? -Justin
  • Actually I thought there were no HA/clustering abilities in Linux out there right now. I thought some were being worked on though. Yes other Unix have HA (I think) but not Linux. Uptime is presumably longer in Linux (I know of no proof other than anecdotal though), but that's not really HA. They are talking about backup systems, failover schtuff, etc. I.e. if the machine crashes there is another to step in.
    I don't think linux has this capability yet. Ok neither does NT though. But they're caliming plans for it. Does linux?
  • by Rayban ( 13436 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @10:02AM (#1804903) Homepage
    Actually, Linux does have failover capability already. There is a Linux HA project currently in progress. Here's a few quick links that I pulled out of freshmeat:


    failoverd: 572853.html

  • When I see articles such as this, it makes me wish that that trade press wasn't so eager to pass along claims and speculations from unnamed sources as real news.

    Let's look at these point-by-point.

    Claim number 1:

    (Windows 2000 Data Center Server) will feature advanced clustering services such as robust fail-over and load balancing features as well as support for 16 processors out of the box

    This comes to us from "sources familiar with the effort as well as company information." There is no attempt to substantiate the claim. Hearsay and press releases are taken as a given.

    Claim number 2

    Some OEMs may push the envelope by incorporating as many as 64 to 128 CPUs...

    Again, more info from unnamed sources. No actual words from any actual OEMs out there. It might be IBM or Compaq, but who can say?

    Now the time horizon...

    is expected to debut in the first half of next year, or 60 to 120 days after Windows 2000's debut

    This is attributed to an unnamed Microsoft spokesperson. You would think if this was for real, you might have someone like Steve Ballmer or Ed Muth crowing about it.

    Enter the value-added reseller

    One VAR said Janus will let Windows 2000 play in the big leagues. "This is supposed to have the power of Unix,"

    Is this an informed opinion or just a wishful thought. Naturally the VAR may want something like this because it might enhance his or her revenue stream. This isn't really all that revealing. It's like going to a Chevrolet dealership and asking a salesman to comment on whether next year's Corvette will sell well.

    More from our VAR...

    Linux today is a toy techies play with but as it matures and becomes more user friendly, it will be a more serious threat. [Janus] will build upon [the] base of NT with Unix-like power and compatibility.

    The "toy" reference reminds me of a technical support call I handled three years ago from a reseller who just couldn't believe that we would port Mathematica to a "toy" OS like Linux but wouldn't support SCO's UNIX (R).

    Now the analysts, also without name.

    As it edges closer to the high availability and reliability of Unix, Microsoft's enhanced Windows 2000 server will provide a more formidable challenge as an industrial strength OS for complex, transactional applications, analysts said.

    What isn't clear is whether the analysts believe that the edging is happening now or is supposed to happen when Microsoft ships this new data center variant of NT. It's all built upon an expectation of things that have no concrete existence yet.

    You may also find it interesting to note that the only quotations for which there are attributions are negative things about Windows NT now and Windows 2000 later.

    Quoth Don Roy of IBM:

    Load balancing is necessary for multinode, scalable clusters. For certain application environments or multinode databases, and certain Web serving and e-commerce applications with multiple inquiries coming into it, you want to balance that load with all your resources. Windows 2000 today does not have that.

    And one from Rob Enderle of GIGA Information Group.

    A lot of companies will wait for a refresh of Windows 2000 before deploying it because it will include bug fixes and optimized code not in the first versions

    Translation: Businesses aren't putting too much faith in Microsoft's promises of Windows 2000. They'll wait for the service packs to come out.

  • by Spyky ( 58290 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @12:41PM (#1804932)
    Actually I think it is quite reasonable to expect the slashdot community to "bash" new versions of Microsoft OSes before they are released. Microsoft has never completely fullfilled their promises of any of their OS releases, why should we expect this one to be any more?
    I don't buy (or get for free) a product for my IS dept based on who makes it either, thank you. I choose based on many factors, including performance and stability, ease of maintence, and very importantly cost. That last catagory NT 2000 Enterprise clearly falls far short of Linux, even if it does live up to the expectations set forth in the "white papers", and even *equal* the performance and stability of linux. I think you need to get a life and evaluate your options before you spend $1k+ on each installation of a server OS, and even more upgrading a server to meet its requirements.

  • by GnuGrendel ( 16068 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @10:08AM (#1804936)
    Here's a discussion of the Greek Mythology of Janus []. Basically he's the god of beginnings, doorways, etc.. Interestingly, he's represented with two faces.... imagine that, M$ being two-faced...
  • So you're saying that now we can replace that
    one Unix box that never crashes with 8 NT boxes
    that never crash at the same time. Sounds like
    a deal to me! ;)
  • by Abattoir ( 16282 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @10:10AM (#1804939) Homepage
    My guess is, with this new "Janus" product, Windows will finally be stable enough to have uptimes that rival those of Unix systems. Of course, you have to have several machines to accomplish this, and the average company isn't going to have the money to buy the hardware, and from Microsoft's way of pricing, they won't have the money to buy the software.

    Its a shame, really, that Unix and Linux have to be so good, since so many admin's need NT to "do it all for them with a wizard".

    > Linux today is a toy techies play with

    Taking this out of context, I'd say Linux Today is a Linux news site...

    But in context, I'd say that if Linux is a toy, why are companies like IBM and Oracle investing time and money in it?

    > Microsoft officials could not be reached for further comment.

    Are we suprised?

    You know the answer.

  • by BugMaster ChuckyD ( 18439 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @10:14AM (#1804942)
    Anything that makes any OS better is a good thing. I know ill probably get "moderated" down for saying this, but I don't think Windows/NT is bad because its closed source, its bad because they haven't had much competition, and because of the way they use their software as a tool to make the victim^H^H^H^H^H^Huser buy more MICROS~1 products.

    Anything (such as linux enterprise servers) that puts pressure on them to improve their product is good.
  • I can see it now...

    MS Tech Support:
    Excel crashes alot? Hmm.. Have you considered upgrading to four machines for greater reliability?
  • by schporto ( 20516 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @10:17AM (#1804964) Homepage
    Chomp chomp. Pardon me - I'm trying to eat my words. This is where I retract some/most of what I said before. OK linux is working towards HA, but doesn't seem to have any fully functional right now (from a quick read of those links). And neither does M$.
    But I kinda have some questions. My concepts of HA might be slightly odd, but...
    These seem to use IP faking for failover. My understanding was that true HA somehow had shared memory resources and if a machine died you didn't loose anything. But I could be imagining things again.

    OK silly thought of the day - can you have RAID machines? Work with me. Instead of disks, have machines, RAIM. So have like X+2 machines, X working, 1 doing CRC and 1 as um hot spare. Could you do HA this way? Sorry like I said its the silly thought du jour. I do not have enough knowledge to know weather this is even viable, let alone code-able
  • Techweb used to be nothing but good reading, but marketing seems to have wiped any common sense from their face.

    I agree. Linux is a toy, just like a deisel truck. Throw anything on it and Linux will haul your load to the destination safely and keep on truckin'. Unlike NT, which requires "competent" administrators to configure it from crashing (where are these mythical people?) Linux seems to be configured out of the box for any task and will perform. NT often crashes at the turns and often burns, leaving one with property damage to deal with.
  • by jetson123 ( 13128 ) on Tuesday July 13, 1999 @10:25AM (#1804969)
    If Microsoft is trying to compete with Linux by adding features, they are missing the point: I think Linux is popular because it is comparatively simple.

    For feature rich, high-end systems, there are excellent commercial UNIX systems out there, priced at a fraction of the cost of the hardware needed to run them. Even if NT could compete feature-by-feature with those, it doesn't run on the high-end hardware (yet?).

    The neat thing about Linux is that it is part of the UNIX/POSIX family of operating systems, a family that spans everything from small embedded systems to the largest scientific supercomputers and mainframes. While those systems aren't 100% compatible, it's pretty easy to port source code among them.

    Microsoft seems to be trying to duplicate this with Windows APIs from WinCE to NT. But I think their range of platforms is much smaller than POSIX, and the interoperability of their own APIs among different platforms is much worse. If they want to play in this market, they have to document their APIs much more carefully and live with third party implementations.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears