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Compaq

Compaq May Nix Tru64 for Merced 115

Pivo writes "Sure I'd rather use Linux, and sure, "Tru64" is a cheezy name for a Unix variant, but for some reason I'm not happy to hear that Compaq may not release Tru64 for Merced after all. Nothing has been confirmed by Compaq however." But, according to the article, Compaq will keep supporting Unix on Alphas.
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Compaq May Nix Tru64 for Merced

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  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 )
    "They have too many operating systems on too many different platforms for it to be cost- effective for them," said Technology Business Research analyst Lindy Lesperance.

    I love this guy. He must work for Microsoft. Since when was having "too many" choices a problem? We have linux, freebsd, openbsd, netbsd, solaris, tru64, sunOS, AIX, HP-UX, etc. All of them have niche markets. For example, netbsd is an excellent platform to build a firewall or intranet server on (good security), whereas linux makes an excellent server for a small-office setting (linux/samba - can't be beat). This analyst definately needs to get out more... he probably thinks NT and MSOffice are the only two products on the planet...

    --

  • by Anonymous Coward
    He's not talking about choices. He's talking about obligations. Compaq can't keep supporting or producing so many different OSes. It's really not cost-effective. They're not talking about taking away any choice (unless you were already factoring in that you wanted to use Tru64 or Merced).
  • Not really. Unix was designed from the beginning to be cross-platform. MacOS was not. Not that Apple would want to port it to the "enemy" platform anyway...

    Nevertheless, there were plans to bring Rhapsody to X86... wonder what happened to those plans? Actually, if you can rewrite the assembly code in Darwin, you'd have the next best thing.
  • Perhaps after hearing the rumors, Compaq has decided that the best way to save themselves money is to delay porting their OS to another architecture, instead opting to wait until Transmeta comes out with that processor which can emulate other architectures. Certainly sounds cost-effective to me.

  • Or chip development.

    Compaq has taken the OS provided them by Micro$oft and the CPU by Intel and made products.

    From the DEC/Digital side, their Unix was not well accepted. The OEM mags were quoting that for every 10 users leaving VMS, only 2 stayed with Digital. (No one identified if it was DEC or its Unix as to why 80% left)

    And, for Intel there are MANY Unixes, and a few non-Unix OSes. (PICK, THEOS, and some stuff from a company in Redmond) The Alpha choices are much less.

    So, it does not suprise me to here that they are just going to keep working on what has already been developed...the Alpha product.
    Because without a market for the Alpha processor, Compaq has alot of IP they can't get a return on.


  • The position of Linux is getting stronger each day...
    Let's see:

    Irix will not run on Intel
    Tru64 will not run on Intel
    Win2000 will only run on Intel

    So which OS will be able to run on more than one platform: Linux!

    I have nothing against the other Unixes, even less against ths BSDs, but I think that after decades of fragmentation, the Unix world is coming together at last, in the form of Linux.

  • "..Terry Shannon, author of the Shannon Knows Compaq newsletter."..

    "..believes it's likely Compaq will cut development of Tru64 on IA-64."

    Wow, someone is sure going to look like a fool if they're wrong. :)

  • Why compete with themselves? According to the article, they already are planning to sell Monterey on their IA-64 systems. They probably figure that selling both TRU64 and Monterey for IA-64 would be redundant and a big waste of their money.

    I think I see what they're trying to do:

    Alpha-based systems: Digital branding (running OpenVMS or Tru64)

    All others: Compaq branding (running Monterey or W2K)

    although that might be a little too obvious to be correct.
  • by GC ( 19160 )
    I disagree. What Lindy is saying here is that Compaq are supporting too much of a diversity of operating systems and architectures. Each requiring it's own development and support, which costs money. Because, as you say, they are niche markets this makes them uneconomical to support. And he didn't even mention Microsoft. Can we sit back and not assume that every corporate body is out to get the Linux community.
  • The impact of Compaq decision is not on MS or any UNIX vender. It should be Intel.

    No one know can this not yet produced chip can success or not. It's a big move for current x86 platform to Merced. If UNIX vender want to give up Merced, I'm sure that Windows NT have more difficulty, migirate to 64 bit need completely rewrite. So Intel should wake up in the dream of server market..

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You conveniently forgot *BSD, which already runs on everything, and Monterey, which will run on IA-64 and the Power architecture.
  • Actually, they did, I believe. They had a version of MacOS running on 386 hardware years ago, but they canned the project becuase they thought it would hurt hardware sales.
  • There's no way a giant company like Compaq would ever bet their computer systems on a hunch like that. Unless they've got inside information, you can count on that being wrong.
  • What makes you think that Windows won't run on Merced. There was just a story up about this about a month ago. MS is still in the runnings.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Actually everyday its becoming more & more obvious that Merced is really the Mckinley Beta. Even Intel has admitted there will be no performance gain with Merced & IA64 will only get into high gear when Mckinley comes out. Afterall, Merced partner HP even admitted it, saying that it's better to wait till Mckinley. Quite a few of the other vendors have also said they wont be ramping up their IA64 products till Mckinley hits the shelves.
  • Yup, they did have a "DOS-compatible" Mac, that included a x86 processor, but the actual operating system ran on a PPC, the 386 was to support the compatibility. (I think)...


    The only port of MacOS between architectures EVER was the Motorola 68k-PPC transition.
  • You certainly can't be thinking I was serious..? That's pretty funny in and of itself. :) Oh well. It's always one extreme or the other.. when I'm direct, I'm the hammer slamming down into the nail, when I'm subtle.. "Hey, Joe, did you hear someone say something?"

  • Um Windows 2000 will run on Merced, that brings linux back down to the bottom of the popularity barrel where it is now. Also I've not heard whether or not Solaris and BeOS will be running on Merced. As to the fragmentation of the Unix world coming into the forum of Linux? What a joke, especially how most of these fragmented unixes are still light years ahead of Linux in SMP, networking, and other fields.
  • eh? What makes you think he said that? He said "Win2000 will only run on Intel".. and Merced done by Intel!
  • "We have linux, freebsd, openbsd, netbsd, solaris, tru64, sunOS, AIX, HP-UX, etc. All of them have niche markets."

    Well, all except those flavors of UNIX which are getting trashed because their developers are swinging their support over to Linux. :)

  • *BSD? Pick one, damn it. And define "everything". Will it run on my toaster? :)

  • To think I just got through bothering some guy who wrote an article for a BSD-related news site about his odd misrepresentations of GNU/Linux.. Care to define "light years"? For a "naughty upstart" it sure has done a good job is causing a few flavors of UNIX to fall already.

  • "I have nothing against the other Unixes, even less against ths BSDs, but I think that after decades of fragmentation, the Unix world is coming together at last, in the form of Linux."

    Didn't that already happen with POSIX, which is what allows GNU/Linux to "play nice" in the first place? Besides, that's an odd way to put it since GNU/Linux is only "UNIX-compatible" not "UNIX-derived", unlike *BSD and the other flavors of Unices.

  • Um what has fallen so far? Linux killed what? Irix? Solaris? *BSD ? I for one have yet to see Linux run well in SMP? It has a journaling file system? Does it have an easy install like Be? Does it have great 3D preformance like Windows? Heck it couldn't even beat the NT that everyone seems to love to bash here in the mindcraft benchmarks after it had the hell tuned out of it by Linux experts. Is Linux a good operating system in my opinion? Yeah. Is it some Messiah come to bring all of unix together? Eh..get real.
  • Sun and Apple used to have Mac Application Enviroment for Solaris/SPARC. That product, however, is no longer available.
  • You sounded serious... and it really didn't seem any stupider than a lot of the drivel here on (the newly Quiet) slashdot....
  • "Um what has fallen so far? Linux killed what? Irix? Solaris? *BSD ?"

    *BSD?? *rofl* You must not pay much attention to these happy Slashdot stories if you don't know what I'm talking about. It wasn't -that- long ago (less than a week or so)..

    "I for one have yet to see Linux run well in SMP?"

    I'm unsure if you are attempting to assert your opinion or question yourself. Sorry, it's too easy.

    "Is it some Messiah come to bring all of unix together? Eh..get real."

    I believe you want to take that comment back to the original poster on this thread, if I'm not mistaken. Certainly not for me, that's for sure. Eventually, as far as UNIX is concerned, we won't have a whole lot left except the free flavors, like the BSD brothers, at least if things continue in this vein (they may not, I'm not a fortune-teller). So in a way, GNU/Linux could actually do just that, even though it's not a de facto member of UNIX. This is neither here nor there however, and nor do I care. :)

    The rest of what you said had even less to do with my question, so, let's move on, next topic..

  • We're pretty much only a DEC shop, and I can assure you, and Compaq has ceased "Digital" branding. The hardware and software has hardly any references to Digital anymore.

    At any rate, I think dumping Tru64 on Merced is a good thing. We've all seen the specs posted for the 21364 (EV7), and Merced can't even touch them.

    Tru64 runs great on Alphas - why ruin it with a POS processor?
  • WHAT?!? I didn't know that Compaq bought Amiga. :)

  • Wow great, so you managed to cut and snip parts of my post without actually telling me what operating systems Linux has killed.
  • by DragonHawk ( 21256 ) on Saturday September 18, 1999 @03:03AM (#1675378) Homepage Journal
    All we have here is a couple of analyists saying they believe Compaq is likely to cut development of Digital UNIX[1] on IA-64. Nothing official. Nothing from Compaq.

    Now, granted, "Shannon Knows DEC" often gave us great insights into DEC. However, Mr. Shannon also blew it many a time. He's in the business of making predictions, and like weather predictions, they aren't always right. It is also worth pointing out that while Shannon knew DEC, he prolly doesn't know Compaq all that well.

    In short: This is much ado about nothing.

    I'm not saying it can't happen, just that this bit of information is mere speculation from the outside, and should be taken with a large amount of salt.

    [1] I refuse to use the name "Tru64". That is the stupidest name for an OS I have ever heard.
  • The fact that it's dry is what makes it funny (to weird people like me and the moderator with good taste who agreed).. I guess you'd have to recognize me from my previous posts to realize I was making a joke, unless you're better at catching onto subtle things like that than I usually am myself. :)

  • What makes you think that Windows won't run on Merced. There was just a story up about this about a month ago. MS is still in the runnings.

    It wasn't said that W2K *won't* run on the Merced. It was said that W2K will *only* run on the Merced. No W2K for MIPS, Alpha, Sparc, G4. If I want a platform that I can use on *all* my servers, W2K won't fly.

    -Brent
    --
  • what operating systems Linux has killed?

    none.

    and i hope it'll kill none in the future too (or better: it'll kill no good UNIX flavor :).

    each UNIX flavor being somehow diferent can suits diferent needs thus more UNIX flavors then suits wide range of needs. that's definitely good.

    but i have another question: what does linux causes?

  • isn't it curious that UNIX worl have been put together by not UNIX derived OS? :)

    i know, we can argue about the "put together" and "by Linux" but i want to keep the post short so i used shorter but less precise words.

  • You need to grow up.
  • by Speef ( 48687 )
    Compaq was never big into the server market before. They bought DEC to get their foot in the door. MS drops support, Tru64 is the only solution other than going with Linux, which I love but many people still won't admit that it is a real, robust, stable, OS. For them to drop Tru64 would just be shooting themselves in the foot. Why would a company buy into the server market, then essentially just walk out of it.

    Either it is a rumor or they need some serious strategic help.

  • They also almost merged during the Sculley years...
  • We have linux, freebsd, openbsd, netbsd, solaris, tru64, sunOS, AIX, HP-UX, etc. Hmm... how many of those are produced by the same vendor? This isn't an issue of someone boosting NT and MSOffice. In fact, NT was only mentioned in passing in the article. The problem for Compaq is that they're faced with marketing and R&D costs for half a dozen different OSes. That means a large amount of wasted effort and confusion. Why develop Tru64 for IA64 if it will be a multi-million dollar effort that only brings in peanuts? Worse, what if its only effect is to replace systems that would've run Tru64 on Alpha, which would have given Compaq profit on both the chip and the OS? In the long run, I can't see Tru64 as a contender. It has to face down Sun, MS, Intel, Linux, and HP, all of which have superior resources and mindshare. But in the short run at least, not porting to IA64 is probably the wiser choice. --JRZ
  • The MacOS-on-x86 project was a demonstration project by the 68K emulator folks to prove that they could move the MacOS over to a new CPU without rewriting it. This sort of work helped them make the 68000 to PowerPC transition very smoothly.

    I don't think there were ever serious plans to sell MacOS/i386. Not only was the market already crowded with Windows and OS/2, the video quality from your typical 1991 PC was horrible relative to Macintoshes.
  • From the DEC/Digital side, their Unix was not well accepted. The OEM mags were quoting that for every 10 users leaving VMS, only 2 stayed with Digital. (No one identified if it was DEC or its Unix as to why 80% left)

    This is a mis-quote. VMS is not Unix. Like UNIX Vms is a time-slicing OS. Like Unix you can use POSIX complient code under VMS. But most other things are different.
  • First of all windows users are not automaticly computer novices nor are linux users automaticly experienced computer users. Yes pointing out flaws in windows is easy, so is Linux. My point is that Linux is not a godsend, it is not the "ultimate" operating system, in fact I've yet to be pointed out at what area Linux excells at. I view Linux as a jack of all trades, it runs on a variety of hardware, it has a large number of apps. However it can't claim to be superior in any single field. Therefore this notion of the older Unixes bowing down and surrendering to Linux is just that, a notion.

  • OK, for years we've been hearing about this wonderful IA64 architecture, and that it's going to be the be-all and end-all of CPUs. Naturally, you hear a lot about Microsoft promising 64-bit support, "shipping on the same day as Merced", and how Merced is a critical product for them to scale NT up and invade the datacenter. Of course, this is to be expected, because Microsoft and it's customers are pretty much stuck Intel platforms, so this would be a natural move (especially with the IA32 compatibility built into merced).

    But at the same time, you have the big UNIX vendors (Sun, HP, IBM, DEC/Compaq) announcing that they too are also going to support Merced. Which is odd because these vendors make their own hardware and CPUs. I have to admit that I'm confused at the strategy, which on it's face seems to bolster WinTel.

    Are the UNIX companies using IA64 to slowly get out of the CPU business? or the hardware business in general? That would be an odd strategy because right now they're making most of their money off hardware, and that's where the main differentiation is right now.

    What happens when ZDNet benchmarks all of the commercial Unixes on some Dell PowerEdge? Does Vendor X really want their customers to see that they are 7% slower than Vendor Y on the same hardware? Or are they going to lock it down so that Vendor X Unix only runs on Vendor X Merced hardware. If so, what's the point?

    Maybe Compaq/DEC is the first company that figured out that Unix-on-Merced is a loser strategy, and there's more money to be made with their own CPUs and hardware. (You have to figure Compaq would know - they are certainly going to be the premire IA64 hardware vendor for the Windows folks.)
  • If operating systems like this are not going to be developed for merced, it could hopefully push more users to use Alpha chips. A bigger market share for Alpha could cause Intel to offer thier high-end products for a more reasonable price. Lower hardware prices are always good for users.
    On the other hand, it could push more Merced users to Microsoft's NT (NT is being developed for Merced is it not?). As we all know, if there's one thing MS doesn't need, it's a bigger market share.
    I suppose all we can do is hope that the first viewpoint is the correct one.

    --

  • So why bother porting for Merced when Linux is the biggest selling 64 bit OS already?

    And Compaq firmly supports Linux. If you don't believe me go and download the Compaq/Digital Fortran and C compilers for Linux.
    Known as the best optimized that you can get, they now are fully supported on Linux Alpha.

    Oh, almost forgot: They are FREE!


    Enjoy.

  • >Um what has fallen so far? Linux killed what?
    >Irix? Solaris? *BSD ?

    Well, it could be argued that SCO has lost quite a few customers to Linux...
    As for Solaris/x86, it never was a strong contender, so..
    The way I parse the recent SGI statements about their future direction, they seem to basically leave the low-to-midrange server market to Linux (consider their donations to Linux: xfs, OpenGL stuff etc) and concentrate on the high end. After all, the money is mostly in hardware these days.

    Anyway, Linux does not need to kill any other OS to be sucessful. It sure has brought back the spotlights on Unix, a turn of events beneficial to all Unices (well perhaps with the exception of SCO..) Not to speak of the whole Open Source / Free Software bandwagon.
  • Wow great, so you managed to cut and snip parts of my post without actually telling me what operating systems Linux has killed.

    Coherent, for one. Possibly SGI's planned-at-one-point IRIX/IA64 as well. SCO's various offerings and Solaris/x86 aren't doing so hot either, at least in the area I'm in. I'll be surprised if SCO is still in business at the end of 2001.

    --Troy
  • by Anonymous Coward
    good riddance to Tru64 on Merced. Was anyone really waiting for this anyway? Any IT guy at a company who would have forgone the blazing power of the alpha chip for the half-baked 64 bit product of Intel (who has brought you half-baked CISC x86 technology for many years now) is out of their mind. anyone willing to pay the liscencing fees of Tru64 should be willing to pay for the alpha platform as well. almost everyone knows that merced will only be the precursor to the more powerful mckinley and whatever comes beyond it, so if i were in charge of purchasing anything having to do with IA-64, i would either buy something else or wait for mckinley. and one more thing: besides the standard unix features, the main advantage to Tru64 Unix is the alpha platform and the alpha compiler, which builds extremely efficient code for the alpha. if compaq sells tru64 on unix, any compiler they ship with it will seem wimpy next to intel's compiler. even if compaq strikes a deal with intel and compaq ships the intel compiler with Merced Tru64, people will still be able to get the intel compiler for their platform without compaqs help.

    porting Tru64 or any other proprietary UNIX (i.e., IRIX, HP-UX, AIX, etc.) to Merced just doesn't make sense.

    p.s. I've noticed that Sun ships an intel version of Solaris right now and i'm assuming that they'll upgrade it to merced. does anyone know how this helps/hurts them (Sun)? does sun sell intel machines in addition to their sparc products?
  • >Are the UNIX companies using IA64 to slowly get
    >out of the CPU business? or the hardware >business in general? That would be an odd
    >strategy because right now they're making most
    >of their money off hardware, and that's where
    >the main differentiation is right now.

    This seems a dumb move, if true. After all, the Intel market is more and more becoming a commodity market. Why? Look at recent "server" chips from Intel: Pentium, Pentium Pro, Pentium II, the list goes on. On their launch, they were being touted as server chips and some pundits predicted they would not show up in consumer products for quite some time. And what has happened? They were being used in workstation class machines faster than you could flip through Computer Shopper :)

    So, the margins in this market just don't support expensive reinventing of the wheel. After all, they would have a hard time to differentiate on this fairly low-end server hardware (Intel is not really in the E10000 league yet).

    To tell any meaningful difference between say Irix and Solaris, you have to look at the high end (read: on non-intel hardware) Yes I know about CDE and Irix's nice gui, but we are talking servers, right?

    And no, I don't consider each vendors broken flavour of the standard utilities, each having the urge to redefine command-line flags, as value-adding differentiations. Do you?

    In short, I could not agree more with IntlHarvester. I just wanted to expand on his line of thought.

    -gregor
  • I've noticed that Sun ships an intel version of Solaris right now and i'm assuming that they'll upgrade it to merced.

    Yes, they're doing an IA-64 port.

    does sun sell intel machines in addition to their sparc products?

    No - their last x86 machine was the Sun386i (which wasn't PC-compatible, it was more of a Sun with an 80386 and 80387); Solaris for Intel is something you put on a PC you get from somebody other than Sun.

  • It was said that W2K will *only* run on the Merced.

    Then i must have a merced then, since i can run W2K here...:)
  • only free as in free beer, i saw no indication
    that it would ever really be free. (compaq
    seems to have a problem with this IP thing)
    a much better solution would be for compaq to make
    the back end to gcc or have cygnus do it (with
    full spec) that could solve the little compatibility issues the web site complains about.
  • The way I parse the recent SGI statements about their future direction, they seem to basically leave the low-to-midrange server market to Linux (consider their donations to Linux: xfs, OpenGL stuff etc) and concentrate on the high end.

    Today's midrange platforms is the high-end platforms of tomorrow. IRIX/MIPS will survive a couple of more years, but SGI's future platform is Linux on Intel.

    After all, the money is mostly in hardware these days.

    Tell that to Bill Gates...:)
  • Tru64's market today is on the Alpha. Compaq isn't dropping that. So no, they aren't walking away from the server market.
  • Speaking strictly for myself and not for my employer, I'd like to find the idiot within the Company who came up with the brilliant idea to take a perfectly good OS and burden it with such a stupid name as "Tru64".

    Upon finding said idiot, I will thrash him soundly about the head and shoulders with an old VT100 keyboard.

    :-)

    Hey, I work there and I still call it "Digital Unix."


    --
    I gave my boss a reality check. It bounced.
  • Besides, by supporting the merced with the only fully functional commercial 64 bit operating system, they would shout themselves in the Alpha foot.

    In what way do you consider Solaris 7/SunOS 5.7, AIX 4.3, whatever the first 64-bit IRIX was, and HP-UX 11.0 not "fully functional commercial 64 bit operating systems"? (Throw in Red Hat, SuSE, etc. if you consider them "commercial".)

    (I shall assume that "UNIX-compatible" was implicit; if that assumption is incorrect, throw OS/400 and OpenVMS in while you're at it.)

  • No, it's more like IBM having AIX run on systems other than AS/400.

    You presumably meant RS/6000 there; it might be that some AS/400 machines and some RS/6000 machines are the same (machines, not processors; the mere fact that two machines run the same chip, as might be the case if RS64 is actually one of the AS/400 extended PowerPC chips, with e.g. tagged mode not used, does not mean that the machines are identical - they may have different support chips, I/O buses, etc), but not all AS/400s run AIX (the ones with IMPI rather than PowerPC processors probably wouldn't), and not all AIX machines are AS/400's.

  • Biggest selling doesn't mean best.

    Case in point: Windows is *still* the #1 selling OS, does that make it better?

    The fact of the matter is that Linux *still* isn't mature enough for the Data Center. I know there are support contracts available, and I'm aware that some businesses have been moving to Linux in their Data Centers.

    I won't.

    I'm part of a group that runs the Data Center for a major University. We've got over 20 Alpha Servers, ranging from older AS2000s to DS/20s, and soon - a few ES/40s.

    How many of them run Linux? Zero.

    I like Linux. I've been using it since early 1995. I still run it now on my home PC, and my work PC. However, I won't run it in the Data Center any time soon.

    The simple fact is that Linux still lacks some major features that commercial Unices have had for years. These features are what we want. If they happen to be in a "free" OS - great. But they're not.

    Using OSF/Digital UNIX/Tru64 as an example, Linux still doesn't offer:
    • High Availability, Production-level clustering.
      • Beowulf isn't HA clustering, it's processor clustering, and is absolutely useless in an HA environment
      • TruCluster 5, the newest version of DU Clustering software supports:
      • Cluster Filesystem. The filesytem is available to all cluster members using memory channel (does linux support memory channel?) cache coherency is maintained, and the filesystem appears as local to all members. While this isn't a true shared filesystem a la VMS yet, it's getting there.
      • Cluster Aliasing. The cluster shares an IP address, and members will redirect requests internally. Applications written to be aware of cluster aliasing can run, and be served off, all members in the cluster, simultaneously.
      • Shared bus. This is an older feature, but still one of the coolest. 4 cluster members and an enterprise storage array share a single ultra-wide, differential scsi bus. That's not the cool part. In addition to network connectivity, they also maintain availability by monitoring each other over the SCSI bus.


    A MultiVolume, dynamically resizable, journalling filesystem

    • ADVFS has been shipping with DU since v4 (maybe earlier?) We love it. If we have a database that's getting too big, or if users need more space - we add a disk, and add it to the filesystem. Here's the kicker: The system doesn't come down. The filesystem isn't even unmounted.


    There are more, but for the sake of briefness, these are the most important.

    I know that Linux has journalling filesystems on the way. I'm quite aware of the progress of journalling in ReiserFS - the lead journalling developer has the office next to mine. (btw, the press release wasn't his idea)

    Even with journalling support, Linux still doesn't support the other features we're looking for in a filesytem.

    When Linux can support the features we need, we'll switch. Until then, not a chance.

    -Jeff
  • Having the ability to roll this optimized code into gcc/egcs

    I suspect the internals of Digital/Compaq's GEM compiler are significantly different from those of EGCS, so I don't think their optimizations would necessarily just "roll in"; it might require significant internal changes to EGCS to implement them there.

  • So in a way, GNU/Linux could actually do just that, even though it's not a de facto member of UNIX.

    You meant de jure, as in "it's not (yet?) been run through the UNIX 95 or UNIX 98 test suite, so it's not a 'UNIX' legally"; it's sure as heck a de facto "member of UNIX", given that it has an API that pretty much looks as much like that of any given UNIX as do the APIs of other "members of UNIX".

  • This is a mis-quote.

    So what did the magazines in question actually say?

    VMS is not Unix.

    I don't think the poster to whom you're replying was saying it was;

    From the DEC/Digital side, their Unix was not well accepted. The OEM mags were quoting that for every 10 users leaving VMS, only 2 stayed with Digital.

    reads to me as "...for every 10 users leaving VMS and switching to UNIX, only 2 stayed with Digital and switched to Digital^H^H^H^H^H^H^HTru64 UNIX from VMS."

  • And NOS/VE, 15-odd years ago. I understand HCR got UNIX running on the 64-bit CYBERs as well.

    But none of those ran on Intel processors, so obviously they don't count.

  • Mr. Harris is correct.

    The 'defection of digital clients' was the big concern.

    If Digital/DEC was the "best" company to deal with, then why 80% of people who had a choice to pick ANY Unix vendor did NOT pick DEC?

    Was is DEC's Unix or DEC that blew chunks.

    Either way, the OpenSource Unix is a better economic choice. And that will make things rough to compete with a new product.
  • Reliability is an area where many operating systems excell, that hardly makes linux original. This makes Linux no less different then freebsd for example.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Compaq engineers quietly admit that Linux on Alpha runs better than Compaq's own Unix. So don't be surprised if Compaq kills its True64 Unix product in favor of Linux. Compared to free, it is hard to justify the True64 R & D investment, especially given the Titanic mindset inside Compaq these days."

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit1999090 2.html

    Tru64's future may be limited on Alpha as well.

    Compaq can't compete with e-Machines, yet I see Compaq PCs in Best Buy. Compaq can't compete with Dell, yet they desperately want to emulate them. Compaq, with Alpha and Tru64, can compete with HP, IBM, and Sun, but the "Not Invented Here" syndrome will prevent it.

    I feel Compaq will never be the company it once was. Perhaps Compaq will port the clustering ability that they worked so hard to put into Tru64 into Linux, and become a premier Linux on Merced vendor. But I doubt it.

  • Lots of people were worried for years that DEC was going out of business. Naturally this scared them away from DEC products.

    Even after Compaq bought them out, there many questions surrounding their commitment to the Alpha platform, to Unix (instead of NT on Merced), and especially to VMS. Both Sun and IBM stole an enormous number of DEC customers over the last few years.

  • Don't forget that Compaq has been the leader in PC x86 servers for sometime, and that still is the real profit center for the company. Especially with Dell kicking their ass on the desktop. (Maybe some of you don't an 8-way Xeon to be a *real* servers, oh well,)

    After spending a ton of money on Intel IA32 and IA64 stuf, buying Tandem and DEC, it would be very bizarre to drop out of the 'server' market. Without it, they're just another Gateway 2000.

  • It was said that W2K will *only* run on the Merced.
    Then i must have a merced then, since i can run W2K here...:)

    <sigh> Okay, then. The only 64bit chip W2K will run on is the Merced. *Or*, alternatively, you could say that W2K will only run on Intel chips. The point is, If I have a group of different servers, all doing different things. One type of processor geared toward I/O, another towards computational, another graphical, and I want to reduce support by running only one OS, that OS probably won't be W2K.

    But you knew that ... :)

    -Brent
    --
  • Seems you're right :-(
    Even OpenVMS, i guess, won't be Digital OpenVMS anymore. Compaq OpenVMS just doesn't sound right.

    In fact, Compaq doesn't sound right for anything that used to be put out by Digital. I would have thought that they would at least keep the name, if only for marketing reasons.

    We'll miss you, Digital.
  • On Solaris GNU stuff mostly compiles without tweaking, on Irix it mostly doesn't. Heck, Solaris even provides a free GNU compiler that you can use for compiling your favorite compiler.
    --
  • From my limited experience with Digital Unix (supporting a professor's workstation) I can't see any real advantage to Digital Unix over, say Solaris, other than the fact that it runs on Alphas. It would seem foolish to port the OS to a radically different architecture that doesn't improve on the Alpha's strengths. Does anyone else have any insight in the matter?
    --
  • I think the AC was trying to inject a funny. At least it seemed that way to me.
  • IBM has too many servers with the format XX/XXXX. AS/400, RS/6000, S/390

    They probably got in the habit from System/360, following it up with S/370 and, after not bumping the number in the '80's, S/390, as well as System/3, S/32, S/34, S/36, S/38, and so on.

  • The licensing fees aren't what's so costly. It's the support contract that can cost you an arm and a leg.
  • Today's midrange platforms is the high-end platforms of tomorrow. IRIX/MIPS will survive a couple of more years, but SGI's future platform is Linux on Intel.





    LINUX ON INTEL... now i like linux as the next person. But you have got to be joking :) Linux is no where near the time that it can take on a platform such as IRIX/MIPS!


    And intel can't in their wildest dreams have a system like the high end MIPS systems that SGI makes with 256-way processing power! Thats not something that you can make in a few years :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It is also worth pointing out that while Shannon knew DEC, he prolly doesn't know Compaq all that well.

    Hell, I work at Compaq and the place is a mess on the Digital side. If you add up all the people DEC let go when they were doing badly, all the people Compaq fired from there in the past year, and all the DEC people who hated Compaq for whatever reason and quit I'd be surprised if there were more than 1000 people left from the old DEC.

    And man, you want to talk about culture clashes... Most people from DEC who are still with Compaq think they are soooo superior they wouldn't piss on someone from Houston if they were on fire. And most Compaq people think the DEC people are arrogrant and so dumb they could find their way out of a wet paper bag...

  • Compaq already has a 64-bit chip in the Alpha. Intel apparently has been having loads of problems with the Merced chip. It's the first 64-bit chip out from Intel. If you know their track record, you know why I won't have a Merced.

    Compaq is streamlining. Rather than make the large initial investment in IA-64 and EPIC (which will require a large investment to just port over everything DEC wrote and get it to actually compile and run in an optimized manner, yet alone work right), they are making what they have work.

    IA-64 will not be in most data centers for a few years until McKinley is out. Intel has a nasty track record with first release chips, especially the Pentium, 486, and 386.

    Why build on a foundation of sand, which I consider IA-64 to be until it is tested and working, and not a Merced chip, when you have a 64-bit chip that is running in very high-end data centers already?

    Compaq is doing the right thing in this case. This is a case much like AmigaOS, where the hardware and software are very tightly integrated. You just can't recompile Tru64 for another chip. Tru64 takes advantage of a lot of hardware specific to the Alpha chip and the servers itself. It's reliable, and it works extremely well for HA environments.

    Having Tru64 on Merced would undercut Compaq and could possibly force them to not make Alpha chips. While this is something intel wants, it's not a good thing. Having Tru64 on Merced could cause Intel to become the Microsoft of consumer and server chips, because it would eliminate a great competitor.

    I personally enjoy running Linux on those chips too, since they are just so well-designed and built to scale, unlike the x86 family.

    I applaud Compaq (if this is true) for avoiding the train wreck that's going to occur when IA-64 comes out. You're going to see so many issues dealing with how IA-32 apps run on it in emulation mode (which is slow), and how compilers will have to be reworked to use EPIC to actually get the speed increase. x86 is a nasty chip design compared to the Alpha or MIPS chips.

    If IA-64 catches, I would not be surprised to see Compaq offer it at all. However, with anything new from Intel of this magnitude, it is better to avoid it. They are sticking with their 64-bit design and making it better, and I applaud them for bringing competition to IA-64 in.
  • And also: Unicos, Unicos/Mk, Super-UX, SPP-UX
  • Seems like a sensible business decision on Compaq's part to me.

    - They have their own 64-bit architecture that is well established
    - When you're offering a proprietary OS it makes sense to keep down the number of platforms you support

    The more interesting decisions for them are:

    1. Should they continue to push NT on Alpha?
    2. Should they sell and support NT on IA64?

    To a large extent these depend on which way Microsoft and the PC software industry jumps - you don't buy software to fit the hardware, you do it the other way. If Microsoft pushes IA64 as the main platform, then that will force Compaq's hand as far as NT goes. However, the widespread use of NT on non-x86 platforms which was touted when NT was new has failed to materialise, with the excpetion of a small Alpha following, and I think x86 will be with us for a while yet.

    What I'd be interested to know is how the memory bus and cache coherency work on multi-cpu IA64 machines intended for the NT server market. If they are not significantly better than the current abysmal Pentium architecture offerings then in conjunction with the porting/emulation issue and general teething troubles there is a big incentive just to stay with x86 based hardware, which is what many shops will do.

    AMD is a small but significant wildcard here - I guess they'll be forced to bet the farm in the short to medium term on the x86 architecture, which Intel will leave open to them only when the pickings become slim. If Athlon's bus lives up to its server performance promises, there is even the possibility of Microsoft and Intel both wearing big albumen face packs, with a lot of NT shops opting for NT4 on Athlon and bypassing IA64 and Win2K for the time being.
  • Merced will succeed if and only if it gets real backing from Microsoft as the "main" platform for Win2K, and the software comes out for it. Distasteful as it may be in this community, this is the reality, and all else is secondary. Without this level of support from Microsoft, IA-64 is just an also-ran to Alpha; indeed, if the performance of initial Merced releases is not up to scratch it may require that Microsoft actively backs away from Alpha to help Merced succeed.

    It's interesting to note that HP is carefully hedging its own bets - all of its new HP-UX server line (Dome series) originally slated for Merced have been (re-)architected to take both PA-RISC and IA64 processors, and the extended delays in Merced have caused them to plan one and then two additional revs of the 64-bit PA-RISC architecture (PA-8700 and now PA-8900) which has always been slated for termination once IA-64 is fully available.

    The good news for IA-64 is that McKinley development is rumoured to be catching up with Merced and it should be ready to ship more or less immediately afterwards. I wouldn't be surprised to see McKinley shipping simultaneously as the high end version, c.f. Xeon's and P3's in the x86 world.
  • Of course, he's still wrong since he left out Windows 2000.

    ...and Solaris (unless Sun does something like making the IA-64 version not 64-bit), and, presumably, Monterey (the AIX bits of which, at least, could be 64-bit).

  • Just because it's POSIX compliant doesn't make it UNIX. UNIX flavors are flavors of UNIX because they are derived from UNIX. GNU/Linux is not derived from UNIX, although the BSD derivatives are. *shrug*

  • Well, until you finish trolling and answer my query, which I posed first, I'll feel free to leave you in the dark, kid.

  • >Unix world is coming together at last, in the form of Linux

    It would be nice to think that. And the people who TRIED to bring at least the x86 op-code Unix together over at www.86open.org drink the same kool-aid

    But, the 'one Linux binary' concept is a market FAILURE as of this time.

    Why?

    Because **YOU** the consumer of shrink-wrapped binaries are not asking for binaries that run ANY Linux implementation, but instead ask for a linux binary and then tell the company what distro they run. So the company makes the binary for RedHat. So, instead of being seen as part of one big happy world, "if you arn't running the same distro as I am running you are my enemy" is the attitude.

    Each of the distro-vendors want thier product to make them money. And the users of distro X don't want their product of choice to go away. Hence the radical 'My distro is better than your distro' or, heaven forbid, you run Linux binaries on SCO, Solaris, or BSD.

    As long as there are so many different distribution vendors, all wanting to have a makret difference, the LSB effort will continue to be a failure. For a working LSB makes the 100+ distros "the same" wrt 'linux binaries'.


    If you are wanting 'world domination' for Linux, you had better START asking for shink-wrapped binaries that will run on SCO, Solaris, BSD AND ANY LINUX distro. **YOU** the binary consumer are in the driver seat. Until the concept of exclusion is changed to INCLUSION, this world domination shtick is a bust. BSD/SCO/SUN have met you 1/2 way. They have Linux binary modes. Why won't *YOU* as the consumer of shrink-wrapped binaries work to be sure *EVERYONE* is included. The world is everyone....enclude them!
  • This may be good for Linux. If they do what SGI is doing and start moving towards Linux there could be some more drivers for Linux, and they could add in the stability and security of the kernel. Who knows maybe they work on the port of Linux to the Merced instead.

    As I have said before, and Richard Stallman also has said: it looks like Linux is uniting the various *NIX flavors. lxrun under Solaris, the ports under FreeBSD, SGI dropping IRIX, and moving to LInux, (Compaq moving towards Linux it seems).

    If the *NIX flavors unite administratino of the various *NIX system will be easier. IE rather than have to learn the AIX way, the Solaris way, the Linux way, the BSD way, there will be one unified administration method. Yes I realize that the systems are nto that different, but they are different enought that there is a learnign curve for administrators moving from one to the next. By a unified administration method there would be no learning curve, or a very minimal one.

  • Why would Microsoft build its crappy OS for hardware it doesn't build? Or for any hardware Intel doesn't build?

    Why would Sun build Solaris for x86, also hardware it doesn't build.

    Why would SGI build Irix for x86? (Note: SGI is responsible for the MIPS processors)

  • Just because it's POSIX compliant doesn't make it UNIX.

    Linux is one hell of a lot more than just POSIX-compliant; it implements tons of stuff that isn't in POSIX but that's in other UNIX-compatible systems.

    UNIX flavors are flavors of UNIX because they are derived from UNIX. GNU/Linux is not derived from UNIX, although the BSD derivatives are

    Given the extent to which systems "derived from UNIX", in the sense that, at one point, the code in those systems started out with code from AT&T, have diverged from that code base, I'm not sure I consider being "derived from UNIX" to be all that interesting.

    I consider the "feel" of the OS, even if none of the code ever looked like AT&T code, more important, and, given that Linux's native API looks as much like that of other "UNIX-flavored" OSes as the API of any of those other systems looks like that of its compatriots, and that its command-line interface looks as much like that of other "UNIX-flavored" OSes as the command-line interface of any of those other systems looks like that of its compatriots (no noise about color ls, please, Interactive Systems had a UNIX-flavored system whose ls had a significantly different set of flag options than others - adding color to ls is a relatively minor tweak), I consider it to be a member of the same family as those OSes that, at one point in their history, had AT&T code in them - and more of a member of that family than OSes that offer UNIX compatibility in addition to a native API (you administer a Linux system in ways that look pretty much like the ways you administer other UNIX-flavored OSes; you don't administer an OS/390 system, or an NT system with Interix, or an OpenVMS system).

  • Are the UNIX companies using IA64 to slowly get out of the CPU business? or the hardware business in general? That would be an odd strategy because right now they're making most of their money off hardware, and that's where the main differentiation is right now.

    As an industry analyst skimming /., the answer to your first question is "yes." The answer to your second question is "no, not quite." The UNIX vendors, most of whom have Intel product lines already in place, hope to replace their high-end SMP RISC servers with high-end SMP IA64 servers. They further have some assurance that Intel SMP will be limited to 4 or 8 processors in the short term and expect to have their own 16-64 way (potentially as high as 1024 way ccNUMA) systems on Merced and its IA-64 successors. This implies that the differentiation will be at the chipset, motherboard design and choice of server components level.

    So why are they doing this? "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em)". For a long time, Intel narrowed the CPU performance gap and had a clear cost advantage due to volume economics. In December 1995, the release of the Pentium Pro marked the first Intel chip that outperformed all current RISC chips (save one clock-improved Alpha that had been announced a few weeks earlier) on the RISC chips' own benchmark: SPECint95. (SPECfp for RISC was better, but used in very few apps in essentially "niche" markets.) And obviously, Intel was selling these chips at $1000 and dropping fast, while high-performing RISC chips even internally cost $1000-$4000 just to manufacture, not to mention the design costs (say, $100M/year.)

    Once it was clear that Intel chips were both faster and cheaper and that there was little or no chance of reversing this trend, and with the help of a lot of Intel/HP "post-RISC" hype, executives decided it was time to make the switch, put the RISCs on life-support and focus most of the future system efforts to IA-64 designs.

    They're still hoping to sell high-end unique flagship servers, with relatively undifferentiated midrange and low-end servers that differ only in terms of the UNIX shipped (if that.)

    If performance differences are under 10% between competing UNIXes, I don't think it'll make much difference to customers or vendors. There will likely be various types of lock-in and/or "optimization" on the hardware level, like different chipsets, boot (P)ROMs/service processors, that require support by their UNIX, as well as other hardware lockins you see today like varying "peak-performance" memory modules and unique voltage regulators for each CPU. Your "vendor X UNIX only runs on Vendor X Merced hardware" scenario is thus probably likely in the short term but not necessarily long term. Also, if all the UNIXes optimize to within 10%, that'll probably provide some nice optimization versus NT.

    Your comment that Compaq/DEC might suspect Unix-on-Merced is a loser strategy (like NT-on-Intel was for DEC and SGI) is a decent hypothesis. Unix-on-Merced will make more sense for some UNIX vendors than others. Keep in mind that there are odder things than selling legacy hardware for years for decent margins. I heard a few years ago that $500M of PDP-11 compatibles were still being sold each year. Backwards compatibility is not a toy to trifle with in corporate America, where "it just works" means you don't have to. So far, Compaq has reiterated its commitment to Alpha and Tru64 at the high-end even with the new management (e.g. $100M marketing), without really giving some reassurance that its high-end only business model makes sense.

    --Anon

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