Linux.com: Supporting Linux: The KernelMar 09, 2000, 19:09 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Scott Nipp)
"Support of the Linux operating system is one of the critical issues that face many organizations that consider deploying Linux in their corporate environments. Support of an operating system typically, over time, turns out to be the most significant cost over the life of the system. However, Linux offers many features that help to reduce this cost. Linux, having been derived from Unix, shares many of the administration tools and utilities that traditional Unix systems have offered for years. Some of these tools can be used to help maintain the Linux kernel itself in the ways illustrated here."
"The kernel of an operating system is that portion which actually communicates with the hardware, manages system resources, and controls system processes. The Linux kernel performs all these functions, and is of critical importance to the stable and efficient operation of the overall system. Keeping the Linux kernel up to date and properly configured for hundreds or thousands of machines can prove to be a daunting task for anyone. Maintaining the kernel across a large number of machines does not have to be as difficult as it sounds though. Kernel administration can actually be rather painless when compared to the importance of this duty, and the far-reaching effects that this type of administration can have...."
"Kernel optimization is not a difficult task in itself, but to do this for hundreds of machines presents a massive challenge if performed on an individual basis. The beauty of Linux is that once the kernel is optimized and compiled this kernel can then very easily be transferred to any machine with a matching hardware configuration. This compiled kernel can be pushed out to all of the matching machine types by following a few simple steps...."