PC Week: Get ready for a swarm of dedicated devices

“Many are already shipping. ‘Thin’ servers, such as firewall,
HTTP, e-mail and e-commerce boxes, are popping up at an amazing
pace. These units are alternatives to the more traditional approach
of running lots of software services on a single, larger Unix or NT
box. They tend to include the simplest possible operating system,
often just the relevant portions of Linux but sometimes even
entirely new operating systems. For the first time in quite a
while, people are writing new operating systems for a good reason.
The folks at CacheFlow, for example, created an operating system
that performs only the cache management functions that their
Web-cache servers need–but performs those functions, they hope,
quickly and well.”

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