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Washington Technology: Open Systems: Web-Basing Leads Linux to Forefront

Jul 06, 2000, 05:25 (1 Talkback[s])

[ Thanks to Russell C Pavlicek for this link. ]

"Just three years ago, debates were raging in the technology trade press regarding the future of Linux and open-source computing. Would government and business be willing to host mission-critical applications on what amounted to a shareware operating system? Today, that question seems to have been answered decisively: Linux is big business."

"If Web serving tops the list of applications for which Linux typically is deployed, high-performance computing must be the second application niche for the operating system, especially within the circles of governmental scientific and technological research. For the past two years, Linux has been at the heart of numerous government-sponsored supercomputer development efforts throughout the United States. Collaborations involving the National Science Foundation, the departments of Energy and Defense, leading academic institutions and name-brand computer hardware vendors have focused on exploiting the clustering capabilities of Linux implemented on commodity hardware platforms."

"The objective has been to build "supercluster" platforms capable of doing the work of single-purpose supercomputers, but at a fraction of the cost. According to Frank Gilfeather, director of the High Performance Computing, Education and Research Center (HPCERC) at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, the short-term results of this activity will boost supercomputing capabilities for use in government and private research. And in the longer term, he said, the collaborations will set the stage for a new generation of low-cost, high-performance, business computing platforms that offer scalability and manageability well surpassing existing systems."

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