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VNU Net: Trillian to send 'big iron' to scrapheap

May 02, 2000, 15:54 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Leyden)

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By John Leyden, VNU Net

Linux will be able to support multiple processors and provide a platform for high-end databases with the forthcoming delivery of Intel's 64-bit chip architecture.

Larry Augustin, chief executive of VA Linux, which is the lead member of the Trillian project to port Linux to the IA-64 architecture, said that a lot of the work to provide symmetric muliprocessing (SMP) clustering is now here.

"Database servers in internet infrastructures have been until now the preserve of 'big iron' [high-end server] machines, but IA-64 will be able to do that and extend the use of Linux beyond web and application servers," he said.

Augustin told vnunet.com that VA Linux had successfully compiled IA-64 binaries and that its main task is to get applications written for the platform.

He added that the increased addressing space of IA-64 would allow the delivery of eight-way processor machines.

Jon Collins, a senior analyst at Bloor Research, said the arrival of Linux on the IA-64 architecture would sideline Monterey.

IBM's Unix operating system, AIX, is at the heart of Project Monterey, which will marry the PowerPC Unix language with the Intel based Unix languages from SCO and Sequent.

"Monterey will come up against an established player in key markets: Linux, which will enter the mainstream when Linux for IA-64 becomes established," said Collins.

"IBM is moving towards having the same underlying kernel for Monterey and Linux and the company has said that it sees Monterey as an 'interim' step."

VA Linux was last month recognised by researcher IDC as one of the top five Linux server vendors.

VA Linux has now started its European operations and will target companies expanding their internet infrastructures, but Augustin is far more cautious about the use of Linux in the enterprise.

He said VA Linux would be "opportunistic" in this market, which he said will not take off until a fuller suite of enterprise applications is available on Linux.

"You have SAP on Linux and Oracle coming, but these are just two pieces of the puzzle," he said.

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