[TUHS] System Economics (was is Linux "officially branded UNIX")

tfb at tfeb.org tfb at tfeb.org
Wed Mar 15 02:20:39 AEST 2017

On 14 Mar 2017, at 14:43, Clem Cole <clemc at ccc.com> wrote:
> I'm curious for the Banks, in your experience - which were the UNIX vendors that were pushing 9-figure UNIX boxes.  I'll guess, IBM was one of them.  Maybe NCR.     What HP, Sun, DEC in that bundle?

I didn't mean 9-figure sums on single machines: I meant that much for an estate.  Typically companies would have machines from more than one vendor: where I was we had IBM, HP, Sun in the Unix estate at least.  Then based on a fully-stuffed high-end machine costing ~$1M (which is about right), you need 100 to be 9 figures.  Where I was we had 25 top-end machines from the vendor I knew best I think, and probably as many again from each the two others, as well as a bunch (low thousands I think) of lesser machines.

> I ​believe that the point you are making is that "white box" PC's running a UNIX-like system - aka Linux could comes pretty close to doing what the highly touted AIX, NCR et al were doing and were "good enough" to get the job done.

No, not really: what I'm saying is that the deployments of big expensive Unix systems were *not* blazingly successful (for reasons which may or may not have had to do with Unix, and which I believe mostly but not entirely did not in fact), and the people who sign off that kind of purchase then have the 'Unix bad' bit set, and so anything which is being pushed as *not* Unix smells like good to them.

There is  no particular reason to think that what they are doing now will work any better, other than that I think it's obvious by now that the huge-gold-plated-machine idea doesn't work very well (with the possible exception of z series, which is not Unix of course), and much smaller silver-plated systems are just better and also offer stupidly more bang per buck.  Also they have probably learned some lessons from the first iteration so less dumb mistakes will be made.

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