UNIX (or Solaris) vs. VM -- Load Balancing

UNIX (or Solaris) vs. VM -- Load Balancing

Post by Mike Carro » Thu, 16 Sep 1993 02:03:14



ATTENTION Unix Experts and O/S Theorists!

Recently a claim was made by someone within our corporation that VM
(the IBM mainframe O/S) was better at load balancing than Unix.
The claim was that with large numbers of users/processes to handle,
VM was better able to juggle the load.

I am looking for data, facts or pointers to such items to either
substantiate or refute this claim.

My intuition says that Unix is probably a more mature O/S in that
regard, since it has a longer history dating back to the Multics
project in the 60's.  

We are contemplating the migration of our online library software
from a VM mainframe to a Unix (i.e., Solaris) client/server architecture.  I
am also convinced that Unix would have an easier time in balancing the
load in a client/server implementation, because the user interface
processing is offloaded to the client.  But other than such apriori
considerations, I need data from studies in this area.

Can anyone out there lend me a hand?
****************************************************************************

Regards -- Mike

Michael L. Carroll
Manager, Advanced Computer & Software Applications
Lockheed Corporate Science & Engineering
Calabasas, CA
Tel:  818-876-2262
FAX:  818-876-2239

****************************************************************************
The opinions expressed above are those of the author of this e-mail
and do not necessarily represent the views of the Lockheed Corporation.
****************************************************************************

 
 
 

UNIX (or Solaris) vs. VM -- Load Balancing

Post by Wolfgang Ratzka t20 » Thu, 16 Sep 1993 16:59:56


: Recently a claim was made by someone within our corporation that VM
: (the IBM mainframe O/S) was better at load balancing than Unix.
: The claim was that with large numbers of users/processes to handle,
: VM was better able to juggle the load.

I think such a claim ignores the fact, that UNIXes can be rather
different in this respect. E.g. SunOS 4.1.X and SunOS 5.2 ...

--
     _
 |  | )


 
 
 

UNIX (or Solaris) vs. VM -- Load Balancing

Post by Mike Jon » Thu, 16 Sep 1993 23:48:56



Quote:>ATTENTION Unix Experts and O/S Theorists!
>Recently a claim was made by someone within our corporation that VM
>(the IBM mainframe O/S) was better at load balancing than Unix.
>The claim was that with large numbers of users/processes to handle,
>VM was better able to juggle the load.
>My intuition says that Unix is probably a more mature O/S in that
>regard, since it has a longer history dating back to the Multics
>project in the 60's.  

I tend to think you're right (that Unix will be at least as good), but
you should be aware that VM dates back to the CP/67 project in
Cambridge in (yes) 1967, and is thus technically older than Unix. Unix'
connection to Multics is more one of inspiration than technical
development.


Dr. Nordstrom's First Rule of Debate:
It is difficult to win an argument when your opponent is unencumbered with a
knowledge of the facts.

 
 
 

UNIX (or Solaris) vs. VM -- Load Balancing

Post by Brick Vers » Sun, 19 Sep 1993 02:59:24



>Recently a claim was made by someone within our corporation that VM
>(the IBM mainframe O/S) was better at load balancing than Unix.
>The claim was that with large numbers of users/processes to handle,
>VM was better able to juggle the load.

Believe it.  IBM has spent a lot of effort making the VM scheduler fairly
robust and very tunable.  The Unix solution to performance problems is to
buy more hardware.  In the mainframe world where more hardware usually
implies MAJOR expenditure, it pays to spend lots of human time trying to
eek every last drop of capacity from your existing hardware.  VM is pretty
good at this.  SunOS 4.1 and Solaris2 just don't give you the same sort
of control.

Quote:>We are contemplating the migration of our online library software
>from a VM mainframe to a Unix (i.e., Solaris) client/server architecture.  I
>am also convinced that Unix would have an easier time in balancing the
>load in a client/server implementation, because the user interface
>processing is offloaded to the client.  But other than such apriori
>considerations, I need data from studies in this area.

Unix has the potential to do just fine at this.  Making client/server
stuff work well is often more complicated than getting a single host
application to work, but if the software behaves and the network isn't
a bottleneck and the server isn't overloaded (or multiple servers can
be used) then you have the advantage of being able to throw cheap
hardware at the problem.  The quality of the scheduler matters a lot
less if the machine is never more than 40% busy, and with Unix hardware
you can generally afford to over-buy.  I think you'll find that the
performance of this application is going to depend mainly on things
other than the scheduler.

--Brick

 
 
 

1. UNIX vs. VM -- Load Balancing

ATTENTION Unix Experts and O/S Theorists!

Recently a claim was made by someone within our corporation that VM
(the IBM mainframe O/S) was better at load balancing than Unix.
The claim was that with large numbers of users/processes to handle,
VM was better able to juggle the load.

I am looking for data, facts or pointers to such items to either
substantiate or refute this claim.

My intuition says that Unix is probably a more mature O/S in that
regard, since it has a longer history dating back to the Multics
project in the 60's.  

We are contemplating the migration of our online library software
from a VM mainframe to a Unix client/server architecture.  I am
also convinced that Unix would have an easier time in balancing the
load in a client/server implementation, because the user interface
processing is offloaded to the client.  But other than such apriori
considerations, I need data from studies in this area.
Can anyone out there lend me a hand?
****************************************************************************

Regards -- Mike

Michael L. Carroll
Manager, Advanced Computer & Software Applications
Lockheed Corporate Science & Engineering
Calabasas, CA
Tel:  818-876-2262
FAX:  818-876-2239

****************************************************************************
The opinions expressed above are those of the author of this e-mail
and do not necessarily represent the views of the Lockheed Corporation.
****************************************************************************

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