Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Simon Brook » Thu, 12 Oct 2000 04:00:00



One of the customers I'm working with at present has a considerable
investment in RS/6000 and AIX; we're looking at a new project for
them, and are considering platforms.

Does anyone have a good feel for whether IBM will switch to presenting
Linux as the preferred operating system for RS/6000 in the near
future? If so, when? Will AIX continue to be positively developed and
kept up to date, and if so for how long?

Yes, I know the bland salesman answer. Of *course* IBM is committed to
maintaining AIX even unto the end of the world as we know
it. But... when's that?

--

                ;; Semper in faecibus sumus, sole profundum variat.

 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Alan J. Wyl » Thu, 12 Oct 2000 04:00:00



Quote:> One of the customers I'm working with at present has a considerable
> investment in RS/6000 and AIX; we're looking at a new project for
> them, and are considering platforms.
> Does anyone have a good feel for whether IBM will switch to
> presenting Linux as the preferred operating system for RS/6000 in
> the near future? If so, when? Will AIX continue to be positively
> developed and kept up to date, and if so for how long?

Two questions here - a) the O/S, b) the architecture.

I don't know to what extent the PowerPC architecture
will be phased out in favour of Intel's Itanium.

My slightly considered opinion on the O/S.
Sorry I can't give references for this - all the
URL's I've bookmarked are at work.

The latest release of AIX - AIX5L (L for Linux?) will
be Linux compatible at two levels:

1) source code - all apps should compile on both
AIX5L and Linux

2) There will be binary compatibility on Itanium.

IBM will maintain AIX for some time as the top
level O/S - multi-processing, clustering, fault tolerance,
scalability, etc.

They may release more technology to Linux, in a similar
way to the Journalling File System.

They may also be adopting GNU tools e.g. fileutils.

Sun are adopting a similar stance - source code compatibility,
and a O/S layer that allows Linux binaries to run directly
on the appropriate architecture.

Another interesting thing - SCO, who were part of
the Monterey project, the original code name for the new
UNIX on Itanium, are now partly owned by Caldera.

My conclusions:

Linux will drive everyone back to a single UNIX - a
single API and set of tools.

Linux will soon reign supreme at all but the very highest levels.

Linux will, within three years, gain all the advanced
high end stuff.

Usual disclaimers - YMMV, IANAL, may contain nuts.
--
Alan J. Wylie                         http://www.glaramara.freeserve.co.uk
"Perfection [in design] is achieved not when there is nothing left to add,
but rather when there is nothing left to take away."
  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Ian Northeas » Thu, 12 Oct 2000 04:00:00



> One of the customers I'm working with at present has a considerable
> investment in RS/6000 and AIX; we're looking at a new project for
> them, and are considering platforms.

> Does anyone have a good feel for whether IBM will switch to presenting
> Linux as the preferred operating system for RS/6000 in the near
> future? If so, when? Will AIX continue to be positively developed and
> kept up to date, and if so for how long?

> Yes, I know the bland salesman answer. Of *course* IBM is committed to
> maintaining AIX even unto the end of the world as we know
> it. But... when's that?

Once again IBM have shot themselves in the foot with confusing
publicity. I read the article - I forget which magazine - and ended up
little the wiser except for knowing that IBM were proposing to release
something called AIX5L. It wasn't clear what this is exactly. There have
been rumours of IBM's planning to dump AIX for years, since long before
they started to take an interest in Linux. I can't see AIX going in the
near future. It is so good at what it's good at[1]. Linux will not match
it until it has, as well as the JFS, the LVM, HACMP, a TSM server and an
equivalant of the SP2/PSSP[2] for example. Until it has it isn't going
to cut it in the sort of place I work, which is a big multinational with
100+ large RS/6000s.

We are in the process of putting the infrastructure in place for a large
new project. We are using an SP2, with AIX of course, HACMP and TSM. A
Linux solution will not manage this yet. In the circumstances I would
probably recommend your client to stick with AIX. However, I don't know
what "considerable investment" means (ours is measured in millions, my
test kit was 500K), or what they are trying to achieve of course. This
could influence it. If they have a couple of little RS6Ks in the corner
it would be a different matter.

Regards, Ian

[1] Please don't flame me for calling AIX good. It is good for, as I
say, what it's good at. Which is running lots of large machines in a
commercial environment with unpredictable user requirements. Which is
what IBM have always been about.

[2] Boewulf clusters are notoriously hard to set up. SP2s are hard, but
not that bad. I once recruited a junior with 2 years' AIX experience, no
SP2, gave her an SP2 and said "install it"[3]. It worked fine.

[3] I have this idea that learning by doing is by far the best way. Of
course, having a nice new SP2 given to me for testing purposes helped.
It needed installing and if she had*ed it up we would only have had
to start over. It didn't help me retain her; she worked for me for 2
years and went off to a nice lucrative contract with IBM:( (I still have
the SP2:)

 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Robert Clayto » Thu, 12 Oct 2000 04:00:00


Read this month's Linux Magazine.  Pretty relevant article.

RCC


> One of the customers I'm working with at present has a considerable
> investment in RS/6000 and AIX; we're looking at a new project for
> them, and are considering platforms.

> Does anyone have a good feel for whether IBM will switch to presenting
> Linux as the preferred operating system for RS/6000 in the near
> future? If so, when? Will AIX continue to be positively developed and
> kept up to date, and if so for how long?

> Yes, I know the bland salesman answer. Of *course* IBM is committed to
> maintaining AIX even unto the end of the world as we know
> it. But... when's that?

> --

>                 ;; Semper in faecibus sumus, sole profundum variat.

--
/************************************************
** Robert Clayton
** Systems Administrator
** ACTiX USA
** Visit us on the web
************************************************/
 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Greg Cop » Thu, 12 Oct 2000 04:00:00



> One of the customers I'm working with at present has a considerable
> investment in RS/6000 and AIX; we're looking at a new project for
> them, and are considering platforms.

> Does anyone have a good feel for whether IBM will switch to presenting
> Linux as the preferred operating system for RS/6000 in the near
> future? If so, when? Will AIX continue to be positively developed and
> kept up to date, and if so for how long?

> Yes, I know the bland salesman answer. Of *course* IBM is committed to
> maintaining AIX even unto the end of the world as we know
> it. But... when's that?

The rumours that IBM have been putting out is that Linux is for lowish
end stuff, and AIX will be supported / developed for higher end stuff.

I am afraid that I cannot remmeber where I saw / read this, it may have
been off a link from Linuxtoday.com.

I thought IBM supported stuff for yonks.

Greg Cope

> --

>                 ;; Semper in faecibus sumus, sole profundum variat.

 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Werner Kliewe » Thu, 12 Oct 2000 04:00:00


For a dissenting opinion from Simon's, based on 30 years of experience with IBM
hardware and software, and some experience with various other brands, here is
how I see it:

There will always be a product called or descended from AIX from IBM. Probably
it will always be called that. Will it be distinguishable from Linux? Possibly
only as much as RedHat is distinguishable from Corel, SUSE, Caldera, etc. etc.
However this will not happen until all the RAS components of the current AIX
have been incorporated into IBM's flavour of Linux. This includes the LVM, the
VMM, and many other pieces.

Think of it as more of a merger of AIX and Linux. ANd if Linux takes off in
another direction, AIX or it's descendant will re-emerge.

As long as IBM is around, and they have been declared dead many times already
and are still around and going strong, there will be a migration path from the
current version of AIX to where they are then.

Right now, specific applications excluded, AIX is one of, if not the most
robust and powerful flavours of UNIX out there. If UNIX is the place for your
clients' applications, AIX is an excellent choice and will protect their
investments of time and money for a long time. If up front purchase cost is a
major consideration then consider Linux. Many of the tools that make AIX so
good will find their way into Linux eventually, and I love Linux for certain
purposes, but I do not think it is ready to hang a business on. That being
said, I think it is still, for this purpose, 10 years ahead of anything
Microsoft has.

And no, I don't sell anything with the IBM label on it, I do not work for them
in any way, nor do I even own stock in the company (with the possible exception
of the unknown contents of a few small mutual funds I have some money in).



Quote:

> One of the customers I'm working with at present has a considerable
> investment in RS/6000 and AIX; we're looking at a new project for
> them, and are considering platforms.

> Does anyone have a good feel for whether IBM will switch to presenting
> Linux as the preferred operating system for RS/6000 in the near
> future? If so, when? Will AIX continue to be positively developed and
> kept up to date, and if so for how long?

> Yes, I know the bland salesman answer. Of *course* IBM is committed to
> maintaining AIX even unto the end of the world as we know
> it. But... when's that?

Werner Kliewer
in Winnipeg
 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Werner Kliewe » Thu, 12 Oct 2000 04:00:00



> My conclusions:

> Linux will drive everyone back to a single UNIX - a
> single API and set of tools.

Except that there is not a "single Linux". There is, from many points of view,
as much difference between RedHat, SUSE, Caldera, Corel etc. as there is
between them and AIX, HP/UX, Solaris, etc.

Quote:> Linux will soon reign supreme at all but the very highest levels.

I am not convinced of that. First and especially the "soon" part. Second
because technical superiority and even world-wide pervasiveness do not
guarantee a winner. I DO believe that outside of the USA, Canada and North
Western Europe it will be hard to find anything else within ten years. And in  
Europe it will be close.

Quote:> Linux will, within three years, gain all the advanced
> high end stuff.

I think your schedule may be optimistic, but I agree with the basic statement.

Quote:> Usual disclaimers - YMMV, IANAL, may contain nuts.

Werner Kliewer
in Winnipeg
 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Ric River » Thu, 12 Oct 2000 04:00:00


Don't get me wrong, I love Linux.  I'm using it right now.  However,
Linux is not at the level of RAS that AIX is.  IBM would be stupid to
abandon AIX in favor of Linux the way it stands right now.  A few years
down the road, things may be different.

I think what IBM is trying to do is offer customers more choices instead
of pushing their idea of which solution is best for you.  This is the
proper way of selling systems and IBM is one of the few vendors that
seem to realize this.  Every OS has its strengths and weaknesses.  By
offering multiple OS choices on their multiple choices of systems
architectures, customers are able to pick what best suits their business
needs.

Plus, I think the differences between Linux and commercial UNIX are
getting fuzzier all the time.  A few years from now, this may all be moot.

Ric


> One of the customers I'm working with at present has a considerable
> investment in RS/6000 and AIX; we're looking at a new project for
> them, and are considering platforms.

> Does anyone have a good feel for whether IBM will switch to presenting
> Linux as the preferred operating system for RS/6000 in the near
> future? If so, when? Will AIX continue to be positively developed and
> kept up to date, and if so for how long?

> Yes, I know the bland salesman answer. Of *course* IBM is committed to
> maintaining AIX even unto the end of the world as we know
> it. But... when's that?

 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Nick Levert » Thu, 12 Oct 2000 04:00:00




Quote:

>[1] Please don't flame me for calling AIX good. It is good for, as I
>say, what it's good at. Which is running lots of large machines in a
>commercial environment with unpredictable user requirements. Which is
>what IBM have always been about.

I know it's not Linux relevant, but until very recently, even Mictosoft
ran their financial and accounting systems on, I believe, AS400s :-)

Nick

 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Tony R. Benne » Thu, 12 Oct 2000 04:00:00




 >Read this month's Linux Magazine.  Pretty relevant article.
 >
 >RCC
 >
 >
 >
 >> One of the customers I'm working with at present has a considerable
 >> investment in RS/6000 and AIX; we're looking at a new project for
 >> them, and are considering platforms.
 >>
 >> Does anyone have a good feel for whether IBM will switch to presenting
 >> Linux as the preferred operating system for RS/6000 in the near
 >> future? If so, when? Will AIX continue to be positively developed and
 >> kept up to date, and if so for how long?
 >>
 >> Yes, I know the bland salesman answer. Of *course* IBM is committed to
 >> maintaining AIX even unto the end of the world as we know
 >> it. But... when's that?
 >>
 >> --

 >>
 >>                 ;; Semper in faecibus sumus, sole profundum variat.
 >
 >--
 >/************************************************
 >** Robert Clayton
 >** Systems Administrator
 >** ACTiX USA
 >** Visit us on the web
 >************************************************/
 >
 >

Look at IBM's own words:
    http://www-1.ibm.com/servers/aix/overview/linux.html

--


 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Kurt Bremse » Fri, 13 Oct 2000 14:26:07




> One of the customers I'm working with at present has a considerable
> investment in RS/6000 and AIX; we're looking at a new project for
> them, and are considering platforms.

> Does anyone have a good feel for whether IBM will switch to presenting
> Linux as the preferred operating system for RS/6000 in the near
> future? If so, when? Will AIX continue to be positively developed and
> kept up to date, and if so for how long?

> Yes, I know the bland salesman answer. Of *course* IBM is committed to
> maintaining AIX even unto the end of the world as we know
> it. But... when's that?

> --

>            ;; Semper in faecibus sumus, sole profundum variat.

It's more a question what IBM plans to do with the Power architecture;
but if Intel keeps on blundering (how often has that
merced/itanium/IA64/what-not-else been delayed?) that won't even be a
question. IBM is making their money not with AIX, but with the boxes it
runs on. Making it Linux-compatible simply unloads some of the
development work into the Open Source community. IBM just does what we
all do - why pay for something when you can have it for free?
--
K.B.

"Es ist alles sehr kompliziert!" ("It is all very complicated!")
Fred Sinowatz, former Austrian Chancellor, answering to a journalist's
question

Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Simon Brook » Fri, 13 Oct 2000 04:00:00



> For a dissenting opinion from Simon's, based on 30 years of experience with IBM
> hardware and software, and some experience with various other brands, here is
> how I see it:

Err... hang on there. I didn't say anything to knock AIX. We have AIX
(and Solaris) at home, as well as Linux. I wasn't asking a technical
question, just a commercial one. Yes, I agree, AIX is technically fine
(including for the application I have in mind). I just want to give my
customer good advice, and for that I need to second guess what Big
Blue *will* do.

--

                ;; Semper in faecibus sumus, sole profundum variat.

 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Alan J. Wyl » Fri, 13 Oct 2000 04:00:00


(sorry if a second copy of this eventually appears -
I'm re-configuring my company's news service at the moment,
and I think posted through the old server, which doesn't
connect to our ISP and post until the middle of the night)




>> Linux will drive everyone back to a single UNIX - a single API and
>> set of tools.
> Except that there is not a "single Linux". There is, from many
> points of view, as much difference between RedHat, SUSE, Caldera,
> Corel etc. as there is between them and AIX, HP/UX, Solaris, etc.

Different distributions of Linux may have different package
installers and a slightly different directory structure,
and different default GUIs, but I can be pretty confident
(the recent RedHat 7 fiasco notwithstanding) that the kernel
API and glibc API are very compatible across platforms,
and that find, grep, who, ping, etc. are the same.

Contrast that with HP/UX, Tru64, Solaris or AIX, where things are
*very* different at the lowest levels - the streams interface
being one area I have grown to hate, and where the tools
are also incompatible.

How about nanosleep (try it on Tru64 4.0e) or "grep -q",
both of which are documented in the Single UNIX specification,
to name but two pitfalls I've met recently.

I'm at work now, so here are some of the URL's that I mentioned
in my previous posting.

News about AIX5L
http://www.linuxplanet.com/linuxplanet/reviews/2268/1/
http://www.zdnet.com/enterprise/stories/main/0,10228,2627455,00.html
http://www.computerworld.com/cwi/story/0,1199,NAV47_STO48470,00.html

IBM linux resources
http://www.ibm.com/developer/linux/
http://www-4.ibm.com/software/is/mp/linux/index.html

Porting DB2 to Linux
http://www-4.ibm.com/software/developer/library/db2/index.html?open&l...

Linux on S390
http://oss.software.ibm.com/developerworks/opensource/linux390/index....

--

http://www.cyrano.com/         | http://www.glaramara.freeserve.co.uk/
-
The Internet of the 21st century is a virtual Klondike. Now, as then,
there is more money to be made selling picks and shovels than prospecting.
It is even _more_ profitable to be running the assay office.

 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by David Damerel » Fri, 13 Oct 2000 04:00:00



Quote:>Does anyone have a good feel for whether IBM will switch to presenting
>Linux as the preferred operating system for RS/6000 in the near
>future? If so, when? Will AIX continue to be positively developed and
>kept up to date, and if so for how long?

My experience is that IBM never throw anything away; given their
willingness to keep AS/400 going even though it's not the sexiest platform
in the world, I suspect AIX is good for a fair few years yet.
--
                   This .signature intentionally left blank

                  "I really don't fancy Akane" - Tom Jordaan

 
 
 

Linux, AIX, and IBM's future policy for RS/6000

Post by Werner Kliewe » Fri, 13 Oct 2000 04:00:00




> > For a dissenting opinion from Simon's, based on 30 years of experience with IBM
> > hardware and software, and some experience with various other brands, here is
> > how I see it:

> Err... hang on there. I didn't say anything to knock AIX. We have AIX
> (and Solaris) at home, as well as Linux. I wasn't asking a technical
> question, just a commercial one. Yes, I agree, AIX is technically fine
> (including for the application I have in mind). I just want to give my
> customer good advice, and for that I need to second guess what Big
> Blue *will* do.

I didn't mean to imply you (or even Simon) were knocking Big Blue. Perhaps I got on
my soapbox a little too hard. Somewhere buried in my long reply was MY short answer,
that being:

Even if IBM gradually moves towards Linux, based on their history with operating
systems (at least since the 7000 mainframe to 360 series transition) IBM will
provide the smoothest migration path to that new environment. In the meantime, AIX
is a much more mature and robust "corporate level" solution than Linux and will
provide the best path to the next versions of AIX, even if those versions are Linux.

Werner Kliewer
in Winnipeg

 
 
 

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