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Nov 1, 1999 Issue

Can You Trust This Penguin?
Linux's Holes

By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, Sm@rt Partner

Even as major software developers embrace Linux, however, some office applications will lag. For example, Lotus is porting Domino Server (Notes' heart) to Linux; the Notes client for Linux is still a rumor. It's also unclear how many, and when, Notes developers will port their APIs to Linux. You must make sure that your customers' enterprise programs, especially those that are NT-based, will be available on Linux before doing the penguin hop.

Even if Linux clears the app hurdle, it stumbles when it comes to high-end networking. That's because the OS lacks numerous advanced features, such as a journaling file system (JFS). It also offers only basic support for symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), clustering and storage-area networks (SANs). Those holes should leave "true" Unix to dominate the high-end market for the foreseeable future.

Virtually all of the Linux experts we conferred with for this article agree that Linux needs a JFS, which would vastly improve reliability. With a JFS, a file server that crashes after someone accidentally cuts off the power (OK, we admit it has happened here) can be up and running with its files intact and restored in a few minutes. If your customer considers any length of downtime intolerable after a "normal" crash, a JFS is a must.

JFS is an architecture that logs all changes made to the file system. Introduced by IBM in AIX, JFS provides both additional speed and added security for high-end server operating systems by enabling them to check and restore files based on the operating system's own "memory" of the correct file ordering.

JFS could find its way into Linux, under the guise of the ext3 file system. Ext3, as blessed by Linus Torvalds himself, will be upward-compatible with the current ext2 file system, but is a few months from deployment. Silicon Graphics' open-source XFS file system also could make the grade as a JFS for Linux. Still, don't expect to see either of those file systems in commercial deployment until mid-2000, at the earliest.



Previous page... Text continues...

Talkback:
2.4 will support large memory. ... - Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
 
"On low-powered, uniprocessor s... - Kirk Sanders
 
Linux 2.4 will support up to 64... - Oliver Henning
 
OpenSource benefits everyone. ... - Robert Flash
 
A check on the HP site shows Op... - Eric Fletcher
 
Just to dispel some myths here.... - Justin Penney
 
Correction: Linux has a journal... - Peter Bryant
 
LVM is available. If interes... - Mike Field
 
Might I suggest that the author... - Scott Marlowe
 
Hmm, looks like most of the wea... - Ben Wilson
 
Thanks for putting the the TCO ... - Sanjeev Sharma
 
COM APIs My Arse. To all of ... - Grega Bremec
 
TCO comparison is still wrong. ... - Ken Broadfoot
 
This story is a little old so a... - Kevin Forge
 
NT clusters only TWO computers ... - Scott G. Prive
 
TCO for Linux is a bit overstat... - Arne W. Flones
 
The lack of a common gui widget... - Michael Torrie
 
OK, Linux is good low end serve... - Roger Irwin
 
NT with SP3 is outdated since a... - Erik Putrycz
 
CODA for file sharing Althuo... - Richard Corfield
 
Your comparative admin costs ar... - Dave Fisher
 
IN defense of NT, I find it int... - Richard Hiltz
 
Ken Broadfoot had some doubts a... - Mike Avery
 
Clustering Software is availabl... - Neuroserve
 
OpenView on Linux is... shall w... - Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
 
SANs JFSs, and so on. Yup, i... - Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
 
NT4 SP3 are old. No one, not ev... - Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
 
Where is BSD? This article igno... - Darby Daemon
 
TCO. Well, it's like this. ... - Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
 
Hmmmmm....something's wrong... ... - I.M. Batman
 
Here at a fortune 200 company, ... - Ralph Martelly
 
Sorry if this has been covered ... - John Frazier (Inprise/Borland)
 
I don't know about limited clus... - Paul Anderson
 
Always UP-OS/2Warp for Ecommerc... - David Kubit
 
It's already been said that NT3... - Da Dude Abides
 
If the NT server crashed every ... - Terry Mickelson
 
Since we're taking "wonderful" ... - Pat Chefalo
 
No E-mail address, location, an... - Joseph A. Klatt
 
Once again here you go .. WINDO... - Bubba
 
I have a Linux box at work and ... - Dave Winslow
 
Look at Freebsd at freebsd,org ... - Thomas J Starling
 
All this talk about Linux is go... - Darryl Lyle
 
NT Unstable? Easy to administer... - Eric Larson
 
Why aren't you running a Novell... - Ab Kurk
 
I like articles like this. They... - Tony Hall
 
You forgot to mention Macintosh... - Chris Briggs
 
I have WinLinux2000 installed o... - Annie
 
You need both for either server... - James Ottringer
 
The new SUSE is shipping with a... - Kevin Schaefer
 
X11 reduces TCO v-e-r-y much...... - Mark Aitchison
 
When the system can be as easy ... - Bryson Riordan
 
I did not see BeOS in the repor... - Tim Cox
 
Tim, BeOS isn't ready for the s... - Dan O'Bryant
 
After deploying numerous NT ser... - Anthony
 
I really appreciate the amount ... - Roy Nielsen
 
I just love all the hype about ... - JD Haas
 
I was reading the above comment... - Jim Dean
 
Rebooting NT.. I find it funny... - Richard Thomas
 
I've have seven NT machines run... - Tim
 
One of the earlier posts mentio... - Charles King
 
Why even bother comparing...Mic... - Eddie
 
I can't see why any server woul... - Dennis Achterberg
 
Can you trust Corel? Don't both... - Gergely Hajdu
 
check out staroffice! it does p... - peter lustig
 



 
 
Story Navigation
 
arrow
Can You Trust This Penguin?
 
arrow
Cheaper Than You Think
 
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Linux's Holes
 
arrow
Fear Of Heights
 
arrow
Loose Links
 
arrow
What Else Did We Forget?
 
arrow
Desktop Linux?
 
arrow
Learning To Samba
 
arrow
The Bottom Line
 
 
Related Links
arrow
Caldera Takes Linux To The Next Level
 
arrow
Linux vs. Microsoft: The FUD Report
 
arrow
SCO and TurboLinux Join Linux Forces
 
arrow
A Linux and Windows Marriage
 
arrow
Microsoft Re-Fans The Anti-Linux Flames
 
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Linux InfoPack
 
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More Techno
 
 
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