Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 14th May 2007 21:37 UTC
IBM IBM's Power6 push began this week with a tweak to AIX support. In a letter to customers, IBM vowed to support future updates to AIX 5.3 for an additional two years. This appears to be IBM's Power6 concession, since the vendor, according to our sources, will announce Power6 systems this month and ship them in the middle of the year but won't have AIX 5.4 available for months. Normally, IBM would like to have a new major release of AIX ready for its new processors and have customers upgrade accordingly. No such luck.
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v IBM should port AIX to AMD64
by stephanem on Mon 14th May 2007 23:27 UTC
RE: IBM should port AIX to AMD64
by czubin on Mon 14th May 2007 23:36 UTC in reply to "IBM should port AIX to AMD64"
czubin Member since:
2005-12-31

What? Please explain yourself.

Reply Score: 3

RE: IBM should port AIX to AMD64
by chmeee on Mon 14th May 2007 23:38 UTC in reply to "IBM should port AIX to AMD64"
chmeee Member since:
2006-01-10

Why does that mean they should port AIX to AMD64? It's made for POWER systems, and probably uses a lot of assembly and specific optimizations. Would be a major effort and definitely not worth it. I don't get everyone's assertion that everything must run on AMD64 or x86.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: IBM should port AIX to AMD64
by helf on Tue 15th May 2007 00:09 UTC in reply to "RE: IBM should port AIX to AMD64"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

Because EVERYONE uses x86!!11

Reply Score: 1

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Everyone who thinks "Processor Architecture" means what shape the chip is ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: IBM should port AIX to AMD64
by butters on Tue 15th May 2007 00:33 UTC in reply to "IBM should port AIX to AMD64"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Linux is doing quite well on System P, although AIX is the only OS that fully exploits the hardware. The Linux development model doesn't really allow for pervasive changes to support architecture-specific functionality. In theory, IBM could maintain such support out-of-tree, but they seem to be pretty committed to working within the bounds of the mainline kernel.

The argument for why AIX won't target Intel/AMD hardware is pretty much the same. A key part of the value of AIX is the tight coupling between the hardware and software. This allows for the greatest level of functionality and performance. It's sort of a "no compromises" approach. Both operating systems have their place on the platform, and while there's some overlap and a relatively smooth migration path between them, they are targeting different workloads that have different requirements. Linux will grow on P, but the most demanding workloads will run on AIX.

NOTE: I'm an AIX developer with IBM, but I do not speak for IBM in any way. See my profile for the official disclaimer.

Reply Score: 5

direct link
by broken_symlink on Tue 15th May 2007 00:01 UTC
broken_symlink
Member since:
2005-07-06
Read the comments ...
by taos on Tue 15th May 2007 00:29 UTC
taos
Member since:
2005-11-16

... on "binary compatibility or investment protection":
http://www.theregister.com/2007/05/12/ibm_power6_lifesupport/commen...

I found them informative and even entertaining.

I think enterprise feature (RAS, Virtualization, binary-compatability etc.) wise AIX and Solaris are competing head to head.

Reply Score: 3

AIX used to be on Intel
by dlundh on Tue 15th May 2007 04:52 UTC
dlundh
Member since:
2007-03-29

Anyone remember AIX for PS/2?
Oh what fun it was to install operating systems from floppies back in the day. ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE: AIX used to be on Intel
by Fransexy on Tue 15th May 2007 09:30 UTC in reply to "AIX used to be on Intel"
Fransexy Member since:
2005-07-29

Oh what fun it was to install operating systems from floppies back in the day. ;)

The funny part is that installing these operating systems from floppies back in the days was faster that installing today operating system on multigigaherz system with 1000 times faster digital media storages

Reply Score: 4

Is AIX doomed to die
by pica on Tue 15th May 2007 08:22 UTC
pica
Member since:
2005-07-10

As far as I remember AIX once was supported on RS/6000 and /370. I do not know wether or not there was an i386 port. The support for /370 died in favor of Linux distributions. Now, RS/6000 aka pSeries is the only system supported. But IBM also officially supports Linux on pSeries and AIX 5L (L=Linux) eases the migration to Linux.

So, is AIX doomed to die?

What are the long term perspectives for AIX?

Greetings,
pica

Reply Score: 1

RE: Is AIX doomed to die
by nevali on Tue 15th May 2007 12:13 UTC in reply to "Is AIX doomed to die"
nevali Member since:
2006-10-12

Now, RS/6000 aka pSeries is the only system supported.


It also exists on the System i (variously also called iSeries, AS/400), both in an LPAR, and in the form of PASE, which is basically the AIX runtime libraries sat on top of i5/OS (formerly OS/400).

And, as others have said, it used to exist on x86.


(Edit: typo)

Edited 2007-05-15 12:14

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Is AIX doomed to die
by phastflyer on Wed 23rd May 2007 01:58 UTC in reply to "Is AIX doomed to die"
phastflyer Member since:
2007-05-23

AIX on the PS2 (Intel 386 and 286) and AIX on the mainframe (System/370) were not the same AIX code base that was released on the first POWER processors in 1990 - those "AIX"s were much more SVR5 UNIX that had been ported to x86 and System/370. Ultimately they didn't survive because support a big enough market to support the development expense.

AIX on POWER did succeed because it was tied to the great performance capabilties of Power and has evolved over the years into a very capable server platform. Over the past few years, AIX has ridden on the back of each new generation of POWER processors to be the number one UNIX in revenue.

Reply Score: 1

RE: IBM should port AIX to AMD64
by BSDDomi on Tue 15th May 2007 11:06 UTC
BSDDomi
Member since:
2007-05-15

I'm a software engineer and work with IBM Notes/Domino systems on a regular basis and our mail servers run on AIX 5.3.

I occassionally log into the servers and I enjoy the OS a lot - being a Unix fan. The reason I would welcome an AMD64 version of AIX just like Sun did for Solaris would be for those of us who work in AIX on a regular basis to learn more about the operating system at home.

The only way to learn AIX is to take an AIX class, buy an older RS6000 which is not a good option if you wish to run it at home or teach yourself the OS by reading AIX books.

Reply Score: 2

mdoverkil Member since:
2005-09-30

The only way to learn AIX is to take an AIX class, buy an older RS6000 which is not a good option if you wish to run it at home or teach yourself the OS by reading AIX books.


Why isn't buying an older RS/6000 at home not a good option? IBM developed RS/6000 workstations. (I have one under my desk at work as a matter of fact)

The workstations can be bought relatively cheap on ebay. I've seen ones in decent shape go for as little as $200 and they usually come with a fresh install of AIX 5.3L.

Just throw pkgsrc on it and you are good to go =)

Reply Score: 1

Silent_Seer Member since:
2007-04-06

How about porting the AIX to the Efika then? It should be less work since it already uses a PowerPC processor. Well maybe somebody should ask IBM!

Reply Score: 1

AIX is right where it's supposed to be
by bousozoku on Tue 15th May 2007 13:04 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

IBM, like Apple, makes a lot of money on hardware, not operating systems. The logic boards in an IBM midrange machine (iSeries, pSeries) generally cost more than many PCs.

IBM made AIX available on other hardware and they didn't sell enough to pay for the cost of developing it, just as what happened with OS/2 for PowerPC.

It would be nice if software development didn't cost anything and everything was free so everyone who wants something can have it but IBM doesn't consider consumers to be customers. Consumers are their customers' customers.

AIX, like HP/UX, will likely be there for a long time because it supports the company's hardware fully and that's a selling point. Putting AIX on other hardware sends a mixed message to customers.

Reply Score: 2

flywheel Member since:
2005-12-28

Actually IBM makes their money on solutions, packages, services and education.

Workplace OS (OS/2 for PowerPC) didn't make it past the betaphase (IMO it was rather Alpha-like) - but IMO it was terminated as a first step in the killing of OS/2 (Which took about 10 years and made a lot of trouble for the big blue).

IBM has slowly closed down their AIX support, even made some experiments mixing AIX and Linux technology. Even before releasing server features like NUMA to the Linux world.

AFAIR the Power5 first had OS/380 (Or whatever it is called) certification, then Linux certification, then last AIX certification.

In my book this is the next step in killing of one of their own bread, a strategy that started out with the killing of OS/2, back in 1994. Now it seams they think that Linux is almost ready to replace the giant named AIX.

Reply Score: 1

taos Member since:
2005-11-16

"Now it seams they think that Linux is almost ready to replace the giant named AIX."

Not yet. Far from it.

Reply Score: 2

bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23

They were selling OS/2 for PowerPC but you had to request it. It wasn't a retail item, as with the PreP PCs that ran it.

Reply Score: 1

phastflyer Member since:
2007-05-23

The reality of platform support is that getting the os to support a new platform (for example x86) is only the very first step. To make it viable, the difficult work is in incenting broad application support for the new platform. That is the difficult part of the equation because ISVs are only incented to move to a new platform if they believe that the new platform will become widely sucessful.
If you think that IBM has closed down their AIX support then why would they announce a major new release with many significant features? The fact is, AIX is a key component of IBM success with POWER processors - Linux nonwithstanding.

POWER processors are brought up and designed in tandem with AIX. Linux provides different values to the POWER platform but it is not a replacement for AIX now, nor is it likely to be anytime in the near future.

Reply Score: 1

Heh
by iiifrank on Tue 15th May 2007 19:38 UTC
iiifrank
Member since:
2006-05-18

Heh, you said AIX.

Reply Score: 1