Linked by David Adams on Wed 16th Apr 2008 15:35 UTC, submitted by R_T_F_M
OSNews, Generic OSes Yankee Group's second annual Server Operating System Reliability survey polled 700 users from 27 countries worldwide. The latest independent, non-sponsored Web-based survey revealed that all versions of UNIX -- which typically carry very high workloads -- are near bulletproof, achieving 99.999% reliability. IBM's AIX UNIX led all server operating systems for reliability with just over 30 minutes of per server annual downtime but Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems also got high scores.
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Interesting statistics
by kiz01 on Wed 16th Apr 2008 15:56 UTC
kiz01
Member since:
2005-07-06

Those are really interesting numbers. It was interesting to see that Suse got almost the same reliability as Red Hat as I've always heard that Suse wasn't as stable (but faster). It also looks like linux in general has really stabilized. It has much less down time compared to a year ago.

The Windows numbers were also pretty interesting. I expected (with all of the hype that Windows is just as stable as Unix) that Windows would be at least close to the *nix OSes. Well, so much for hype.

The other interesting number was for HP/UX. It had a really low down-time number but that was limited to version 11.1 which, as far as I know, does not support Itanium. It's unfortunate that the downtime for Itanium servers (HP/UX 11.23) wasn't mentioned. I know our 16-way Itanium servers have a lot more down-time than I would have thought (although I don't have any exact numbers). Anybody know the reliability of Itanium servers?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Interesting statistics
by gustl on Thu 17th Apr 2008 15:14 in reply to "Interesting statistics"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

I think this survey is not representative.

Why should the numbers vary THAT much, just from one year to the next. There usually is not that much operating system change to justify this large difference.

I think what we see here is statistical noise. A year has 8760 hours, and looking at values of 0 to 10 hours MUST be a noisy signal. For example, if you measure a current of 1000 A, and scale your Y-Axis from 999 to 1001, you will likely see "huge" spikes of probably 0.5 A. Then you would compare the "Microsoft" Powerline which delivers 999.5 A to the AIX Powerline which provides 1000 A.

You simply HAVE to see statistical noise. Even more so this has to be true for uptime. Make a survey with 10000 responses, then we start talking about reliability.

Another flawed piece of art by Laura Didio. This time not pro Microsoft, but pro UNIX. Probably she got invited to a nice Hotel somewhere by IBM to get a list of customers to ask.

Analysts sell out without obviously seeming to do so, that is their business model.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Interesting statistics
by gilboa on Fri 18th Apr 2008 04:08 in reply to "RE: Interesting statistics"
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

I think this survey is not representative.


Surveys tend to be, err, inaccurate by design.

Why should the numbers vary THAT much, just from one year to the next. There usually is not that much operating system change to justify this large difference.


Numbers -can- very YonY.
Windows 2K3 might have had a -very- bad year: Microsoft possibly invested more resources on Win2K8 and Vista, taking them from the Win2K3 team; Hackers might have figured out how Win2K3 works and started exploiting it, etc.
By itself, the variation in numbers between surveys doesn't necessarily nulls the survey.
As opposed to Laura Didio, that is...

I think what we see here is statistical noise. A year has 8760 hours, and looking at values of 0 to 10 hours MUST be a noisy signal. For example, if you measure a current of 1000 A, and scale your Y-Axis from 999 to 1001, you will likely see "huge" spikes of probably 0.5 A. Then you would compare the "Microsoft" Powerline which delivers 999.5 A to the AIX Powerline which provides 1000 A.

You simply HAVE to see statistical noise. Even more so this has to be true for uptime. Make a survey with 10000 responses, then we start talking about reliability.


While you might be statistically right, you're completely off mark here.
I work in the five-9's world. Both our software (that runs on a large number of servers - both RHEL and Win2K3) must be able to log ~6m of down-time per year. (Granted, I doubt that we are capable of achieving more then 4/9's - but that's something else...)

Look at it from my employer's perspective - 50% of our software solution is using Windows 2K3; According to this survey Windows 2K3 doesn't even come close to logging 3/9's while RHEL logs close to 4/9's. (~30m/y in our own experience - using a highly customized version RHEL5)
Given the basic requirement for 5/9's and these numbers (statistical noise or not), should my employer risk his head choosing Windows 2K3? Doubt it.

Another flawed piece of art by Laura Didio. This time not pro Microsoft, but pro UNIX. Probably she got invited to a nice Hotel somewhere by IBM to get a list of customers to ask.

Analysts sell out without obviously seeming to do so, that is their business model.


I must agree.
As much as I like these numbers (and plan on using them to get my employer to port additional products to RHEL instead of Windows 2K3), Yankee group's survey have a -very- problematic history. (TCO/Get-the-facts)

- Gilboa

Edited 2008-04-18 04:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2