Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 29th Jan 2010 16:08 UTC
Oracle and SUN "Several of the concerns about Oracle's acquisition of Sun have revolved around how Unix technologies led by Sun would continue under the new ownership. As it turns out, Solaris users might not have much to worry about, as Oracle executives on Wednesday affirmed their commitment to preserving the efforts. In the case of Solaris, Oracle had already been a big supporter of the rival Linux operating system. Oracle has its own Enterprise Linux offering, based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. For Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, the idea that Linux and Solaris are mutually exclusive is a false choice."
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What are the exact arguments if someone claims that a general kind of OS good and reliable enough for, say, a cluster based super computer used for expert systems, business predictions, weather modelling, space research etc. today couldn't be a good OS choice for a high-end mainframe too (and vice versa)?

Well the general OS is going to require a lot more planning and coercion to solve a problem over many computers. In theory an OS designed for parallel programming can act as a single machine for any type of problem. You can sort of do this with a general purpose OS but it won't be as efficient, especially if the hardware is designed for parallel processing.

But if you look at a lot of the problems that require parallel processing then you'll find that many of them can be solved just fine with a room filled with cheap x64 boxes running a standard OS. A lot of it boils down to cost efficiency, parallel OS gains can easily be trumped by a standard OS making use of x64 commodity pricing.

Note that I'm not talking about Linux vs Solaris here, just theory.

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