Feeds

Day traders don't rate SGI Linux distro

Linux moves noticed, but not much appreciated -- yet

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

If SGI was hoping to reflect some of this week's Linux fever onto its own announcement last week, the exercise can only be judged a partial success. Already this month, more SGI stock has been traded than in the preceding eleven months of this year but the price, although edging up, is short of even half of its February high.

Over here at The Register, we can't find much to disagree with the conventional wisdom that the company is imploding in a fairly spectacular fashion. But whether this proves to be terminal is another thing - Apple found itself in even worse circumstances three years ago, and is now profitable, and investors who clung onto their shares have seen their value quadruple. (Or double if you bought in the glory years.)

At least SGI it knows where it's going - and its plan B - getting Linux out in volume - makes far more sense than its NT wheeze ever did. SGI has now put all its eggs in the Linux basket: releasing key intellectual property as open source, and creating its own distribution - a value- add 'Plus Pack' on top of Red Hat Linux, a la Mandrake.

And the latter part of this - the grandly titled SGI Linux Environment --inched forward on Thursday with the release of some kernel fixes. This is something of a curate's egg, but the best of it is really rather interesting. The release wraps up beta patches from the forthcoming 2.4 kernel from Stephen Tweedie and Alan Cox, with some home-brewed patches and drivers.

Some of this, such as the spinlock metering - which is instrumentation hooks only really useful to other Linux kernel developers - was rejected by Linus for inclusion in the main Linux kernel tree. But overall SGI has a pretty good hit rate for getting its submissions included accepted so far.

Now these bits and pieces may sound like small beer compared to the really meaty stuff SGI has promised to make available under open source - NUMA support and the XFS journaled file system -- but it's not to be sneezed at.

The 64-bit file system support, support for big memory, RAID, large volumes and asynchronous I/O are all tick-list features Redmond has shouted about in its recent NT vs Linux spins. And we note that at least one of these - 64-bit file system support is a nasty kludge until the real 64-bit Windows appears sometime in 2002. The downside for SGI is that throwing these pearls into the Linux kernel stream is no guarantee that they won't simply get washed away.

And maintaining features which really should be in the kernel, but aren't, becomes increasingly difficult as the juggernaut rolls forward - that's one of the big reasons the mainstream kernel hasn't forked: it's too much trouble. So if SGI wants to take centre stage as a Linux mover and shaker - it had better start seeing that these punts keep hitting the target. For kernel patches, that means inclusion in the stable tree. For extended features, that means widespread adoption in the other distributions. With the release of XFS we'll get a better idea if SGI is going to be more than a peripheral player. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.