Feeds

The Year in Operating Systems: No battle of big ideas

Small change for 2009

High performance access to file storage

Unix break out, or bottled up?

Unix is essentially - and embarrassingly - dead on the desktop, so Unix operating system makers have the luxury of only having to worry about servers. Of course, if IBM and Hewlett-Packard had ported their respective AIX and HP-UX Unixes to x64 iron and then kept pace with x64 and related graphics enhancements, their workstations business might have not died off.

Then again, Sun Microsystems still claims to be a workstation vendor, and it has re-embraced x64 processors and it doesn't really have much of a workstation biz. This is one of those cases where Windows and Linux just seem to win.

IBM's AIX saw very little development action this year, with version 6.1 having been delivered in November 2007 - a few months after the initial Power6-based servers hit the market. AIX 6.1 featured tweaks to take advantage of the Power6 iron, including the new decimal and AltiVec math units on the chip, and also has a substantially reworked hypervisor, now called PowerVM. It has had many names.

In September this year, IBM created an Enterprise Edition of AIX 6.1, which included what used to be an add-on to provide workload partitions (WPARs) in addition to logical partitions (LPARs). WPARs are akin to virtual private servers, which have a shared kernel and file system but which look like separate AIX instances as far as system admins and applications are concerned. WPARs are similar to Sun's containers for Solaris. LPARs are akin to virtual machine partitions, and they run whole AIX instances with their own kernels and file systems.

AIX 6.1 Enterprise Edition also included a tool called Workload Partition Manager, which allows workloads to be live migrated around AIX boxes on a network, and a bunch of Tivoli provisioning tools. Basically, if you get Enterprise Edition, the pricing works out that IBM is giving away the Tivoli tools for free.

IBM has been mum about future AIX development, except to admit that AIX 6.2 and AIX 7 are coming down the pike.

The main changes that HP made this year have to do with packaging as well. In April, HP created four different packages of HP-UX 11i v3 concurrent with the first update of that operating system, which was initially launched (and late, I might add) in November 2007.

Now there is a base edition, a virtual server edition, a high availability edition, and a data center edition that includes the whole shebang. Basically, HP stripped out its nPar and vPar virtualization into a distinct edition and made it possible for customers to do high availability clustering without having to take everything in the stack.

The updates to HP-UX 11i v3 this year also allowed for PA-RISC and Itanium machines to host earlier 11i v2 instances inside vPar partitions. Up until now, vPars had to have all operating systems at the same level on the box. HP-UX 11i v3 already supports the forthcoming quad-core Itanium processors codenamed Tukwila, so HP doesn't have to do this with a future update.

High performance access to file storage

Next page: (Open)Solaris

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
Microsoft: Windows version you probably haven't upgraded to yet is ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of Windows 8.1 will no longer support patches
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.