UNIX vs. NT
The development of NT versions for the heavy server market is on the
downgrade. In February 1997 after IBM and Motorola turned away from their
PowerPC initiative, Microsoft stopped the development of NT for the PowerPC
platform. The development of NT for the MIPS processors has been given up
already before. Furthermore, the performance of Pentium Pro based SMP
systems using four or more processors running NT appears to be quite
disappointing. This means that at best the Alpha will be the only high-end
platform that NT will be available for. However, at this moment there is not
enough software available for the Alpha. Furthermore, the development is
being slowed down by the FX32 technology.
Research institute Gartner reacted to the cancellation of the NT for PowerPC
development by advising to only use NT on the Intel platform. This implies
that NT will not be suitable for heavy-duty server installations. According
to Netcraft surveys most of
and intranet servers are UNIX systems. Indeed, especially most larger and
professional sites are UNIX based. The trend towards more interactivity on
Web sites will only increase the UNIX market share.
IDC (International Data Corporation) reported a strong growth of the UNIX
market in 1996. The exponential expansion of Internet and intranet
technology mean that UNIX will penetrate each organization in the near
future. For example, figures of Forrester Research show an explosive growth
in the use of e-mail. In 1992 only 2 percent of the American people used
e-mail. In January this figure had increased to 15 percent, and it will be
over 50 percent within five years!
Apart from its power and availability, the two main reasons to prefer UNIX
over NT are its stability and flexibility. Especially in the highly TCP/IP
networked environment we will all be dealing with in the forthcoming years,
UNIX will be the most suitable solution for the Network Operating System.
There are quite some reasons to prefer UNIX over NT here:
Since UNIX was designed as a multi-user multi-process platform for
interconnected computers, guaranteeing security has been an issue ever
since the beginning.
The Internet and UNIX community has forced the UNIX vendors to become more
and more open about security leaks in their systems. This means that UNIX
vendors nowadays have to publish fixes for their software whenever a
is found. Microsoft still manages to be secretive about security problems;
they don't tell you when a problem is found, and fixes are hard to come by.
Microsoft dismisses many problems as "user errors". If you turn on a
feature that was off by default, it was you who generated that security
hole: you shouldn't have done that. On UNIX we think that this feature was
there for the purpose of being used anyway, and it becomes a priority to
fix the problem.
In environments where complete businesses are built around heavy server
systems, stability and long uptimes providing high availability are
essential. Some vendors even recommend rebooting NT "every week" to get
rid of the random junk that running the system has left over.
- multi-user, multi-process.
UNIX systems are available from simple PC's to giant SMP systems
(Symmetric Multi-Processor), allowing
you to obtain UNIX machines for each occasion and price.
- servers simultaneously support PC's and conventional terminal
Upcoming thin clients, for example Network Computers, Net-PC's, and Java
Stations, will require heavy system and application servers.
- a very complete suite of networking facilities standard:
In the coming years of Internet and intranet, where "The Network is the
Computer", TCP/IP networking will be the standard.
UNIX has been built on open standards, allowing anyone to easily access
operating system features and develop applications.
Being over 25 years old, the UNIX design has been crystallized out further
than any other operating system currently being used on a large scale.
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