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Re: Linux Scalability (was: Why Linux is so successful)

  • Subject: Re: Linux Scalability (was: Why Linux is so successful)
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 01 May 2006 17:17:31 +0100
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: schestowitz.com / MCC / Manchester University
  • References: <nda5g.2431$c%5.458@trnddc02> <pan.2006.> <1146444362.085060.320030@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com> <8_d5g.2938$GG2.2648@newsfe2-win.ntli.net>
  • Reply-to: newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
__/ [ Jim ] on Monday 01 May 2006 03:01 \__

> Larry Qualig wrote:
>> ray wrote:
>>>On Sun, 30 Apr 2006 21:44:51 +0000, Mathew P. wrote:
>>>>Hash: SHA1
>>>>Three words:
>>>You missed one: security
>> I would actually put *security* at the top of the list. Through the
>> eyes of a typical/casual computer user the thoughts would be:
>> Security = Yes, that's important. I've had it up to here with viruses.
>> Reliability = Windows is pretty reliable as long as the machine doesn't
>> get infected.
>> Portability = Not something that's relevant to an accountant.
>> Scalability = Important for the data center (where Linux has done very
>> well). For the average user... not really an issue.
> tho the clusterability of Linux is pretty damn awesome, particularly if
> you set up a terminal server, like I have, and have each seat boot from
> that*. The clients then become part of the whole. Headed ones lend their
> spare cycles to whatever job I've got the cluster doing, headless ones
> dedicate to the task. Net result: my network is just so damn powerful it
> beggars belief.
> *memory footprint with X and icewm and preloaded media player, browser,
> GIMP and OOo (which is basically all the family use anyway - they play
> games on the XBox, that's what it's there for) is 48MB. Thin clients can
> be made /really/ thin!

To elaborate:

It is very natural, if not innate, for people who never take/have taken
advantage of scalability to deem it useless and purposeless. Rest assured
that if it weren't for GNU/Linux, I would have never finished my Ph.D. as
quickly as I do (almost unprecedented in our Division).

Being able to run experiments on 30 Pentium 4's overnight for several days
has become a routine procedure. I rarely (if ever) run heavy processes on
this 1.8 GHz, SuSE 8.1 machine (never 'disturbed' since 2003). I am not
alone in this. A winner of many trophies for automated reasoning was partly
my inspirer and has me adopt this strategy.

How would you ever achieve this with Windows and be able to orchestrate
everything from a single computer? The fact is that you can't do this
reliably due to crashes, let alone the need for software which may or may
not achieve the ultimate goals. Then comes the entry barrier which is
licence costs.

Attributing the importance of scalability to datacentres (/a la/ Google) is a
mistaken point-of-view. If you run all your heavy work locally, I am sure
that, at some point in the past, you pondered the ability to share the load.
That's where scalability counts. If only more people knew its power. Sergey
Brin and Larry Page sure understood it and capitalised on it.

With kind regards,


Roy S. Schestowitz
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
  5:05pm  up 4 days  0:02,  13 users,  load average: 0.20, 0.55, 0.57
      http://iuron.com - Open Source knowledge engine project

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