Our focus this month is databases. Most of the articles discuss freely available databases; however, we don't want to forget all of the commercial databases available for Linux. So, I thought I'd mention a few here, along with the month we published reviews or articles about them to give you a point of reference for more information. Solid Technology's Solid Server won our Readers' Choice Award for favorite database in December 1997 and was reviewed in our September 1997 issue. Also, in September, we had reviews of Empress RDBMS for professionals and Just Logic/SQL RDBMS. The Raima Database Manager and Velocis Server were reviewed in December and, in October, were featured in the Linux Means Business column about Grundig TV.
There are, of course, more commercial databases that we have not reviewed such as Adabas, C-tree Plus and Yard (upcoming)--and those aren't all. It's quite amazing when you start counting just how many databases do support Linux. A database is one of the basic “must have” applications for any business, so it is good to see so many supporting Linux.
As to the “big 2”, Sybase and Oracle: Sybase sells an official Linux version but refuses to support it, and Oracle has had an “in-house” port to Linux for some time that they neither support nor sell. Those of you who work for Linux companies that need the size and robustness offered by these two databases should let the companies know that there is a market for Linux versions and that supporting them would be worthwhile.
In the September, October and November installments of At the Forge, Reuven Lerner told us all about another free database, MySQL. The programmers working on MySQL (http://www.tcx.se/) have been working on a comprehensive benchmark suite. It is written in Perl using the DBI/DBD interface so that it can be used easily for a wide range of databases. All of the benchmarks generate tables of data and are configurable to fit different needs. For more information visit the MySQL web site or write David Axmark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A very interesting article about Linux appeared in Network World, October 13, 1997. The article is “Linux Flexes its Internet Muscle” by John Cox and can be found on the Web at http://www.nwfusion.com/news/1013linux.html. In it, Mr. Cox discusses the Corel Computer Corporation announcement that Corel is using Linux as the operating system for its new Video Network Computer. He also mentions other companies that have switched to Linux and why. I am very happy to see Linux receive this kind of publicity and to see companies talking about their use of Linux and why they chose it over other operating systems.
The Corel Computer announcement has been quite exciting to everyone in the Linux community—I've received a lot of mail from people making sure I heard about it. More information on Corel Computer's use of the Linux operating system can be found in their press release at http://www.corelcomputer.com/news/press/vnc_october97.htm. We will be publishing an interview with Corel's president, Mr. Eid Eid, in our April issue which will focus on workplace solutions.
Another interesting item that has been brought to my attention is the 86open project. This group has come up with a standard for creating software that will run without modification or emulation on any Unix/Intel platform, including Linux, BSDI, FreeBSD, SCO OpenServer, Sunsoft SolarisX86 and SCO UnixWare. For more information on this project, see the web site http://www.telly.org/86open/.
For those of you who will be in the Seattle area March 18 and 19, UW is holding its 24th annual Computer Fair. It is the oldest and largest computer show in the Pacific Northwest, bringing together people from the University and the community for presentations and demonstrations of state-of-the-art computer equipment, software and support materials. Exhibits and seminars are designed to show how computer and network technologies can change the way we learn, communicate and work. Better yet, it is free. For more information write email@example.com or visit the web site at http://www.washington.edu/compfair/.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
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