Power consumption per day of an IBM z900 (formerly S/390) mainframe: $32 US
Starting price of an IBM z900: $750,000 US
Number of Linux instances that have been run on one z900: 41,000
Percentage of companies that have deployed, or intend to deploy, at least one Linux system: 68
Number of US information-appliance unit sales in 2000: 7,440,000
Projected US information-appliance unit sales in 2005: 51,800,000
Compound annual growth rate of US information appliance sales: 47.4%
Worldwide information-appliance unit sales in 2000: 29,000,000
Projected worldwide information-appliance unit sales in 2005: 305,000,000
Compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of worldwide information-appliance sales: 59.8%
Number of BSD-based Apple OS X betas downloaded or shipped by January 2001: 100,000
Number of people submitting input to the OS X beta process: 70,000
Volume of résumés posted per day on Monster.com: 38,000
Monster.com's total job database: 12,000,000
Pounds of ground beef that might be contaminated by one diseased animal: 32,000
Chances that an American will have a fast-food meal today: 1 in 4
Number of class action lawsuits filed against VA Linux in January 2001: 5
Number of those lawsuits that erroneously referred the company as “Linux”: 4
Number of similar lawsuits filed by one of those firms, Milberg Weiss, in one decade: 200
Estimated cost in millions of dollars of a complete Linux solution on one IBM mainframe: 7
Estimated cost in millions of dollars of the same solution on equivalent Sun hardware: 55
15-16: Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation
17-18: Linux Weekly News (www.lwn.net)
Which computer architecture is best? We got the Linux kernel source, version 2.4.0, and counted the instances of George Carlin's “seven words you can never say on television”, plus “crap”, “damn” and “sucks” in each subdirectory of /usr/src/linux/arch.
alpha: 1arm: 0i386: 7ia64: 0m68k: 3mips: 22mips64: 5parisc: 4ppc: 3s390: 0sh: 1sparc: 19sparc64: 13
So, it's clear that ARM, IA-64 and System/390 are, from the kernel developer's point of view, the best computer architectures, and as for those piece-of-[expletive deleted] MIPS and Sparc boxes, well, the less we [expletive deleted] say about them the better.
by Gary A. Messenbrink and Frank Ruffa
In the Operations Control Center (OCC), 20 feet underground in the heart of Oakland, California, the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system is managed by a group of dedicated individuals tasked with moving residents quickly and safely from one end of the San Francisco Bay area to the other.
Along the sides of the room are 30 projection TV systems that display the Train Control map for the system and the Traction Power Electrification Display. The TV projection systems are driven off of NCD X terminals that connect to a Tandem S4000 that maintains the state of the system. The controllers use Sun workstations to query and manage the system, which in turns communicates to the Tandem.
The extension of the BART system to the San Francisco Airport required an upgrade to the Electrification Display Systems of the OCC to be available by July of 2000. In planning to support this upgrade, we decided to improve some of the human factors relative to managing the system too.
The system was originally designed to use multiple high-resolution (for the time) Tektronix displays. As a result, experienced controllers could quickly glance at these displays and immediately grasp the state of the system. In moving from the Tektronix displays to Sun workstations, the concept of overlapping windows was introduced because of limited screen real estate. Although functionality was increased, the overlapping displays were not popular with the controllers as they lost the ability to understand the system at a glance.
Sony has recently released 24-inch monitors with larger screens. With the wider 16:9 aspect ratio, these monitors were ideal for the type of landscape display that BART needed to eliminate overlapping windows. Unfortunately, the Sun Solaris 2.4 operating system didn't provide support for these new monitors as the resolutions required, forcing us to investigate other options.
We quickly found that the open-source nature of Linux provided the solution. Supporting the new monitors required nothing more than some simple changes to the configuration file used by XFree86. With this knowledge, we selected an economical off-the-shelf PC system driving the Sony 24-inch monitor running Linux as our new OCC workstation.
We selected Motif as our user-interface toolkit, instead of using Qt or GTK+, based its proven rock-solid stability in mission-critical applications. Then we started looking for software that would speed the development of user interfaces and deliver an improved graphical display of the system. We found solutions to both of these needs with LOOX++ from LOOX Software (http://www.loox.com/) and Builder Xcessory PRO (a 1999 Linux Journal's Editors' Choice award) from ICS (http://www.ics.com/). LOOX++ simplified the visualization of our Electrification System by providing us with the ability to easily create a graphical display for our model. We used Builder Xcessory PRO to quickly build and tailor the graphical user interface for the application.
The development of the new electrification software started in December of 1999 and took approximately three months, meeting the required date to support the San Francisco Airport Extension. The Suns that once ran the controller workstations have been retired, and Linux is now the workstation used by all controllers in the OCC.
Given the potential for human tragedy resulting from either a hardware or software failure, our selection of Linux was initially a politically charged issue. However, we have demonstrated considerable success with the new Electrification System and have recently been given the approval to initiate the second phase and convert the Train Control System to Linux, too.
The use of commodity PC hardware, not having to purchase software licenses for the operating environment and the rapid development tools resulted in a cost savings of approximately 15-20% of the project budget. The performance record of the Linux environment has been flawless despite the 24/7 active operation.
Gary A. Messenbrink is a principal computer systems engineer and long-term BART employee. Frank Ruffa is a manager of IT development at BART.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- SourceClear Open
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
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.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide