After four decades, the Unix platform is still very important to enterprise information technology and has many years of usefulness left to it, even though Linux and Windows Server have outpaced Unix in terms of sales volume.
Hewlett-Packard's (HP's) Satya Sharma lauds Unix's deep integration and higher quality of service. "Unix really has been for what we call the much more demanding kinds of workloads, where you're looking at needing to have data warehouses which go to tens of terabytes," says HP's Brian Cox. He also notes that Unix is preferred by banks, manufacturers, and telecoms running millions of transactions per minute, because Linux and Windows Server do not have the uptime levels such tasks require.
"[Unix is] really at the core of every one of our enterprise systems," says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Paul Sikora. He says Unix delivers mature redundancy and clustering capabilities, and software vendors are amenable to the idea of their software operating on Oracle and Unix.
Sharma estimates that the full Unix market for all vendors is still worth $18 billion annually for business worldwide. Still, that has not stopped HP and IBM from deeply embracing Linux and Windows, and Gartner analyst George Weiss anticipates that Linux will leverage hardware features such as better internal multitasking and multiprocessing.
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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