High End Linux Installations

By Deane Barker on May 3, 2004

Linux weighs in: With all the hype about Linux on the desktop, and the presumption that Linux runs servers, a lot of people forget that pure Unix is its competitor in the server room. This article is talking about 500 or 1000-processor Linux installs — not your everyday workgroup server.

But at the high end of the computational power range — in supercomputers built by national laboratories, NASA or the Defense Department from clusters of processors — Linux is rapidly gaining ground on Unix as the operating system of choice. […]

“There is minimal competition from Microsoft [Corp.] in this high-performance arena,” he said. “There is tremendous competition if you’re talking about the desktop or general server applications, but almost none in the high-performance space. It’s mostly a wide-open field for Linux.”

It’s interesting to see how much of this type of Linux application is hinging on the improvements in the 2.6 kernel.