Building A UNIX Of The Future

SCO and IBM entered into a strategic business agreement in October of `98 to aggressively accelerate growth of  UNIX enterprise servers.  They are delivering a single UNIX product line for IA-32 systems and future IA-64 systems; the result, due in early Q2, 2000, is a single product line on IA-32, IA-64 and IBM PowerPC, ranging from entry-level servers to very large enterprise environments.

IBM is making SCO's UnixWare 7

IBM is making SCO's UnixWare 7 its 32-bit UNIX operating system for the high-volume enterprise market, will promote and sell the UnixWare 7 operating system worldwide and will offer it as a member of its new UNIX product line.  IBM is contributing  AIX technology  to SCO's UnixWare to enhance scalability and enterprise capabilities.  IBM is allocating engineering resources to ensure the availability of IBM and AIX middleware on the UnixWare platform. 

SCO Monterey Fact Sheet                          IBM Monterey Backgrounder

This industry standard Unix operating system initiative for the IA-32, IA-64 and IBM Power PC processors has a lot of weight behind it, and could prove to be Unix's revenge.  OEMs giving support are Acer, Bull, CETIA (a Thomson-CSF subsidiary), Compaq, IBM Netfinity, ICL, Motorola, Samsung, Sequent, and Unisys. There is support from 33 ISVs, including Baan, BEA, Computer Associates Compuware, DataPro, Informix, Infospace, ompuware, DataPro, Informix, Infospace, Micro Focus, Netscape, Novell, PeopleSoft, Pick, Progress, Rational, Real World, Risk Management, Software AG, SAS, and Take Five. Cygnus Solutions is developing, in conjunction with IBM, GNUPro tools for AIX and Project Monterey on IA-64. SCO, as the volume market leader for Unix with UnixWare7 is collaborating with IBM to enhance IA-32, and to co-develop for the IA-64 market.

IA-64 Linux, Trillian, development is being led by VA Linux Research with support from Cygnus, HP, IBM, Intel, and SGI. Within the last month or so, both 64-bit W2K and Monterey/64 were demonstrated on Merced without a software emulator, so they may well be released around the same time. Sun has only got as far as demonstrating Solaris with an emulator on the IA-64. Rajiv Samant, IBM's Unix brand general manager claimed that Monterey/64 is ahead of HP-UX for the same reason, although Intel says it is serious about its support of HP-UX.

IBM currently offers three Unix systems, AIX, SCO, and Linux, and the company's vision is of a triangle with Linux at the base, running on Netfinity servers and mostly used for file and print, mail and collaboration. The second layer is AIX + RS/6000 (or UnixWare + Netfinity) being used typically for transactions such as retail and branch banking.tail and branch banking.

The top layer is AIX + RS/6000 SP for ERP transactions and e-commerce. The boundaries between the three layers are not intended to be solid, but in general, transaction value is likely to increase up the triangle. IBM has recently clarified how it will manage Sequent, a leader with high-end Intel-based Unix, which it bought for $810 million. As the developer of DYNIX/ptx, its jewels are the NUMA-Q 1000 and 2000 servers and the NUMACenter, which IBM and its partners will start selling immediately.

On the development side, NUMA technology should help IBM to offer larger SMP processors as synergies are identified. NUMA works with Intel and Power chips. Before the merger, IBM and Sequent were collaborating in Project Monterey, so both companies are aligned. The NUMA-Q team will remain intact, but the Sequent name looks like being subsumed in the IBM brand.

IBM plans that the Linux application execution environment will provide most Linux APIs and ABIs for AIX 4.3.3 + Monterey/64. Linux applications, which IBM says can be readily recompiled for high performance on AIX/Monterey (or can run as binaries without change) will go some way to providing an application portfolio (for which read "overcome the applications barrier"). Thvercome the applications barrier"). The target date is the first half of next year.

IBM will offer the Red Hat Linux distribution for its ThinkPad 600E, and plans to offer the Caldera, SuSe and TurboLinux on other ThinkPads. It also has a Developer Kit for Linux in alpha, with Java 1.1.8 and a preview version of VisualAge Java for Linux.

There seems to be quiet confidence that only Monterey/64 will give high performance on Merced from day one. However, it will effectively be a new operating system.  Linux is being positioned by IBM as a worthy junior partner in Monterey, but not as a serious competitor in the same way as Win2k. For price-sensitive organisations without too many high-value transactions, Linux will prove attractive as it works well with less-expensive servers. Using Linux on the desktop does not give such dramatic financial savings, and such users are mostly the Microsoft-averse. /font>