Whos Using Linux Now
?"> But some users are in fact running enterprise databases on Linux. Patrick McGovern, director of SourceForge.net, is one of them. SourceForge.net is the largest open-source development Web site, experiencing exponential growth since its inception in 1999 and now hosting in excess of 66,000 projects."I think its gotten a lot better in the last couple of years," he said. "Red Hat [Inc.]s Advanced Server adds a lot of additional kernel tweaks and stuff to give it higher performance to run a database, with things like [additional support for] threading and memory allocation." Its not a good idea to put an enterprise database on Linux without Advanced Server, experts say. "I know lots of people who run on Linux," said Ian Abramson, chief technology officer of Ian Abramson Systems Inc., in Toronto. "They run fine. But ... if you start going into the unknown or into the new or newly developed, youll run into issues. With Advanced Server, you minimize that." Others disagree. Craig Read, president of the Toronto Oracle Users Group and IT director at MTrilogix Inc., in Toronto, said that even with Advanced Server, he wouldnt recommend to his clients the use of Linux for a distributed and robust environment where backup and replication are essential. Weak points include lack of available tools, ease of use and ease of installation, Read said. "I dont think Linux is there yet, nor is the kernel that robust to do really heavy grid-type computing or to be fail-safe. Not yet," he said. Brian Stevens, vice president for operating system development at Red Hat, in Westford, Mass., said many issues with the Linux kernels enterprise-database-handling capabilities have already been fixed or will be worked out in the upcoming kernel, expected in the next year. Specifically, 2.6 will have much larger memory support, enabling databases to cache much greater amounts of memory and hence run much faster, as well as enhanced I/O scalability, which should eliminate contention issues that lead to bottlenecks. Discuss this in the eWeek forum.
Because of scalability issues, SourceForge.net has made a commitment to move off PostgreSQL and onto IBM DB2 databases running on Linux. The Linux kernels supposed drawbacks havent hampered this busy installation, which is adding some 700 new registered users daily, said McGovern, in Fremont, Calif.