Database users who rely on Linux operating systems are drooling over the list of features promised by the 2.6 kernel.
As reported by eWEEK last week, the Linux production 2.6 kernel, to be released likely by the fall, will move the operating system into a position of handling big, enterprise-class database applications by putting powerful new features and abilities into the main kernel and sparing users the need to adopt them as back-ported capabilities in the 2.4 production kernel. Such abilities include the ability to support much larger amounts of memory, the ability to support a larger number of threads, improved networking performance, increased storage and types of storage, and better volume management.
Tim Kuchlein, director of information systems at Clarity Payment Solutions Inc., a developer of prepaid electronic payment systems, said the ability for the kernel to support extra memory will enable his company to work its database like Google: running on all memory, all the time.
Clarity will soon move to IBMs DB2 8.1 database running on Red Hat Inc.s version of Linux. To get it all running with maximum affordable memory, company executives plan to move to 64-bit architecture and, to that end, are checking out Advanced Micro Devices Inc.s 64-bit architecture.
The move could mean that Clarity could kiss writing to disk goodbye. "We want to have as much memory in our systems as we can," said Kuchlein, in New York.
The ability to support 64-bit isnt new to the Linux kernel, but the affordability of 64-bit boxes is, Kuchlein noted. "Only recently have you been able to buy hardware without having to mortgage your life to make use of [64-bit]," he said. Kuchlein has priced IBM p-Series servers with 16GB of memory at about $230,000, compared with AMD boxes with two CPUs and 8GB that sell for about $6,150.