eWEEK 30: Unix Proves Staying Power as Enterprise Computing Platform
eWEEK 30: Unix remains a major server platform in enterprises and on the Internet three decades after PC Week started covering the computer industry.Back in 1984 during the early days of PC Week, Unix was not a new operating system, but it was an operating system that was just beginning to take root in the mainstream of enterprise computing. Unix was first developed in 1969 at AT&T's Bell Labs. But it was during the mid-1980s when its commercial roots were first planted and IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems began to sell Unix to customers. In 1983, Sun released SunOS 1.0, which was based on the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) version of Unix, led by Sun co-founder Bill Joy. That same year, AT&T introduced Unix System V, which was functionally different from the BSD-based SunOS. Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) released its first Unix system called ULTRIX in 1984, which was also BSD-based. The competition between BSD-based versions of Unix and AT&T System V-based versions of Unix was a core part of the Unix experience of the 1980s. Unix System V's debut was a key milestone in the evolution of the operating system because it was the version on which Hewlett-Packard and IBM based their respective commercial editions of Unix. HP-UX 1.0 was first released in 1984, and IBM's AIX first debuted in 1986.
Kirk Bresniker, vice president, chief technologist and HP Fellow for HP Servers, has a long history working on HP-UX. Bresniker told eWEEK that in the early days of Unix, it was primarily deployed on workstations with one or two processors. In contrast, modern Unix systems can now scale to hundreds of cores with massive scalability.