[rescue] LinuxWorld visit

Patrick Giagnocavo +1.717.201.3366 patrick at zill.net
Fri Jan 24 22:32:16 CST 2003

Thought you folks might be interested in what I saw today at
LinuxWorld in NYC.

Saw a lot of storage-related stuff.  I don't know if it is that the
margins are good, or that it is something everyone needs (and thus it
makes sense to exhibit at LW), or what.  Lots of SAN, NAS,
FiberChannel, etc.

HP's presence was the largest.  Coolest thing they had was a 3-panel
LCD monitor.  No RISC boxes around, from what I could see.

SGI had a decent sized booth, maybe half of Sun's size.  I felt kind
of sorry for them.  

Here they have IRIX, ccNUMA, single system image, massive graphics
capabilities - and they are demonstrating the Itanic-based Altix 3000
(first Linux box to be more than 8way).  I stood behind the thing and
boy did it put out the heat, even with just 4 or 16 CPUs.  

On the SGI boxes they have their shared visualiztion stuff - where
part of the vis. is done on o300's and the results displayed on a
remote system like a Fuel workstation.  They were demoing a crash
simulation of a highly detailed train car hitting a wall.

What did I see on the Itanium based machines?  A flat-shaded Rubik's
cube.  A lame, low-res fighter jet with false color (stress) being
rotated nose over tail, frame rate about 12fps.  They will have to do
better than THAT.

On the flip side, many new x86 boxes can now handle up to 12GB RAM.

The Opterons were also there, but no meaningful benchmarks were being
run, aside from a 64-bit Unreal Tournament port.

Both Intel and AMD are trying to claim that their 64bit stuff is going
to be worth their inflated pricing - of course, as we all know, it
will be a race to the first $600 midtower.

Sun had probably dozens of the LX50s scattered about.  They were
demoing StarOffice and other apps.  I think they realize that getting
folks off their MS Office addiction is the first step to their
recovery.  I did not see much RISC stuff there.

VOIP had a presence there; coolest demo was a handheld iPaq with Wifi
card being used as a phone via a SIP client.

In some respects, while I like Linux a lot, I can see where there are
a lot of holes in what is needed to run truly large servers and other

Example: NAS boxes with 1.4TB, but no hotswap - if you want to
remove the drive, it must either already be marked failed; or , you
have to fail it yourself, then remove it.  

Flimsy drive carriers for 2U rackmounts; etc.  No status lights on
them either.

The LVM stuff is still in alpha/beta, and so forth.

It is tempting to wonder where SGI would be if their own version of
Fiorina, a/k/a Bomb Belluzzo, had not been there to sellout to the
non-existent "NT workstation" crowd.


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