[plug] For those not watching SlashDot or getting ThreePoint

David Campbell campbell at gear.torque.net
Thu Jul 23 07:31:29 WST 1998

> Leon Brooks wrote:
> > http://www.gcn.com/gcn/1998/July13/cov2.htm
> ...or indeed those of us not able to successfully get a page downloaded
> from SlashDot within the last week...

*apply sanity check*

My comments on this story is that someone was trying to fit a generic 
solution (NT 4.0) to a specific problem (US Naval Ship). For something so 
mission critical there is certainly a lot of wasted overhead in the OS. I 
have doubts that Linux would be the perfect answer for such a project 
(I know, blasphemy!).

A better solution would be to use "custom hardware" designed specifically 
for the task. I have seen DCS (distributed control system) built around 
the 68020 fire up and running within 20 seconds, stay running for 6+ 
months. The entire regulatory control configuration for BP Kwinana would 
fit on a ZIP disk, the system software uses about 50% of another ZIP disk. 
Don't laugh, 80% of the chemical plants in WA use this type of technology.

The following is a quick attempt to define the "best available solution" 
(feel free to flame).

RAS Box (TCP/IP)  : Linux
        (IPX)     : ????? (can Linux act as an IPX RAS box?)
        (Netbeui) : who uses netbeui anyway?,
                    even NT by default loads TCPIP?
Router            : Linux              (price)
                  : Dedicated hardware (performance)
Webserver         : Linux + Apache
Proxy             : Linux + Squid
Firewall          : ????? (no experience with network security)
Mail              : ????? (no experience with large volume mail systems)
Fileservers       : Performance mostly hardware dictated 
Printservers      : As above, normally hardware limited.
Databases         : OpenVMS + Oracle (Mission crit, 24x7x365 cat)

The moral of the story is use the best tool for the job, to many IT
people are not willing to explore other ways of tackling problems and are
condemed to repeat the mistakes of the past. Linux is a great networking
box but there are several areas where it could improve.

David Campbell
campbell at torque.net

The feature freeze on Linux 2.1.x is starting to be
annoying. I say bring on Linux 2.3.x!!!

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