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November 22, 1998

LATEST SERVER OS SURVEY GIVES AIX TOP MARKS

By CBR Staff Writer

In DH Brown’s latest assessment of server operating system functionality, IBM Corp’s AIX 4.3.2 extended its lead, earning top marks in internet/intranet functions and systems management. Digital Unix 4.0e is only just behind with what the market researcher says are leading distributed enterprise services and PC client support, in addition to strong internet/intranet functions. The introduction of 64-bit Solaris 7 lifts Sun from last place in DH Brown’s 1997 study of Unix operating systems to third. It does best on scalability and reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS). Irix 6.5 is in fourth place with strong ratings in scalability and RAS, but its breakout potential awaits the delivery of multi-cell NUMA software in 1999, which could catapult it into the lead for those areas. It thinks Hewlett-Packard Co, back in fifth and last place among the Unix vendors, has taken its eye off the ball. Disappointingly, HP-UX 11.0 has fallen behind. While offering competitive scalability and some innovative RAS features, HP-UX trails in PC client support and distributed enterprise services. HP-UX also loses some ground it gained in 1997 due to its failure to ship promised Java-based system management tools, a key enabler for remote system management. Behind all of these Unixes comes Windows NT Enterprise Edition which still trails Unix in every area except for PC client support. It notes Microsoft’s progress in developing highly-integrated features such as built-in OLTP and links between database and web servers, but says NT falls short of matching Unix competitors for advanced internet protocols and extensions. It says NT also to lags behind Unix in scalability, RAS, and system management. It expects significant improvement in all of these areas with the release of Windows 2000 (NT 5.0). DH Brown rates each operating system according to 100 functional items across six areas: internet capabilities, scalability, RAS, distributed enterprise services, PC client support, and system management.

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