Is Unix Dead Already?

Discussion in 'Unix' started by MyDigitalpoint, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Member

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    I was wondering why this section in Draalin is rarely updated, so surfing the web for Unix news I came across with one that is not new but somewhat old, and yet could be the explanation of the slow down on Unix-related discussions.

    Read on:

    The last days of Unix
    By JD Sartain - Network World | Aug 19, 2013 7:00 AM PT

    Unix, the core server operating system in enterprise networks for decades, now finds itself in a slow, inexorable decline. IDC predicts that Unix server revenue will slide from $10.2 billion in 2012 to $8.7 billion in 2017, and Gartner sees Unix market share slipping from 16% in 2012 to 9% in 2017.

    Jean Bozman, research vice president at IDC Enterprise Server Group, attributes the decline to platform migration issues; competition from Linux and Microsoft; more efficient hardware with more powerful processor cores, which is less expensive and requires less maintenance; and the abundance of Unix-specific apps that can now also run on competitor’s servers.

    Errol Rasit, research director at Gartner, concurs that the primary cause of Unix weakness over the past decade is migration from the RISC platform to x86-processor based alternatives, which can run many Unix workloads, usually at attractive price/performance ratios. Today, x86 technology attracts most new deployments and innovation, such as cloud computing and fabric-based computing, which further validates the technology as a preferred platform.

    “The challenge for users is to understand the minutiae of Unix technology trends and provider strategies,” adds Rasit, “And then apply them to their own unique investment strategy, application, and support situation. Many users will continue to invest in Unix systems for mission-critical environments, but many more will seek to divest their reliance on the platform, due to recent ecosystem changes or in line with IT modernization, migration, or consolidation strategies.”

    Within the Unix ecosystem, IBM has taken advantage of the turmoil at HP, as well as the uncertainty that resulted from Oracle’s purchase of Sun. Forrester Vice President Richard Fichera says, “Although the Unix market is declining, there is still considerable competition and churn in the segment. HP-UX has lost considerable market share to IBM, which, as far as I can see, has posted net gain in revenues and market share. Oracle has continued to see declining hardware revenues as well, although their latest product cycle of T5 and M5 servers look truly extraordinary, especially the T5.’’

    According to Bozman, IDC gives IBM 56% market share, based on 2012 worldwide Unix server revenue. Oracle is a distant second at 19.2%, followed by HP at 18.6%. No one else above two percent.

    Down, but not out

    While Unix revenues are in a long, slow descent, nobody is predicting that Unix will go away completely...

    Further reading on this topic can be found here, http://www.networkworld.com/article/2168940/servers/the-last-days-of-unix.html
     
  2. GearZ

    GearZ Member

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    It is slowly fading away, though Linux, which is very Unix-like, is here to stay. I do remember the era in which SunOS (later Solaris) was a prime operating system in the high-end workstation and server market. It was a rock solid platform. I have less experience with HP-UX and AIX, but they were heavy hitters back in the day too. But now, yah, Linux will do anything they can do and more.

    P.S. Anyone remember Xenix, Microsofts Unix offering? I've used it a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  3. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Member

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    Oh yes, I remember to have heard of Xenix sometime I guess in the past century, but never tried it, but remember to have signed up for a hosting account running on a SunOS server, only that it was the time when I was just starting my online adventure and I never understood exactly why the server had directories I never saw before nor exactly what to put into, as advice in a welcome email.

    However Linux is here to stay and yes, is a close match to Unix, in fact in those early days seeking for my first hosting provider, many of them used to advertise as *NIX servers to denote availability of these two platforms.
     
  4. GearZ

    GearZ Member

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    I still really like Solaris. I got rid of our last Sun workstation a couple years ago. It was well past its expiration date, but it still worked. I do run OpenSolaris on one box to play with though.

    Back in the day Oracle running on Sun hardware was pretty bullet proof. I believe that is why they bought out Sun some years back.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
  5. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Member

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    I remember to have heard of Xenix, but I never tried it nor found further information on it. I guess this was a truly weak Microsoft development.
    As for Solaris, it's amazing how many people is still using it, and how well it still works, not to mention that there is still some backing information serving for support purposes.
     
  6. CallFreq

    CallFreq New Member

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    I don't know Unix much to be honest - I am too much a GNU/Linux fan for that - but I would summarize it as follows:
    Unix contains the worst of the both worlds: it has a cost, and it is more a niche than Linux is.

    I mean, if you are really ready to pay an OS for server, the first choice would be Windows because many people already use Windows in the Desktop world and doesn't have to relearn everything - sure it's different, but it shares some things that helps you to not suddenly be fully lost in another world, because GNU/Linux is another world.

    Now, if you want to pay less, at a cost of being a little more in a "niche" of the free software, and to use a sustainable operating system because the fact it is free ensure that even if all developers stop using GNU/Linux, you can still rely on it as long as you work on it, then you go for GNU/Linux.

    So, where is the place for Unix in this story? You need to believe in a company much like Windows, but if you don't want to use Windows for your servers, it's perhaps also to be less dependent of a tech company, especially if you are one yourself.

    Finally, the cloud could be he explanation. I guess there's more GNU/Linux cloud services than Unix ones, and little business will go to the cloud instead of using their own solutions that could have been Unix otherwise.
     
  7. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Member

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    Never thought of this but you are absolutely right when it comes to the cost of Unix, which basically put itself into limbo.

    Who pays for an operating system certainly will make a choice for Windows because Microsoft has made of it a widely accepted software regardless the price tag while, on the other hand, the loyal followers of free software will make a choice for Linux.

    With Unix is happening much what has happened with Fedora, although based on Linux kernel, an OS that eventually was discontinued just supporting Red Hat Enterprise Linux to date, and yet having people choosing the free CentOS alternative instead.

    There is no really any hope for Unix, much less on the cloud.
     

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