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Another AIX vs. Linux Discussion

January 3, 2018

Six years ago I wrote an article about how much I love AIX. It's a topic I've revisited a number of times--most recently, here.
So let's have another AIX vs. Linux discussion. Certainly, plenty of folks are still talking about this, in their companies and on Twitter.
As admins, I don't expect this to change. For one thing, let's face it: we're an argumentative lot. We argue over vi vs. emacs, Gnome vs. KDE, Debian vs. Redhat. People think about their workloads and where they want to run them. Do they want to take advantage of POWER’s performance advantages and run Linux on Nutanix clusters on POWER nodes? Do they want to plan on running POWER9 with NVIDIA GPUs and work on machine learning or artificial intelligence or build the world’s fastest supercomputer? Those solutions will be running Linux.
Of course Linux is growing, and of course IBM embraces Linux across the mainframe and POWER servers. As you carry on your own OS discussions, by this logic, you should add x86 vs. POWER to the discussions.
My point is still that I see advantages with AIX and the VIO server. Do I use Linux? Of course I do, and have for years, just like most of you.
My issue with Linux comes down to a simple question: Which Linux? Which version of Linux do you love? Redhat? Debian? Suse? Which LVM and filesystem do you love? Which backup solution do you love? Which hypervisor do you love? I could go on, but you get the point. When you're talking about Linux, you can be talking about many different things.
Are you a big fan of systemd and the way that solution is heading? Which desktop manager do you love? Is Linux trying to satisfy both desktop users and enterprise users?
I don't mind the debates, though I don't agree with the dire predictions. My take? AIX will be just fine. I've seen timelines for AIX and IBM i that extend years from now. See for yourself: Look for the AIX TL release dates and end of service pack support charts. As of this writing I see AIX 7.2 TL2 going to 2020, and AIX 7.2 TL5 going out to 2022. As more technology levels are released, you can be sure that those dates will keep marching into the future.
At the end of the day, I am pretty sure we can all agree on this: at least we're not Windows administrators.

Posted January 3, 2018| Permalink

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