Hamilton--Which Server Will Serve Best?
For those not inclined to shell out for high-end SGI or Sun servers, there's an inexpensive alternative: Linux. This is the shareware version of OSF UNIX that runs on the same hardware as NT. Linux is exceeding expectations of many in the IT world and is reportedly already running on 30 percent of all Web servers. One reason for its popularity is that software developers can easily port their applications to run under Linux. As a result, there will be a lot more prepress software available for this OS in the very near future.
And now we have Apple releasing OS/X, which combines several different flavors of UNIX (Mach and BSD). While it's too early to tell how well this technology will fare in the overall marketplace, Apple will certainly gain share in our world from shops that want to stick with a familiar platform and vendor.
While it's tempting to pick winners and losers in the server wars, my guess is that the market will break into segments according to the size of the shop and the volume of work it puts through the tubes. There's little doubt that Microsoft and Intel will dominate the small shops and that the major operations will stick with UNIX.
More interesting to see is how Linux and OS/X perform. While neither is likely to make a dent in Bill Gates' cash flow, my guess is that they will continue to gain more converts from NT than from UNIX.
About the Author
Alex Hamilton, a former technical editor with Printing Impressions, is president of Computers & Communications Consulting, which specializes in digital technologies for printing and publishing. He can be reached at (215) 247-3461 or by e-mail at email@example.com.