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I was born in 1968 and have been working with computers since 1982. In 1987 I started working in the sales department of a German company. From MS-DOS to Windows, I acquired extensive expertise over the next few years. In 1995 I started to work with Linux privately.
I am currently working for an international group in the area of financial IT. Previously, I gained extensive experience at Siemens Healthineers and Ariane Space Group.
Why still use UNIX?
In the 1990s, and to some extent even in the new millennium, Unix was the standard when companies wanted to run business-critical applications in a fail-safe and high-performance manner but did not want to use a mainframe. IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems were the most important providers, with SGI playing a marginal role. Each of these providers had their own Unix variant and their own RISC processor architecture. At best, x86 servers were used as file and print servers or for simple departmental tasks.
Most of what is still running on Unix systems today are customised, business-critical workloads in sectors such as financial services, healthcare and some industrial groups. It is too expensive and risky to migrate these applications, says Bowers. Unix programmes will probably still be around in 20 years' time.
Why still use UNIX?
IBM's i systems have a proprietary operating system called IBM i for Business and their own database called DB2, which in the vast majority of installations is used to run commercial applications for managing the typical business processes of a company, as a server or client/server application. Typical of this system is the close link between the operating system and the database (cf. middleware), which has the initial characteristics of an appliance. These ideas were taken up again with IBM PureSystems.
The current IBM Systems i are scalable, i.e. they can be operated as a relatively small machine (e.g. five users), but also in mainframe dimensions (with thousands of users). The installed applications can serve several thousand users in parallel, provided the hardware is correctly dimensioned.
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