Error 404--Not Found

Error 404--Not Found

From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1:

10.4.5 404 Not Found

The server has not found anything matching the Request-URI. No indication is given of whether the condition is temporary or permanent.

If the server does not wish to make this information available to the client, the status code 403 (Forbidden) can be used instead. The 410 (Gone) status code SHOULD be used if the server knows, through some internally configurable mechanism, that an old resource is permanently unavailable and has no forwarding address.



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Error 404--Not Found

Error 404--Not Found

From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1:

10.4.5 404 Not Found

The server has not found anything matching the Request-URI. No indication is given of whether the condition is temporary or permanent.

If the server does not wish to make this information available to the client, the status code 403 (Forbidden) can be used instead. The 410 (Gone) status code SHOULD be used if the server knows, through some internally configurable mechanism, that an old resource is permanently unavailable and has no forwarding address.







   Linux has gained some heavy backers, but still hasn’t broken the enterprise. Will it ever?

By Phil Hochmuth
Network World, 12/25/00
The Linux open source operating system had a banner year in 2000, gathering one endorsement after another from top industry vendors - IBM, Dell Computer and Oracle among them. But still, even with such heavy backing, Linux remains outside the enterprise doorway.

It’s not that Linux hasn’t put up the numbers. It was the second-most-shipped server operating system in 1999, behind Windows NT, with market shares of 24.6% vs. 38.1%, according to market research firm IDC. Linux out-shipped Novell NetWare and all combined Unix flavors, each of which had less than 20% market share. IDC predicts that Windows and Linux will continue to be No. 1 and 2, respectively, into 2004.

If Linux is ever going to crack the enterprise, it’s got the right names behind it now.

First to the party

Linux got its first big break from IBM, which announced its Linux strategy in the fall of 1999. Over the course of this year, IBM has invested $200 million in Linux, which is now available on the company’s entire line of servers - from mainframes to PC servers. IBM also has ported enterprise software products, such as its DB2 Universal Database and WebSphere e-commerce software, to Linux. And it offers technical support and consulting services for Linux.

"Linux has certainly made huge strides this year," says Dan Frye, Linux program director for IBM. Frye wrote IBM’s first white paper on Linux in 1998, and helped forge the company’s ambitious Linux strategy a year ago. "At the beginning of the year, IBM had 15 engineers working on Linux," he says. "Now we have over 100. Linux is as much a part of [IBM’s server strategy] as the AIX and the OS/400."

Besides IBM, Compaq, Dell and Hewlett-Packard now sell Linux preinstalled on Intel-based servers and offer technical support for the operating system. Major enterprise software vendors, such as Oracle and SAP, have ported their premier database and enterprise resource planning applications to the platform.

These servers are being used a lot, but not for enterprise-class applications, says Dan Kusnetzky, a senior researcher with IDC. "People aren’t going to be throwing out any of their current systems and replacing them with Linux."

The big pluses

For those who do consider Linux, cost, reliability and flexibility are favorites on the plus side.

Developers can download many Linux distributions for free from the Internet, and IT managers can buy enterprise editions from companies such as Red Hat and Caldera for less than $200 (compared with Microsoft Windows 2000 and Novell NetWare 5, which can cost as much as $4,000 and $11,000, respectively). Because Linux is licensed under the General Public License, it has no restrictions on the number of users attached to a server or the number of servers on which a single copy of Linux can be installed.

Open source and Linux advocates such as IBM’s Frye claim that the peer review involved in Linux developments makes the code more bug-proof and reliable than proprietary software. Plus, as an open source operating system, Linux is easily changeable. Developers can manipulate the code to make the software fit a specific function.

Struggle Summary

The struggle: Linux has emerged as a legitimate business-class operating system, but no one is closing their Windows yet.
Opponents: Linux vendors vs. Microsoft, Novell and Unix companies.
Outlook for resolution: Analysts predict continued growth for Linux, but say it will never dominate the industry.
User impact: Linux will continue to be a low-cost, low-end Unix alternative for users, but it will not be the answer to every IT problem.

Being able to change server code is important to Maurice Smiley, a senior systems administrator with Gulf State Engineering, a Houston firm that designs equipment for the oil and gas industries. For two years, Smiley has run Red Hat Linux on the company’s file, print, Web and database servers.

"The openness of Linux is important to us; if we don’t like the way something works, we can just change it," Smiley says. "Almost none of the systems we run use stock Red Hat kernels. We grab the latest [kernel], and recompile it for what we need."

But openness does have its downside, Smiley adds.

"The standards aren’t rigid yet and they need to get that way," he says, adding that Linux distributions can differ greatly among vendors, and even between a single company’s versions of the software.

In the background

Linux’ openness is one of many factors keeping Microsoft from viewing Linux as a competitive threat in the large enterprise market, says Doug Miller, group product director for the Windows server market at Microsoft. But, Miller admits that Linux could cut into Microsoft’s market share for lower-end systems.

Take Smiley’s Linux deployment as an example. Gulf State Engineering may be a Linux shop, but it’s a relatively small company - the Linux servers support just 300 users.

The Gulf State Engineering implementation is typical. But for now, Linux is still used mostly for what IDC’s Kusnetzky calls "infrastructure," or background tasks, in large companies. These tasks include file, print and Web services.

"Linux just isn’t ready for every part of the enterprise yet," adds IBM’s Frye. "If you’re a really large enterprise that wants a 16-way or 32-way SMP [symmetric multiprocessing] box, then Linux isn’t for you. Unix is still the answer there."

But users can get around the SMP limitations, argues John Hall, director of Linux International, a nonprofit group that organizes Linux development efforts. Some government research facilities, such as Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., and the Human Genome Project, use Linux servers clustered with "Beowulf" technology to perform supercomputer tasks, such as simulated nuclear explosions and human DNA mapping. Commercial Linux cluster products are available from companies such as Linux NetworX, Red Hat and VA Linux.

Still, Linux falls short on other big corporate computing features, including an enterprise-strength "journal" file system for writing data to large disk drives, advanced system management tools and strong product support from hardware peripheral manufacturers, Frye says.

Too much to overhaul

Plus, while hundreds of Linux training and certification outlets now exist, finding qualified IT professionals - let alone Linux experts - is a difficult task, says Bill Claybrook, research director for Aberdeen Group. Shifting from Windows NT or NetWare to Linux is unlikely for most organizations.

"It would be a huge changeover for them," he explains, adding that after the initial savings users experience with Linux’s low price, the cost of maintaining a Linux-based network is the same as it is for any other operating system.

Michael McVaugh, a senior systems analyst with Sunoco, agrees that a wholesale systems change-out would be too much effort. At Sunoco’s Philadelphia headquarters, McVaugh runs more than 150 Windows NT servers in support of almost every aspect of the gas company’s business.

"We had a few people look at Linux, but not officially," McVaugh says.

Sunoco needs a Microsoft-like cookie-cutter approach to servers and applications because it runs a lean support staff, McVaugh says. "It comes down to training," he adds.

What would it take for McVaugh to move to Linux?

"I guess Microsoft would have to sell it," he says.

Related links

Contact Staff Writer Phil Hochmuth

Other recent articles by Hochmuth

Archive of the Linux newsletter
Network World Fusion.

Research page on Linux
Network World Fusion.

VA Linux reveals online collaboration platform
Infoworld,12/05/00.

Information on hardware, applications, documentation, projects, etc.
Linux Web site.

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