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The Heart of the Penguin - page 3

The Heart of Darkness

  • June 7, 2002
  • By Brian Proffitt

Pollard is, overall, very happy with the choice he made to move to clustered servers from Dell. The company's recent announcement of partnership with Red Hat and Oracle further promotes the use of their clustered servers, which Dell insists bring far more advantages than a mainframe configuration.

Kevin Noreen, Sr. Product Manager for Clustering at Dell, cited standardization and compatibility as two of the big advantages for clusters over mainframes, just as Pollard did. But the other big benefit, he said, was the scalability of these systems.

Because customers can start small and then work their way up to the size they need to maintain a high-performance or high-availibilty environment as their business needs grow, their initial up-font costs are sharply reduced.

Nor do the customers get locked in with a system that won't grow, Noreen explained.

Keeping the customers free to choose is a big reason why Dell chose to use Red Hat Linux in its offerings.

"As much as you want to say UNIX is an open solution," Noreen stated, "it is still proprietary among certain hardware vendors." Linux, he added, gives the consumer more choice. If they decide, for instance, not to stay with Dell, they can simply move their software to any other machine running Red Hat Linux.

"We don't want to lock anyone in from a proprietary standpoint," Noreen said. "I think that is one reason customers are looking at it anyways."

Open standards and scalability were indeed two distinct selling points for customer Pollard, but the big reason was simply: money. Because of the savings he has incurred in hardware, software, and support, Pollard now has more money to spend on other areas of his research.

For if this research is successful, maybe the only time your heart will skip a beat will be watching a scary movie, riding down a roller coaster, or seeing that special face for the first time across a crowded room.

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