At Least It Hasn’t Been Renamed Linux 2001

  • Written By: C. McNulty
  • Published: July 6 2000

At Least It Hasn't Been Renamed Linux 2001
C. McNulty - July 6, 2000

Event Summary

On May 24, 2000, Linus Torvalds and the Linux Kernel Archives released an unannounced test version of the 2.4.0 Linux kernel.

As Torvalds remarked (in May 2000), "It doesn't really exist yet." 2.4 was originally slated for October 1999 release. Industry observers now expect Linux 2.4 to be finished no earlier than year-end 2000. However, when asked about delays to Red Hat distributions of 2.4-derived products, Red Hat officials had no comment.

Market Impact

A nearly infinite number of penguins, eventually, can develop a great operating system. The challenges are twofold:

  • Steering the flock toward product features they may not want to develop

  • Waiting for the flock to get there

Big things await Linux 2.4 when it comes out. Although there are an ever-increasing number of server applications that run on Linux - Oracle 8i and Lotus Domino among them - the biggest enterprise systems are looking for the 2.4 kernel to provide critical features. 64GB memory support, journaling, and improved SMP are crucial to winning over enterprise ISV's and IT managers.

We expect the Calderas and Red Hats of the world to be affected by the delay, but not critically. Microsoft has had similar problems getting the high-end version of Windows 2000 finished. [See TEC Article Microsoft Readies Win2K Datacenter Edition for Defeaturing.] Further delays, however, will mean Windows 2000 Datacenter Edition will beat Linux to market.

This is going to mean that service vendors expecting revenue from supporting top line data applications on Linux in 2000 are going to look toward other opportunities. "We're going to target front office, data-less applications like Apache and network attached devices," said Jim Fitzgerald, CEO of Steeleye Technology. Steeleye provides high availability, fault resilient clustering for Linux applications.

User Recommendations

Linux 2.4 will have enough features to satisfy most server requirements for an OS - unless you're running an IBM System 390 or a Sun E10000. ISV's know this, and we expect a slew of business applications to follow Linux 2.4 throughout 2001.

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