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Why Linux on x86 Sucks: Enterprise Customer Perspectives

Vinod Kutty (org+linuxsymposium@kutty.cc)

Volume / x86-compatible servers offer compelling cost/performance advantages for enterprises like ours (compared to older commercial UNIX hardware) and Linux remains the dominant choice of a *nix variant on this platform. Although the CPUs are more or less commodities, there are many aspects of what we consider an enterprise-ready Linux platform that are inconsistent across OEMs or just lacking, several of which stem from a DOS/Windows heritage.

This BoF is less about Linux per se and more about the frustrations of running Linux or other *nix variants on a platform that was not designed to do so. Proprietary or custom x86 solutions exist, but what we want to achieve is a better lowest common denominator. A minimum standard for enterprise-ready Linux servers to make what is already a good platform even better. I will share some of our thoughts from the perspective of a large financial as well as solicit audience ideas/experiences. If you had to design an x86 server to run Linux, what would it look like?