Server Market Slow Overall; Dell, IBM on Top

LinuxWorld Expo is taking place this week in San Francisco, and vendors are flooding the wires with interesting, yet less-than-monumental announcements. So here we go…

Advanced Micro Devices Corp. (AMD) was pleased to announce five major Linux distros certified its MP multiprocessing line. Caldera International Inc., MandrakeSoft SA, Red Hat Inc, SuSE AG, and Turbolinux Inc. all tested AMD’s Athlon MP processor  and 760 MP chipset and said they were compatible with Linux. Finally, people who hate both halves of the Wintel conspiracy have a fine multiprocessing platform.

Although its using Intel Corp. processors, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory apparently has a keen interest in multiprocessing. It contracted with Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) and Linux clustering specialist Linux NetworX to build really, really big clusters. Composed of 472 Xeon 4-way servers - yes, that’s 1888 chips - the Parallel Capacity Resource will be used to model the behavior and decay of our fine nation’s aging nuclear arsenal.  And you thought overkill went out with the Reagan administration. On paper, the three clusters will able to process at 857 billion operations per second. Lawrence Livermore hopes to achieve 100 trillion calculations per second by 2005, knowing full well it will have to double that to run the latest version of Windows.

Corel Corp. knows all about Windows – it took a $135 million bailout from our friends in Redmond after trying to compete head-to-head with a distro tailored to the desktop. Yesterday, Corel said it would rent out its Linux business to Xandros Corp, a San Fran-based start-up fueled on $10 million of VC money. Corel Linux aimed to bring non-technical end users to Linux by adding proprietary tools, making it easy to use. In addition, it ported popular applications such as WordPerfect and PhotoPaint to Linux, broadening the application base. In a statement, Corel said it would continue to market WordPerfect and other Linux applications.

Always on the cutting edge, Caldera said today it was working to bring a Fortran 95 compiler to the GNU debugger. Caldera said support for Fortran has been limited in GDB, leaving open source users interested in formula translation out in the cold. In addition, it said it was working with Intel to improve Fortran support on the x86 and IA-64 instruction sets.