Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mogens is back...

Mogens is back writing after a short hiatus. The guy known to wear a kilt from time to time (he is in the middle, I am still wondering what Mark A. Williams on the left is thinking in this picture, the kilt does seem to attract the women…)
but he is mostly harmless. (Stress: mostly.).

He is asking for some debate – Windows vs Linux – what would you suggest. My response is already documented here. But – what might you have to say about it?


Anonymous Rich Janson said....

My preference in descending order:


That about sums it up.


Mon Apr 10, 01:37:00 AM EDT  

Blogger magervalp said....

The best OS is Linux, if it wasn't the best OS for me I would have switched to something else

Mon Apr 10, 03:02:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Brian Duff said....

Having been a dedicated Windows user (and occasional kilt wearer) for several years, I have to concede that Linux is better.... at least for the software I use.

Oracle's internal version control system seems to work about 20 times faster on Linux compared to Windows (whether that's because Oracle is faster there, or because it's using NFS rather than CIFS and NFS is better over slower connections, I don't know).

Mon Apr 10, 03:20:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Sokrates said....

any example where windows is superior to linux ?

what about a debate
Oracle vs. SQL Server ?

Mon Apr 10, 09:23:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Doug Burns said....

I see that Niall Litchfield has an interesting blog on this too and I remember our opinions differed when we were both on the Server Tech panel in Birmingham. I was in a minority on that panel in disagreeing that there shouldn't be too much difference.

To me, it's about reliability because I'm coming from a DBA perspective. I have had more Windows servers cause difficulty or need to be rebooted than Unix (all varieties) servers over the years. I have a feeling that that might be to do with differences in the administrator skills, controls and procedures between the two platforms. i.e. It's not the o/s I'm criticising per se. For example, I find that the Windows administrators I've met have less idea why things are going wrong when they do - the details are more obscure or they don't have the skills to uncover them. It could be either but, from my perspective, I don't care.

I keep hearing that Windows is getting better but I'm working on a project where we have *constant* problems with the Windows servers and virtually none on the Unix servers. That's not being biased - that's being honest about the empirical evidence.

The very best Windows database servers might be equivalent to the very best Unix/Linux servers, but I don't seem to have come across them yet.

For home, I'm delighted to use Windows most of the time. For a database server, I'll take a Unix derivative for now.

I've never worn a kilt and probably never will

Mon Apr 10, 09:36:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

My ironclad, absolute answer for all occasions: the right tool for the right job. Windows is sometimes easier to use, often easier to hire for, and there is a fair amount of platform-specific software.

My concerns are security/stability, the fact that since I started working with what Microsoft claimed were its enterprise-class applications in 1992 I have not found one that didn't eventually collapse (usually very badly) under enterprise-class load/conditions, that Microsoft has never followed through to fix any specific product that failed (opting instead for 'upgrade and reinstall'), and that Microsoft's strategic interests seem to be less and less aligned with those of its customers (particularly small and medium businesses).

Cranky Observer

Mon Apr 10, 11:30:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Linux is improving. Solaris and hpux are solid. What is that guy in the photography looking at and why does he appear to be touching the kilt? Eeewwww!

Mon Apr 10, 11:36:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Sorry this is a bit long.

We are using Windows 2003 on 64 bit platform for implementing RAC/ASM for custom developed enterprise applications. I have experienced the following issues with Windows:
a) When configuring ASM, the extended partitions and logical drives on shared disks are not seen by other nodes. All other nodes in the cluster have to be rebooted to make them see any changes to partitioning scheme or when adding a new shared disk. Rescan disk does not help. This itself is contradictory to HA.
b) Since Windows servers are inherently vulnerable to viruses, the client policy dictated that anti-virus software must be run on database servers. The anti-virus software takes up some resources. If configured incorrectly, the anti-virus can completely prevent clusterware installation.
c) This is from my personal experience. If a process cannot start, on Linux, the OS seems to terminate that process cleanly within a 30-60 seconds. On Windows, if a process cannot start properly or stops responding, it stays forever. The safest way to kill such processes and free memory is to reboot the server.
d) This is more of an annoyance. Windows does not have a built-in program to send e-mail. Now we have to evaluate some third party program which lets us send e-mails from command line. Client policies prohibit the use of freeware.
e) The stability of clusterware on Windows is giving us some concerns. We had to reboot one node 3 times to clear clusterware errors which just will not go away otherwise. SR with Oracle is in place for these issues.
f) The general belief is that when something goes wrong on a Windows server, the best way is to reboot instead of wasting time on trying to find out the reason. Generally this clears the problem.

So far in my experience, I personally cannot give a Windows server running Oracle any awards for uptime.

I would not make any claims that Oracle on Linux runs n times faster than Windows. We ran extensive test and found that our applications performed as fast on Windows as they did on Sun. Solaris may not be same as Linux but we got the general idea.

Windows makes it easier to map drives and deploy our home grown utilities on all nodes. The downside is that remote DBAs can also map drives which makes system more vulnerable to virus attacks since local administrator privileges are granted to all DBAs.

Services and network administration is easier in Windows. Even using YaST in SuSe Linux, the NIC configuration is confusing.

In Windows, no OS packages need to be pre-installed. Linux is very sensitive ot the version of various OS packages. Oracle may fail to install if the correct version is not present.

In Windows, there is a limitation of 2 remote client connecting to the server at the same time. For more than 2 to connect remotely, terminal server will have to be purchased extra. On Linux any number of clients can connect via telnet. Telnet can be used on Windows servers also but most will not know the command line utilities to do various tasks. Installations cannot be done using telnet unlike Linux where Xserver makes it possible.

Oracle itself is not properly ported to Windows. Once support asked me to run a perl script and the script had references to UNIX commands like gzip, ls. How come such a script is even installed on Windows? The 10.2 GC for Windows is lagging 6 months behind the database.

Suppose a user session is taking up excessive CPU, in Linux, it is easy to kill such a session from OS level. In Windows, the user session will be sent a kill signal but it may or may not get killed. Most Windows DBAs will not even know how to look for such a session since everything runs under one process oracle.exe whereas in Linux it is easy.

Hope this is enough to tilt scales in favor of Linux.

Mon Apr 10, 12:45:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Teko said....

UNIX and Oracle is the best combination for me

Mon Apr 10, 03:17:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Moans Nogood said....

Here's a thing I've been wondering about lately: Is Oracle on Windows fully regression tested, as Oracle is on various UNIX'es and VMS (and, I guess, Linux)?

Does anybody know for sure?


Mon Apr 10, 05:17:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Richard Smith said....

I have technical a preference for Unix/Linux over Windows, and echo the various comments made about administrator capability.

In the Unix/Linux world, there are a range of folk with a range of experience - you can always find someone that knows more than you do.

In the Windows world "everyone" knows if the answer was on the syllabus on one of the standard Microsoft courses,..,. and if it wasn't, "no one" knows.

Mon Apr 10, 08:07:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Mark A. Williams said....

What was I thinking?

I seem to recall a small discussion about whether the apparatus protruding from the top of the Highland Hose was a Highland Dirk or a Sgian Dubh.

> What is that guy in the photography looking at and why does he appear to be touching the kilt? Eeewwww!

It is just a piece of cloth after all.

Mon Apr 10, 09:53:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I seem to recall a small discussion about whether the apparatus protruding from the top of the Highland Hose was a Highland Dirk or a Sgian Dubh.

Ok, that phrasing made me laugh :)

Tue Apr 11, 07:08:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Is Oracle on Windows fully regression tested
Wait till you use the Grid Control/DBControl on any platform. You will wonder if that product was even tested before it shipped out...

Tue Apr 11, 08:32:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

For the anon poster that mentioned "telnet" ... the year is 2006.

Install OpenSSH on the box.

It comes with Leenucks boxen.

For MS windows boxes, download it from

If you can't use "freeware" purchase a commercial support package. Then its no longer "freeware".

But for :1 sake, don't use telnet.

Geez. I mean, I have absolutely no respect for anyone that would consider to still use telnet.

It just ain't right.

Its one of those things that you know "just ain't so".

next up: "ftp".


Thu Apr 13, 12:04:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Kevin Closson said....

I'll throw my 2 cents in after answering Mogen's query about regression. The answer is yes, most certainly the windows Oracle product is regression tested. Notice I didn't call it the Windows Port? Oracle on Windows is a base product, not a port..just like Solaris.

The only reason to choose Oracle on Windows is because you are a windows shop. I'll state that it is true that the "fit and feel" of Oracle on Windows is not as tight as on the Unix variants and that is dure mostly to Oracle's heritage combined with the fact that a Windows CLI is a bit of an oxymoron.

Technically solid, but a matter of choice is how I would stack it least tht is how it is in our customers' environments.

Now, if the Linux ecosystem doesn't get its act together, I'd like to see an MSFT-Linux push to force the ecosystem to get its act together... hey, I like Xenix after all ...

I need to blog on Oracle+Windows...

Tue Nov 07, 03:44:00 PM EST  


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