Getting pretty off-topic: database systems

Vincent Trouilliez vincent.trouilliez at
Sat May 21 04:30:46 UTC 2005

> Interesting. I know that IBM offers smaller p-series servers: I'm
> working on them. (There's supposed to be little difference between
> Bull's AIX servers and the IBM ones).

Yes, Bull bought (can only speak for what they were doing last summer,
dunny now...) straight IBM H/W. I asked my collegue (the tech who would
teach me the job), why would companies buy Bull servers, hence more
expensive (need to make a margin to live...) instead of directly from
IBM. Only reason I was told, is that Bull delivers/ships ready to use
mainframes, whereas IBM just dumps literally tons of boxed parts on the
floor of your server room, and wish you fun with it !!

Had a look at IBM's website. I searched for PL820R and it didn't return
anything. Already obsolete I guess... or rebadged ? Had a look at their
current mainframe range, and I can't even see a mention of AIX ! 
Apparently, they now use some other OS, and they also directly offer
Linux by themselves, Red Hat or Suse. It really show how hard times are
now... even the people who can afford million dollar mainframes, try to
save some money by using Linux instead of a commercial/epxensive Unix !
Not going to complain, it will only help Linux spread faster :-)

> Actually, RAID 5 *isn't* recommended for most databases...
> But with RAID 5, when you're doing lots of... updating of small 8K blocks
> ...But I suspect your customers would then re-configur the disks the way
> they wanted, anyway.

Yes, as I said, we made a few RAID5 devices purely to test that the
"DAS" (dedicated RAID subsystem unit : a dozen drives + H/W controller +
high-speed optical fiber data link + on-board internet server to provide
a GUI to configure it...), was working.

Also, and it surprised me at first, despite the cost of these machines,
and how serious/critical/demanding I would have expected
companies/customers to be, like with anything that costs them
money..surprinsingly, orders rarely came with any sort of description of
how he wanted the machine to be configured. When you buy a brand new
car, you spend 2 hours describing every tiny detail of what you want,
and refuse to pay if ever the car is not 100.00% built as you
stated/required. Well, with these million dollars mainframes, all we
were given, is a long list of part numbers, and up to us to figure out
the most sensible way to put all the stuff together.
The only explicit/written customer request we had, once, was......
"please put the shelve for the DAT (tape drive) at height blah-blah ! 
Weird... and it turned out that his DAT would not fit, had we obeyed his
So with so little information, needless to say that we were not given
the slightest clue as to what kind of task the machine would be


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