Doesn't Your New Server Deserve a High Performance Operating System?

Yes, your Pinto is back there somewhere.

Total, utter dominance.

When it comes to choosing an operating system for performance, there's not even a horse race - it's a shameful walkover, an unfair advantage; practically unsportsmanlike conduct.

Linux completely runs off with the trophies.  Take a peek:

Of the fastest 500 supercomputers in the world, 482 of them are running Linux.  Congratulations, Mr Torvalds and the Free Software development community - you win.

Occasionally, The Liberator hears sentiments like "If it's cheap, how can it be good?"  Without speculating about the mechanisms, one can nevertheless admire the results.

Looking at the list of contestants, this is especially amazing.  At time of writing, a Cray supercomputer is #2.  Back in the day, Cray was synonymous with supercomputers.  Cray had their own OS, for nothing but supercomputers.  Now, they use Linux.

Number 3 is by IBM, and it uses their proprietary POWER architecture.  Do they run AIX on that?  Nope, Linux.

Number 4 is Fujitsu, with the ex-SUN Microsystems SPARC64 architecture.  Do they run Solaris on that?  Nope, Linux.

Any of these competitors could have used their own proprietary operating systems, but they didn't.  Even when cost wasn't a consideration, performance was.  So everyone in the Top 10 is Linux.  In fact, the entire Top 50 is Linux.

Way, way down the list at #309 is the HP/Microsoft collaboration for the Azure backbone.  Also-ran, I suppose.

Now, if you weren't one of the proprietary operating system manufacturers, and had to pay to license across millions (yes, I said millions) of cores, you might consider OS costs, and so Free Software might get appealling just for financial reasons.  Are there any other Free Software competitors for Linux?

Yes, BSD (think Macintosh, but not Evil) does make an appearance.  Once.  Ranked #472.  Sorry, Beastie.

So whether your operating system is Free (as in Freedom), or just free (i.e. zero-cost), if you're in the business of getting performance, you'll choose Linux.  Anything else is a 51st place finisher, at best.

Doesn't your new server deserve the best?