Re: Scheduled Transfer Protocol on Linux

From: Larry McVoy (
Date: Sat Feb 12 2000 - 18:22:56 EST

: > While it is entirely possible that you are correct, I think in this case
: > you are mistaken. I've been in contact with <insert unnamed disk company>
: > and they are working on this sort of technology as we speak. My personal
: > belief is that _ALL_ of the drive companies are looking hard at things which
: > add value to the disk drives, because the margins are very low and they are
: > looking for something that could drive 'em back up. A disk drive which is
: > also a Linux machine is pretty interesting. It has people like Cobalt
: > squarely in the cross hairs. Instead of a $1500 box which takes up 2U,
: > you can have 8 $300 boxes in the same space, with 8x the performance.
: While it certainly is interesting, I can't see any other reason for running
: Linux on a disk drive. Linux is far too heavy for an embedded marketplace,
: and it really doesn't make sense to run it there.

In your opinion, perhaps. That's not a universally accepted view.

The internet appliance market is hot and getting hotter. People really
like single purpose devices. If I could get a computer for the cost
of a disk drive plus a bit, I'd use for firewalls, web and file servers,
etc. It's a very useful concept.

: How you can have an operating system that
: runs well on single cpu workstations, scales up to 16-64 cpus

Perhaps SGI thinks it is a good idea to scale Linux to 64 processors.
that point of view would indicate that noone at SGI has learned a damn
thing from the unadulterated mess you call IRIX. Well, I worked there,
and I learned that it is a really stupid idea to try and scale a single
OS past about 4-8 processors.

: What is the point of adding a general-purpose OS/CPU/memory system to a disk
: when everything can be done with a couple ASICs much faster and cheaper? The
: memory footprint that Linux takes could instead be used for valuable disk
: cache.
: Maybe if you are talking about huge disk cages, and the cost was amortized
: over a bunch of disks it would be feasible, but if you are talking about
: single drives, this is sheer madness.

To you, perhaps. I'll tell you this: I run a software business on Linux.
I can get 20GB drives for $200. If I could get 20GB drives with Linux
running on them for $300, I'd be buying them like cupcakes.

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