Linux Software and Servers

Linuxlab (not to be confused with another company, Linuxlabs), announced new 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 servers that fit three and four separate, small-footprint server systems into a 1U height chassis. Each server is a complete computer with its own hard drive, processor, memory, network interface, and power supply. The 3-in-1 units can support from 6 GB to 73 GB of disk storage, with up to 512 MB of RAM and Intel Celeron processors. The 4-in-1s can handle up to 20 GB of disk storage. Those kinds of servers, with multiple computers in a box can provide redundancy and load balancing in a single unit, given the proper software. By putting all computers into one 1U unit, you can theoretically fit about 128 separate computers on a standard relay rack using the 3-in-1 model and 160 using the 4-in-1s. The 3-in-1 with an 800 MHz PIII, 256 MB of RAM, and a 40 GB drive is priced at US$5,525, while the 4-in-1 starts with a 500 MHz Celeron, 128 MB of RAM, and 6 GB at US$4,595. MathSoft has released a Linux version of S-PLUS -- a statistical data mining package that analyzes large sets of numbers such as Web traffic, sales numbers, and virtually anything else numerical. It offers basic statistics such as correlations, cross-tabulations, probabilities, quartiles, densities, and random number generation, and then moves on to hypothesis and confidence testing, regressions testing, variance analysis, nonlinear and nonparametric regression testing, tree models, smoothing, multivariate analysis, cluster analysis, and much more. Here's a chance to put those years of college statistics classes to good use and study your company's sales behavior. The standard edition is priced at US$780, while the professional edition with additional command-line tools for writing code in its S programming language, retails at US$2,195. Wolfram Research, the mathematical software company that makes Mathematica, is now offering its Linux version in 4.1. It is available in student and teacher editions for college students and faculty at US$139.95, and in a business version at US$1,495 (Linux/x86). Mathematica 4.1 can perform most known symbolic and numerical calculations. It can also provide 2-D and 3-D graph representations of the mathematical analysis, and it has a simple programming language for more complicated procedural calculations. The latest version outputs documents in multiple formats, including HTML and TeX, adds spell checking and hyphenation to the notebook interface, and includes 20 new direct import and export functions from graphics and sound files as well as other new mathematical functions. Separate developer kits for C, C++, and Fortran are also available to access Mathematica's engines. Wolfram Research is also involved in creating MathML 2.0, an XML schema for Web mathematical functions. API Networks, which as the former Alpha Processor made the Digital Alpha processor, has released a new dual-processor model for OEMs that fits into a 1U chassis. Labeled the CS20, that unit is probably the most powerful 1U dual-processor server on the market -- its dual 833 MHz Alpha processors offer support for a Double Data Rate L2 cache (okay, L3 cache if you really want to be picky about it). It can process 3.3 gigaflops and scales to 42 servers in a single rack totaling about 140 gigaflops in all. Now that's a tower of power. The CS20 was designed specifically with Beowulf clusters in mind, so be prepared to see a new line of products from major cluster hardware vendors soon. In addition, API Networks also announced the U2000+ dual-processor motherboard for ATX-size (PC-size) chassis with dual independent 64-bit PCI buses and 833 MHz CPUs as well. Pricing is wholesale for OEMs only and thus not available. ZeroG, makers of InstallAnywhere, an application software distribution package, released version 3.5 of its Enterprise Edition. The package offers a customizable rules-based installation system for applications on multiple operating system platforms in up to 29 languages. It supports application password and serial number generation, custom splash screens and license agreements, multiple installation sets, and includes multiplatform uninstaller support. The product has been tested on Linux, Solaris, Mac OS, AIX, HP-UX, IRIX, and Windows. The Enterprise Edition is set at US$1,995.

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