Why RISC Still Tops x86 Servers

The trend toward x86 seems to be overwhelming RISC, but IT managers may still want to consider the advantages to RISC.


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Previously, we showcased the argument (and supporting stats) as to why the vast leaps in performance of x86 servers are signaling the beginning of the end for RISC/UNIX. Now, we will look at why you should consider purchasing a RISC/UNIX system.

It seems hard to imagine a future with only one kind of chip, yet incessant yapping continues about "industry standard" systems -- i.e. Wintel (with perhaps a minor concession to AMD and Linux) with the implication that anything else is inferior and sub-standard.

Dan Olds, an analyst with Gabriel Consulting Group, is firmly opposed to such a view. He uses a truck analogy to clarify: Once upon a time there was only one kind of vehicle –- a big truck, and that's what everyone drove because that's all they had. When different, smaller, less-expensive cars were introduced, people understandably flocked to them. But that doesn't mean they no longer needed trucks. No matter how big and roomy the trunk of the family car is, it's not like the bed of a dump truck. No matter how powerful the engine is, it's never going to become the mainstay of inter-state freight. Thus, Olds doesn't believe the future is going to be systems based only on x86 processors.

"While x86 systems will sell more units and dollar volume, they will not take over the world entirely," said Olds. "There will still be plenty of market for RISC-based UNIX systems and mainframes."

Read the rest at ServerWatch.

Tags: x86 servers, x86, RISC, Unix server, wintel

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