IBM's AIX OSIt appears that IBM has launched a beta for the latest version of its AIX operating system. In a bid to entice more customers to its UNIX platform, Big Blue has for the first time released it as an open beta.

The primary new features in AIX 6 appears to involve support of its new Power6 processor, which debuted in May. It also taps into the virtualization capabilities of the Power6 processor via IBM’s own hypervisor to better availability and consolidation of workloads.

Tony Iams, a senior analyst with Ideas International of Rye Brook, N.Y., in this eWeek report notes that:

while IBM is looking to follow the open-source model by offering an open beta of AIX 6, he said it was not clear how the company would attract new users since AIX only works with servers that use IBM’s Power processors.

Iams observed nonetheless that opening up the beta will allow more people to see the new AIX and help with debugging the operating system.

My personal feel is that, at the end of the day, the predominant question is the place that UNIX will occupy in the computing landscape of tomorrow. With clustered or grid architectures increasingly taking over the back end, previously the exclusive domain of the high-end UNIX kit, the inevitable question is: will UNIX continue to be relevant?

So tell us, do we still need UNIX?


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