Sunday, April 17, 2005

Equifax Sees 14 Percent Lower TCO Deploying Supercomputers on Windows Instead of Linux

Equifax Sees 14 Percent Lower TCO Deploying Supercomputers on Windows Instead of Linux
Free MS sponsored link, my opinion on it.

When you begin the article it appears the 'MS Supercomputers' are better than Linux. However, all the speed and improvement statistics are actually over the 25 year old 'system' which comprised of 5 entirely different systems. How is running one database over one OS (be it SQL Server on Windows or DB2 over AIX or Oracle on Linux etc) running faster and more efficient than 5 completely independent systems written 25 years ago surprising?


Faster Than Mainframes
No one knows the time value of data better than Equifax. Using Windows-based supercomputer clusters, Equifax slashed the time required to process customer requests and deliver critical data more quickly. Housing its data store as a flat file across the cluster’s hundreds of nodes, these supercomputer clusters give Equifax the flexibility to partition data and perform parallel computing, resulting in faster searches and more sophisticated customer analytics. The company has found that complex financial models that once took days to run on the mainframe can now be done in hours, and models that once took hours can now be done in a matter of minutes.

my take:
we had a distribution report that took 2 days to run on our old IBM box.
We got a new IBM box, now runs in 4 hours.
Must mean its 'better than linux' as well.

14 Percent Cost Savings over Linux
To address its ongoing development needs, Equifax relied on Microsoft development tools. Using Visual Studio and the Microsoft Visual C++® development system, Equifax was able to quickly create applications designed to provide its customers with new marketing programs such as customer modeling and analytics. With Visual Studio development tools, Equifax developers gained access to a programming language that offered reduced complexity and a scalable foundation for future business requirements.

“Microsoft Visual Studio helped us expedite the code writing process, allowing us to significantly reduce development times,” says Fred Hughes, Senior Vice President, Software Development at Equifax. “This improvement in development time has allowed us to address the evolving needs of our customers by achieving faster time-to-market with our advanced solutions.”

my take:
Again, please not that the legacy app was written 25 years ago in ASSEMBLY.
I use Visual Studio almost daily. C# is 'quicker' than C++.
I use Eclipse daily. Java is 'Equivalent' to C# (close enough for this arguement)
Eclipse's built-in refactoring, smart build slaughters VS. I'm fairly certain Borland's C++ is pretty close. How is this beating Linux?

Speaking of the same project, Owen Flynn, Chief Technology Officer at Equifax, says, “We got to market six months faster, and saw 14 percent in cost savings over Linux, using Windows Server System.”

my take:
How was that qualified?

I've personally ran bulk tests on globs of data in MS SQL, and the same data on MySQL, and MySQL won hands down. NCR's Terra Data would probably take em both. (although I don't think it runs on Linux, but using the logic they printed, I can use poetic license as well). I'm also curious who they buy stuff from. MS SQL Enterprise is 20K a processor. Exactly what Mainframe(s) were the looking at?

Whatever solution works for ya, go ahead and use it.
But how that white paper 'proves' Windows over Linux is truly incomprehensible.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Google's Tool Bar Links Stir Debate

Google's Tool Bar Links Stir Debate
Okay, so new Google Toolbar with Smart Tags, I meant AutoLinks.
Good bad or just plain ugly?
Google is billing this as a benefit to User Experience and not the Big Brother override of Microsofts publicly ill-received Smart Tags.

Here's my issue.
1. I'm a Goggle fan. I was never against smart tags aside from the lack of user options and control it removed from the document creator. I liked the context sensitive markings that

Flyswat had before it mysteriously vanished. Half of the functionality the Google outlines provide I use everyday with Firefox Extensions (QueryTo / Drag n' Go) etc.
I'm loving my Gmail account and any box that lacks 'sensitive' material is running Google Desktop search.

The sole gripe I have is not the idea, but who was asked about it. From a user standpoint, its smart 'push technology'. Here's an address, how do I get there, perhaps something the webmaster should have included in the first place.
However, from a Webmaster standpoint, I have no way of controlling whether the user has this option by default over my default settings or not. If I sell books, and a user comes to my web site,

I would probably not have that service too long if every link I had was redirected to While it's hardly illegal to search elsewhere, my page should not be

overriden and un-viewable or unusable for my purpose by an industry giants plug-in, as that was neither the users nor the site's point. If the suggested alternate links appeared in a side-bar or some way that does not interfere with the designed purpose of the site, then OK.

Google, if you choose to implement this, I'm almost all for it.
However, you need to also provide for a way to disable this feature via Meta tags or other means. I'm losing business as a bookseller, and I'm also opening up a whole bunch of security and context information by redirecting output from my possible content sensitive 'For your eyes only' pages.

2. User elected -
Sure, the user chose to install the plugin and activate the option, but how many users understand that 'by installing this option, the original page may not function as intended?'.
admidst all this talk of phishing and spoofing, the end-user now truly has no idea who's option is being selected.

- My 2 cents

PS - I'll be happy to recant my statement if the actual implementation does not have this impact.