In the old days it was so easy, if you wanted to decide on what platform to host an application, you had the choice of Windows on x86 or AIX on Power (or some other UNIX on RISC), the differentiation was a in both the underlying hardware and the OS

Now as lots of companies are getting rid of the proprietary UNIX in favour of Linux. The rise of x86 is inevitable and well underway, a Gartner report from 2010 says;

Only one processor technology, x86, will grow in share beyond this decade as volume commodity markets continue their growth. However, the Unix market, with its RISC/Itanium chip technologies, will decline

Source: Impact of the New Generation of x86 on the Server Market

Now you can have either Linux or Windows on the same underlying hardware. How do you choose on which platform to run your application, as it will run on both. So do you run Oracle on Windows or Linux?

Which one will give you the better performance? Which one will be more scalable?

I think Linux has won the battle over proprietary UNIX but now the battle will soon revert to the old Windows vs Linux, and is much more stubble and with Windows

You could argue vertical scalability, but that’s not so easy as organisations try to simplify their infrastructure on small reusable units of compute power, and moving towards horizontally scalable applications.

Could it be functionality, and how ‘cloud ready’ the operating system is? And what makes a OS cloud ready?

It’s certainly a problem I am currently pondering, and one I think will increasingly be asked.