Analyst group touts Unix OS scorecard

Ideas International has launched an online public rating system that ranks AIX, HP-UX and Solaris in some 40 different feature areas.

Analyst firm Ideas International has created an online scorecard for the three major Unix operating systems: AIX, HP-UX and Solaris.

The Australia-based company, which has a U.S. office in New York, has already created scorecards for blade servers and x86 virtual machine platforms and has now done so for Unix. The Unix OS product evaluation breaks down into about 40 different criteria and then ranks each one. The ranking is broken down like a tree, so users can see the overall evaluation or dig deeper into different categories such as scalability, reliability, virtualization, security, and deployment factors.

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Tony Iams, a VP and senior analyst with the company, said the scorecard has existed internally at Ideas International since the early 1990s. Analysts would use the information when writing their reports, but the scorecard information itself was private and considered intellectual property. Now the analyst firm has let the information loose.

We only collect information at the level of functional details.
Tony Iams,
analystIdeas International

"With the rise of the Web, it occurred to us that it would be useful to take advantage of the medium to make the process of (a) collecting the data more efficient and (b) consuming the data more efficient," he said.

User participation, but no free-for-all
The online evaluation tool isn't a one-way road. Users can go to the site and rank specific features of AIX, HP-UX and Solaris. Moderators at Ideas International can then give credibility ratings to the contributors. So an anonymous visitor to the site would get the lowest credibility rating; someone who logged in could get a higher rating, depending on what he said.

The ratings also have to cover the most specific features. "We only collect information at the level of functional details," Iams said. "You can't go in and say, 'Solaris rules, man!' or 'AIX is a piece of junk!'"

Users can then filter the results according to credibility ratings. So if you don't want anonymous responses in your results, you can search accordingly. Iams said the firm will watch closely to protect the site against spamming and trolling as well as what he called "gaming," whereby vendors enter a site for the purpose of touting their products or criticizing competitors.

"We don't care where we get the information as long as the argument makes sense, and the credibility rating will reflect that," he said.

Based on recent ratings, HP-UX 11i v3 has a slight edge over AIX 6.1 and Solaris 10, which run in a a dead heat. In other category areas:

  • Scalability. Solaris leads, followed by HP-UX and then AIX .
  • Reliability. AIX is in first, followed by HP-UX and then Solaris.
  • Virtualization. HP-UX and AIX are tied, with Solaris in third place.
  • Security. HP-UX has a slight lead over AIX with Solaris in third.
  • Deployment factors. Solaris in first, followed closely by HP-UX, and AIX is a distant third.

Ideas International already has ranking systems for x86 virtual machine platforms and blade servers and has plans to release additional scorecards on other technologies.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Mark Fontecchio, News Writer. You can also check out our Server Specs blog.

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