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Microsoft's scalability and reliability

I'm confused about Microsoft's scalability and reliability. I've used for both development and production environments: UNIX Version 6,7, System III, IV, V; Linux; Xenix; MAC OS; DEC TOPS-10; TOPS-20, VMS; IBM(Microsoft) OS/2; Microsoft DOS 3-5, Windows 3.X, 95, 98, 98SE, ME, NT 3.X, NT 4.X, 20000 and XP.

When I compare all of those operating systems, Microsoft's are the least reliable and the least robust. Yet you want me to trust mission critical applications that, no matter how good they are, will run at the mercy of a marginal operating system which will therefore contaminate the entire environment?

Three years ago I surveyed every CIO I could find and not one would trust Microsoft products for anything mission critical.

I don't understand how you can ignore the platform problems while promoting the tools which are dependent on the platform for reliability and scalability (robustness)?

Well, let me state first of all that I do not work for Microsoft and that I also develop in J2EE on platforms ranging from Solaris to mainframe. Sun itself has said in a whitepaper they commisioned, (Source: J2EE vs. Microsoft .NET Copyright 2001, The Middleware Company prepared for Sun Microsystems, Inc., that the theoretical scalablity of both platforms is unlimited. There are companies that use Microsoft technology for mission critical applications. It is true, in my experience however, that larger companies tend to go with a J2EE solution and mid to small companies tend to go with a Microsoft solution.

One of the concepts one must buy into if you wish to build enterprise level applications with Microsoft technology is that of Horizontal Scalability. That is, adding more servers to a cluster or Web farm to handle greater load as opposed to buying "bigger iron". Some folks just can't seem to get over this mental shift. Another factor in choosing Microsoft is that the Total Cost of Development (TCD) with Microsoft is usally significantly lower. The hardware is cheaper, the developers cost less and are more available, development time is shorter.

All this is not to say that .NET is better that J2EE. They are different. It is nice to have a choice. As to platform problems, is Windows as stable as UNIX? I don't think so...the majority of problems I see however are user error. The system sdmin just doesn't do things as he or she should. It's the GIGO principle at its finest. See www.objectwatch.com for some articles on the .NET / J2EE debate (from the Miscrosoft point of view).

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