The long-term reliability of Linux
This article documents the test results and analysis of the Linux kernel and other core OS components, including everything from libraries and device drivers to file systems and networking, all under some fairly adverse conditions, and over lengthy durations. The IBM Linux Technology Center has just finished this comprehensive testing over a period of more than three months and shares the results of their LTP (Linux Test Project) testing with developerWorks readers.
The IBM Linux Technology Center (LTC) was founded in August 1999 to work directly with the Linux development community with a shared vision of making Linux succeed. Its 200-odd employees make it one of the larger corporate groups of open source developers. They contribute code ranging from patches to structural kernel changes; from file systems and internationalization work to GPL'd drivers. They also work to track Linux-related developments within IBM.
Particular areas of interest for the LTC are Linux scalability, serviceability, reliability, and systems management -- all with a view to making Linux ever more enterprise-ready. Enabling Linux to work on the S/390 mainframe and porting the JFS journaling file system to Linux are among their many contributions to the community.
Another of the LTC's core missions is to professionally test Linux in lab settings the way any commercial project is tested. The LTC contributes to the LTP Linux Test Project (LTP), as do SGI, OSDL, Bull, and Wipro Technologies. What follows are the results obtained from a comprehensive set of tests from the LTP suite on the Linux kernel for an extended period of time. As you may have guessed, Linux held up admirably under the continued stress.