Glacier is written in the JAVA programming language, which has the advantage of being platform independent. Any operating system for which a JAVA Runtime Environment (1.4 and up) is available can run the Glacier Engine and Administrator applications. Glacier is known to run and thoroughly tested on the following platforms, using the Sun Microsystems JAVA binaries. This list is sorted alphabetically:
- Apple Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther)
- Linux x86 and x86_64:
- Mandrake Linux 9.2, 10.0 and 10.1
- Ubuntu 4.10 (Warty Warthog) and 5.04 (Hoary Hedgehog)
- Microsoft Windows 2000 and XP
- Sun Solaris 8 (SPARC)
Visualizing the platform indepence claim, see this figure containing a screenshot of the Glacier Administrator About Screen running on Windows XP Service Pack 1, Gentoo Linux AMD64 and Mac OS X 10.3.9:
Also note that the processor architecture is different for each of the platforms, from left to right it is Generic x86, AMD64 and PowerPC.
The advantages for platform independence are clear: there is only one codebase to maintain for each platform. Bugfixes are instantly available on other platforms and knowledge learned on one platform can be transferred to a different platform.
There's been a lot of talking recently about the JAVA performance myth, stating that all JAVA programs must be slow because they are interpreted and not compiled. This statement is blatantly false, and Glacier dispels it by saturating a 100Mbps link on a standard AMD Athlon PC. By using the advanced NIO classes for I/O transfers, Glacier achieves near-native performance while written in JAVA.
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