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Submitted by Janx 3173d ago | news

Is Linux going to sink the PS3? reports:

"A German company called Helios thinks so. It just released a customized PS3 version of Linux that is powerful enough to run the Helios UB enterprise server, formerly reserved for the likes of the IBM Blade Server and Xserve. It achieved this feat using a stripped-down version of Yellow Dog Linux that provides extremely low overhead while still offering things like Java 1.5 and enhanced AppleTalk.

So you can now pick up an enterprise server for cheap which is great news for small enterprises (is there even such a thing?) but not good news for Sony.

Remember Sony are making quite a considerable loss on every console sold which is perfectly normal as these companies make their money back from the sales of games. But if the PS3 is being used as a server I somehow don't expect the companies to be purchasing that many games." (Industry, PS3)
Tipsed by: GavinMannion

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DrWan  +   3173d ago
I don't think this will be a big issue, because the PS3 will eventually turn a profit hardware wise when it is cheap enough. That's when alot of it will be adopted as servers anyways; the company still makes money.

As for attach-rate, game publishers do not just look at "raw numbers", they have target customers and past attach rate, so it won't be that big of a confusion to publishers. They only have to look at the attach rate of the last popular game within the similar genre to predict their own attach rate anyways, and a few servers aren't going to throw their numbers off that much.
BIadestarX  +   3173d ago
Let's hope this does not backfire and blow on Sony's face. It would kind of suck if companies start building their networks at Sony's expense. I guess... now Sony will realised why Microsoft does not want to make the 360 a PC... They can only make money by selling games. It's not on their best interest for microsoft or Sony for people to use their console as a PC and not buy games. But.. ohh well.. maybe Sony see something that we don't see. Maybe they are planning to compete against in the networking, Servers, etc with the big dogs... IBM, DELL, ....
Arkham  +   3173d ago
One thing to keep in mind is that the more units they sell, the larger the install base. The larger the install base, the more attention garnered from game developers.

It's not all doom & gloom.
BIadestarX  +   3173d ago
Ofcourse... Why do you think Sony added blu-ray to the PS3? What the industry see is how many blu-ray players are sold.. regarless of how many buy the PS3 for games and not for movies... Sony is smart... One can no longer tell who buy the PS3 for games, for movies and now to use as a server. This may mislead the developers into making games for the PS3 at least for the first time. But once their game attach rate at 0.05 it will not matter if Sony sold 70,000,000 consoles... They will think hard before making the next game for the PS3 let alone make it exclusive. Other developers will be smart and simply look at the attach rate for games made by other developers and not be stupid enough to make the games for the PS3 knowing that they will not sell.
Take the PS2 for example, what's the installbase? What's attach rate?
weekapaugh  +   3173d ago
I think its highly unlikely that small companies en-mass will be using the PS3 as an enterprise server.
#3 (Edited 3173d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Armyless  +   3173d ago
I agree to a point... except that Enterprise Servers are ridiculously expensive.
The Linux bandwagon keeps gaining momentum... let's see where it leads.
kewlkat007  +   3173d ago
Hey the PS3
has a Super computer type chip , so who really knows what peoploe might use it as. If it can be a cheap linux box and be efficient, then there are always Users/Gamers willing to mess around and do the unthinkable.

I'm sure this Server OS would be a great start. Especially when more linux geek/gurus hear about this. It's a good thing sadaam is no longer alive, imagine what he could of done with the PS3 by the thousands. Didn't he have a thing for the EMO ENGINE?
nobizlikesnowbiz  +   3173d ago
I doubt Sony actually wants companies to do this. They will def lose money if this continues.

Sony is sinking the PS3, not Linux.
silent ninja  +   3173d ago
i'll use my consoles strictly for gaming
ITR  +   3173d ago
Me and friend did this with my old Xbox. We just converted it to a linux machine.

never doubt the niche markets.
I currently know of about 12 Xbox's running linux in our local college right now.
All of them brand new when converted.

For $600 for an enterprise server...thats dirt cheap..especially to the small business sector.
Hell, I spent over $2k on an enterprise server only 3 yrs ago.
I can imagine using a PS3 as a file server connected to a very nice terabyte raid.
Antan  +   3173d ago
Somehow i don`t think the mass market audience who have yet to pickup a ps3 will be buying for this reason!!!
hfaze  +   3173d ago
I sincerely doubt it...

How would you connect RAID arrays, additional NIC's, etc. to a PS3 to use it as an enterprise server? Sure you have USB, but I'm doubting that 480Mbit/Sec (that works out to only 60Mbytes/Sec) is going to be enough for any serious tasks.

Not to mention, who would you call for support if anything happened? I don't really see this getting adopted other than tinkerers having fun playing with it.

The PS3 isn't built for that kind of tasks. Anyone that would put mission critical data or applications on a video game system seriously needs to have their head checked.
#9 (Edited 3173d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
ITR  +   3173d ago
I would just connect two SATA drives via directly the SATA PS3 drive bay.

For NIC cards I would just use the PS3 one. Since this will probably be a non-critical file server or backup server then I doubt it will need a ton of bandwidth.

If you need tech support just call your company IT or me.
Apparently, the Japanese had the same idea I had with a two SATA RAID config.
hfaze  +   3173d ago
Huh... that SATA adapter is pretty sweet... :-)
Well, that's true... But the only advantage to using the PS3 as a server is the amount of processing power you have available, which is still hampered by the fact it only has 256MB of RAM...

I still think that this would only be adopted by tinkerers, but that SATA adapter and external drive casing is looking MIGHTY awful sweet... Especially with the 1.8 firmware, and the chance to do remote play over the internet... I could put a metric BOATLOAD of media on the PS3 and access it from anywhere using my PSP...
sajj316  +   3173d ago
it will cause ...
a short term hit for Sony if small businesses decide on this server solution. Long term ... it won't be an issue obviously because the technology will be obsolete in the server space. I don't small business, if they are indeed businesses, will go for a solution like this short term. How ghetto is that?
thegreatone  +   3173d ago
Is Linux going to sink the PS3? Is not a very well thought out point
Doesn't this just mean that more people will buy the console-an expanded market. If 10 million people buy the console and 8 million use it to play games but an additional 2 million for a server. Isn't this a good thing?
testerg35  +   3173d ago
Not really...
That would be 2 million PS3s, that Sony sells at a loss, with no way to recover from game sales.
thegreatone  +   3173d ago
yes but that would be 2 million less PS3's sold if it didn't have this functionality do you get my point? The same amount of people who want it as a game console will want it as a game console
-_-_-_-_-_-_-  +   3173d ago
He meant to say that, if a real price of PS3 is 800$, then every time one buys it and doesn't buy games, Sony loses 200$. With no way to recover that loss by selling games because people who bought it for games would still buy the same amount of games regardles if someone bought it for servers. But I highly doubt it's going to be anywhere close to 2 million, so I don't think it's an issue.
fenderputty  +   3173d ago
For this to even think about becoming an issues
the mojority of the PS3 buyers would have to become buisness. There's already a 3+ million user base. It's not gonna happen.
Maddens Raiders  +   3173d ago
I dunno about that unixphreak -
this seems like a viable solution for Helios and I'm sure other companies are interested in it. It surely works for the Molecular Engineering Lab at Stanford University and there seem to be no problems at all.

I can see where this could be a problem due to smaller enterprises using these as a stop gap between prurchasing a complete suite server compliment vs. using a set # of PS3's, but in the long run if this puts more PS3's out there in front of traditionals (people that are aware of it's duplicitous nature) and non- traditionals - it will only help with getting the product more recognized and at the very least common to every day environs and needs which is probably not a bad thing for an electronics manufacturer to suffer!lol :P

#13 (Edited 3173d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
hfaze  +   3173d ago
Considering that if you're looking for a basic server, and willing to go the Linux route, you can get a Dell PowerEdge 840 for $599. Which happens to be running ECC RAM, has both PCI and PCI-X expansion slots.

Granted, a PowerEdge 840 will not have the raw CPU power of a PS3, but I would MUCH rather trust business data on a machine that is built for it than a gaming system..

Besides, if you need the raw horsepower of the Cell CPU, the IBM BladeCenter QS20 goes for about $4,500 for the blade unit, and about $1,600 for the BladeCenter chassis, which is all tax deductable as a business expense, and will give you WAAAAAY more performance than a PS3 will.

So honestly, only the smallest of the small businesses, small scale or university based research teams, and possibly startup businesses would find the PS3 route feasible. Other than that, why bother?
#13.1 (Edited 3173d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Xbot_Killer  +   3173d ago
this article is the dunbest fanboy logic I have ever seen
if small to medium companies realize they can build a Linux enterprise level server for $600, the PS3 will set sales records. which in turn let's sony break even and keep selling more PS3's and OMG!!!! they start turning a profit on the console

at the same time selling more consoles to gamers who in turn buy games.

how anyone can see a negative to this only shows how utterly moronic Ps3 haters are.
nobizlikesnowbiz  +   3173d ago
Yea it would be pretty hilarious if small businesses start adopting this and selling PS3's for Sony....except that doesn't make since you moron. So WHAT if they sell mad PS3's. That's not the point. Sony LOSES money if you just buy the console.

What would be even funnier is if Sony drops the price point, and the businesses rush to get the units, only further putting Sony in the sh1thole.

Your comment only shows how stupid you are, I mean c'mon what Sony fanboy doesn't know that they loses $200 a unit.
harpua  +   3173d ago
Honestly, someone is going to go to their IT manager and request PS3's to be the back-bone of their company? Dumbest article ever...
Azurite  +   3173d ago
Yes... they'll lose hordes of money since enterprises keeps buying PS3s and none are left for the poor gamers to buy.
Makes perfect sense.

It would've been an issue if PS3 was out of stock most of the time, which is not the case.
Better have something sold as long as the threshold allows it, which it does and will.
thegreatone  +   3173d ago
more sales
#17 (Edited 3173d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
GameJunkieJim  +   3173d ago
I know 3 people that are running servers on the PS3.
It's not the best machine for it, since the RAM is so linited, but running xfce it can be done well enough.

Sony had better hope this doesn't catch on. They do not want to sell PS3s, they want to sell software.

If they can get cost of manufacture down (I.E. if they hadn't opted for Blu-Ray) and actually make a profit on the console itself, then this wouldn't be an issue, but with estimates ranging from $50-$300 loss per console, this will hurt Sony if even 500,000 people buy into it.

And specifically to the fanboys:
Sony Fanboys - This will hurt Sony. Sony loses money with each console sold. If there is no need for them to purchase software, then Sony eats the loss.
XBox Fanboys - This is not good for Microsoft either, if it proves viable, people will figure out how to do it with the XBox soon as well. they've already turned it into a computer, and profit margins come from software. Not to mention, even if it was only Sony that got hurt, and in the unlikely event that they got knocked out of the Game industry, that means less competition so there would be no need to have the games be as good anymore.
kewlkat007  +   3173d ago
You know ,if anybody knows anything in theIT world
There is a lot of IT techs running linux boxes. Linux techs right now is one of the hottest jobs in the IT world. If you know everything about linux, chances are, you can get a decent job. It's all about cutting cost, as opposed to using MS products, where its very expensive.

If you know your sh!t and can cut cost, your IT Manager will love ya.
You'd be surprised who is running linux. It's all about ROI. One thing I learned in college.

#19 (Edited 3173d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
GameJunkieJim  +   3173d ago
I saved my old boss more than $7000 a year.
The company (which will remain nameless) used Windows XP, Office, and Great Plains and some "subscription" software.

They now run XFCE,, and various GNU/Free versions of all the former office software.
EZCheez  +   3173d ago
That this box Sony has made to be so multi-purpose could lead to a negative in software sales. It's like they've made their own Frankenstein.

I'll still buy games for it, not that that would make Sony feel any better.

Anybody know how well the Feisty Fawn PS3 version runs? I have YDL (and I love it)but am considering switching.
BranWheatKillah  +   3173d ago
Actually, with a little intelligent thinking, this is one of the best things that could have happened to the PS3. Depending on the demand for the system as a server it would be possible for Sony to cut out the extra gadgets, BluRay, card readers, etc, and offer stripped down models to the businesses in need. This would allow them to bring the unit down to a profitable margin for themselves AND probably sell it at a slightly cheaper rate to these businesses. While it likely have zero effect on the gaming side of the PS3, it would still be a way for Sony to recoup losses on the overall cost of the system.
EZCheez  +   3173d ago
Your right but.....
Would they really be able to call it a PS3 then? No use in calling something a "Play"station that doesn't play games.

But yeah, sounds like Sony might have found a lucritive side market.
Armyless  +   3173d ago
Add some Ram and Hard drive redundnacy and voila!
JasonPC360PS3Wii  +   3173d ago
Linux has always been a good server software
It just sucks in the user friendly OS side and no third party software support. if Windows could manage to get its server side as good as Linux more companies would use it for servers rather than just an OP system.
sevenout  +   3173d ago
RAM it, damn it!
The RAM in the PS3 is deficient in regard to running an enterprise server. Personally, I think that Sony purposefully shortchanged the PS3 in it's RAM to make it less appealing for businesses and researchers to buy the PS3 en masse, as a cheap server/supercomputer.

That's just a theory.

On another note, it was widely reported before the PS3 launch that the PS3 was going to be snapped up by Universities and Scientists to be used as low cost supercomputers, but there has been no evidence of that yet.

Folding at home shows the power of the cell chip, not necessarily the power of the PS3. If Sony would have sprung for more RAM I think the PS3 would have been perfect. I would have much rather had more RAM than backward compatibility.
Lumbo  +   3173d ago
I wonder if anyone actually READ the Helios announcement before posting crap here ..
Helios states that the PS3 can be used to "demonstrate" the Helios enterprise software suit. Not that the PS3 would be considered as the real server platform. They just thought it more reasonable to show a customer the software with a $600 demo unit instead of a $15000+ server.
Less risk of breakage etc...

No idea who came up with the moronic idea the PS3 would get a widespread enterprise server usage. For one its not using an industry measured 19" case, resulting in an awkward mount situation in the server rack and the cooling does not follow industry standarts, too.

Its good enough as a demo unit though, which is nice to know.
But any speculation on how this is the doom for the PS3 is laughable.
Lord Anubis  +   3173d ago
this is silly. THere are cell blades out there.
Bloodmask  +   3173d ago
Isn't it becoming
painfully obvious what the cell processor excels at.

1) server yes
2) folding proteins yes
3) playing HD movies yes
4) games....ask the developers(the ones who aren't biased)
UrbanJabroni  +   3173d ago
"enterprise server"
Yes, because millions of businesses are going to rush out and put their precious lifeblood on a PS3.

"Hell yes", says Org X's CEO, "We opted to save money by investing in unproven server technology built off of a game console without silly things like redundency built in. We thought it would be more exciting to host the only copy of our code repository on something cheap and "hip" rather than springing the extra thousand bucks for a server with raid support and redundant power supplies."

This comment is based off the summary, not the article, since the original source in no way makes the absurd leaps that the content on this site did.
KoolMan  +   3173d ago
nice for me....
gta_cb  +   3173d ago
nice for you?... are you not using your PS3 (if you have one) for gaming?
Uganda64  +   3173d ago
If companies all used this...
And they won't, eventually, PS3 will make ridiculous amounts of money for Sony as they sell them at a profit.

Nothing to see here.
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