Windows versus UNIX for Cloverleaf Integrator

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  • #49698
    Bob Richardson

    Greetings One and All!

    We have been tasked to come up with hard evidence to support running the Cloverleaf Integrator (Integrator) on a UNIX platform versus a Windows platform.  Currently we run the Integrator on AIX UNIX 5.2, CIS5.3 Rev3 with multiple sites: about 360 interface connections, 56 processes, and doing 110 million messages a month mostly from Epic Systems Bridges interfaces.  We have 9 hospitals and numerous clinics, medical centers to service.

    Ok… we would like to upgrade to a more powerful box as we anticipate an ever increasing demand on the Integrator to process messages as more medical sites go live with our Epic Systems software.  Our top level mangement folks figure that it would be more cost effective to migrate to a Windows server rather than allocate budget dollars for a more robust UNIX server.

    So… we need to gather intelligence on the pros and cons of running Cloverleaf Integrator on Windows or UNIX (for us again that is AIX).

    Is anyone out there aware of any studies, benchmarks that could help us here?  We have a request to Quovadx for any information that they can supply us (Response is pending).  Your contributions would be most welcome and no doubt would be of invaluable aid to others who face this issue in the future.

    Thanks in advance.

    Happy Holidays!

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  • Author
    • #63166
      John Hamilton

      This is a top religious discussion.  I have never seen any hard evidence to support it either way. I have dealt with both operating and cloverleaf.  I can’t give you hard evidence just that on windows it was difficult to do many things that were easy with AIX.  Windows seemed to be constantly in need of attention to keep up with the volume of messages.  Second we had continuous problems with the database on windows but I have heard that is fixed or being fixed.

      If you find any hard evidence I would really like to see it.  

      Me I’m just not convinced that I would ever run a system as critical to my operation on windows.

    • #63167
      Michael Hertel

      Look in release notes for your version and search for Windows.

      You’ll see some known issues that may be important.

      You may also want to publish your experience with uptime for the AIX box vs. the uptime for your other windows platforms.

    • #63168
      James Cobane

      The Cloverleaf platform was initially developed for UNIX/AIX and later ported to Windows.  I believe UNIX/AIX is still the preferred platform to run on, and I get the impression that Windows requires alot more “care & feeding”.  While the hardware may be cheaper, I think the overall long term cost will be more if you look at the man-hours associated with supporting the Windows platform; especially with the volumes you are dealing with.  Just my $.02 worth.

      Jim Cobane

      Henry Ford Health

    • #63169
      Chris Brossette

      Bob,  I would start out with a comparison of the stability of the different operating systems available…..Windows, AIX & Linux.  As for Cloverleaf on Windows, we have several versions that vendors have supplied with their applications and when we have a problem with the interfaces, it is usually directly related to Windows.  We end up rebooting the windows servers and sometimes rebuilding the databases……if you are looking for more work to do (care & feeding) then windows is the way to go.  

      As for processing power, you could run Cloverleaf on p-Series Blade server (JS-20/21) from IBM and still have a fairly low cost of hardware.  You could not get this much power from a comparable server running windows… for Linux, there are several users on Clovertech that could add greatly to this thread and hopefully they will respond.

      Good Luck on your discussion with management, one of my most compelling comments is whether you want a system that is able to run for a year without rebooting or have to reboot monthly with 30-60 minutes of downtime (or more), depending upon the number of interfaces you support.  

      Also, I have found that the development of interfaces is easier on the AIX side rather than Windows.  It takes me less time to develop, debug, test and implement interfaces on AIX vs windows.

      Hope this has been of some help………

    • #63170
      Bob Richardson


      I appreciate all of the responses so far on the question of running Cloverleaf Integrator on Windows versus Unix platforms.  It will be interesting to hear from anyone using Linux.

      Please keep your responses coming as I am sure this will help others out as well.

      Season Greetings!

    • #63171
      Russ Ross

      If you do a couple of web searches like the following

      UNIX vs Windows


      Windows vs UNIX

      you will find many discusions and some might even give you the costs.

      In the past when I had looked for the cost difference the cost that is often overlooked according to the studies is that Windows tends to be used to its lowest functionality because it breaks so easy; while UNIX tends to be used to its full potential because is so robust.

      Russ Ross

    • #63172
      Gena Gill

      We have Cloverleaf running on both a Unix and a Windows server.

    • #63173
      Jeff Thomas

      I just wanted to add that we’ve been running on RedHat LINUX for over a year now and we love it.  Has most of the advantages of UNIX and has a cost similar to Windows.  Again you have to consider what your support staff is familiar with.

    • #63174

      We currently run a fairly small operation about 1 million messages a month. We are currently on Linux and love it. Linux affords us the low cost of x86 processor family hardware and the power of Linux. We are fortunate to have 2 licensed Cloverleaf Linux servers one for development and one for production.

      Again you will have to partially base your decision on the support staff you have in-house that know either Windows or Linux.



    • #63175
      Tom Patton

      I agree with the uptime discussion / presentation.

      We run AIX and the ONLY time I need to take it down – is when I want to (yes, I know I just jinxed myself).

      My current uptime is 81 days – b/c I upgraded the HACMP – prior to that was ~ 1 year.

      The product is very stable on UNIX.

      My $.02.

    • #63176
      Jeff Thomas

      Currently 130 days on Red Hat LINUX.  Would be longer but we had a SAN upgrade.  Sorry, but I can’t remember what it was before that.

      Two live sites:

       Site 1: 9 Processes, 52 Threads

       Site 2: 6 Processes, 20 Threads

    • #63177
      Richard Hart

      This was out ‘best’ uptime on AIX (4.3.3) in 2002 before we upgraded to the new HA and were requested to perform regular failover tests and OS update installs etc.

      This server sat in one of the hospital data centres and was left alone!  


       09:25AM   up 1003 days,   7:51,  4 users,  load average: 0.52, 0.40, 0.37

    • #63178
      Mark Perschbacher

      My $.02  When we purchased Cloverleaf in 2005, the reason we went with a Windows box vs UNIX was that given the very small number of IT staff here, a whopping 3.5 FTE, we decided that there was a better chance of having someone with Windows experience on staff to support it.  The stability of Win 2003 also influenced our decision.

    • #63179
      Tom Patton

      Mark makes a good point about the impact of cost and knowledge availability.

      But in the case of 100 Million msgs/mo the shop might have the $$/expertise.

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