Fornax; Machine Independence/The Virtual Machine ...
The term, ‘virtual machine’, for the sake of accuracy, should be ‘system independence’. Though, hardware independence is perhaps too limited a way of looking at Polymach, as we should consider both hardware and software in the scope of application.
Software and the Operating System (O.S.) play a very significant role in overall performance a database as the O.S. can make systems behave very differently. For example, Linux on an Intel platform is radically different in terms of the performance of Windows on an Intel platform. This is because of the internal structures of the O.S., and the governing philosophies surrounding the O.S. when it was written and built.
The other main factor is that an O.S. has to evolve, and at the same time drag all the previous user populations with it. The result is that it becomes clumsy, large and almost certainly contains faults and inefficiencies. One can check how many updates to an O.S. and applications are released...
The Polymach approach is very simple; a virtual machine or computing environment is defined which executes a well-defined instruction set in the virtual machine, which by its nature never changes. This means that all applications written for this environment remain current, and can be cleansed of errors and bugs, and hence the system is more efficient.
The purpose of the the Fornax engine being ported at firstly the hardware level and then the O.S. level, is that it will guarantee for the virtual machine to run perfectly on emerging hardware as well as a new O.S. The Fornax engine is factor which changes in the whole mix, to make the virtual engine work on the platform which Estatom has ported to.
In summary, Polymach-Fornax defines a virtual processing environment which transcends hardware. It is only necessary to obtain a Fornax port for the particular hardware for the engine to function. All data and methods operate at the virtual level, and are localized for use on each hardware platform as needed. Information is stored in the virtual machine format, and can be read on any other platform by the Fornax engine written for that platform. Data conversion is not necessary.