Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 27th Nov 2006 10:55 UTC, submitted by Jean Claude
Linux French députés' offices will be equipped with a Linux operating system and open source productivity software. There will be 1154 French parliamentary workstations running on an open source OS, with, Firefox and an open source email client.
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RE[2]: Nice...
by elsewhere on Mon 27th Nov 2006 19:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Nice..."
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Munich, one of the largest yet announced their ~45 million dollar 14,000 PC migration back in ~2002 and with any luck they should have about 500 machines on Linux by the end of this year.

Personally, I think the fact that migrating more than 400 machines over to Linux still makes the news is pretty depressing.

Let's keep it in perspective though. The actual deployment only began in September and is scheduled to roll out through 2009.

The decision in Munich wasn't a kneejerk reaction based in anti-MS sentiments, and it wasn't all about eliminating license fees. The objective was to remove long-term dependencies on proprietary software, and the city went through a proper consultative and analysis stage before making any decisions. This included studies of the software used, the viability of open source replacements, useability, resource requirements etc. IBM and Novell/Suse were both involved in this stage, providing expert guidance on the integration of linux and OSS applications in enterprise network environments.

This was followed by a testing phase. In addition, decisions were made on software and they opted to roll their own distro. A service was designed to facilitate imaging, management and application deployment to simplify the rollout and ongoing maintenance.

In short, Munich did their due diligence. Organizations with large infrastructures cannot make whimsical decisions concerning platform migrations etc., these things need to be studied, considered and re-studied to the nth-degree the determine impact across all areas of the business (or government in this case). Large companies will go through a similar process just determining how to approach upgrading from NT to XP, or XP to Vista.

The process in Munich was also sidelined for a period during the whole software patent issue, until the government was confident that their use of linux and other OSS applications would not be impacted.

Linux deployments need to be looked at realistically, perhaps smaller organizations can shorten that period of time and start migrating but larger organizations don't have that luxury. There is a considerable amount of analysis, preparation, training and testing that needs to be done.

Munich should be a blueprint for other organizations, particularly at the public level, in managing their own studies. In fact, much of the groundwork that was done for Munich can benefit other organizations or institutions considering a similar migration.

I've never believed linux will be a wholesale replacement for Windows in enterprises, but I've always maintained that when viewed with an objective set of standards, linux is surprisingly adaptable and suitable for a variety of deployments. I'd rather see strong successes that proceed at a glacial pace than fast "look at me!" type headline-grabbing deployments that ultimately fail due to lack of understanding and preparation.

The fact that Munich as made it this far and has begun actual deployment is a significant success, in my view anyways.

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