Home > Linux > Four out of four experts agree: Linux lowers TCO Four out of four experts agree: Linux lowers TCO Submitted by Josh 2004-06-08 Linux 59 Comments Can a company count on Linux to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an enterprise system? Reaction to this question from CIOs and IT managers usually goes something like this. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 59 Comments 2004-06-08 9:53 pm Anonymous So it MUST be true. I am kidding, but listening to pro Liniux stuff from OSDN is kind of like listening to pro-MS stuff form Microsoft. 2004-06-08 9:55 pm Anonymous about 4 years i started worked at a small company on my college campus that was using linux for our file/mail/web/backup services. the only thing we had a windows server for was domain authentication and some network licensing and that was only because samba didn’t have that ability yet. all the factors can almost be directly related to cost: we ran redhat which was essentially free, uptime was rarely affected on our important machines generally being several hundred days, support was available freely through great documentation, news groups, message boards, list serves, etc., we didn’t have to worry about the viruses running around (and there weren’t nearly as many at that time, around when the first outlook viruses started appearing). the list goes on. and for all that we only had to pay hardware costs and our pay, which wasn’t much since it was a job on campus. licenses for microsoft servers and software would have easily doubled the yearly budget for us, if not more because of the added work we would have had fighting off viruses and rebooting machines 2004-06-08 10:01 pm Anonymous What surprised me about this article (which seemed quite well structured on the whole) was this: the total underestimation of training costs for employees. There is a substantial difference in using Windows or Linux (as we all know) and training people can be very, very expensive. A lot of companies have already invested in training people to use Windows machines, and now they have to start all over again. Another problem, though a lot smaller, but not insignificant, is the fact that employees home computers/laptops might not be compatible with Linux; making home/work exchange more difficult. Of course those people could also use Linux at home, but you can’t force them. So, my conclusion on this article is kinda what the first poster already said: kinda too much on the bright side, in my opinion. 2004-06-08 10:05 pm Anonymous “So, my conclusion on this article is kinda what the first poster already said: kinda too much on the bright side, in my opinion.” the same can be said abt MS tco stuff 2004-06-08 10:10 pm Anonymous Thom, try to consider the use of linux as mail/groupware server, firewall, router, database server, web server, etc, etc… I worked in a company that has a server running a kernel 2.2 until today without reboot!! Almost 4 years. The admin just had to turn off the machine to change the hard drive. He´s a bit crazy to not update to 2.6, but the machine is working. Only security patches. This is a low TCO. No trainning, to mainteinance. It just works. But linux as a desktop solution… I guess they must to work a lot before it can be a standard. Companies like Novell and Oracle are migrating his desktops to linux, but they have his own interests and probably will save maney doing this. For the home and corporate users I agree with you, the new trainning cost can be prohibitive. 2004-06-08 10:10 pm Anonymous There isn’t really anything that wouldn’t be “compatible with Linux” for most office jobs. Samba will work seamlessly when set up correctly (as it certainly ought to be in a corporate environment) and OpenOffice (especially Ximianized versions) offer excellent MS Office compatibility. If the user wasn’t satisfied with the compatibility, though, OO.org for Windows is only a few clicks away. Oh, and the Ximian Exchange connecter is nice, too. 2004-06-08 10:17 pm Anonymous I agree with you, don’t get me wrong. But, they’ll have to install new software.. And that’s just something most people don’t want to or cannot do. That’s the hurdle I was talking about. 2004-06-08 10:19 pm Anonymous Well, to be honest, it’s not OSDN’s claim, but rather the claim of four experts they interviewed. OSDN certainly has a pro-Linux slant, but that doesn’t mean that the article is without merit. They do say that TCO savings range from “substantial” to “somewhat”, which I though was quite candid. They also make a good argument in identifying freedom from vendor lock-in as an compelling reason to use Linux. Thom I think you overestimate training costs, except for the actual system administrators. For common office worker, productivity apps on Linux are similar enough to the Windows equivalent to make retraining a rather simple matter. Also, consider that employee training is often tax-deductible, which can help smooth over the transition. As far as employee’s laptops and home computer are concerned, it shouldn’t be a problem either. I’ve got a mixed network at home and it works seamlessly. 2004-06-08 10:21 pm Anonymous I think for most scenarios that the OO.o compatibility would be enough to preclude the need for OO.o at home in most cases.. If not, that would be a pain for some people, you’re right. However, some would certainly welcome the price drop . There is work left to do, certainly, but things are moving along very quickly. 2004-06-08 10:28 pm Anonymous total cost of ownership is much more then initial training costs. if tco is cheaper for linux, i would assume that tco for linux includes any necessary training. i know none of the companies i’ve worked for trained me to use windows, why do you think it would cost so much to train users to use linux? i set up suse 9.1 for my parents to try to get them away from windows lockin and my mom was able to download pictures, open them in gimp, and use gimp-print to print them (using gimp-print imho isn’t necessarily intuitive). if a 45-year-old lady (sorry mom, i know you’re only 44) who’s never used linux before can do all that the first time she sits in front of it, at least in my experience, it doesn’t seem like training costs would be too high. and that’s just on the desktop. i’d hope your IT staff is savvy enough to be able to use text editors, and know how to restart services (doesn’t take long to learn that). say they can’t do that, then heaven forbid they learn something new! i have yet to see these high costs of training for linux either on the desktop or on the server that windows apologists talk about. if anyone has metrics for this, i’d love to have some links to the data (preferably from non-MS funded sources). if you can’t provide em, i’ll keep dismissing it as FUD windows admins use to protect their jobs or at least keep them from having to *gasp* take a few classes on an unfamiliar OS! 2004-06-08 10:45 pm Anonymous Its not switch and all your problems are solved. Otherwise you will be like the underpants gnomes on southpark. 1. collect underpants 2. ?? 3. profit 2004-06-08 10:52 pm Anonymous I think the biggest cost would be to change over in house apps developed for windows and the like, but there is no reason for admins to not switch servers over. It would make their lives a lot easier. 2004-06-08 10:57 pm Anonymous Another problem, though a lot smaller, but not insignificant, is the fact that employees home computers/laptops might not be compatible with Linux Hardware incompatibility in this era is inexcusable. Today, hardware components are dirt cheap. When it comes to someone who wants to migrate to Linux/BSD, the major hardware component he/she might want to upgrade is a 56k modem. 56k modems (hardware, compatible with Linux) retail at Pricewatch for about less than $15. What’s more, some Linux distros are providing support for Winmodems. For instance, SuSE offers support for some 50% Winmodems. 2004-06-08 11:00 pm Anonymous Ximian’s end solution are pre-installed i think. If not, you hire some person to do that, as your hardware is most likely identical, or you buy pre-installed computers with Ximian on them as your next PC upgrade. Also, another simple option is to fire the Windows admins and hire competent UNIX or “Linux” admins. As for training, those aren’t 100% costs for the company. There’s these funny contracts which say that you’ll have to pay the training costs to the company when you decide to leave… to guarantee the investment on the (undergratuated) employer is an investment in the company, not in the individual… if you’re 18+ those are for certain legal here (i’d advice not to sign those and get a free AS/400 training as a friend of mine had 2004-06-08 11:10 pm Anonymous Everyone is argueing about training costs for a business, but noone on this board has really tried it. I’m a physician and don’t program, but have been using linux as a hobby at home since Redhat 4. We have seven doctors in our group and 13 computer workstations for entering and accessing data. Since many small businesses like ours can’t afford full time tech support, I maintain the workstations and we tech support on a per incident basis for our SCO server. Last year I found that I couldn’t find the licenses for four Win98 workstations, so rather than buy more licenses I installed RH9 on the four. I didn’t tell the staff I was changing the workstations or offer any trainging. I inported a windows backgound (beach scene) put launch buttons on the desktop to access the data entry internet sites, MedicalManager on our server and OO. Then I told them I had added some launch buttons and to call me if there was a problem. Nobody called. The next week I started asking if anyone had noticed changes “It doesn’t crash anymore.” was the only comment. We have simple needs like most offices. Cost of training was $0.00. Cost of software S0.00. I paid for Redhat network for the four as a group and paid about $120 for the year(I’m lazy). I saved about $120 by not having to buy Norton AV. The other workstations have XP, 2000 and ME, SE, or 98 that was preinstalled. The staff does care or notice what OS is running as long as it does not effect them. 2004-06-08 11:25 pm Anonymous Why the incessant need to lie is unclear — perhaps it’s because some that post don’t feel confident that their position will be taken seriously if their real background where made known (i.e., high school kid or failing college sophomore). “jp” wrote “I’m a physician.” This is patently false. A man with an earned bachelor’s degree and an earned medical degree, and a member of a learned profession does *not* write in the following illiterate manner: “Everyone is argueing about” “trainging” “I inported a windows backgound” “The staff does care or notice what OS is running as long as it does not effect them” And physicians have far more important and pressing matters than wasting time about which desktop OS the office uses. 2004-06-08 11:29 pm Anonymous so, I load up the article and what do I see for the add in the middle, all pro-microsoft ads (I refreshed it more then a few times just to make sure) varying from “tco is lower then linux “, to “proformance is X times faster then every linux configuration tested” weird… very weird 2004-06-08 11:39 pm Anonymous “weird… very weird” thats because MS decided this is the best way 2004-06-08 11:43 pm Anonymous Well I think your setup says most about your TCO, the people using the machines apparently only use a web browser where they go to a page that takes data entry. Where I work the initial cost of moving all the software and workstations to Linux would probably be more the the GNP of some small countries. 2004-06-08 11:48 pm Anonymous “And physicians have far more important and pressing matters than wasting time about which desktop OS the office uses.” [emacs]Ah, conspiracy![/emacs] Not by definition. Perhaps the person was just joining in here, found s/he had something to add, wrote a reply, and wandered away? These people do have free time, don’t they? It’s the same argument as Ken Brown’s “21 year old students cannot write a kernel from scratch”. It might be unlikely, even exceptional, but not impossible. Same for the grammer mistakes (the 2nd and 3rd are more out of lazyness it seems to me). Perhaps the person doesn’t have English as his/her native language, although the IP address is assigned to a US broadband company. It’s not impossible… To me, you haven’t proven anything, except raised a bit of unproven FUD. Is your first name really Harry? @ M yes OSDN provides Microsoft ads. They’ve done that for a more than a couple of months. They also provide Sun ads. 2004-06-08 11:50 pm Anonymous “jp” wrote “I’m a physician.” This is patently false. A man with an earned bachelor’s degree and an earned medical degree, and a member of a learned profession does *not* write in the following illiterate manner Actually, I know at least doctor, two medical students and plenty of people with bachelor’s degrees, and some of them routinely make typos in e-mails. Sad but true: higher education no longer guarantees faultless spelling. Meanwhile, you may want to revise your english grammar: “Why the incessant need to lie is unclear” doesn’t make sense. You probably wanted to say “It’s unclear why so many people feel the need to lie” or something like that. Personally, I don’t know if the story is true or not, but it’s certainly plausible. I’ve tested recent KDE desktops with Windows users and people would ask me “What theme do you use? Can I install it on my PC?”… 2004-06-08 11:54 pm Anonymous “Actually, I know at least doctor” should read “Actually, I know at least one doctor”. I’ve got my bachelor’s degree, and I happen to often write “official” documents, yet I still make the occasional typo. Your argument is based on the premise that educated people spell correctly, which unfortunately is far from an absolute truth. 2004-06-09 12:10 am Anonymous The main purpose of language is to convey a message that’s understandable. jc (IP: —.cpe.ga.charter.com)’s comment was more than understandable and consumable. Whether one has a bachelor or Phd degree is irrelevant. What’s more, people cannot always be consistent in being grammatically correct when writing or speaking. I am a member of various forums and know firsthand people can be grammatically correct when writing for the most part, not always. Some people have more talent in speaking than in writing, and vice versa. One might be shocked to meet and hear how a writer whose works one admired speaks. No one is perfect, and there no need to belittle others. 2004-06-09 12:27 am Anonymous Concerning training costs, some people might like to read another article at newsforge: http://software.newsforge.com/software/04/05/28/1936211.shtml Just a quote: Somewhat surprisingly, I was asked for a lot less support than I was expecting; once a user has learning how to move from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95 to Windows XP (and the associated versions of Office and other common applications), moving from Windows to Red Hat or SUSE and the related open source apps isn’t much more difficult. 2004-06-09 2:01 am Anonymous I dont honestly think people understand how linux lowers the TCO. I am currently enrolled in a college, where we recently changed a large part – not all – of the colleges infrastructure to Linux and BSD machines. They now handle file & print services and the webservers. Now, the training involved in setting up these servers for about 1000 people, was incredibly low, concidering the amount of people working on the administration. The administrators simple read the nice HOWTOs and guides on setting up these services – all without the users ever knowing that happened. It was either that, or run it on Microsoft Windows servers, which was far more costy to support, especially concidering the worms and virusses floating around. And before you hit me in the face with the “Its because windows has more users – hence more worms” bla.bla. Maybe, but its a cost factor, right now, to keep updating, and rebooting the machines all the time. Also, the Windows licenses are a bit costy too. Now, the only thing left, is the Exchange server, and honestly, i havent found a good “drop-in” replacement yet, however, i beleave the OpenGroupWare.Org site looks promising, hope they will release a GPL/OSS Outlook plugin, because the cost of teaching users howto deal with another mail client would be substancial . Concidering they are all trained in the Microsoft Office suite. Linus has lowered the TCO here, even if we did not switch 100%. For corporates to switch their expensive windows server licenses and subscriptions to something else, and also gain the benefit of vendor independence, im sure they could afford it. The end justifies the means. 2004-06-09 2:10 am Anonymous Those are called Grammar trolls. Trolls that have no information, ran out of FUD and have no creative ideas what so ever. The only last thing they can hold onto is to pick on someones ‘grammar’ or ‘spelling.’ 2004-06-09 2:36 am Anonymous “Personally, I don’t know if the story is true or not, but it’s certainly plausible.” Truth no longer matters, just plausibility. 2004-06-09 2:39 am Anonymous “Also, the Windows licenses are a bit costy too.” Have you seen the pricing for MS academic licenses lately? 2004-06-09 2:47 am Anonymous So tell, how much DOES it cost to “retrain” someone to use the delete key? Cut? Paste? Open? Close? Save As? Err… what was it we were trying to teach them? It looks the same to me. The only thing I can see is teaching them that the name of the program is “Writer” now, not “Word”. By the way, I’ve NEVER worked any place that “retrained” people when the software changed. The management solved the “retraining” cost quite simply – they toss the manual on the table and tell you to learn on your break time or at home. See? No cost of retraining at all. THAT is the typical business, whether it’s changing Windows programs, or Unix programs, or Linux to Windows, or Windows to Linux. 2004-06-09 2:52 am Anonymous I think Thom is correct. I think Linux for desktops is cost prohibitive at the moment (especially if it requires home computer users that sometimes dial in to switch). And, also that it is a great fit for all sorts of server roles. Much better than MS junk. We are a microsoft shop at work (all desktops and mail servers), sloooowwwwly converting to linux servers for Oracle DBs and App Servers (from hp unix servers, from (prior to that) MS NT servers and prior to THAT OpenVMS). But having worked in the IT dept. for years, I can say very confidently that switching over (even with awesome apps like OO, which I love) really would confound the “general users” at our company. Seriously. Don’t give users too much credit. Now, I have 3 computers at home, a G4 running OS X, a PC running BeOS, and a PC running Fedora Core 2 (actually I have 2 other macs (one is my wifes) and an Amiga as well). No MS stuff. BUT… if I did, I wouldn’t want to give up my games, my AOL and what-not-software that MS home users have come to depend on over the last decade (yah, last decade MS has dominated and infiltrated almost every home that has an internet-connected computer). They cannot leave out education from their estimates, they are critical. That having been said, I really like Fedora and think it would make a fine choice for ME and my fellow developers at work, but even tho’ our servers are moving to RedHat Linux (we are also an Oracle shop, btw) we cannot convince our management that it would be good for the developers to have similar systems to develop on… :/ I know Java is portable, but it is nice to have similar APP SERVER environments to work with… sheesh. Anyway, I am wicked rambling. Sorry. :/ Mike 2004-06-09 2:54 am Anonymous thanks for that comment, i cant spell well, but i have a bachelors in comp science, spelling and grammer have always been my weak point. 2004-06-09 2:58 am Anonymous In Australia there is a very well regarded Linux hacker who happens to be a full-time practising physician (his name currently eludes me). Spelling is no big deal – English spelling and grammar wasn’t really formalised until the 19th century. 2004-06-09 3:03 am Anonymous “Have you seen the pricing for MS academic licenses lately?” Yes i have, and a 10 user academic license of Windows 2003 server is almost exactly 1000$ if i do some currency magic. Now as we have about 1000 users, we need more CAL licenses. And even for academic use, this is far more costy than the administrators spending 3 days replaceing the entire server racks with linux (except the exchange servers, which cost an arm and a leg btw.). 2 Men x 3 days of work + (cross fingers rest of staff can handle the remaining support) = Alot cheaper than upgrading the servers with new MS subscriptions. Not to mention, maintenance, ofcourse they get upgraded, but a nice cronjob to check for new updates -> mail admin, review, and then install. Is nice, clean, and very simple – and has so far not needed a single reboot, thanks to the code not haveing hooks deep deep into the OS. The kernel itself is very rarely subject to exploits and other serious security bugs. So all in all, its a satisfying solution. Not to mention we can ignore the windows worms (which really, hurt us a few times. Not that we dont update, we’re as paranoid as anyone). Competition never hurt anybody, and im sure microsoft, haveing excessive wealth and quite a large army of programmers can finally feel linux bite into their marketshare. It can, and will, only make their products better. And, if there is enough value in Windows to switch back, we would do so. But right now, its just not an alternative. 2004-06-09 3:06 am Anonymous That’s nuts! No, it DOES cost (time == $$) to introduce everyone to the new system, where all the necessary apps can be found and then, the quirks or differences of these new apps compared to their MS counterparts that these people have been using blindly now for several years. And even then, once an introductory overview of “seminar” if you will has been given, there will STILL be tons of questions asked by the users, causing our poor 3-man desktop support crew hours of telephone calls on end answering questions like “I used to be able to XXX like this, but now it doesn’t work, what do I do?” Cripes, when we went from Windows 95 to 98, then to XP a short time later, it took the users a year to settle down!!!! Now we throw a completely different OS at them, with completely different (albeit better in many cases) applications at them and it will be doom and gloom. In our case, it couldn’t “just happen” anyway since we have applications that reqire an MS operating system to run, which have to be converted to Java web apps or Oracle forms apps or something first. Another part of this story are the systems support folks. We have one guy who his really smart and is a certified MS systems guru… but he really doesn’t WANT to learn linux and have to support it but he will end up having to anyway, and he WILL have to receive training (and his counterparts) to manange the mail servers and production web servers, etc. I am not saying that in “the end” staying MS is better, because I would love to see us continue on and take the next step, but I am just saying that the cost of converting is real and you cannot just “throw a manual” at some, or many people and expect them to just get it… especially those folks who deal directly with customers all day long and really don’t have the time to say “oh excuse me Company XXX, I know we are in the middle of a multi-million dollar contract discussion, but I cannot figure out how to use my contact management application, could you hold while I contact Desktop Support? Thanks!” 2004-06-09 3:24 am Anonymous “Personally, I don’t know if the story is true or not, but it’s certainly plausible.” Truth no longer matters, just plausibility. Don’t be silly, of course truth matters. But neither you, nor me, nor Harry can tell for a fact whether the story is true or not. Only the original poster knows – this is inherent to Internet postings, btw. In the absence of certainty about the veracity of said story, the only alternative is to weigh whether it is plausible or unlikely. In this case, it seems plausible to me, as I have witnessed similar cases. Calling someone a liar without having proof that they are is pretty bad form. It doesn’t surprise me that a anti-Linux advocate such as you would defend it, simply because you have the same ideological views as the accuser. 2004-06-09 3:36 am Anonymous I think Thom is correct. I think Linux for desktops is cost prohibitive at the moment Well, I don’t think you can make such generalizations. It’s really a case-by-case basis, it depends on the needed apps and the scale of migration. It also depends on how you approach it strategically, and whether you can amortize the expenses over a long period or not. Staying with Microsoft has its costs, too! (especially if it requires home computer users that sometimes dial in to switch). I don’t see why that would happen. Between remote desktop (rfb), VNC, Samba, etc. there’s no reason for users to switch at home because they have switched at work (it might encourage some to switch at home anyway, though, once they’ve discovered Linux). Linux is a network-friendly OS. There are plenty of opportunities for enhanced connectivity and telecommuting. Nomachine NX comes to mind. But having worked in the IT dept. for years, I can say very confidently that switching over (even with awesome apps like OO, which I love) really would confound the “general users” at our company. If the company has MS Office licenses, there’s nothing preventing them from using Codeweaves if OpenOffice is missing crucial features. However, take someone who knows Word moderately well (not an expert, nor a newbie) and sit him in front of OpenOffice. He might experience slight confusion over the placement of some menu items and buttons, but the learning curve will be quite gentle. Will he be happy about the change? Probably not at first – but hey: users complain, then they adapt. We had people complaining when we switched to Lotus Notes, but now nobody gives it even a second thought (it’s actually quite a powerful program, even if the UI isn’t always that intuitive). Seriously. Don’t give users too much credit. Don’t give them too little. Again, it depends on the actual users, apps and tasks involved. 2004-06-09 3:57 am Anonymous PWN3D! (Just to make an apropos follow-up on spelling in the Internet age…) 2004-06-09 4:17 am Anonymous Harry, I’m the pediatrician with the much discussed grammar and spelling issues. Actually, the act of typing is my biggest problem, and it gets worse when I hurry. I’m sorry my errors caused you to miss the point of my note. I meant demonstrate to you that for many small business there would be little or no costs or retraining involved in switching to linux workstations. Now, a few dashes of reality: The story is real. Physicians spend much of their time running the business side of their practices. I maintain our workstations, and related software, the VPN network between our offices,issues involving CLIA, OSHA, and employee health insurance, and our internet and telephone service contracts. The other doctors in our group handle an equal number of non-medical tasks. I wasn’t worried about the desktop OS. I was worried about the money and replacing Win 98 with something more stable. It’s “jc” not “jp”. 2004-06-09 5:44 am Anonymous Cripes, when we went from Windows 95 to 98, then to XP a short time later, it took the users a year to settle down!!!! WAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! Sorry, haven’t had a good laugh in a week or two. If anyone I’ve ever worked with took longer than a week to figure out the differences between W95 and W98, they’d have been canned. If you take more than a hour to go from W95 to W98, you shouldn’t even be allowed NEAR a computer much less use it for work. Going from W98 to XP would be the weekend at most. I hear all this talk about “retraining” for different OS versions, or different OSes, and it makes me laugh. Now granted I’m fairly smart, but I never took more than a few minutes to figure it out. Scan through a couple readmes (if that much) and I’m good to go. Of course, I can program a VCR without the manual. No one I know (other than the ones banned from touching the machines) took more than a few hours. People who take a year to figure out the differences in an upgrade should be mopping the floor, not working on a computer. 2004-06-09 7:23 am Anonymous I’m not going to get involved in the discussion of TCO. What a lot of this boils down to, and the part very few seem to understand is the OS really doesn’t matter. It’s what has to run on top of it is where things get very expensive. You can’t claim the total cost of ownership to be cheaper in one direction or the other; until you have knowledge of what the company is running on top of the OS, or what they have available for local support staff….. It’s going to be different in every situation. 2004-06-09 8:53 am Anonymous you suggest that underestimating training cost is a problem. i submit to you that 99% of training is a big fucking waste anyway. as someone who has worked in the trenches for 500,3000,15000 desktop corps…training means squat. people go to training classes to get out of their fake “real work” (which means they weren’t doing any real work anyway, but now they can not-do their real work and have a real excuse) end users generally stab away at the icons on their desktop till something that resembles the desired outcome happens or not. if your word-processor, spreadsheet and email are standardized and put boldly on the desktop…ppl will figure it out. so in conclusion: training is probably the worst investment they can make, but have no choice to spend that money or it looks like bad corporate leadership. 2004-06-09 9:52 am Anonymous “Going from W98 to XP would be the weekend at most.” Well, you can make XP look and feel exactaly like Windows 95/98/ME and 2k. Heck my parents (the most computer challenged people I know) didnt even know for the longest time when I upgraded them from Windows 98 to XP… Maybe its just getting used to the lack of crashing in XP verses the constant rebooting that is required in Windows 98 that is giving users problems… 2004-06-09 10:45 am Anonymous Anonymous (IP: —.broadcast.ip.tele.dk) If you are serious about replacing exchange server, have a look at egroupware (egroupware.org). I just went through this with my brother’s company with most excellent results. Take care. 2004-06-09 11:14 am Anonymous Lower your TCO, get rid of whatever you’re doing with IBM. That should be the main sentence. In my country IBM just got kicked out from several places due to the fact that their Linux solutions is actually MORE expensive than MS solutions… so that would mean that SUN is best buy in terms of lowering TCO aye? Besides like some previous author said. Anything from OSDN is just the same as MS saying it… 2004-06-09 3:45 pm Anonymous This myth presented in the first part of the article about how you are not forced to upgrade by using Linux is pure crap. Would you run all your mission critical business applications on Solaris 2.5.1? HP-UX 9? Windows NT 3.0? of course not so why would you run Redhat 5.2 and not upgrade to modern Linux. Technology progresses fast in open systems you are a fool to run old operating systems Windows or otherwise. I always laugh at people bragging about how they have a system that has run 4 years straight. That is such sloppy system maintenance its pathetic. The point of this exercise is that TCO is all dependant on how the implementation is setup and what your business is period. The best example? A large corporation that needs 24×7 systems support. I can’t see Linux being cheaper in that arena vs Windows or commercial UNIX. support costs always outway licensing costs. The four experts refered to in the article would know this if they actually worked in a large datacenter environment. 2004-06-09 4:26 pm Anonymous “That’s nuts! No, it DOES cost (time == $$) to introduce everyone to the new system, where all the necessary apps can be found and then, the quirks or differences of these new apps compared to their MS counterparts that these people have been using blindly now for several years.” As pointed out in the threat numerous times. NOT BY DEFINTION. 2004-06-09 5:12 pm Anonymous end users generally stab away at the icons on their desktop till something that resembles the desired outcome happens or not. Dude that is SO TRUE. Bravo! 2004-06-09 5:20 pm Anonymous Technology progresses fast in open systems you are a fool to run old operating systems Windows or otherwise. I always laugh at people bragging about how they have a system that has run 4 years straight. That is such sloppy system maintenance its pathetic. Not necessarily. If the system works and is stable, if it fulfill the needs and is up-to-date with regards to vulnerabilities, why would anyone change it? Some systems don’t need bleeding edge, they just need stability. You can’t generalize like this… 2004-06-09 5:44 pm Anonymous Would you run all your mission critical business applications on Solaris 2.5.1? HP-UX 9? Possibly. Some still do, because they can’t take the time to change it over and it runs fine anyway. Windows NT 3.0? Err, no. I always laugh at people bragging about how they have a system that has run 4 years straight. That is such sloppy system maintenance its pathetic. Sloppy that he hasn’t rebooted the system or taken it down? That’s far from sloppy maintenance, and shows the software isn’t too shabby either. A large corporation that needs 24×7 systems support. I can’t see Linux being cheaper in that arena vs Windows or commercial UNIX. support costs always outway licensing costs. Yer. So what? People know they’re going to need support and to pay salaries to people, but paying excessively for licenses is money that can be spent elsewhere. It doesn’t matter how small a proportion of the cost it is – it’s still large. In a lot of TCO studies additional software licenses such as anti-virus software and CALs are not included, so the true cost of licensing is always carefully masked. The four experts refered to in the article would know this if they actually worked in a large datacenter environment. Garbage. If you worked in a real data centre you’d know that systems are never taken down because they are needed every day, and they generally run software and hardware that is many, many years old. Linux has a place there because old UNIX systems can be more readily replaced, albeit slowly, because a Linux system is much more UNIX-like. Windows has no place in a real data centre. 2004-06-09 8:45 pm Anonymous Sloppy that he hasn’t rebooted the system or taken it down? That’s far from sloppy maintenance, and shows the software isn’t too shabby either. I disagree proper system maintenance includes bringing the system down at scheduled intervals. Garbage. If you worked in a real data centre you’d know that systems are never taken down because they are needed every day, and they generally run software and hardware that is many, many years old. I have and do work in a real environment(largest cable company in the world at the time) scheduled downtime for patching we did quarterly hardware older than 4 years was cycled out and replaced with newer machines. That is how a proper datacenter is run. Linux has a place there because old UNIX systems can be more readily replaced, albeit slowly, because a Linux system is much more UNIX-like. Windows has no place in a real data centre. Spoken like a true Linux zealot “free your mind, and your OS will follow”. 2004-06-09 9:34 pm Anonymous I disagree proper system maintenance includes bringing the system down at scheduled intervals. In the Windows world, maybe. In the Unix world (and, one may add, the VMS world), it’s not necessary to bring the system down if there’s nothing wrong with it. I think you’ve been working with Windows system for too long… Simply put, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If the system is up and running and there’s no reason to turn it off, leave it on! You may have worked in a datacenter, but your opinion on the matter is quite biased (probably from having exposed to the “Windows way” for a prolonged period of time…) By the way, using the expression “Linux zealot” to describe someone who disagrees with you and happens to be a Linux advocate is a sign of mental laziness. Either that, or you must accept to bear the label of “Windows zealot” yourself. 2004-06-09 10:54 pm Anonymous OSDN said Linux TCO is lower! I’m sure IBM will say the same thing! Amazing! Zealots sure have a lot of truth on their side. Meanwhile: http://www.linuxsecurity.com/advisories/ 2004-06-09 11:06 pm Anonymous You are saying desktop linux is prohibitive because you are working in MS shops who alredy spent many dollars buying the ultra-expensive M$ licenses and training employees as MCSE or MCSA. Of course it is expensive. Now imagine a company using pirated copies of almost all softwares, having many viruses infections every day, having outdated PCs to run the last versions of Windows and MS Office and with non-MS-trained employees. MS-way is prohibitive because the company never will have sufficient money to regularize pirated software and to make hardware upgrades and trainning. With linux there are no need of buy expensive licenses and you can make internal courses for trainning. My company paid a formal complete administration course for me and I already was a linux geek. Now I am teaching our support staff to use linux and free software, using a multiplier effect. The situation above described is very common here in Brazil and this is a reason why our country is a reference of desktop linux implantation, even piracy rates being high. 2004-06-10 1:26 am Anonymous Zealots sure have a lot of truth on their side. Well, you know, we don’t have a multi-billion FUD machine at our disposals, like you Windows zealots have. Meanwhile: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/06/09/116237&mode=thread&tid=… Yeah, I got that in the thread where you’ve been flamebaiting. Are you going to do this in this thread as well? You must like being modded down… 2004-06-10 1:35 am Anonymous By the way, using the expression “Windows zealot” to describe someone who disagrees with you and happens to be a Windows advocate is a sign of mental laziness. 2004-06-10 1:47 am Anonymous In this case, it was sarcasm. I never call someone a zealot unless he/she has used the term first. Tit for tat, and all that. It’s a way of showing these people that such words are a double-edged sword, and that trying to demonize your opponent through this type of labeling is bad form. Kind of like what you tried to do by re-using my words in an unsuccessful attempt to catch me red-handed in an act of self-contradiction – except that here, of course, I was deliberately using the words zealot as sarcasm, which apparently eluded you. In other words: nice try, but no cigar. You won’t catch me tonite! 2004-06-10 2:05 am Anonymous In this case, it was sarcasm, too. I am not taking you seriously. I work at the datacentre too, we run 50% Windows, 15% Solaris and 35% Linux mix. I agree, based on my experience, that proper system maintenance includes bringing the system down at scheduled intervals. You, apparently, don’t. I wonder, why- lack of experience, perhaps? 2004-06-10 2:58 am Anonymous In this case, it was sarcasm, too. Uh, whatever… I am not taking you seriously. Neither am I. I’ve read your trolling and flamebaiting. I work at the datacentre too, “The” datacentre? You mean the same one as Smartpatrol? Then, yeah, you’d have to agree on server maintenance, since you’d be working with the same servers… I am not taking you seriously. I work at the datacentre too, we run 50% Windows, 15% Solaris and 35% Linux mix. I’ll give you that: in such an environment it makes sense to bring the system down at scheduled intervals for at least half of the servers…(hint: that half don’t include free OSes…). I agree, based on my experience, that proper system maintenance includes bringing the system down at scheduled intervals. And I disagree. Seriously, if you have, say, a web or print/file server, and you don’t have hardware upgrades or kernel vulnerabilities to patch, there’s no reason whatsoever to “bring that down”. A stable server can run well without much maintenance, much less a reboot. For security updates, you can easily update the package for a particular service and then restart that service without having to reboot. I don’t understand. Is it some kind of Windows-induced superstition? Are you constantly adding and removing hardware? Is it a money thing (i.e. saving up on electricity bills)? Are you guys having that much trouble with your Windows servers?? (BTW, I believe that for some Solaris servers, I think you can even “hot swap” hardware without a reboot. Am I right?) You, apparently, don’t. I wonder, why- lack of experience, perhaps? Nah, it must be some other reason. Oh, like, because for stable servers “bringing the system down” isn’t part of proper maintenance. I don’t work in the datacenter, but I’m pretty much aware of our server performances at work (our CVS version control – proprietary system on proprietary OS, is acting up recently. Not fun.) Servers that have been fine tuned on a stable OS, under reasonable load, can (and do) run for years. Of course, for servers that are under heavy load, that are unstable or that regularly become unstable after a certain time, regular shutdowns can help, I guess. But to say that regularly rebooting stable servers is proper maintenance is a bit…puzzling. Personally, I can tell when the last power outage was by looking at my own personal firewall and web server (and old pentium 166 with 96MB of RAM): 45 days and 16 hours. Tell me, why would I reboot that particular server, ever? Oh, and Rogers sucks, Videotron rocks! 😛 2004-06-10 9:34 am Anonymous “By the way, using the expression “(Windows) zealot” to describe someone who disagrees […]” …”is playing on the man” aka “argumentum ad hominem”; a fallacy. Just because your discussion partner decides to play that trick on you doesn’t give you the ground to do the same on him/her. Calling it mental illness is yet another personal attack.