Home > Rumors > Reverse Migration: From Linux to Windows Reverse Migration: From Linux to Windows Eugenia Loli 2004-09-27 Rumors 44 Comments The number of enterprises migrating from Windows to Linux is a growing concern for Microsoft. But it’s not a one-way street. Some companies-unhappy with their open-source experience-are making the switch back to Windows. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 44 Comments 2004-09-27 9:08 pm I can almost hear the fanboys getting their panties in a bundle right now….anyway, the TCO is something businesses need to look at and to business software is a tool not a fanboy religion. 2004-09-27 9:13 pm Case said he was surprised by how well the system worked, but Linux became an issue when Combe’s Web applications needed a database, and the only option available to the company was one from Oracle Corp. I don’t really get that: they switched back to Windows because they had no other choice than using Oracle?? I’d like to have more detail about why this was a problem. Other than that the lack of Linux experts is probably a problem for lots of companies. 2004-09-27 9:14 pm this been up at yahoo news for a most the day, doesnt prove anything other than mismanagement and stupidity on their part… or… a msft press release… 2004-09-27 9:21 pm businesses run back to mommy. In summary, the article says that bad programmers and inexperienced admins make Linux expensive and painful. Move on, nothing to see here. 2004-09-27 9:31 pm In summary, the article says that bad programmers and inexperienced admins make Linux expensive and painful. Doesn’t that go for just about any other Operating System, though? All conspiracy theories aside, this article does read like a Microsoft Press release. 2004-09-27 9:36 pm Personal care products maker Combe Inc., of White Plains, N.Y., developed and administered its Web sites with an ISP running a Linux-Oracle platform about nine years ago and started the switch back to Windows two years ago. Pure fabrication because Linux was at 1.2 stage in 1995 and Oracle for Linux didn’t exist at that time. This article lost its credibility with this lie and this disinformation. 2004-09-27 9:41 pm Actually, it exists in 1995. However, the problem is within the company thus it has nothing to do with softwares. 2004-09-27 9:51 pm Given the gross incompetence of the CIO in the first case (I saw no point reading the second) this isn’t too suprising. First, he went with the minimum bid for hosting and support. What kind of clueless manager admits he’s surprised when something in his department works? Why on Earth did he try it if he wasn’t sure it work? Does his brother-in-law own the company? …then he admittedly made no effort to get or develop any inhouse knowledge at all. If he had hired a few geeks to oversee his company’s web presence, he would probably have had a lot more than two weeks warning that he needed to find a new/competent web host. …then he believed his ISP that there were no database options besides Oracle(!) …then, once the ISP did the Darwin and he couldn’t blindly believe them any more, he believed his friendly MS rep who promised to solve all his problems (whatever they were.) This isn’t believable. It’s pure Scott Adams material. 2004-09-27 10:02 pm If the truth doesn’t support the prevailing party line, it must be a lie. If the lie supports the prevailing party line, it must be the truth. Welcome to 1984 twenty years later. But then maybe ….. 2004-09-27 10:04 pm OMG! companies actually switch from linux to windows and its becasue reptilian aliens are influencing business from their underground lair! Both cases are not unreasonable situations Oracle a problem? why yes especially if you have cost constraints. Since they did not indicate what type of database requirements they needed i am assuming that it was a small to media sized database something that would not warrant the cost of an overpriced Oracle install. It does beg the question of why they couldn’t use PostgreSQL but who knows what the situation was. I think its Intellectually lazy of most of you to pass this article off as Microsoft FUD the fact is Microsoft and other providers can come up with better solutions than Linux in its current state can provide. 2004-09-27 10:21 pm I agree – We support over 190 redhat based servers at the company i work for. While we do have good solutions in place using this technology it is not always possible or dosn’t always meet the business requirements of the client. I don’t think you can fob either linux or windows off in this situation. The product that better meets the business requirements for the client is the one they should be using. 2004-09-27 10:27 pm “I agree – We support over 190 redhat based servers at the company i work for. While we do have good solutions in place using this technology it is not always possible or dosn’t always meet the business requirements of the client. I don’t think you can fob either linux or windows off in this situation. The product that better meets the business requirements for the client is the one they should be using.” Unfortunately they seem to often be picking what ever the status quo is, which is usually windows at this point but sometimes linux for it’s userlevel similarity to unix. My favorite part is where the guy blames linux for his bad php code: “There was a limit set up within the program that said you can only order ‘x’ amount of products within one transaction,” Roy said. “When one of our guests went over the limit, it crashed the whole store. We then had to manually identify the erroneous credit card charges.” Sorry buddy, but your developers errors are not the fault of the system it’s working on. And yes, I’d like to know why Oracle was considered to be a bad option, there are reasons to not want Oracle, but there are many to love it. Anyway, these are web services examples. And since a majority of web servers run apache I’m gonna say that people are just unfamiliar with linux, and the companies were looking for free. And for the “fanboy” predictions: Get a life and go back to your windows news, quit trolling. 2004-09-27 10:29 pm Reguardless as to if this is FUD or not, the sad truth is that there are not enough IT/IS staff trained in the fine art of Unix. It may not be the case in these stories, but all too often windows admin yuppies who know little to nothing of Linux try it out without doing their homework first and then cry foul when it doesn’t work. Seriously though, have these folks even looked into PostgreSQL? Their systems are going to be trashed when the next big MS virus hits. 2004-09-27 10:46 pm Their systems are going to be trashed when the next big MS virus hits. Thats assuming that their Windows talent is as good as their former Linux/PHP/Unix Talent. Some people are more successful with running Windows and do not experience the common Windows virus infested stereotype. 2004-09-27 10:53 pm They have staff trained to run windows and they have to learn unix and stuff…. must cost alot of money to train all your employees… probably some uppermanagement that thought it would lower TCO but unix seems too complex for them.. the reality for me is that unix seemed like too much at first, but once i learned it it’s now easier to manage than a windows box, and i dont have to pay $1K for a license either. SysV is open sourcing!!!!! Thank you sun! 2004-09-27 11:06 pm Some people are more successful with running Windows and do not experience the common Windows virus infested stereotype. The big ones, worms like nimda, codeRed, etc hit and get into places where even the best windows admins operate. Im not saying anything bad about the ability of the windows admins, But when worms like that hit they get into some of the most secured places. Just look at how bad those worms shut down so many computer. You can’t protect your windows machines against unknown exploits. You can’t do it for Linux either, but since Linux installations vary much more than the standardized versions of windows, it’s much more unlikely a Linux exploit could have such a devistating impact as the MS worms have. 2004-09-27 11:08 pm Yep, save $1K on licence, lose twice more on support – great idea, are you a CEO or something? 2004-09-27 11:15 pm Hire a good UNIX admin, you’ll have all the support you’ll need. Good Admin + Free OS == Happy CEO. 2004-09-27 11:27 pm This is a story not of linux vs. windows but a story of how incompetent IT administration can land you in a world of hurt. The “efficient conversion” they claim at the end is just plain unbelievable – you take a load of PHP or Perl code with an Oracle back end and convert it cleanly and efficiently to a IIS/ASP/MSSQL solution?!?? Who do they think they’re kidding? I smell the slimey stink of a windows consultant and the undertone of paid FUD. 2004-09-27 11:44 pm Yes, I was happily reading the article, until I too noticed things like paraphrasing: …Oracle our only choice…picking more than X items in one transaction killed the whole system… Translation: we were too stupid and too cheap(in some ways) to investigate other options for databases, our software vendor was crap and failed to do ANY QA on the system, we went with the cheapest hosting service we could find and were surprised when they went out of business, our windows admins were clueless about linux, etc. I still cannot get over a piece of software that would entirely die over too large of an input, ie. the basic fact that the authors did not, apparently, even attempt to validate the inputs, or apparently either, do ANY QA that should have caught something so basic. On the other hand, yes, I can see where TCO might be cheaper for some places to run Windows if that is what their inhouse support really knows, but MS SQL Server is NOT cheap either. Add to this if you use proprietary SQL extensions from company X’s pdt its a PITA to move it to company Y’s pdt. Also, if they were talking desktops, I could see where Windows might be better dependent upon the quality of employees and the quality of the support/training staff. 2004-09-27 11:46 pm of the ones that switched to Windows from Linux. There are several reasons why I did it that I wont get into because then I would have a very lengthy post here. I will say this, i switched to Windows on the server and the desktop and I havent been happier. I have had excellent experiences with Microsofts software and with Microsoft themselves. Overall, Im very pleased and I see no reason to even consider changing back. 2004-09-27 11:55 pm You’re so right… I have a few questions: Why was the only database available Oracle? MySQL does exist. Okay, Oracle’s probably more powerful, but it doesn’t sound like what they were doing was that intensive. And they didn’t say “MySQL wasn’t up to it, so we had to use Oracle”, the article said “The only database available was Oracle”. Then the next bunch worried about the “security and reliability” because the system went down for a day. Well, that’d be right if it was hacked, or randomly crashed. But no, it turns out the software was to blame. Badly coded PHP has nothing to do with the platform being insecure or unreliable. On that note, what was this mysterious item limit? Why were they not aware of that up front? Surely a big-ass warning saying “You can’t buy another item; 255 is the maximum” would have worked – anything has to be better than the whole web server exploding on then. I figure there has to be a slimy Windows consultant involved – the acronym TCO popped up. For some reason, that always makes an appearance… 2004-09-28 12:03 am Amen – The right tool for the right job. Linux is not the be-all end-all tool of solutions, neither is windows. Just as Windows leaves a sour taste in some people’s mouths, so does linux (and many other *nix) in a LOT of cases. For a lot of users and even some MIS *nixisms just confuse, frustrate and annoy. If the tool you are using does the job, it’s not the wrong tool. If it is not meeting your requirements, I cannot fault any company for looking at another solution. Linux desktop lags a decade behind in maturity – Windows Server is about as secure as a steel sieve… 2004-09-28 12:10 am Hey, MySQL is a fine small RDBMS, but it’s just not the same league as Oracle, it doesn’t have many (or should I say most?) features Oracle has. I’d compare Oracle to UDB or MSSQL, but comparing it to MySQL is comparison of apples to oranges. 2004-09-28 12:13 am You’re right. Of course, if you don’t need the features it doesn’t matter. But actually that’s beside the point, Oracle wasn’t commercially available on Linux in 1995. 2004-09-28 12:46 am Oracle become availble on Linux in 1998. 2004-09-28 1:20 am Yeah, granted, Oracle is in a different league to MySQL. But my point was that they didn’t say that – they just said that the _only_ option available was Oracle, and made that sound like a problem somehow. And I’d still like to know how this mysterious script b0rked their whole server for a day – I’d expect it to pop up an error message saying “Oops, there’s been an overflow”. This wouldn’t have impressed the customer much – but killing the server? That’s… odd… 2004-09-28 1:28 am Switch back form Linux to Windows is similar as a ERP failure case. Linux is much more complex than Windows. Company should hire a Linux/Unix guy to handle it. Most failure case because of a CEO read a article in a business mag. and then hired a Windows guy to handle Linux project. If a company would like to have low TCO solution, why not go back to DOS+Win 3.1 + Netware 3. That is simple and the easiest administration platform. There is a lot of case on the web said the migration form Solaris, AIX, AS/400,… etc to Windows. That all is Microsoft marketing material. Please not post on osnews again !!! 2004-09-28 1:37 am Seriously though, have these folks even looked into PostgreSQL? From what I read, it sounded like they wanted a commercial database, but why Oracle (I have a goot rant about how crap Oracle is on my blog), there is Sybase and DB2, why did they go for Oracle. As for the technical difficulties, as bought up by a couple of other people, it was squarely placed on the sholders of the clueless CIO who was unwilling to send his employees off to get trained, or heck, even offered to buy some books so that the IT staff could learn how to manage Linux properly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Linux fanboy, IMHO, they would have been better off moving from Linux to Solaris with Oracle, however, with that being said, the system will be crap not matter which platform they move to as the root cause of the problem isn’t the software but the people who manage the infrastructure. 2004-09-28 3:36 am “We have not had an outage in two years” Just check out netcraft. http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph/?host=www.combe.com <quote> http://www.combe.com was running Microsoft-IIS on Windows Server 2003 when last queried at 27-Sep-2004 11:20:46 GMT – refresh now FAQ OS Server Last changed IP address Netblock Owner Windows Server 2003 Microsoft-IIS/6.0 14-Sep-2004 126.96.36.199 Alpine Business Systems Linux Apache/1.3.27 (Unix) 29-Nov-2002 188.8.131.52 Net Access Corporation Linux Apache/1.3.9 (Unix) Red-Hat-Secure/3.1 mod_ssl/2.4.10 OpenSSL/0.9.4 12-Sep-2001 184.108.40.206 Internet Direct Marketing Linux Apache/1.2b7 5-Mar-2001 220.127.116.11 Internet Direct Marketing </quote> A whole uptime of 14 days. So when did 14 days become 2 years? 2004-09-28 3:41 am Taylor said customers have applications written in Java on top of Linux as well as applications in .Net on top of Windows, and they want their applications to talk to one another. “That’s where more of the dialogue is—from an interoperability perspective. It’s not about plumbing because … the plumbing [is already] done,” Taylor said. When MS stratigy focus on java and .net inter-communication on windows, mono’s future will be uncertain. 2004-09-28 3:42 am Nice web page (http://www.geocities.com/rjdohnert/) Roberto, I especially like the animated flag and candles. Classy! 2004-09-28 7:19 am Some company just don’t want to spend most time administrating the system. Or hiring linux experts for having some part of the copmany working when almost anyone in the company can do the same thing with windows.. They rather spend money on software than people.. But don’t get me wrong, I am swtiching 20 computers of my company to gentoo linux.. cause I know when its installed correctly it will work without any problems… But tell that to the company that think everything should be easy to install.. but the cd in and push install and don’t care about whats happening.. And when 100% reached it should work 100% 2004-09-28 9:15 am Troll Alert! “Some company just don’t want to spend most time administrating the system” This is a total give-away. Anyone familiar with *nix would be able to tell that bringing a *nix box up might take longer time than a compareable windows-setup. However they would also tell that when it’s all done, there remains little to be done, compared to the constant baby-sitting that is needed with windows. 2004-09-28 11:40 am all kidding aside, if it is so surprising to see someone switching back the *other* way (which is fine with me) then Linux must have done something right… 2004-09-28 12:02 pm The article is a joke sent by Microsoft Press Team 😉 Even Combes web pages do not work with Konqueror. A great company I’d say… Nothing to see here, move along! 2004-09-28 1:59 pm Guess they never heard of PostgresQL….. My god switching back because they wanted to run M$ SQL server? How stupid is that. 2004-09-28 3:56 pm //The article is a joke sent by Microsoft Press Team 😉 Even Combes web pages do not work with Konqueror. A great company I’d say…// Yah, how stupid of them to code their site for the 95% of the population that uses Internet Explorer, rather than the <2% that use Konqueror. What fools they be. 2004-09-28 4:42 pm “I am swtiching 20 computers of my company to gentoo linux.. cause I know when its installed correctly it will work without any problems… ” Glad you do not work for my company. Every think about how these systems are going to be maintained in a year, five years? When you leave the company is ass out. Its people with these attitudes that give linux such a bad rap. They put their own preferences before business needs. I am not totally against using linux in the enterprise but aleast choose a provider that can provide end to end support after the linux nerd leaves the company. “Guess they never heard of PostgresQL….. My god switching back because they wanted to run M$ SQL server? How stupid is that. Obviously you have never done any development in a heterogeneous Microsoft environment. Microsoft totally smokes Oracle when it comes to ground up client server development and application integration. Not to mention the fact that MSSQL integrates in a given environment with Oracle seemlessly. 2004-09-28 5:04 pm “We have not had an outage in two years” Just check out netcraft. http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph/?host=www.combe.com <quote> http://www.combe.com was running Microsoft-IIS on Windows Server 2003 when last queried at 27-Sep-2004 11:20:46 GMT – refresh now FAQ OS Server Last changed IP address Netblock Owner Windows Server 2003 Microsoft-IIS/6.0 14-Sep-2004 18.104.22.168 Alpine Business Systems Linux Apache/1.3.27 (Unix) 29-Nov-2002 22.214.171.124 Net Access Corporation That’s ~2 years. HEHE. 2004-09-28 5:13 pm When you leave the company is ass out. Its people with these attitudes that give linux such a bad rap. They put their own preferences before business needs. I am not totally against using linux in the enterprise but aleast choose a provider that can provide end to end support after the linux nerd leaves the company. Rubbish. First of all who says there’s only 1 person controlling that part (*)? If you’re using a standard distribution (e.g. not an unknown one) then you’re simply able to hire another ‘Linux’ (or UNIX) administrator who knows (that) distribution or is able to learn it easily (*). Especially if its not heavily modified in one way or another and/or is similar to general Linux (or UNIX) standards (*). Good documentation helps, too (*). Hint: despite popular believe (its almost a religion) some companies don’t want external support. (*) This counts just as well for a Windows environment too. In this case i’m more concerned of using a source distribution in production environment. However if properly set up this is no or almost no problem. 2004-09-28 5:21 pm sounds like the web host was a poor choice to me. that has nothing to do with windows or linux. what viable hosting solution only offers a single database choice? especially a linux shop? why offer just oracle when you could easily implement mysql or postgre? i would choose a better web hosting solution before complaining about what os/software was in use. there are hundreds of great web hosts out there running linux/unix. picking one that obviously sucked just to write a pointed article about linux -> windows migration sounds a bit overdramatic to me. windows, linux, sun, etc…any and all of them will fail without proper support. blaming the software itself for lack of proper training and education of admins is in poor taste. imo. 2004-09-28 7:19 pm There are too many inconsistencies in this article to make it believable. Just one example: “The Linux system could not handle the layers of information needed for internal control of the resort.” What the hell does THAT mean?? How does a Windows system magically help this? What are “layers of information,” anyway? Pure rubbish. Catch phrases used poorly to provoke fanboys. 2004-09-29 6:41 pm The web server of Combe has been running Windows for two years but the Netcraft graph displays the time since reboot. It goes from September 14 to September 28. Unless I’m wrong, that’s 14 days of uptime.