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Spain Prepares For 14,000-User Linux Installation 18

Posted by timothy
from the don't-show-them-kbounce-please dept.
rafael_es_son writes "The regional Health Service of Extremadura, Spain (Servicio Extremeño de Salud) prepares for what IBM describes as the country's biggest GNU/Linux rollout to date. IBM is to receive $33.8 million USD over a four year period for the development of systems which should enable some 14,000 doctors and other medical professionals access to patient health care data on a region currently described as underserved in comparison with the rest of the country." (Read more below.)

"The current biggest European implementation title-holder, German National Railway, cites 'continuous cost savings, greater flexibility and integration benefits' as reason for changing over to GNU/Linux-based solutions. The German National Railway GNU/Linux implementation currently boasts approximately 55,000 users, in comparison to the current Munich implementation of 14,000 desktops.

We of course know better: Interoperability and Open Source are not synonymous."

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Spain Prepares For 14,000-User Linux Installation

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @04:46PM (#11893073)
    18 million 14 thousand down, 6 billion 500 million to go.
  • Interoperability (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PhiznTRG (261350) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @04:57PM (#11893216) Homepage
    Bill is, of course, correct that open-source and interoperability are not necessarily synonymous. That isn't to say that Microsoft's close-source, proprietary approach will lead to better interoperability.

    Also, though not quantifiable, the fast development cycle that open-source is often praised for could lead to broken interoperability if the developers of an open source application do not feel like maintaining the function. The typical reply is that the code is opensource, so you can modify it and put the functions you want back in. This puts the enduser in the unenviable position of having to develop an application as opposed to using it. To be fair, if Microsoft breaks a function there typically isn't anything the enduser can do but complain.

    This is both a blessing and curse of open-source software that is not maintained or supported by a large corporate identity (e.g. IBM, which is why this does not apply to Microsoft's main concern, Linux...IBM would not support IBM and allow interoperability to break.)

    • by Daniel Zappala (15756) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @05:13PM (#11893387)
      This is the case of a comment (from Bill Gates) that technically could be true, but in practice is not. There is a big difference between the two. Open source projects have a much better history of interoperability, particularly when the standards themselves are open. Heck, open source software even bends over backwards to interoperate with Microsoft stuff (e.g. Samba) without much help from Microsoft itself.
    • Re:Interoperability (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Also, though not quantifiable, the fast development cycle that open-source is often praised for could lead to broken interoperability if the developers of an open source application do not feel like maintaining the function. The typical reply is that the code is opensource, so you can modify it and put the functions you want back in.

      Can you give any examples of this happening? The only one I can think of is the Linux kernel itself and its interface for kernel modules. Every other project I can think o

    • Re:Interoperability (Score:5, Interesting)

      by zonx lebaam (688779) on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @07:05PM (#11894616)
      Some quick mental (or sliderule or google or whatever) arithmetic gives c. USD2400 per user. Although that's not *real* expensive, it would certainly indicate that IBM is going to be supplying some fair amount of development/maintenance/support value.

      When the four years are up, if they didn't like the IBM experience, they could pay someone else, and not lose all of their previous investment.

      If astute, they can be training staff to "insource" the work at the end of the support period. Then they will be in the somewhat enviable position of maintaining and using their own (working) system to their longterm evolving needs.

      At least in theory ...

  • Hmm.. I think that I've listened too many spanish jokes and sucked too much at my Spanish exams.

    With this Linux deplyment, I think that this is a reason itself to like Spain.
    • With this Linux deplyment, I think that this is a reason itself to like Spain.
      Well, the deployment is still just in a region. Here in Castilla y Leon, the president (of this region) has signed a contract with a certain Redmond-based company which produces monopolistic software to increase the availability of this software in this region (I can't remember the details, but I think you get the idea), while everyone and his dog around us are pushing out their regional GNU/Linux distros (Sarge in spanish whith
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 09, 2005 @07:40PM (#11894958)
    an English news agency feed reported in an Indian paper about a US project to put a Finnish OS on Spanish servers?
  • Why isn't this on the frontpage?

    Oh, I know! Could someone please submit this story again so we could get it on the frontpage as a dupe!
    • I agree.

      How is possible that this info has been overlooked?
      With all due respect, is not this more important
      of the new dual cpu MBs from via?

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