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Munich Has Saved €4M So Far After Switch To Linux 370

Posted by Soulskill
from the gonna-be-a-good-oktoberfest-this-year dept.
New submitter Mojo66 writes "Mayor Ude reported today that the city of Munich has saved €4 million so far (Google translation of German original) by switching its IT infrastructure from Windows NT and Office to Linux and OpenOffice. At the same time, the number of trouble tickets decreased from 70 to 46 per month. Savings were €2.8M from software licensing and €1.2M from hardware because demands are lower for Linux compared to Windows 7."
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Munich Has Saved €4M So Far After Switch To Linux

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  • Not Surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:20PM (#39503849)
    Linux is better, faster, and more stable. Just the savings on support calls alone would be enormous.
    • by compro01 (777531)

      Wouldn't help that much. When I worked for the provincial government IT, literally 90% of calls were people forgetting their passwords.

      • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rve (4436) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:17PM (#39504299)

        Wouldn't help that much. When I worked for the provincial government IT, literally 90% of calls were people forgetting their passwords.

        Seriously, that's your fault, with your password policies (passwords expire each month or two, have to be so and so long, contain the usualy mix of upper & lower case, numbers, special characters, and the icing on the cake: may not have 3 or more characters in common with a password ever used previously), the only way to remember your passwords is to write them down, which is officiallly a firing offense by the way. At some point, users, even the techies, are just not going to bother trying to come up with a new password that will pass the validation and can still be remembered, they'll simply call you and ask you to reset the password every time it expires. That's what I did.

    • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

      by wanzeo (1800058) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:50PM (#39504077)

      €1.2M from hardware because demands are lower for Linux compared to Windows 7

      This is an often overlooked additional benefit, especially if you use a lightweight environment. A modern distro running LXDE and LibreOffice can make 10 year old hardware an adequate machine for 90% of office uses. As a bonus, future upgrades to ARM PCs would be essentially transparent to the users.

      • That "saving" would be more than offset by the lower capabilities and higher failure rates of 10-year-old hardware. Do you really want to trust your work, even temporarily, to a 10-year-old PC hard drive. Or use a 10mbps network card on a gigabit network if you're sharing files on a server? Or laptops (the project included converting lots of laptops) with only wireless b and crappy encryption?
        • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Informative)

          by Gaygirlie (1657131) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (eilrigyag)> on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:16PM (#39504291) Homepage

          Say, do you always throw out the baby with the bathwater? Last I heard it's very easy to replace various components on PCs without having to replace the whole thing.

          • It's cheaper to throw out a 10-year-old PC than it is to update the ram, hard drive, and cpu. Those obsolete components cost a lot more than newer ones.

            With old laptops, you often don't even have a choice. Want to change that ethernet port from 10mpbs to 1gig? Update the cpu? Good luck with that.

        • Or this might mean that an Atom or E-450 based PC will suffice, where Windows would require a (Core) Celeron/Pentium or better, and more RAM.

        • by WoLpH (699064)

          He isn't saying that you should run on 10 year old hardware, he is saying that it runs on 10 year old hardware.

          Basically, since it will run on 10 year old hardware you can just buy new low-end hardware and still get faster results than buying high-end hardware with Windows 7.

          I have seen it happen quite a few times that the DE would just make a reasonable machine come to a grinding halt. My one-fast workstation with a dual Opteron was always blazingly fast using KDE 3.5. Since I upgraded to KDE 4 it has been

          • Try running Gnome 3 in fallback mode. Works great in Fedora 16 (I switched after the last opensuse kde upgrade fiasco), gets rid of all the resource suckage as long as you remember to not enable selinux (selinux=0 at the prompt during install).
        • Re:Not Surprised (Score:5, Informative)

          by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:06PM (#39504621) Journal

          That "saving" would be more than offset by the lower capabilities and higher failure rates of 10-year-old hardware.

          I've deployed hundreds of older, off-lease systems in a corporaate environment, and have not seen anything like you've described. Failure-rate is slightly higher than brand-new systems, but still very low. They are also cheap enough there are ready spares, clones from the same base image, that the lowliest tech is empowered to use/swap at-will.

          Do you really want to trust your work, even temporarily, to a 10-year-old PC hard drive. Or use a 10mbps network card on a gigabit network if you're sharing files on a server?

          HDD failure rates follow a bathtub curve, so I'd actually rather have an old HDD that passes SMART tests, than a brand-new one.

          And NICs? They've ALL been 100Mbit since the mid 90s, which is plenty fast enough for all but the heaviest file-transfer uses. And it's only been a little under 10 years ago that GigE showed-up in PCs, so you might get lucky.

          Or laptops (the project included converting lots of laptops) with only wireless b and crappy encryption?

          You need to go read-up... WPA was a drop-in replacement for WEP, and cards much more than a decade only will only need a firmware upgrade. Besides, nothing says you have to depend on either... My company requires laptops to VPN in, even one the company's Wifi APs. It's only slightly inconvenient.

        • by whoever57 (658626)

          Do you really want to trust your work, even temporarily, to a 10-year-old PC hard drive.

          It's only Windows that makes it hard to store your files on a file server.

          Or use a 10mbps network card on a gigabit network if you're sharing files on a server?

          100Mbps Ethernet has been cheap for over 10 years and provides perfectly adequate speeds for most tasks, even if your files are stored on a server.

        • by clarkn0va (807617)
          Then there's the option of new hardware that is priced like 10-year-old hardware. Dual-core Atom or Brazos on SSD provides a great experience for the vast majority of office users at a fraction of the price of "modern" hardware.
  • by Kaz Kylheku (1484) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @09:29PM (#39503923) Homepage

    Get rid of that office shit and replace with Vim and Emacs. :) :)

  • Does it say what the total IT budget is? Hard to say what the number means without context.

    (Sorry, I'm not getting the translation.)

  • What are they actually using in terms of special apps? I suspect most of it are web-based eGovernment applications, perhaps accounting (SAP?), on top of OpenOffice. The GNU/Linux applications involved are all very stable by now, so this seems like a reasonable decision. The press release actually mentions an increase in workstations from 1,500 to 9,500, and a reduction in system malfunctions. I don't think it is plausible to have either 70 or 46 actual support tickets, as suggested by the description he
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      They migrated from NT. They compare the costs with w7. Limux project (the transition of Munich municipal computers to linux) has been going for a decade and received enough press - i suggest you google before trying to comment.

  • by devent (1627873) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @10:32PM (#39504387) Homepage

    As always the most important benefits of open source software is not highlighted. It is not always about the money saved. The more important issues are: Peruvian Congressman's Open Letter to Microsoft [linuxtoday.com]

    • Free access to public information by the citizen.
    • Permanence of public data.
    • Security of the State and citizens.

    It can't be the norm that government's IT infrastructure is depending on a foreign firm, with is subject to foreign laws. Especially with laws like the Patriot Act in place and laws like the SOPA and PIPA in discussions.

  • But how much have they lost?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:32PM (#39504775)

      > But how much have they lost?

      - Lock-in to a single-source supplier
      - Worries about not being able to read their own archived documents saved in legacy formats (OpenOffice supports over 100 office file formats)
      - All trace of malware
      - The need for a license compliance officer
      - Any threat of being audited, or having a disgruntled employee dob them in to the BSA
      - The upgrade treadmill
      - Long delays during Windows updates

    • by Shavano (2541114)

      Bailing out Greece is a separate issue.

  • Where... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bmo (77928) on Wednesday March 28, 2012 @11:34PM (#39504783)

    Where is Florian Mueller?

    Oh Florian, do you remember this?

    "Linux violates 283 U.S. software patents," said Florian Mueller, software developer and adviser to the chief executive of Swedish open source firm MySQL,

    Such bold words back in 2004. Such brave effort in trying to get Munich to abandon the plan.

    It's 8 years later. Where is the "death by a thousand lawyers," Florian?

    --
    BMO

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