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Linux Business

Linux Replacing Windows More Than Unix 428

LordNimon writes "Over the past couple years, we've been hearing several Linux migration stories, but they have been mostly migration from proprietary Unix systems rather than from Windows. Well, this story on indicates otherwise: of the migrations, 24% were from Unix, but 31% were from Windows. Sounds promising."
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Linux Replacing Windows More Than Unix

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  • Interesting but.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Derkec ( 463377 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:05PM (#4203004)
    This is an interesting figure, but I'd like to see the numbers of migrations compared to past years. Is this flip because more people are converting from Windows or is it because those that are going to move from proprietary unix to Linux have already made the conversion. Are windows migrations increasing, or unix migrations decreasing? Or both, or what? This is an interesting stat, but fairly meaningless without more information...

    maybe I need to read the article. :)

    • Re:Interesting but.. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by archen ( 447353 )
      If I were to guess, I would say that the only reason Linux would displace Windows before Unix, is because there are a lot more windows boxes to replace. A buisness that has money to blow on a really expensive mission critical computer probably doesn't really care about the costs as long as it works. Windows on the other hand tends to end up in certain places in the medium end where Linux does very well also.

      My only experience is where I work now. We've always had one central Unix server, that was just recently migrated to Linux (that's one). In the meantime if replaced a few Windows machines with Linux just because I found Linux easier to admin in those instances. I mean why in the hell would I pay all that money to MS for something like a backup server?
    • Re:Interesting but.. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cscx ( 541332 )
      WORD... I'd like to see more hardcore numbers.

      31 percent were replacing Windows systems,

      This means nothing IMHO. Let's say that 31 percent of the 225 companies, each with 500 NT servers, were replacing 1 IIS intranet box with an Apache box. That still counts as replacing, doesn't it?

      This reminds me of a good Letterman quote:

      "USA Today has come out with a new survey:
      Apparently three out of four people make
      up 75 percent of the population."
    • by paladin_tom ( 533027 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @07:42PM (#4203598) Homepage

      ...due to Microsoft's new licensing scheme. That's something a lot of businesses hate with something of a passion, I believe.

      • by rseuhs ( 322520 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @08:36PM (#4203819)
        I couldn't agree more.

        The Winlots might say that it's not so bad or it's only for their own good (having always the same version) some other market-speak.

        But there are 2 scary facts:

        1: With the new licensing scheme, Microsoft is taking the power to decide away from the user.

        2: Microsoft showed that they don't hesitate long to change EULAs and licensing schemes the way they see fit.

        Even if it were not more expensive (but it is!) it would be hated.

    • by Bastian ( 66383 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @01:00AM (#4204778)
      The story goes something like this:

      ~Shop runs UNIX machines
      ~Base and upgrade costs on UNIX boxen are high, and Management complains of high TCO on UNIX, too.
      ~Shop migrates to cheaper x86 hardware running Windows NT
      ~Management and a few staff love Windows, the rest hate it for religious reasons.
      ~Windows-hating, UNIX-loving staff starts setting up Linux boxen 'guerrilla style,' shows Linux boxen working successfully to other employees.
      ~When employee support is high, Linux solution to task Foo is shown to Mgmt by members of staff that miss UNIX.
      ~Mgmt. chooses to accept or deny Linux solution.
      ~If Linux solution is accepted and works properly with few hitches, Linux takes over. If there are problems, shop keeps running Windows.
  • since Linux is looking more and more like Windows every day. I'm amazed at how much KDE tries to ape Windows rather than trying to adddress the problems of the Windows interface.

    I fear that if Linux continues in this problem we may end the problem of being weighed down by a monopolistic regime but we will still not have bettered the PC computing environment.

    • Huh? KDE is just one project, although a really big one.

      The kernel developers aren't going to turn it into a Windows clone. If you don't like KDE just use something else. I think that'll get us the best of both worlds. Those who migrate from Windows will find a similar environment. Those who like the command line will get the command line. If it becomes similar to OS X, then almost everybody should be happy with it.
    • Yes, but even if the main distros of Linux do turn into some ghastly copy of Windows, the situation is still very salvageable since someone else can just pick up the source code and fix it.

      Whereas with Windows these days you're effectively paying $BIGNUM for what is pretty much a long-term lease rather than proper ownership of a buggy operating system which intrudes on your privacy.

    • Why is the parent modded as a troll? It's the truth, and quite disturbing. If these guys want to mimic anything it should be OS/2's WPS.
    • KDE seems to be striking a reasonable balance between not terrifying incoming Windows users, and curing some of Windows' ills. Have you tried the newer KDEs? KDE 3.0.x with translucency only looks like Windows until you click on something, KDE 3.1 even more so. I don't see XP ripping audio CDs for you when you drag them onto a filesystem, I don't see it giving you a choice of cut/paste methods, I don't see protocol drivers for odd devices (think palmtops) accessible within the existing file management paradigm, and so on.

      Windows 3 had fixed-sized elevators because Macintosh had them. So IRL, who is it chasing tail-lights?
  • Need groupware? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Openadvocate ( 573093 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:12PM (#4203050)
    It's good, very good indeed, but I am still looking for a groupware solution. I am working with different startup companies from time to time and when i get the chance to get UNIX in from the start, it's great. :) And with *BSD, linux, whatever you can get a fileserver webserver, router, firewall up and running. So I need a groupware system with email, calendar etc, like you get with Notes, Exchange, GroupWise etc. You should also be able to get agents to sync with your PDA's. I remember seeing a Suse dist. with Notes once, but is it still available and Notes seems like a big mouthful when you are only 10 people. But then again there's room to grow with it.
    • Evolve (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Myuu ( 529245 )
      Evolution has really caught the attention of a lot of people in your position. It acts like Outlook and works with Exchange, but isnt filled with the M$ vuln. Plus it does a damn good job with pda compatibility. I know that there is a pilot conduit built in and they have it syncing with the zaurus pdas (not sure about pocket pc).

      I really think that Evolution is one of the best products out there, I switched from kmail to it.

      Plus, it's free (dont think its oss).
    • Notes client runs really well under wine. Domino server runs on linux as well The only thing that gets hairy is good support for COM objects ... but if your trying to move away from windows that shoulden't be a problem .. ?

  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:13PM (#4203052)
    24% were from Unix
    31% where from Windows
    45% where from what, Amiga?

    I'm as allways suspect of these numbers and how they arived at them.
    • by jonestor ( 443666 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:14PM (#4203067)
      From the article . . .
      For those that have recently purchased new Linux servers, 31 percent were adding capacity, 31 percent were replacing Windows systems, 24 percent were replacing Unix and 14 percent were replacing other operating systems.
    • actually if you're comparing where people are converting from you have to read the article - 31% of the systems bought were just expanding existing Linux systems and 14% were from other OSs - if you remove the 31% who were upgrading and just consider those who were actually changing OSs you get:

      • 45% moving from Windows
      • 35% moving from other unix systems
      • 20% moving from other OSs
      • Also, a lot of CIOs only count Solaris as UNIX. They forget that AIX, HPUX, etc. all use the same UNIX skillset.

        Honestly, have you ever submitted a resume for an AIX job when you know Solaris, HPUX, and Linux? That goes right into the trash bin. Somehow, managers think that shell scripting varies dramatically between UNIXs, and that only Solaris really qualifies as UNIX.
    • I wonder how many IBM PROFS/OFFIS systems are
      still in service?

  • Even Better... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WEFUNK ( 471506 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:14PM (#4203061) Homepage
    ...of the migrations, 24% were from Unix, but 31% were from Windows.

    On first reading I was wondering what operating systems could possibly make up the missing 45%, but it's not 31% and 24% of the *migrations* but of the total new Linux servers:

    "For those that have recently purchased new Linux servers, 31 percent were adding capacity, 31 percent were replacing Windows systems, 24 percent were replacing Unix and 14 percent were replacing other operating systems."

    So as a percentage of migrations, nearly half are Linux replacing Windows (maybe over 50% replacing MS systems including DOS):

    45% Windows to Linux
    35% Unix to Linux
    20% Other to Linux
    • This makes the numbers much more clear, but I'm still not sure that they really reflect the current state of Linux migrations.

      How many servers were purchased with Windows (as in, didn't have another choice) and then reloaded with Linux upon arrival? How many older servers have been reloaded with Linux?

      I bet the numbers would be much higher...

      • Re:Even Better... (Score:2, Informative)

        by boskone ( 234014 )
        traditionally, you buy servers without an OS, then you use an Open license agreement to buy your windows OS and Client access licenses. It's not like desktops...
        • Re:Even Better... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by DunbarTheInept ( 764 )

          Traditionally, you DO buy servers with an OS, but then quickly overwrite it with your site licensed version upon arrival. That is different from buying them without an OS. It's hard to find a vendor that will sell without at least SOMETHING pre-installed.

      • Re:Or Even (Score:3, Insightful)

        by tupps ( 43964 )
        How many CIO's don't even know they are running Linux??
    • Unless you're counting "Other" and "added capacity" as "well, they would have run Windows on them, so we'll count it as a steal" I don't see it.
      • "For those that have recently purchased new Linux servers, 31 percent were adding capacity, 31 percent were replacing Windows systems, 24 percent were replacing Unix and 14 percent were replacing other operating systems."

        Bad at math? It's OK, I heard on CNN that 50% of all people are below average in math.

        In any case:

        From those numbers, 69% of new installations were migrations, the rest were "adding capacity".

        31% of total new installations were replacing legacy Windows systems.

        31%/69% is about 45%. 45% of all migrations to Linux were from legacy Windows systems.
        • Bad at math? It's OK, I heard on CNN that 50% of all people are below average in math.

          Clearly, if you don't know the difference between the average and the median, then you fall into the lower 50% of something or other... :)
          • I was taught that there were three averages, the median, the mean, and the mode. And that if just the word average was used, it might mean any of them, and you couldn't be sure.

            So it's quite fair to claim that 50% of all people are below average in math. And if you believe that math scores fall along a curve which is approximately normal (or meeting some other requirements, which are less strict, but verbose to specify) then the median, mean, and mode will all be about the same number. (Exactly the same if it's a perfect normal curve.)

            People frequently use the median in informal speech when referring to the average. Math, statistics, etc. people frequently use the mean. Neither is more right than the other, as both are valid uses.
            • True, one of the accepted meanings of the word "average" is "being intermediate between extremes". However, the thing about that statement is that "50%" is by definition at the median, NOT the average. What makes that joke funny to me is the irony in that the statement itself is wrong, i.e. the joke is about being below average at math, but the person telling the joke doesn't even get it.. :)

              And yes, 50% of all slashdotters above the median in nitpicking.
  • by EvilAlien ( 133134 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:14PM (#4203064) Journal
    ... something like Apple's lame Switch ads. I want to see some former cleancut Windows drone become a greasy hairy Linux hippy. I want to see a former bowtie-wearing AIX admin pull on shorts, sandals, and a Tux tshirt.

    Maybe Redhat could get some mileage out of this.

    How can you tell that it is near the end of the work day in my timezone and I desparately need to be entertained?

    • > ... something like Apple's lame Switch ads. I want to see some former cleancut Windows drone become a greasy hairy Linux hippy. I want to see a former bowtie-wearing AIX admin pull on shorts, sandals, and a Tux tshirt.

      Shouldn't be any problem. Take a greasy hairy Linux hippy like... most of us... and film the second half of the commercial, then give him a shower a trim and a girdle, and dress him up to film the first half of the commercial.

    • One Example (Score:5, Funny)

      by Torgo's Pizza ( 547926 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:50PM (#4203301) Homepage Journal
      [Hand-held camera centers on subject on white background. "Steven" is sporting what looks to be a new beard, wearing suspenders over a Tux shirt that almost covers his stomach that hangs over his khaki shorts. Sandals and white socks complete the look.]

      Steven: Yeah, I used to tell people to buy Window based computers all the time.

      [Camera pans around a bit]

      Steven: Yeah, and um, down in Austin it would get like intense over those blue screens that would pop up and like, I just totally couldn't stand that freakin' paper clip. Then my comp sci professor introduced me to Star Office. Like whoa! No paper clip! And like, my buddies say I can play around with the kernal! Yeah, I think he does fried chicken and stuff.

      [Camera cuts to close-up]

      Steven: Uh, my name is Steven and dude, I got a Del... uh, Linux. Yeah, that's right! Linux.

    • I want to see some former cleancut Windows drone become a greasy hairy Linux hippy. I want to see a former bowtie-wearing AIX admin pull on shorts, sandals, and a Tux tshirt.

      Forget the Tux tshirt, I want to see the guy go totally nuts, dress up in a penguin suit, and run around breaking windows. Give it a tough "in your face" image that'll have all the warez kiddies rushing off searching for serials and cracks for those red hat isos they nabbed off kazza.

      Hey, we could even get a trendy Linux reality show in the process.
    • Actually, I'd like to see ads with a cleancut Windows drone with a little Tux pin talking about how great Windows is these days, and then he turns and walks away, revealing that he has a "Running Linux and doesn't know it" sign on his back.

      I noticed that, in a (vaguely) recent Law & Order episode, the person looking up records at an ebank has a little Tux by his monitor. Nobody mentions it, but it's kind of neat product placement, except that it could be for any of a number of companies, which makes it seem like the people arranging the set just stuck it in.
    • No go (Score:4, Funny)

      by Bastian ( 66383 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @01:08AM (#4204801)
      Red Hat wouldn't want to risk having Apple sue them for stealing the 'look and feel' of one of their advertising campaigns.
  • by The_Guv'na ( 180187 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:14PM (#4203066) Homepage Journal

    For those that have recently purchased new Linux servers, 31 percent were adding capacity, 31 percent were replacing Windows systems, 24 percent were replacing Unix and 14 percent were replacing other operating systems.

    Purchasing a new (additional) server is not a migration, Thankyouverymuch. e.g. I was born June '82, I did not migrate. :)


  • by Forge ( 2456 ) <> on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:16PM (#4203075) Homepage Journal
    That is the REAL encoraging sign.

    Sure there is the odd case of an incorectly sized server being put to a task it can't manage.

    However most "Adding Capacity" is from satisfide customers who are moving other services to the platform in question or even better have grown the business so much that they need to buy more and/or biger machines.
    • Or, the other case I see as probably being common, they are adding another new Linux server, but keeping their legacy Windows or Novell system around because it works for them, and just running both of them, waiting until they have time to finish the migration and totally ditch the old server.

      That is the current situation at my workplace (Novell), and I know we aren't alone. These phased migrations are hard to measure statistically, since there isn't a trackable event (like a purchase) when a company decides to finally ditch the old system.
  • by wackybrit ( 321117 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:16PM (#4203077) Homepage Journal
    Statistics are nice to look at, but often have glaring loopholes that some people choose to conveniently look over.

    The biggest problem with this survey is that Unix usage has gone through the roof in the last two years with the advent of Mac OS X.

    Since people who have Mac OS X are technically 'UNIX users', but are unlikely to uninstall OS X to run Yellow Dog Linux, it is fair to say that less UNIX users that ever are going over to Linux. Why? Because they're happy staying on BSD.

    BSD classifies as 'UNIX'.. and we need to remember a LOT of people are going over to BSD from old style UNIX. Yet.. they aren't factored in here. Legacy UNIX to BSD is not taken into account, when really it's a pretty important shift.
    • by polarbear ( 611 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:47PM (#4203283)
      Free clues for BSD fans:

      1. The percentages were for _servers_. Sorry, but apple's server market share is like 0.00001% right now ;P Every mac "server" I've seen so far in the "real world" is a lowend fileserver for a cluster macs hidden in some publishing office.

      2. The only people (numerious enough to be of any statistical relevance) "migrating" to MacOS X are Mac desktop users upgrading from Macs and a small number of windows/linux/whatever converts (though judging from apple's sales figures those probably fall into "not statistically relevant")

      3. I love when BSD fans latch onto Mac OS X and say stuff like "see! BSD is more used then Linux!" blah blah blah. Meanwhile most people don't give two hoots about any BSD parts of the OS (they don't see it, don't really program for it). And proprietary apple-only APIs are what developers use to get the most out of the hardware and operating system. Sorry, but your average well written native apple app is about as BSD as Windows NT is UNIX (tm) Photoshop for FreeBSD anyone? Yeah... I thought so...

      Oh well... time to get mod'd ( -1, The Truth Hurts )
    • ok, are there ANY numbers that back this up? I keep hearing AGAIN and AGAIN about how people are migrating to OS X in droves or something, but I never hear numbers to back it up - it's just gushing from Mac fanatics. Also, are these people moving from Wintel, Linux, et al, or from older versions of Mac OS? I don't doubt that there are numbers on this somewhere, but I have yet to see them.


      (finally, yes, I realize the irony of asking for statistics from a post that has a subject line like that. ;-)
  • Linux servers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phorm ( 591458 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:16PM (#4203080) Journal
    This article seems to deal mostly with servers and corporations. What about desktop users and/or other home users.
    While there are probably a lot of corps out there thinking about switching to linux from unix/windows, there are also an increasing amount of home users searching for an alternate desktop environment.
    I wonder how this might tally if things such as linux firewalls, mp3 servers, and other more custom uses were considered?
    • Linux desktop (Score:2, Interesting)

      by mce ( 509 )
      Just one datapoint: We just migrated some 60-odd desktop systems to Linux from HP-UX, and are happy campers. Other divisions of our company are now looking into doing the same. Overall, we're a (roughly) 1100 employee company, from which an estimated (by me, here and now) 300 can become Linux users without much problems.

      Of course, we operate in the EDA research business (and related areas), so we're atypical and many people around here very much prefer anything UNIX-like over The Other Operating System. But still... Less than two years ago Linux was still a big No-No as far as the head of IT was concerned, even though several unofficial system already existed and the presure to officially support Linux was on already.
    • You are correct! (Score:3, Informative)

      by MtViewGuy ( 197597 )
      In fact, the biggest growth area for Linux is NOT on desktop installations, but workgroups and departmental server installations. This is because servers are usually configured very few times, not multiple times like you have with desktop machines.

      People forget that Linux is not yet a true auto-configuring desktop operating system like Windows is now. That could result in a pretty frustrating experiences, especially when the desktop user starts updating hardware and adds hot-docked external devices.

      Is it small wonder why the Linux 2.6.x kernel will include Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) support? With ACPI support in Linux, that makes it vastly easier for end users to upgrade hardware and setup hot-docked external devices that use IEEE-1394 and USB connections.
    • While there are probably a lot of corps out there thinking about switching to linux from unix/windows, there are also an increasing amount of home users searching for an alternate desktop environment. I wonder how this might tally if things such as linux firewalls, mp3 servers, and other more custom uses were considered?

      I don't know, but my experiences in this are as follows:

      I tried Linux first in 1995, but it wasn't ready for me, and I wasn't ready for it. It got deleted.

      Ditto in 1998. That was when KDE was in Alpha.

      I was finally wooed (by screenshots and happy tales from people I met online) into buying SuSE in January of this year. I switched over.

      My friends watched this process with interest. They came round, toyed with Linux etc. My Machead friend experimented with it for running his old iMac as OS X was too much of a dog performance wise for it. He tried lots of distros, but didn't really do any research (he tried Debian first ;) and he wasn't prepared to do any learning, and Linux still has a sharp learning curve for home desktop usage. Another friend of mine decided to turn an old box of his into a router/firewall for to share his home network - and also to use it to play with Linux on the desktop. As far as I know, he still uses XP on the desktop, but Linux is happily running a small server.

      Another friend wanted to try it, but was prevented by the fact that Linux can't resize XP NTFS partitions yet. Finally, Hugh had a brother who was into it, and so he's tried it as well.

      So far, I'm the only one who stuck with it, probably because I'm the most technical and everybody has a "switch" threshold, the point at which they are confident enough and Linux is easy/compatible enough for them to make the leap.

      For most people it isn't there yet, hence the tiny (2-3%) market share it has on the desktop. BUT... the server end is often a way for people to get into it, as Ken is doing.

      The corporate desktop would come first I think. Really we should be concentrating on that first, as the entry barrier for the corporate desktop is lower and the demand is higher (MS licensing etc). Home desktops will follow naturally after that.

  • Whatever way you take it, the number of people switching from windows to linux will automatically be big, because numbers of windows users vastly outnumber unix. I'm a total convert from windows to linux. A couple of people that I got to at least try linux, are windows users. Come to think about it I didn't know anybody that really used another Nix, until I remember someone that briefly said he used to know Unix commands. I might get him to try linux, I wouldn't have thought he would even be considered a Unix user, because he uses Windows now mainly anyway!

    But another way to take this, is that linux seen in the eyes of these converts, has either A) gui interface acceptible to a previous windows user, or B) easy to use, but more powerful.
  • Smug faces (Score:2, Insightful)

    by eddy ( 18759 )

    "The remainder (46 percent) noted they didn't own and weren't considering Linux."

    Somehow I can just picture the smug faces of managers answering this, like they're real proud to be MS-fanboys :-}

    • having just come out of an long period of interviewing, i can tell you that there are many managers who still feel that "no one ever got fired for choosing microsoft". they'll tell you strait up, "we're a m$ shop, how do you feel about that", which means, "i've sold my soul so we can have crap software and you all developers can have worthless skills in the market place, how would you like to move your career back a few years? we've got .NET, that might go somewhere, right?"
  • by jkirby ( 97838 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:28PM (#4203173)
    Percentages mean nothing unless we have the numbers used to calculate the percentages. 31% of 10 is not such a big deal; 31% of 100 million, on the other hand, is significant.

    • 31% of 10 is not such a big deal

      Well ... it is quite a big deal for that unlucky 1/10th of a person!

      Or would that be a result of a customer response of something like "My brain likes Linux and is switching; my body belongs to Windows."
    • From the article:

      "Linux, meanwhile, continues to creep into IT budgets. Among the respondents, 29 percent said they owned Linux servers, and 8 percent are formally considering buying them. On an informal basis, 17 percent of the CIOs said they were considering Linux servers."

      These are incredible numbers, a lot more than "nothing".

    • The article gave us the numbers. It said 225 CIOs were interviewed. 31% of 225 is about 70 firms.

      Additionally, since they called them CIOs (as opposed to, say, sysadmins for some tiny shops), we can infer that these are not small companies. Hence, the number of systems each company is likely to have is not insignificant.

  • Ok here is the deal, If i have a kick-ass Solaris m/c which i bough 2 years ago (was kick-ass back then).
    Solaris technology has not changed so much to force me to upgrade the hardware. I can always download the latest solaris OS and keep my m/c uptodate.
    Same goes for other propritory *nix boxes.
    Now on the other hand, I bought a WinNT Server two years ago. Somehow i have managed to work with it.
    but now if i want to upgrade to XP, i have no choice but to buy the latest x86 based hardware.
    Plus the trackrecord of M$ for security and stability is also at the back of my mind
    Now if i dont want to upgarde my x86 based hardware every two years then a lean-mean version of linux makes more sence.
    As in current economy I dont have the budget to buy a Solaris box.
    If your company doesn't want to keep pace with the x86 based hardware upgrades, then LINUX is the BEST choice out there. Install it and forget about it.
  • Since there are way more Windows installations than Unix installations, the fact that 24% of the migrations are from Unix and 31% are from Windows means that Linux is hitting Unix WAY harder than it is hitting Windows.
    • I think you are mixing the desktop windows with server widnows. On the server side MS does not enjoy such a numerical advantage.

      Also consider the fact that most people use windows servers as a single user single tasking operating system (which is the only responsible thing to do given the stability of windows). So a shop may have a exchange server, an SQL server, a PDC, a SDC, a file server etc. You could easily eliminate 5 or 6 servers by switching to unix.

      In our company the Powers that be put DNS into it's own compaq server which costs over $5K.
      • Hi,

        Do you have any clue about what you're saying?

        Also consider the fact that most people use windows servers as a single user single tasking operating system (which is the only responsible thing to do given the stability of windows).

        Um, no. This isn't MacOS 6. Next question!

        So a shop may have a exchange server, an SQL server, a PDC, a SDC, a file server etc. You could easily eliminate 5 or 6 servers by switching to unix.

        You obviously have never designed or even remotely seen a well-designed network. In the ideal world, everything has its own box. Why would you want to run something else (i.e., file server) on an Exchange box? Have you ever heard of a company cramming Lotus Domino onto a heavily used fileserver? NO. It's a no-no.

        The big rule of thumb is to place all database servers on their own box. This is good both for stability, security, and a whole other bunch of things. If you run SQLServer, Oracle, or anything else on the same box as your webserver, you'd better not be doing anything more than storing a 1-table address book on there.

        Now, for the next one. You've probably never used an NT server in your life. How do I know. The whole point of a BDC is to take over the logins when the PDC goes down!!!! This is akin to saying "I have a backup web server running on port 81 of the same box, just in case the box goes down." Does that not sound stupid or what?

        A PDC might be to what is referred to as a "NIS master" in the *nix world.

        File servers by themselves? Sure! It's called load-balancing. Move all the logins to the PDC, and have the files distributed across different file servers. Again, you've never seen a big network before.

        In our company the Powers that be put DNS into it's own compaq server which costs over $5K.

        Oh really? Maybe they have brains. So if you cram DNS onto a box with another service, and when that box goes down, your 5,000 network users can still resolve hostnames like on the Internet.

        Sorry, bud, but by running your own Linux server at home doesn't exactly give you a PhD in Computer Science and the right to go blabbing like you know everything.
  • by GroundBounce ( 20126 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:44PM (#4203271)
    Our company (admittedtly a small one - around 35 people) has done both migrations at the same time and have saved a ton of money in the process.

    We are an engineering company, and used to have two computers on every desk - a UNIX workstation (combination of Suns and HPs) for the "real work", and a Windoze PC for things like email and documentation. Now, these have both been replaced by Athlon 2000+ machines running Linux. The main thing we were waiting for was the UNIX EDA software (from Mentor Graphics []) to be ported to Linux. We now use mainly OpenOffice for documentation and Evolution/Kmail (depending on personal preference) for email.

    The combination of ditching the expensive workstation hardware and the MS Office software has made the basic platform really cheap. The main cost, however, is still the EDA software, but even that is coming down. The added side benefit is less computer clutter and much simpler system administration.
    • Some of them are:
      gEDA - schematic capture, board layout
      Icarus Verilog - verilog simulation, synthesis
      Savant - VHDL analysis, simulation (sequential and parallel)
      GnuCAP - a mostly Spice compatible circuit simulator

      The Open Collector [] has references to these projects and many more! (Full disclosure; I'm an upstream author on the SAVANT project.)
  • by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) <bittercode@gmail> on Thursday September 05, 2002 @06:46PM (#4203280) Homepage Journal
    When I came to my current job- the I.S. Director thought Linux was 'hacker junk'.

    Well a lot of factors have come together and now he comes to me on a regular basis and says- "find me something open source that does such and such" We have 2 Linux servers up and running and we are looking to move a bunck of our desktops to Linux (using a browser for their apps)

    The main driving reason has been cost.

  • It's an interesting study, even if the report doesn't seem entirely inclusive of all data.

    It seemed to me that the story talked about conversions on a server level. My first thought was "Oh, that's only on the server level?" But then I realized something: Linux is best at the server level.

    I don't mean to start another flame war...but I'm am one who firmly believes that what you want to do fully impacts what OS you use. I have three computers at home. One runs Linux full time. One runs Windows XP full time. The laptop runs both Windows 98 and Linux (Dual boot). If I want to write music and stuff, I sure as hell ain't going to be using linux. If I want to be doing some serious firewalling...I'm not going to use WinXP.

    So in conclusion, I would have to say that the migration is nice...but I don't care where they migrate from. I'm not in the open source war to beat down what we already have. One of the faults of war is to blatently avoid everything associated with the enemy. There should be some middle ground. After all, Marketing aside, Microsoft does have something.

  • I read the other day:

    "You use statistics like a drunk, more for support than for enlightenment"
  • Check Netcraft for Confirmation. On another note this article supports an earlier survey here [] regarding the Enterprise environment and Networking. This is a 29 page PDF report from March. Biggest drivers: Cost and Ease of use. The report is a good read. A look at the source, and not a reporter's digestion of the facts.
  • by kstumpf ( 218897 ) on Thursday September 05, 2002 @08:06PM (#4203707)
    When I started my job two years ago, our data center was 100% NT-based. Little by little I've convinced management to migrate various tasks off of Windows and onto Linux. My single 2U RedHat server handles our corporate website, Intranet, FTP, DNS caching, and more. This eliminated several other systems and their associated licensing fees. The machine has been powered up stable since day one, and at 240 days, my uptime is the best in the room.

    Linux has also proven itself at our company as a great free network monitoring tool, thanks to snort and MRTG, etc.

    One of the biggest wins with the management here was that I was able to prove that Linux can play nicely in an NT domain. People are always surprised that it authenticates domain users and that sort of thing.

    We still have alot of NT servers on the rack, but so far my one Linux box runs so well, I don't think we'll ever need another!
  • Real life story (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jeppe Salvesen ( 101622 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @03:22AM (#4205086)
    One of our customers wanted us to port from Linux to AIX, due to the "unkown" factor - they were not certain about its stability and heavy load ability, plus they were concerned about their AIX-trained staff. Now, we're putting it on hold, since they are considering migrating as many as possible of their server. It seems that cheap server hardware and reduced license fees may be a bigger saving than retraining some of their AIX people would be an expense.
  • by Sara Chan ( 138144 ) on Friday September 06, 2002 @06:37AM (#4205464)
    The Economist [] had an article [] about this recently. Here's a relevent quote.
    Traditionally, vendors have driven most big IT markets. They have been, for example, quite successful at locking in corporate customers. Once a company has deployed a piece of proprietary technology--say, an expensive package of enterprise software--it is very costly to switch to another provider. Software vendors can thus milk their "installed base" by selling them one upgrade after another.

    IT buyers, however, are increasingly reluctant to play this one-sided game. They are putting pressure on vendors to make it easier for them to link the various bits of their systems. Indeed, the concept of collaborative e-commerce makes sense only if applications have a common language. What is more, vendors themselves increasingly favour open standards as a defensive strategy to neutralise the power of proprietary-minded competitors.

    Being forced to do more with less, IT managers are coming to like Linux, the free operating system. Linux and the universe of "open-source" businesses that surround it are one of the few areas of the technology business that is actually growing. Almost a fifth of server computers sold by Dell now have Linux installed rather than Windows. Sun Microsystems has begun offering Linux servers, and might soon add a Linux PC to its product line.

    It's a good article--worth showing your manager.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun