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Linux Business The Almighty Buck

Cisco IT Manager Targeting 70% Linux 312

RMX writes "LinuxWorld Australia has an interesting article discussing Linux Desktop adoption in Cisco. Cisco "already converted more than 2,000 of its engineers to Linux desktops...plans to move many laptop users to the platform over the next few years...the driver for Linux on the desktop is not cost savings, but easier support. Manning estimates that it takes a company approximately one desktop administrator to support 40 Windows PCs, while one administrator can support between 200 and 400 Linux desktops.'"
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Cisco IT Manager Targeting 70% Linux

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  • 40:1 ? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Heem ( 448667 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:29PM (#11722635) Homepage Journal
    Ha, 40:1 ratio for desktop support personell for windows? Tell that to alot of IT managers, in particular, my former employer. Try 200:1
    • Re:40:1 ? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'll admit I am no fan of Windows, but 40:1 does sound off. I support users coast to coast at 24 different divisions, and we too are closer to 200:1.

      However, I do also support a number of Linux/FreeBSD servers and think they are much less trouble. Also, have heard admins on both systems who say they support thousands of systems.

      • Re:40:1 ? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Heem ( 448667 )
        Remember too, they are talking desktops, not servers. My previous position, I had 3 guys supporting 400 desktops and about 200 servers, that in addition to admin voice over IP and 3 locations. ugh. Kinda takes the sting out of my had being laid off. My new job I have no desktops to contend with and only about 50 servers.. for more money. ;-)
        • Re:40:1 ? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by legirons ( 809082 )
          "Remember too, they are talking desktops, not servers."

          They're also talking engineers' desktops at an embedded-hardware company, so most of the usual stories about "we'll give everyone a word processor and a web browser and that will be that" probably change a lot.

          Our company is completely different to that of course. Every software engineer maintains their own machine. The amount of time we spend on application or OS problems easily exceeds 1/200 of working hours.
          • Re:40:1 ? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by 1lus10n ( 586635 )
            Not really. Even at the largest tech companies the majority of the employees are management, sales and marketing. The actual technical people are a small percentage in the grand scheme, and usually dont require any support.

            A 'team' could probably support 200 windows PC's. An individual would run so far behind on updates and fixes to the updates that it would be far too unreasonable for a major firm that has major security expectations to do things that way.

            Not to say linux doesnt have similar issues
    • Re:40:1 ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Radical Rad ( 138892 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @01:05PM (#11722898) Homepage
      Ha, 40:1 ratio for desktop support personell for windows?

      I used to work in an all-microsoft shop back when Nt4 was new and at that time the ratio for us was about 20-30 users to 1 support person. However we did more than just helpdesk support. But when I left to come to a NetWare shop I was amazed at how many more users were being supported per number of IT people. It was at least triple. And to top it off, at the NetWare shop we are responsible for much more than at the other place. In addition to data we also handle phone and security and support users at remote locations. So I think the ratio will differ from company to company depending on various things but I know from experience that Windows is support intensive.

      • Re:40:1 ? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LnxAddct ( 679316 ) <> on Saturday February 19, 2005 @01:32PM (#11723045)
        It really depends on the company and skill level of the admin. The typical person on slashdot is not the typical windows admin. I've seen plenty of shops where the ratio was as low as 1:12 and the admins were still freaking out and had no idea how to handle themselves. On a side note however, not only is the ratio of admin to user better for linux because of easy administration tools and things that just work(tm) but its also much easier to just say "okay here is your home directory, have fun" Lock them from the rest of the system (every distro I've seen does this by default more or less). Do an incremental rsync of their home directories everynight and if something ever goes wrong just delete their home and replace it with a good copy. The nice thing about linux is that once it gets running, it stays running. This is from experience of setting up shops with Fedora or Red Hat Enterprise Desktop depending on their needs and level of necessary suport etc...
        • Re:40:1 ? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by cduffy ( 652 ) <> on Saturday February 19, 2005 @03:06PM (#11723624)
          Do an incremental rsync of their home directories everynight and if something ever goes wrong just delete their home and replace it with a good copy.

          I know this is a bit offtopic, but... AFS []'s support for backup volumes provides basically this same thing as a feature built into the filesystem. Furthermore, it lets the administrator issue commands (from any node on the network) like "move this volume from partition 1 on file server A to partition 3 on file server B"; the data gets moved, and the clients are notified to use the new fileserver for files on that volume with no further work. You can also have read-only volumes be located on multiple fileservers, and the clients will automatically load-balance between them; further, updates to these read-only volumes can be made by an admin editing a read-write copy of the volume, and then pushed over to the read-only volume as a single transaction.

          Making it performant can be a PITA, but from an administration perspective it's really neat stuff.
    • Re:40:1 ? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Wateshay ( 122749 ) <> on Saturday February 19, 2005 @01:05PM (#11722901) Homepage Journal
      It probably depends a lot on the type of user that you're supporting. Supporting secretaries who do nothing but type and send email is going to be a lot easier than supporting engineers who have use a wide variety of software requirements, push their computers hard, and often need new software products installed.
      • Re:40:1 ? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by zulux ( 112259 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @01:59PM (#11723238) Homepage Journal
        In my experience, the engineers are fine but it's the secretaries who cause all the fuss - getting viruses from their Hotmail account, clicking yes to popups etc...

        If the company can stomach the up front costs for locking down the systems - then yes their ok, and the engineers need more help, but for smaller companies that are more reactive, the AIM using, Arery form printing, spyware downloading secretaries are a pain in the butt.

        • Re:40:1 ? (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rtphokie ( 518490 )
          Yup, it's the secretaries and managers (the higher they are, the worse the problems) that cause the trouble. Unlike engineers, they the ones who get most of the viruses. The secretaries and managershey are the ones that are least able help themselves.
        • Where I work, web mail like Hotmail and gmail is blocked; it's work, so why would they need it? And as far as pop-ups, we block porn sites as well, the ones that come with CNN and Fox and other "legitimate" sites are generally pretty benign.

          I hear this secretary vs. technical staff argument all the time, but in truth it's the techies who think the are immune to virus and such, and head out on the net to surf willy-nilly,picking up communicable diseases and bringing them home to the network.

    • Re:40:1 ? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by flithm ( 756019 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @01:15PM (#11722958) Homepage
      All of you people who are balking at the 40:1 ration need to grow up. No offense to you or your little piddly-ass companies, but this is an article about Cisco.

      Every company is different, and I guarantee you most of the people at Cisco are doing a hell of a lot more interesting things that answering email, writing word documents, and scheduling meetings.

      You really have to consider all the factors involved, of which we don't have many, so if the IT manager at Cisco says he need 1 support person for every 40 machines, he's probably not lying.

      Maybe instead of merely slamming his numbers you could try to extrapolate and learn from.
      • Re:40:1 ? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by captwheeler ( 573886 )
        so if the IT manager at Cisco says he need 1 support person for every 40 machines, he's probably not lying.

        Because no manager ever fudges the staff numbers to make a case, right?

    • Re:40:1 ? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by unoengborg ( 209251 )
      Yes, 40:1 ratio for windows sounds a bit pessimistic. But so does 400:1 for Linux. I have seen installations with 10 times as many users per sysadmin both in the windows and the Linux case.

      I suppose it's all about what level of service you want to provide to your users. The basic message that Linux is easier to admin still holds true though.
      • That must be a valid comment, it bought out AC's with wonderful debate points like "screw you."

        In all seriousness 40:1 doesn't sound too far off to me.

      • Yes, 40:1 ratio for windows sounds a bit pessimistic. But so does 400:1 for Linux. I have seen installations with 10 times as many users per sysadmin both in the windows and the Linux case.

        And who knows more about Cisco's usage patterns, and needs?

        Cisco or you?
      1. Ha, 40:1 ratio for desktop support personell for windows? Tell that to alot of IT managers, in particular, my former employer. Try 200:1

      40:1 actually seems high if you take into account the time spent by informal power users.

      Though I'm not (officially) an admin on this contract, I am pulled in frequently to handle problems with systems...nearly always Windows 2000 and XP. The Linux systems are almost(!) drop and forget. Not as ignorable as Netware, though much more adaptable.

    • by TWX ( 665546 )
      I work for a school district. We have thirteen field technicians to support 25,000 desktop computers and approximately 2000 network printers. We have at least eight different Apple platforms (5260/5400/5500, beige G3, "new world" G series towers, iMacs of each vintage, and the eMac), and thirteen different PC platforms from NEC (1), Compaq (4), ABIT (1), ASUS (1), Dell (2), and Intel (5), plus all of the proprietary crap that people bring in. Our computers run everything from Windows 95 through XP, MacOS
  • 1:40 ? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by flyman ( 222396 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:29PM (#11722638)
    That is the worst support ratio in history. I hate Windoze, but no large support org has that bad of ratios. Mine are approx. 250:1 for a Win2k shop, which is pretty average.
    • by Uber Banker ( 655221 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:47PM (#11722770)
      We're typically 1:30 for local areas which is basically admin of the LAN, user applications, etc. Add to that central security, networking, hardware support, and we're down to 1:15.

      Including in-house bespoke application support (specialist programmers emplyed under an IT remit, rather than technically able and active users) and you're down to 1:6 in some areas. On the other hand we have specialist terminals (with high maintainence requirements as well as user training etc) which are more like 1:90.

      Inefficiency abounds in some companies.
    • So you expect us to believe that a company with 250 employees running W2K can get by with an MIS department made up of exactly 1 person?
    • Re:1:40 ? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by quelrods ( 521005 )
      You have to be kidding. At my former company they had 2 windows admins and those guys were busy non-stop. "My outlook is broken." "The internet is down." "I opened a virus attachment [that the virus scanner didn't detect]." You name it but for the 48 people there they couldn't have even gotten away with just 1 admin.
    • Re:1:40 ? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gabebear ( 251933 )
      Seems pretty low to me, but I've heard of much worse, although I really don't see how they improved by switching. You have to take in to consideration what their tech support does; support ratios alone don't mean anything;
      • How often are computers replaced? You can no longer easily ghost Windows between different computers.
      • How many computers per user?
      • laptops generally require more support
      • How bad is employee turnover?
      • Re:1:40 ? (Score:3, Insightful)

        There are alot of things you CAN do with a windows box (ghosting for instance) that you need to buy software for most of the time, but then with linux you get the same tools and abilities for free and built in.
  • Is it (Score:3, Interesting)

    by idono ( 858850 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:31PM (#11722648)
    because Cisco is now a security company?
  • by cdavies ( 769941 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:31PM (#11722651) Homepage
    So, Linux TCO is greater, eh?
    • Yeah, because you have to hire a real human being for Linux support, while Windows can easily be supported by a chimpanzee who will work for bananas!

      Of course if that chimpanzee is an MCSE, it'll cost you twice as many bananas than if he isn't. Oh and never say "Get your hands off me, you damn dirty ape!" They hate that.

      • Yeah, because you have to hire a real human being for Linux support, while Windows can easily be supported by a chimpanzee who will work for bananas!

        Evidently the same refers to the MS CEO too....

        "Developers! Developers! Developers!"
    • Wrong! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by soloport ( 312487 )
      As the poster says, the driver for Linux on the desktop is not cost savings, but easier support

      And EVERYONE knows that easier support doesn't save any cost.
    • by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @02:59PM (#11723570)
      I work on the Unix/Linux side of one of the IT departments at my work. We have about 25 admins for 180+ servers and 900+ workstations, plus a beowulf cluster and associated SAN/NAS devices. And we actually have free time to work on other projects (like in-house software development/support, training, and learning/developing new technologies to roll-out). The PC group has about 80 people to support ~700 PC's and 70 servers. Do the math...
  • Oh great (Score:5, Funny)

    by Stevyn ( 691306 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:32PM (#11722657)
    Now Balmer is going to get on a plane and install Ad-Aware and SP2 on their machines to help with tech support.
  • Critical mass... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by saleenS281 ( 859657 )
    So when linux reaches critical mass and people spend as much time searching for/writing worms for it as they do for windows, how's that support ration going to look?
    • Probably the ratio will only slightly worse.

      One reason is the better overall security in Linux. For example you actually need to mark a file executable before you can execute it on Linux.

      Another reason is the diversity of Linux systems. Worms and virii thrive best in monocultures, and it is hard to write such a beast so it is able to thrive in a hundred different Linux variants.

    • by SunPin ( 596554 )
      So when linux reaches critical mass and people spend as much time searching for/writing worms for it as they do for windows, how's that support ration going to look?

      Considering that Linux is not monoculture and Linux machines never run as root the way Windows machines do, the support ratio will not change. Cisco's internal distribution might be monoculture but how do you suppose virus writers will figure out company changes? They won't.

      Virus and general malicious software is difficult to write when

      • Considering that Linux is not monoculture and Linux machines never run as root the way Windows machines do, the support ratio will not change.

        It will. Linux WILL be monoculture if it becomes mainstream. Most of Linux will come from a handful of vendors, who will eventually converge in respect to system configuration.

        Also it doesn't matter if it's not run as root. All the damage can be done to the home directory. That's where all the important files are. Also the virii/wormii can put themselves into confi
        • by digidave ( 259925 )
          Umm.. no. The home directory is mostly personal preferences and documents. They should be backed up regularly anyway, so an admin just needs to replace with a last known good backup.

          The key is that it's very hard to destroy a system with a Linux virus.
    • by Apreche ( 239272 )
      Why do people keep bringing this up? It's a logical fallacy. I understand that it seems to make sense that if more people use linux, as much as they use windows, it will be a bigger target and easier to hit.

      However, this is simply not the case. Windows is a very homogenous system. Every win2k box is a win2k box. The only differences are slight differences in configuration.

      Linux is heterogenous. I mean even if you take a distribution like fedora core 3. Every FC3 box has the same kernel. And if they are u
    • Linux is becoming more popular yet it seems the time for an exposed Linux machine on the internet to get hacked seems to have increased, even with the same old distribution. Maybe all that means is that the script kidz simply aren't interested in hacking into Linux machines.
    • <beat value="dead horse">
      Your point that more people will write worms/viruses for Linux once it reaches critical mass may be on target, but your assumption regarding the effect is offbase.

      Because most people use Windows as a "root" user and most would not run Linux as a root user (Lindows being the exception) there are very big differences in the possible effects. The differences in Linux and Windows are much greater than the look of the desktop: Most of the security features in Linux are built dir
    • You assume that will spend as much time writing malware as they do for windows when the Linux usage reaches some certain level.

      I'm not sure that's entirely true. In many cases the motivaiton for making malware is the intellectual challange. People want to make themselves noticed by others. In windows you have no way to make a differee other than by distroy for others. In the world of free software you can show off and make a difference by improving the software instead of destroying it.

      Besides with things
  • Heh (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:33PM (#11722665)
    What gets me is that what they describe could be done with Active Directory and group policies.
  • TCO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Docrates ( 148350 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:38PM (#11722694) Homepage
    I wonder if those microsoft studies that show Windows' TCO better than Linux's account for the "productivity" of a linux engineer...

    What i'm sure it doesn't show is that a linux engineer handling 200 computers can provide a much better service (due to the fact that more is "known and controllable" in linux than windows) than a windows sysadmin handling the same amount of computers, resulting in lower costs of security, less costs related to spywares, viruses, user support calls, etc.
  • but microsoft is more secore according to microsoft... /sigh what to do
  • Handling Firefox (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:43PM (#11722739)
    I am sure they (CISCO) have some Mozilla/Firefox on these PCs. Question is: How have they decided o manage it? Central managing of Mozilla/Firefox is still not [officially] possible now. Any ideas?
    • What needs to be managed on firefox or any other browser for that matter?
      • Security settings if it's IE (activex, trusted sites & zones etc); cache size, profile location and default download location to suit your network (the desktop may be write protected by GPO and a huge local cache destroys roaming profiles); proxy settings if it's not transparent; plugins; language extensions; reasonable defaults for things like home page and links; disable questions and reminders about SSL and such; lock down settings so users can't change them; disable product updates. These come to mi
  • Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:44PM (#11722748)
    They obviously don't know their own department. I worked as a contractor for them a couple years ago. I was the only onsite tech support person for two sites with a total of 250 users, with 99% of those being windows. I was also part of the support teams initial Linux push, and I can tell you that the biggest driver from a customer (end user) perspective was the idea of using cheap Opteron workstations instead of uber expensive Sun stations. A Sun dual CPU workstation at the time with 12GB of ram was over $50k dollars, whereas an Opteron station with more cpu power and the same amount of ram was under $10K. That is a huge difference in price. The biggest factor stopping it from becoming a reality was the fact that at the time the Clearcase tool chain and support tools weren't fully functional under Linux. So I doubt the driver was so much lower desktop support costs as it was lower equipment costs.
    • Re:Bullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I was a Cisco employee several years ago. I worked at the Corp. HQ in San Jose. My cube started with a Sun workstation and a Win2k laptop. The laptop was soon converted to dual boot Windows / Linux. And as one of my projects ended up demanding a test Linux system, I ended up with another desktop that was also converted to dual Windows / Linux. I never sought out tech support for my machines. And I doubt anyone but my immediate management had any clue what was going on in my cube.

      The cool thing with C
  • Cost Savings (Score:5, Insightful)

    by p0rnking ( 255997 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:45PM (#11722754) Homepage
    "... the driver for Linux on the desktop is not cost savings, but easier support. Manning estimates that it takes a company approximately one desktop administrator to support 40 Windows PCs, while one administrator can support between 200 and 400 Linux desktops."

    Isn't this still Cost Savings, when you don't need to hire as many admins?
        1. "... the driver for Linux on the desktop is not cost savings, but easier support.

        Isn't this still Cost Savings, when you don't need to hire as many admins?

      If the only cost is the # of admins, yes. I'm curious what the other factors are. (I can guess, though I'd like to hear what Cisco says and the article is fairly short.)

  • by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:47PM (#11722773) Homepage
    the driver for Linux on the desktop is not cost savings, but easier support. Manning estimates that it takes a company approximately one desktop administrator to support 40 Windows PCs, while one administrator can support between 200 and 400 Linux desktops.'

    And this does not represent a cost savings?
  • by DrDribble ( 859883 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:50PM (#11722795)
    Apart from the ease of creating a company software update ftp (apt-get, yeast, swaret, slapt-get, etc), I really think the license and CD administration to be a pain in the Windows admin's butt.

    My Windows co-workers often need a CD either because they need new software, or due to their computer requesting a CD due to some function not already installed. Finding the RIGHT CD (they are like 1000 cd's every month, and they are neatly marked in INVISIBLE, but very fancy, writing) is a total pain. Then, there is the issue of which key is used for this one (oh, you used the english version!) really turns this into a nightmare.

    Folks running windows run all kinds of different versions of their software. Why, upgrading costs time and money. On my Slackware machines, swaret has done all upgrades for me, totally automatically! Just upgraded one PC from Slackware 9.0 to 10.1 - swaret --upgrade wait for a while (was a 200mhz...) and reboot when all is done. No keys, no CDs, no cost. Totally brilliant!
    • Standardization, standardization!

      If you let all the employees buy and install their own software you're in deep shit.

      You install the OS and all the software from the network and you have no trouble with CD's.

      Install the OS from an image or using RIS.

      Don't buy retail software! Get a license plan and enterprise install CD's that let you create a network install point for MS Office. Installation takes place via group policies so there's zero user involvement in software installation.

      When I have a new mach
    • In a Linux architecture, you never have to concern yourself with CALs. :P
    • My advice, and that of serious Windows support pros I've worked with: Do it over the network. All of it. Even OS installs. Slipstream service packs and fixes into your build image, along with your base software etc. Install packages automatically on login using AD. You can do all this... and it'll save you a lot of pain. Hell, you don't even need to worry about your CD key, you can do that as part of the automated network install script.

      I'm using Linux thin clients for most of my basic needs users at work.
  • by reporter ( 666905 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:52PM (#11722810) Homepage
    Linux's eventual success on the desktop will be due largely to IBM. As a company, it has made a disproportionately large contribution of programmers and money to the development of Linux. IBM just announced that it will spend an additional $100 million for the sole purpose of proliferating Linux onto the desktop [].

    Linux is easier to maintain than Windows, largely thanks to IBM. Linux is more reliable and is less prone to infection by viruses and malware (e.g. spyware) than Windows. IBM ensures that any OS (whether it is commercial or free) shipped to customers on its computer systems meets stringent requirements for reliability.

    IBM has been vindicated. IBM initially tried to dethrone Microsoft by producing OS/2, but it was a failure. Now, IBM has thrown its weight behind a product (i.e. Linux) developed outside of IBM, and that product is succeeding in hurting Windows.

  • I work for Cisco... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 19, 2005 @12:52PM (#11722812)
    .. and I have to say that their Linux Workstations are extremely well deployed and managed. The desktops themselves are Dual-CPU 3G boxes running a customized version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Carpet is used to manage packages, supported by really nice internal mirrors providing fast access to everything you need to get the job done. The default install even includes acess to Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer. Not sure if this is through Crossover or something -- it is so well integrated that I've never had to look under the covers to see how it is done. Having worked at other networking companies where Linux is the default engineering desktop, I have to say that Cisco really gets it when it comes to desktop linux.
  • ... for all those Linksys cards.
  • What about this idea...
    If a support tech can only support 40 windows PCs, but another support tech can support 200 Linux PCs, is the difference the amount of support or the intelligence of the tech.

    Now I run windows, and have administered windows and I develop software for windows. However, Linux is not as straightforward to administer as windows. I think it requires someone with more skills to administer a Linux box than a windows box.

    Someone with more skills will likely be better at administration in
  • by cbreaker ( 561297 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @01:11PM (#11722937) Journal
    At my company, we have over 5,000 Windows XP workstations; notebooks and desktops. A team of about 10 people manage the entire system.

    With the help of Active Directory, some really neat software (Marimba) and some planning, you can manage thousands of Windows workstations with a minimal staff.

    You lock down the machines (no admin logins) you manage the software versions and patches (centralized software distribution) and you don't allow users to install software on their own.

    Denying admin logins alone stops 95% of all spyware.

    40 workstations without any control WOULD be all an admin could handle, but when you deploy them correctly you can support over 10x that - just like any other system.
    • The most damaging aspect of all from this "comparison" isn't so much the results... The /. posters have given many excellent rebuttals to this, it's hardly worth more rehashing.

      I think the most damage to the reputation and progress of linux is that this comparison gets the imprimatur of syndication and publication in "respected" newspapers. (Of course, nestled in the byline, one may notice the AP reporter is from Seattle, hmmmmmmm). For those who may not have read the article, it is worth the read.... an

  • A pipe dream? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pangur ( 95072 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @01:15PM (#11722959)
    I work for a Cisco reseller, and I see Cisco sales guys all the time.

    There are rumors that the CallManager software (Cisco's IP PBX) will be ported from Windows 2000 to Linux. As it is, to run this box safely today requires having the box on its own subnet with access lists, running anti-virus software on the box(es), running Cisco Security Agent (looks for anamolous behavior of running programs), and running the boxes in a redundant fashion. Not that porting to Linux would solve all problems, but a box that runs a web server, SQL2000, and Windows 2000 has a fair number of issues that could r0x the b0x. Not the least is that if you download a patch from Microsoft that Cisco hasn't approved, and it breaks the box, Cisco TAC will wash its hands of you.

    However, Cisco and Microsoft are not only in bed with each other, they are spooning. Part of Cisco's new security initiative involves running Cisco software on desktops to check if the anti-virus and CSA software are up to date, and not allow them to join the network until they are. This is part of those Cisco commercials where the "Self-defending Network" comes in and stops attacks. Getting Cisco software to use the Microsoft API in a world where MS could simply roll their own software just like it for free is a tricky business. Cisco needs to know what Microsoft is doing, and Microsoft could just as easily start doing more business with Juniper should they want to.

    What I'm saying is that Cisco uses Linux today for a good number of its products (Content Networking, CallManager, etc) because of its stability. However, the aims of this guy to publically change internal desktops to Linux would be nullified by just one phone call from Gates to Chambers (Cisco CEO).

  • While this video [] focuses on open source and Red Hat's take on it, it also covers how to improve an organization by reinvesting in the processes used.

    The video covers Linux specifically, though the ideas can be used on just about any project. Very slick.

    • That was very convincing.

      BTW, thats a great sig. I've lots count of the number of times people have asked me how they got spyware (usually browser "search" toolbars) when their firewall is meant to protect them. But can you turn off what you don't need in Windows?
  • ...Properly support firefox, konqueror and safari on your CCNA curriculums!

    Firefox seems to be working fine but i don't take risks and use IE when taking the exams.
  • My company's (a very very large retailer) Cisco engineer has Fedora Core 2 running on his laptop. We've actually had a number of discussions with him about it. From what he said, it's not officially supported at Cisco, but no one had a problem with him experimenting. So far, he's been very happy he switched.

    For how he uses a laptop (email, browsing, serial terminal emulation), it suits him just fine. And it's cool. :-) He's got one of the other engineers on my team thinking about installing Linux on h
  • by DuctTape ( 101304 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @04:45PM (#11724214)
    I think that it's positively un-American that they're switching to Linux and taking jobs away from the hard-working deserving American citiziens that work at Microsoft, and subsequently at American anti-virus companies like Symantec. I've heard that there's French and Russian types that have spies in America that have worked on Linux, and it's only because Linux is free that companies are switching. Well, it's NOT FREE!!! Every copy of Linux that gets installed means one laid-off American worker from American companies that support our president and our just wars overseas. This has got to stop! If just every red-blooded American citizen would go out and buy a copy of Microsoft Windows at the suggested retail price, our lives would be so much better off for those of us that have invested our American dollars in MSFT.

    I think that if we bought products from the company of every CEO that has slept in the Lincoln Bedroom, we'd have more prosperity, fewer terrorists, better return on our investment dollars, and higher executive bonuses that would trickle down to all layers of our economy, especially at American-staffed Mercedes and Lexus auto dealerships. So stay away from that Linux corruption. It's bad, very BAD!!!


  • by Scutter ( 18425 ) on Saturday February 19, 2005 @06:10PM (#11724706) Journal
    Ok, so someone explain to me why Cisco's web-based and desktop-based management tools are almost always Windows-only? Not only Windows-only, but frequently don't run right under anything but Internet Explorer.

    Guess I'll continue to stick to CLI and console cables for configuration and management.

We don't know who it was that discovered water, but we're pretty sure that it wasn't a fish. -- Marshall McLuhan