Re: Sweet Success
Date: 08/21/03

  • Next message: Otto Haliburton: "RE: kernel update and grub"
    Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 10:19:08 -0500

    Apparently I'm not doing very well at explaining that there's more to TCO
    than the face value of the desktop products.

    Let's continue to assume that I prefer Windows to anything else (1):
    If :
    -- you work in a Windows-centric organization, and
    -- your skill set is Windows-centric, and
    -- the skill set of your internal resource pool is Window-centric

    -- it will likely cost your organization MORE to move an alternative OS.

    You're right - maintenance, training and upgrades are requirements of any
    OS and each carries a price tag. If they're considering a change to
    another OS a sys admin must determine whether those associated costs are
    justifiable and reasonable, given the pool of resources that they can draw

    Flexibility can be good thing, or it can be a bad thing, depending on the
    situation. From a geek point of view, I don't mind getting in and
    tinkering with internals, just to see what happens. From an admin point
    of view, I want a box out there that my users can't change. When they
    make a change and it screws up the computer, it costs my company money for
    me to fix it (whether I fix it myself, or hire someone else to do it for
    me). Some would fire the user, but guess what - it costs money to replace
    them, too.(2)

    Stability - goes without saying.

    Security - absolutely. If that is the admin's number one question, then
    neither Linux (today) nor Windows may be the answer. A better alternative
    for them may be the iSeries which has had object level security for years,
    tied in with incremental security levels, at the OS level (maybe at the
    microcode level, I'm not sure). It all depends on the resource available,
    and whether the admin can justify the associated costs.

    Patches - I don't how many I've installed for any of my systems. A LOT. I
    check for them in all my OS environments regularly (Windows, Linux, and
    iSeries). In Windows, I run the Windows Update daily. In Linux, I run
    'up2date' and Red Carpet daily. In iSeries, I order the latest cume PTF
    quarterly if it includes patches for the software on my system (it almost
    always does) (3).

    Allow me to summarize the whole point of all my posts on this matter:

    While it may well be initially less expensive to install a Linux-based
    computer than a Windows-based computer, there are hidden costs associated
    with that Linux system which many adherents tend to gloss over (if they
    ever mention them at all). Those hidden costs need to be evaluated BEFORE
    the computer is installed. In a Windows-centric enterprise where there is
    insufficient Linux-knowledgeable resource, it makes little economic sense
    to do that. The same holds true in a Linux-centric enterprise; it makes
    little economic sense to start installing Windows-based computers if there
    is insufficient internal resource to properly manage them (or the
    willingness to acquire the necessary resources).

    Tom Hightower
    Solutions, Inc

    (1) Not true. Personally, I think that IBM's iSeries line is hands-down
    the best server system on the planet. But that's a topic for another
    mailing list, unless we choose to discuss how it can run multiple copies
    of Linux simultaneously, along with Windows Server, AIX, and OS/400.

    (2) For users who roam where they shouldn't - I have some really scary
    "You deleted the OS! Press enter to reload from Backup" screens that I can
    run in their login script. They only have to see those bad boys once to
    get the idea.

    (3) Actually, I have a scheduled job that orders it for me. If the patch
    is way big, they send it on CD (which I prefer anyway). I review the
    documentation, and then decide whether or not to install the PTF.

    -- Tom

    "Eduardo A. dela Rosa" <>
    Sent by:
    08/20/2003 07:38 PM
    Please respond to redhat-list

            To: RedHat List <>
            Subject: Re: Sweet Success

    Dear Tom,

    A simple response:

    "Maintenance, training, and upgrades", needless to say, are factors
    both present whether you've got Linux box or MS Products. Got the
    picture? Nope? It's the CO$T of Ownership having MS Products that

    Another great difference and advantage that Linux box can have over
    MS Products are flexibility, stability, and SECURITY (among
    others) that MS cannot meet at par with Linux.

    How many times in a year that you need to patch your MS Boxes with
    Bill-provided patch upgrades so that even your most latest Win2K
    would not be exploited by worms?

    It's for wise people like you to evaluate these facts.


    On Wed, 2003-08-20 at 21:34, wrote:
    > Let me say upfront that I like Linux in general, and RedHat in
    > And (heresy!) I like MS products.
    > 2 questions:
    > -- what about the architectural/accounting package?
    > -- who will maintain the OS and other various software updates?
    > As far as dependability - when properly configured and used as intended,
    > MS Servers are _very_ reliable. Cases in point:
    > -- I have a Windows NT Server which has been processing our HTTP, SMTP
    > POP3 for more than 5 years. Total downtime is measured in hours, all of
    > it in upgrading the web server software (not MS) and MS patches. We
    > use it for anything other that what I spec'ed it for - a server.
    > -- I have a Windows NT Server, used for user network authentication and
    > print server. It's been in place for more than 5 years, less downtime
    > than the web server. Again, it's used as intended and for nothing else.
    > -- I have another WinNT Server, used as the Backup PDC, as the system
    > console to our iSeries, and as an FTP server. Similar downtime as our
    > other servers.
    > The only time we've had trouble with any Windows box is because of lame
    > users who install the latest worm or virus. Linux is less prone to that
    > problem for now, but will not remain so as Linux desktops become more
    > prevalent. And unmaintained Linux servers have a big ol' target on
    > which will only get bigger over time.
    > As for cost: did you (or the admin) consider Microsoft's Partner In
    > Development program? It runs about US$1000/year, and gets you the
    > Windows Server software, workstation software (XP these days), Office
    > software, etc. With licenses for multiple installs of the non-Server
    > software. Not a bad way to go, if you qualify.
    > Maintenance, training and upgrades: these are some of the "hidden costs"
    > that the Linux community is too often mum about - and some that you and
    > the admin should have already discussed...
    > Tom Hightower
    > Solutions, Inc
    > Stephen Kuhn <>
    > Sent by:
    > 08/20/2003 01:49 AM
    > Please respond to redhat-list
    > To:
    > cc:
    > Subject: Sweet Success
    > I just want to relate the happiness I have over the successful
    > installation of yet another RedHat server for a small business customer
    > of mine;
    > They were in need of a low-cost, dependable server machine to be used as
    > a file server and a printer server - a machine on which they could load
    > a high-end architectural/accounting package; originally they were faced
    > with spending upwards of $6000 (for a MS type box, of course); my total
    > "drop in" cost for the box ended up being $2200 - loaded with RH9 +
    > updates, Samba, MySQL, using SENDMAIL/FETCHMAIL/PROCMAIL + SpamAssassin,
    > F-Prot and ClamAV - as well as being the gateway for an 802.11b 2.4ghz
    > network in our area. Actual software load and configuration was one
    > evening here at home - about 2 hours total; drop in on site with client
    > machine configurations was one day. Done deal. No dramas, no sweat, no
    > problems. Even had time to show the admin how to use VNC to access the
    > server desktop; script was setup to backup to CDRW once per week. EZ as
    > pie.
    > Had this have been a Windows box I would have spent three days with it -
    > for one thing or another - I'm used to that crap, and the monstrous size
    > of the patches/updates/fixes.
    > So, for anyone with any doubts, it's really easy - it's really simple.
    > Plus, the customer was more than happy to know that they have IMAP/POP
    > functionality, a proxy (privoxy) and a firewall - without license fees
    > and BS associated. They even have a nice big round RH sticker on the
    > front door now...(couldn't say "No" to the admin - was her idea).
    > --
    > Wed Aug 20 16:35:01 EST 2003
    > 16:35:01 up 2 days, 19:01, 1 user, load average: 0.29, 0.16, 0.05
    > -----------------------------------------------------------------
    > | __ __ | illawarra computer services |
    > | /-oo /| |'-. | |
    > | .\__/ || | | |================================|
    > | _ / `._ \|_|_.-' | stephen kuhn |
    > | | / \__.`=._) (_ | email: |
    > -----------------------------------------------------------------
    > linux user #:267497 linux machine #:194239 * MDK 9.1+ & RH 9
    > Mandrake Linux Kernel 2.4.21-11mdk Cooker for i586
    > -----------------------------------------------------------------
    > * This message was composed on a 100% Microsoft free computer *
    > The Martian landed his saucer in Manhattan, and immediately upon
    > emerging was approached by a panhandler. "Mister," said the man, "can I
    > have a quarter?"
    > The Martian asked, "What's a quarter?"
    > The panhandler thought a minute, brightened, then said, "You're
    > right! Can I have a dollar?"
    > --
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