Linux Switching Cost

InfoWorld takes a closer look and concludes: “The more fully an enterprise adopts Linux across its infrastructure, the more financial leverage it is likely to get out of up-front investments in the OS. Those investments, which can be considerable, include Linux training and tools, and the costs of migrating from a Unix or Windows environment. And that financial leverage is improving steadily as better management tools, more third-party vendor support, and more skilled Linux system administrators arrive on the market.”

One area where Linux excels is remote system administration. Writes InfoWorld:

Remote administration on a Windows box continues to be painful compared to a Linux box, although Microsoft prominently markets “low-bandwidth access to data” with Windows 2003. A former colleague of mine who has gotten into Linux systems administration after an early career in the Windows world told me recently (and I paraphrase): When you have a problem with a Linux box, you launch SSH (Secure Shell) to access it, take a quick look at the process table, and generally figure out what’s going on in about a minute. With Windows, despite advances in Terminal Server and improvements with remote management solutions such as pcAnywhere, you’re still facing a clunky progression through various GUIs to get to the heart of the problem. With Linux, you can have the problem solved in the same time it might take to get a Windows login screen. For a lights-out environment, the advantage of quick and easy remote administration can’t be overstated.

One of the ways this could be leveraged (and one which we have been thinking of) is to set-up a remote Linux services centre from Mumbai. Have a problem, tell us. We are already managing 500+ Linux mail servers across India with a support staff of 8 from our office here. Maybe we should look at expanding this.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.