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Motor giant Ford to move to Linux

"Motor giant Ford is switching to Linux for its sales systems, human resources, customer relations and infrastructure, according to a report in yesterday's Scotland on Sunday."

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/32837.html

Anthony Rubin
Monday, September 15, 2003

Likely these servers would not have been Windows anyway.  The Linux community seemed to think this was a huge ass kicking for Microsoft.  Probably Sun rather than Microsoft lost some marketshare.  Generally Linux on intel seems to the favored migration path of the commercial Unix customers, unless you absolutely need a huge server.  I also tend to think the less Windows servers we depend on the better off we will be. 

Windows on the desktop fine, although there is a growing rumbling of the pendulum swinging back to a thinner client architechture due to all the time and money spent patching.

Mike
Monday, September 15, 2003

When I was at Ford Motor Credit back in 1994, they were on year 2 of a 7 year software plan. Based on OS/2. Considering Ford is an IBM shop, I agree that it's doubtful that it would've been Windows servers going in.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Monday, September 15, 2003

I'll believe it when I see it.  Companies have announced plans to replace their legacy systems with Linux, and then switched to something else when development hit serious snags.

Circuit City is one example.  They planned to roll out a Linux system to replace their POS system.  When development hit serious issues, they switched to XP Embedded.

Myron A. Semack
Monday, September 15, 2003

What's interesting is the number of web sites migrating to Windows Server 2003. The majority, of course, were upgrades from Windows 2000, but 5% were migrations from Linux, 1% from BSD, and 1% from Solaris.

I thought the Windows <--> Linux migration was supposed to be going the other way.

(Source: http://news.netcraft.com/ )

Nick
Monday, September 15, 2003

http://newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=03/09/15/228202&mode=thread&tid=3

SomeBody
Monday, September 15, 2003

I'd like to know what those "serious issues" are.  I can't imagine linux wouldn't be up to the task of POS system.

christopher baus
Monday, September 15, 2003

Actually, I not too surprised. IBM has moved most of its mainframe systems to run on Linux now anyway. They are not replacing the software, but only the servers. Another blow to Unix, and it sure don’t seem that the SCO lawsuit seems to bother anyone....

Of course, I wonder if they run any Multi-valued systems such as IBM’s UnviVerse (a pick clone), or pick’s d3...both of which run a top Red Hat Linux. These systems are popular in HR and admin type areas in corporate America.

Interesting, that IBM has got them sold on migration from their older mainframe systems, but still gets to run the same software. So, they get all the funds to upgrade Ford to Linux, and still get to keep charging the annual maintenance for using the software.

Not a bad deal for IBM at all. They get to sell a bunch of new hardware, and charge for new upgrades.

Having Ford pay for both the new hardware and upgrades is sweet for IBM. I mean, IBM has a great incentive to tell clients that the old stuff is not going to be supported anymore.

Of course, the software is the same...but platform is simply Linix now running their stuff.

As to what Ford gets out of this...I don’t have a clue!


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. kallal
Monday, September 15, 2003

Our fortune 500 company is also making a big switch to Linux. We are sick of paying a quarter million for big Sun hardware. We are not going to dare replace windows servers. Anything on the Intel platform is where we get the cost advantage. A few thousand to Red Hat or MS makes little difference in the long run.

m
Monday, September 15, 2003

I just don’t see how the vendors that rely straight on Unix are going to survive this shakeout very well at all.

I remember asking this question at the local SCO presentation years ago, and no one had a good answer.

IBM has truly done a remarkable job of NOT positioning them selves as a Unix vendor, but only as a solutions provider.

I saw this whole trend happen with Pick vendors in the late 80’s and early 90’s. There used to be a whole bunch of Pick vendors. Every City usually had a few.

The short List:
Ultimate, DataMedia, NCR (Adds), Fujusti, General Automation, MicroData (McDonnell Douglas),  Uni-Verse, Altos., AT&T

The above is a short list of pick systems vendors, and are only the vendors I can remember from the mid 80’s (there was many more!).  These vendors lived off of VERY NICE maintenance contracts to maintain and run this mini computer systems. Ultimate was really smart, as they built their systems on Dec boxes, and also on Honeywell boxes. This meant that each city always had good service for the hardware (they just farmed out the hardware side to the established Dec and Honeywell service people that every city had). They just put their fees on top of whatever the service was. Ultimate was well liked by Dec and Honeywell, as they sold them lots of hardware..and got a good break anyway). Anyway, these machines cost a fortune to run on a yearly bases.

In the mid to late 80’s Pick systems (the licensors to ALL of the above systems), came out with a version of their software that run on the 286 Intel box. A few years later, when the 386 came out, you could put together a 17 users box with 640k of memory that would run quite well. It cost less then 10 grand, and could replace a box that venders were selling with the same performance for about 50 to 90 grand a pop. The real problem was the vendors also had cherry service/lease/maintains contracts.

It did not take long for companies to start dumping the Dec and Honeywell boxes for the 386, and then 486 boxes. The fact of Pick being compatible across these systems was the key. Virtually none of the above vendors exist now. (except for Pick systems that was the original licensing of the system!).

The same thing is happing to vendors like SCO. For a while SCO actually benefited from the demise of those mini computer companies. (buy the way, Pick systems also ran atop SCO unix). As big iron was dumped for these small and medium sized business, they purchased off the shelf Intel boxes and ran SCO.  Now that Linux is such low cost, then trying to sell a box and live off of a high yearly maintenance contract will NOT fly.

I have not a clue what a straight Unix vendor is going to do with Linux being an alternative.

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. kallal
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

There is a white paper on Redhat's site "Beyond the Tipping Point"  Basically it says it is going to be intel and mainframes in the future.  Pretty interesting read.  Right now linux is fine for most loads you are doing with Windows unless your running an ES7000.  However if you need more than 8 procs in a box, commercial Unix is the answer.

Unix might be (is) spendy, but to me it only seems so at the high end.  My company is putting in an SQL Server.  We looked at a platform change.  Hardware and software wise going Sun with Oracle had a lower initial cost than Windows and SQL Server on Intel.  Genuine Unix is a bargain at the low end, plus the hardware is generally better than intel and actually retains value a heck of a lot longer.  We chose SQL and Windows for other reasons.  Mainly that is what we are familiar with, but we also feel that we will have to revisit this down the road and likely will change when we have more oracle skills, etc. 

Mike
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

"Hardware and software wise going Sun with Oracle had a lower initial cost than Windows and SQL Server on Intel."

If this is reflected in the total cost you must either have had a super negotiation team on the SUN/Oracle deal or an extremely lousy one on the Microsoft side, and more probably both. Anther possibility is the Sun/Oracle gave away cheap but bundeled with their traditional "I want you first born ... on a yearly basis, for at least 5 years running".

Now the way I see it every big MS shop should be stark raving mad not to play the "we are looking into Linux" card in MS negotiations. Furthermore most MS shops actually following through with such a switch also must be stark raving mad.

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

"I thought the Windows <--> Linux migration was supposed to be going the other way.

(Source: http://news.netcraft.com/ )"

Uh, that link shows Apache usage UP (slightly), and MS servers DOWN (slightly), year over year.

What are you looking at?

Jim Rankin
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Just Me,

Oracle cost more than SQL, but  Sun was cheaper than IBM.  The hardware was not apples to apples.  With Intel, we need FastT600 Fibre array because of the 32 bit architechure of Windows (our erp vendor doesn't yet support 64 bit SQL and 64 bit Windows - which is 5 years less debugged than Oracle and Sun) 

With a 64 bit solution I was able to get enough ram to run the database entirely in ram if I so choose, so I/O was not really a bottlenet any longer.  Yes you can address more than 4 gigs with 32 bit windows and an even bigger YES it is a kludge.

As far as negotiating the Sun/Oracle first round pricing was cheaper than the Microsoft/IBM quote after purchasing was done with them.

Mike
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

>>
Uh, that link shows Apache usage UP (slightly), and MS servers DOWN (slightly), year over year.

What are you looking at?
<<

Uh, he's probably looking at the news item titled "Windows Server 2003 doubles active sites since July; 5% were previosuly [sic] running Linux" that's currently the first thing on the page. 

SomeBody
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Thanks for insights Mike. I had not considered the DB working set fitting in RAM part.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

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