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More Windows servers than Unix going to Linux?

"In a report on total cost of ownership for the Linux, Unix and Microsoft Windows operating systems, research company The Yankee Group found that only 4 percent of businesses planned to migrate Unix servers to Linux within the next two years. A total of 11 percent intended to move Windows servers to Linux, while 21 percent proposed to add Linux servers to a predominantly Windows environment."

http://news.com.com/Switching+to+Linux+picks+up+steam/2100-7344_3-5330340.html?tag=nefd.top

4% intend to move Unix->Linux, vs. 11% who intend to move Windows->Linux?  Shouldn't Unix->Linux be the easier switch?  Am I missing something?

And this got my attention, too:

"...but only 5 percent planned a total migration to Linux."

ONLY 5% total migrations?  That's huge!  (If it comes true.)

Also, the real reason Linux will continue to have a significant presence in IT departments' stated plans:

"The report found that even businesses that were relatively satisfied with Windows are making some use of Linux, however--as a bargaining chip in negotiating with Microsoft on further purchases. "We have no intention of switching to Linux," an unnamed MIS manager is quoted as saying in the report, "but we do find it useful as a stone to throw at Microsoft.""

Jim Rankin
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Depends how you read it.  I might interpret it thus:

People in Windows shops want unixesque boxes.  This might be because of price, security or functionality.  They naturally hop to Linux as this is the most publicised.  And if they are a windows shop already, they are in the small to office sized computing scene, not high-performance stuff.

People in unix shops don't see a big difference (skill nor maintainence-wise) between linux and any other unixlike.  A unix admin is not going to be phased by linux or any other.  In most unix scenes I've seen, they freely mix them all (e.g. a good smattering of linux, freebsd and openbsd on tasked boxes as appropriate, probably some solaris or aix on the appropriate hardware too).

If you have a solaris box, are you going to replace it with linux?  Why?  But if you need another box, are you going to pay for more solaris or go with a free beer competitor?

Just one inexpert opinion ;-)

i like i
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I wouldn't read too much into to a gartner study.
Today they say one thing, tomorrow it's the opposite.

--  ONLY 5% total migrations?  That's huge!  (If it comes true.) --
Anyway, is this slashdot, or something?

Michael Moser
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Ups, analyst Dana Gardner from a 'Yanke' group. Even more important than gartner.

Michael Moser
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

If you ask the question, 'How many existing Windows servers are you planning on migrating to *nix?'  then its not surprising if the number is saying yes is no (which makes 5% quite high).

If on the other hand you ask the question 'Are you planning on installing a *nix server this year?'  you may well get a much larger and more interesting number.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Here's the thing though...

Whether the people *actually* switch to Linux or not, it's pretty much irrelevant.

The presence of Linux in the marketplace is giving consumers bargaining power with Microsoft that didn't exist (well, barely) 5 years ago.

Competition once again breeds better prices and better products.

KC
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

It's nice to see that the Redmond marketing machine can't fool all of the people all of the time.  There is a time and place for Windows and it isn't in the server room.

Indigo
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

We rarely migrate a server from one OS to another. When it's time for a change you buy new hardware and add a new server. An even bigger trend we're seeing is to buy fewer but more powerful machines and install many virtual servers on each.

Tom H
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

No high-end computing on Windows? Windows servers only for small shops?
http://www.unisys.com/products/es7000__servers/hardware/index.htm

Cobblers...

Andrew Cherry
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Andrew Cherry, as a generalisation, would you expect more unix-based departmental or larger boxes, or more unisys windows ones?

windows has been 'mission critical' for a while, apparently.  NT was ported to Alpha after all way back.  But I still haven't met many in the wild..

i like i
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

i like i - yes I know, certainly more Unix boxes, I was just making a point about blanket generalisations of OS's to capabilities. It does get a bit /.'y round here at times!

Andrew Cherry
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Learn some history. Unix has always started out as a creeping death which slowly took over. You know, stick it on an orphaned computer; Linux probably runs better on it and Windows licenses are a hassle anyway. Then slowly people write apps for it, come to depend on it...

Unix is definitely a weak OS. But whenever it had cheap licensing and open code (the Lions book), it was a good virus. The point of opensource is to extend this property to any software, not just Unix.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

care to elaborate with specificity that Unix is a "weak" OS?

hoser
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Here's a cartoonish book all about it, some of which is outdated, some isn't:
http://research.microsoft.com/~daniel/unix-haters.html

Also, you can read Kernighan/Mashey's paper "The Unix Programming Environment" in the book Interactive Programming Environments. Among graphical Smalltalk (and other) systems, some of which tried to be really intelligent, this paper was in the middle, only talking about files and grep. In the conclusion, it said that sure a successful system had to do some technical things well, but more important was the need to be cheap and not require a huge gulp of licenses; hopefully you could slap it on an orphaned system.

There's a reason it was called "eunuchs." Recently on this forum, someone even mentioned an old book which explained how Unix was horribly insecure yet popular. (Like Windows today.)

There was one other system from that book which survived. Gnu Emacs. For both, you could access some sourcecode (Unix had the Lions book which people pirated), and were relatively cheap. (With Emacs you probably had to pay Stallman for a tape, which you could then copy freely.) Gnu Emacs wasn't great either from what I hear, relative to other expensive commercial versions. But it was cheap and didn't depend on a company's existence.

I hope my comment, "learn some history," didn't come across as patronizing, and I didn't aim it at anyone in particular; it's just that knowing the past helps us cut through all of today's religion. These issues have come up before.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Tom H's comment is interesting.  I've noticed that trend too.  It 's funny how things cycle.  We had mainframes, huge, expensive, running virtual machines or "regions" or whatever they were called, few in number but powerful, stable, and secure.  Then the trend was to racks and racks of cheap commodity hardware running commodity or free OSs.  But then we figured out that there was a non-trivial administrative cost to managing all that hardware.  Now we're seeing a trend back to fewer, but expensive multi-cpu boxes running virtual machines.

Everything old is new again.  Just hope we don't see COBOL make a comeback.

AMS
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

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