[kwlug-disc] Best Server Distribution??

Oksana Goertzen ogoertzen at gmail.com
Wed Feb 3 17:17:12 EST 2010


On Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 11:24 PM, Khalid Baheyeldin <kb at 2bits.com> wrote:

> The "which distro" decision will be driven by which vendor he will partner
> with
> to get hardware and support. If he prefers (say Debian), but the vendor
> supports
> only RedHat or SuSE, then he is better off going with what the vendor will
> support
> rather than personal preference that will leave him without support.
>

Agreed.  :)


>
> For patching, "easier", "less painful", ...etc. are all subjective, and
> remember: it
> mostly affects him (the IT guy). The owner has to see some numbers in order
> to buy into the change and push for it with the users. It has to come down
> to
> "we will spend initially X, then save Y over N years if we do this". The
> figure has
> to be tangible and not just "better", "easier", ...etc.
>

Well, in this particular case, he's the only IT person on site, doing the
work -
"so easier, less painful, less maintenance"  are all significant.  If he's
not happy,
he just might leave and out the door goes their expertise, experience and
investment.
Since they are entertaining the possibility of a Linux-based solution for
some
of their infrastructure and putting money in training - I assumed that what
worked
better for him, in terms of effort and energy and so on means a direct
benefit to
the company.  In a larger company, with unique and varied support
requirements
- i.e. SLA's, the approach in selling the solution might well be
substantially
different.

Also as "unsolicited" mentions in a later email, some of the monies that
would
have been spent on licensing - can now be spent on hardware (and
training)...
so that's a huge plus.  Not having to track licensing with regard to Office
or
CAL's for server access removes one huge headache and a major timesink.
We have an application at work which tracks licensing - purchase orders,
maintenance, volume license keys, contacts, contracts, renewals, versions of
software, who is using the software, patch levels etc.  Keeping this all up
to
date is enormously time consuming... not to mention having to get multiple
quotes for everything you want to purchase over a certain dollar amount.
Sigh.


> I would love him to move to Linux, and would love him to use Ubuntu Server
> Edition, because that is where my experience (a.k.a. bias?) lies. But in
> the
> end, it is someone else's business, and large enough to affect many more
> people than an office with a handful of people. Therefore a rigorous
> selection
> process has to be employed (tangible benefits in dollars, partner to be
> selected,
> impact on end users, migration planning, ...etc.)
>
> I think people often under-estimate how much training needs to be done.
We've
just moved to a new brand of MFD's and the amount of time that it's taken
for
people to adjust to the new printing/scanning/faxing solution is simply
amazing.
I would start with the backend systems first and get comfortable with Linux
-
demonstrate that the solution works and then target other systems... with
those
that affect end users the last - if at all possible.  Of course this depends
on who
your end users are as well.

-Oksana
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