[kwlug-disc] Best Server Distribution??

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Wed Feb 3 16:29:50 EST 2010

Bill Hazelwood wrote, On 02/03/2010 12:46 PM:
> Hopefully I am doing this correctly <first post/reply newbie>.

There are no bad posts, only bad readers.

> First of all, thanks to everyone for the great info. It is exciting to 
> see so much support.
> If I understand correctly, Outlook will not connect to a Linux mail 
> server? :(

As John's post mentions, it does, the question is whether you want it 
to. And by that I mean, Outlook can be more than e-mail, depending 
upon how your users use it. And if Exchange is your store (confirm 
please), then it is likely storing more than e-mail. Yes, there are 
various alternatives, as John mentions, but they mostly involve 
significant user habit / usage / perception change - there will be 
resistance. Some migration paths, such as Evolution, may be easier 
than others. And the choice of Evolution may well point you towards a 
particular distro(s).

This may also be an opportunity for you. Outlook has many features 
that most enterprises don't use, for various reasons, including 
culture change. You may be able to present a Linux alternative 
(groupware?) that provides more functionality to the group as a whole, 
and therefore get buy in.

	Khalid makes many good points, including low hanging fruit changes / 
get it in the door, such as network services. DHCP, etc. And also 
reinforces the need to get buy in from management through good plans / 
cost savings. If you take in the culture change represented above as 
well, getting such buy in will make you more successful, faster.

> Also, I will be calling NetDirect. They obviously have a great rep.

If nothing else, this thread has shown that there are many ways to 
skin the cat. The problem is the massive time suckage investigating 
ways until you hit something that works for you. Having a 3rd party on 
hand, if only to look over your shoulder and point you in experienced 
practical directions while reducing the noise level, would be invaluable.

I suspect the biggest reason enterprises give up on Linux and go back 
to MS is sheer frustration. Of doing it on their own, without a bought 
in master plan.

Your opportunity here includes more robust hardware, and vms. And $50k 
ain't gonna do it. Getting acceptance of that will be the challenge. 
The big point of that will be the $50k won't be going to license fees 
or cals which is just $$$ down the drain - it will go to tangible 
items that will serve you well for years to come.

Separate out your functionality and the fog may come a little clearer. 
e.g. Backups, battery backed up power, file/print sharing, SQL use, 
network infrastructure, and so on. e.g. You may find an pc based 
OpenWRT box handles much of your network connectivity / infrastructure 
/ monitoring - taking a whole bunch of 'stuff' off the table as solved.

But only as part of a master strategy. e.g. currently, presumably, 
this (network) 'stuff' is already solved - there will be buy in 
resistance to fixing something that may not be broken.

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