Linux TCO not as high as once thought
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  1. #1
    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    Linux TCO not as high as once thought

    I've been doing my usual news reading online today and came across something talking about Linux TCO. People said the main reason it costed "more" than Windows was "System Management" costs.

    Well, a new study seems to show that with the new tools available for Linux, Linux has now become an actual contender For Windows and in both the enterprise and small to medium business. Small to Medium sized business is the only part Linux seemed to not have much market share.

    Here is the article:

    http://www.newsfactor.com/story.xhtm...d=121000E3DJ6S

    Most respondents reported 99.99 percent or higher availability for their Linux systems. A significant number (17 percent) reported no downtime at all. In more than 60 percent of cases when problems occur in Linux environments, they are diagnosed and repaired in less than 30 minutes, more than eight times faster than the industry average.
    In various studies, Microsoft and some analysts have claimed Linux has a higher total cost of ownership (TCO) than Windows. They attributed the difference mainly to higher systems-management costs, and concluded that the higher TCO outweighed the lower license and acquisition costs for Linux.

    In a new study of more than 200 Linux enterprises conducted for Levanta, however, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) found that this perception is no longer accurate. Sophisticated management tools now allow Linux management to be fast, effective and inexpensive. With lower acquisition costs, Linux is now a cost-effective alternative to Windows, EMA says.

    Study respondents represented a range of industries, with most organizations being small to midsize enterprises, earning less than $5 million in revenues, although 27 percent had revenues of more than $100 million. Most respondents had fewer than 500 employees, but almost 20 percent had more than 2,500 employees.

    EMA analyzed the cost factors cited in previous studies and found the following:

    Seventy-five percent of administrators using sophisticated tools can provision a Linux system in less than one hour; one-third can provision a system in less than 30 minutes. Most Linux administrators spend less than five minutes per server per week on patch management. Sophisticated management tools reduce this effort even further.

    Most respondents reported 99.99 percent or higher availability for their Linux systems. A significant number (17 percent) reported no downtime at all. In more than 60 percent of cases when problems occur in Linux environments, they are diagnosed and repaired in less than 30 minutes, more than eight times faster than the industry average.

    Eighty-eight percent of enterprises with Linux and Windows spend less effort managing Linux; 97 percent say it is, at worst, the same for both systems. Respondents with sophisticated management tools all reported Linux management is the same or easier than Windows management. Enterprises with sophisticated management tools did not find any significant difference in storage-management effort or utilization for either Windows or Linux.

    Salaries for combined Linux/Windows administrators are only marginally higher than for Linux-only administrators. Linux skills are readily available. Seventy-nine percent of enterprises spent nothing on Linux consulting, and 63 percent spent nothing on training. For similar environments, Linux acquisition costs can be almost $60,000 less per server than Windows in software costs alone. Windows also incurs higher hardware costs. Linux tends to be more productive, as Linux administrators tend to manage more servers than Windows administrators, and Linux systems tend to handle greater workloads than Windows systems.
    Seventy-five percent of Linux administrators spend less than 10 minutes per server per week managing security. With sophisticated management tools, this goes up to more than 85 percent. Ninety-five percent of Linux administrators with sophisticated tools spend less than 10 minutes per server per week managing viruses and spyware. Respondents strongly endorsed Linux as inherently less vulnerable.

    One administrator who handles both Linux and Windows for a large entertainment software group said, "I see way less (virus) traffic for Linux than for Windows." Another administrator for a major U.S. bank said he spends twice as much time on virus and spyware protection for Windows than for Linux. A large peripheral manufacturer spends 10 percent of its virus and spyware management effort on Linux, and 90 percent on Windows.

    The MIS manager at a large city university with equal numbers of both platforms said, "It is a constant battle to get the Windows servers to work." The MIS manager at a large state university stated simply, "Anything you need to do on Windows just takes more time than the same thing on Linux."

    This study found, at worst, a marginal difference in base resource costs between Linux and Windows. Linux becomes less expensive when taking into account the ability of Linux to support larger numbers of users, and the additional productivity of Linux administrators. Overall, resource costs for Linux environments are therefore likely to be lower than for Windows. In many cases, Linux is likely to be a significantly less expensive platform to acquire and maintain than Windows.
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  2. #2
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    I'm not gonna say I told you so.. but erm... I told you so..


    Just wait and see.. I remember starting to 'play' with linux (allmost 10 years ago now)..

    The progress is so much faster in OpenSource country (be it GPL or BSD)..
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    A study I would like to see would be the total cost of ownership and time spent maintaining the systems for home users. I would think TCO would be comparable pretty much across the board (I mean that most distros have a free version, so there would not be much difference among them). Windows requires you to buy much more software to have a useful system.

    Maintenance would be trickier to compare. Some Linux distros would be more time intensive. But decent package management tools (Yum, apt-get, and others) make it much easier to install software and update a system.

    Initial setup would be hard to compare. Many people buy Windows preinstalled. When you see the little sticker on the front of a computer case "Designed for Windows XP" it means the OEM has already made sure that the hardware is compatible with the operating system. They made sure all the right drivers are available. In most cases, Linux does not have this advantage (although I understand some hardware makers are making preinstalled Linux systems).
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    AO BOFH: Luser Abuser BModeratorFH gore's Avatar
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    For what you've asked.... I can vouge on the home user aspect. My cousin is really bad with computers and he bought a machine which had Windows XP on it. Within a month he brought it over so I could clean the trojans and... I think it was almost 2,000 peices of spyware on there off. He also saw my boxes running Linux and after looking it over (KDE) he asked me to install it for him.

    So I was like OK man. I popped Linux on his machine and set up SSH so I could do admin work from my house instead of him bringing it over. He used his machine for homework and AIM and web browsing and didn't have problems anymore. Well, other than when he wouldn't pay me and I'd unlink his file system
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    Windows requires you to buy much more software to have a useful system.
    Ok, I correct myself here. There are freeware options. You can get free programs for Windows.

    Hi gore,
    Will Linux be more susceptible to spyware as it becomes more popular? I don't know that this is necessarily the case. It's true that more commercial software will probably be available. But it seems that if one stays away from closed source stuff, this will not be a problem.

    Can there be such an animal as "open source" spyware?
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  6. #6
    Senior Member RoadClosed's Avatar
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    Anyone who runs Linux knows there are a lot more security patches these days. As Microsoft crunches the consumer with forced software validation, key registrations, etc Linux DOES become more appealing. I will still argue Linux is much more expensive to operate in any environment where you have more than just some web server or email server hanging out on an ip delivering basic services. But it's getting there....

    And out of spite every time I am sweating a critical re-install and I have to call g d Microsoft to get a key reset, I build another Linux box. Just to REPLACE it. Except for Exchange, I am at the mercy of MS on those. For now>>> Linux has nothing to compare. Some would argue otherwise but it's true. Let me rephrase that, open source has nothing to compare. Even novel dropped the SuSe project in favor of their own proprietary group collaboration software.

    These studies are often very slanted to either side and TCO depends on your environment and licensing. Microsoft is getting more restrictive and expensive in my opinion. A bad combination as a business policy maker. Take exchange, at this main office we run two enterprise exchange servers. So we paid out the @$$ to have both of those. One , for a primary and one for a hot backup. But you have to fully license both. BS#1.

    Next we have to have a client access license for both! BS#2. So if you have say 100 users you have to license 200 just for the privilege of keeping a hot spare online. That is where TCO and MS go out the window. Ready for BS#3. In this situation I ALSO must have to have Windows 2000 licenses for both servers. Then Windows 2000 client access licenses for both, then exchange 2000 licenses for both and exchange 2000 client licenses for both. Then add to that the complexity of exchange and the man hours spend babysitting the damn things and this is only ONE location and ONE service. So would I prefer send mail? Or group wise or some other open source group software at this point? Yes but that too would be very expensive not to mention time consuming.

    I normaly defend MS on TCO, and I still do in other situations. But time and progress change strategy.
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