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[kirk@rafferty.org: Re: CLUE: Replacing Commercial Systems]

----- Forwarded message from Kirk Rafferty <kirk@rafferty.org> -----

Subject: Re: CLUE: Replacing Commercial Systems

On Fri, 29 Jan 1999, Art Lemasters wrote:

>       Thanks!  Kirk, may I forward this to the Debian Linux list
> (esp. for the feedback received about "salespeople and administrators")?
> I will forward the load stats. gathered, to the CLUE group.

You sure can.  In fact you can post this one too, so I can expand the
information given a bit more.

The company I mentioned is a leading VAR in Colorado (they resell
Microsoft, Compaq, HP solutions).  I'd like to plug them, but
I haven't been given permission to, so I'll take the safe route.
They employee about 400 people.

Their corporate platforms initially consisted of Windows 3.1
desktops connected to Novell file and print servers.  They
moved from Novell to NT, and it quickly became apparant that
Windows 95 was not a business desktop, so they tried Citrix
Winframe, with Winterm's at the desktop.  To be fair, Winframe
did pretty well, but anytime there was a problem (and with
an NT server, there's plenty to be had!), it was hideous.  Around the
same time, their Exchange server crashed, and after two days of
troubleshooting the problem with Microsoft, Microsoft finally said
they couldn't fix the problem.  They were going to lose all of
their email, including email on the backup tapes.  The company had
no email platform, and it would take days to get it set back up
again.  The decision was made to setup a Linux email server, which
was up and running in a matter of hours.  They haven't given a
second look at Exchange since.

Likewise, the Winframe solution has been nothing but trouble, and
a test group of people has been set up on Linux workstations.  The
CFO has been in the test group for some time, and loves it.  I
just found out today that they added the President/CEO to this group.
No word on his reaction, but the fact that they've added him as a
Linux user gives you an idea of how confident the IS staff is in

I will say that not everyone in the company is enamoured with Linux.
There are still those among the salespeople and administrators that
resist change, but not for what I would consider insurmountable
reasons.  The biggest objection is that StarOffice doesn't have *all*
the features of MS Office.  Fair enough, but I expect the objections
are more cosmetic.  It will take time for Linux to be accepted, and
this company is only a microcosm of the bigger picture.

Upcoming plans include implementing corporate databases on Postgres,
although Oracle (possibly on Linux, although that's admittedly a
remote chance) is in the running as well.  Also, some Linux installs
have been done for their customers, although this hasn't really taken
off yet.

The long and short of it is, there's at least one company that's
taking Linux seriously as a server *and* desktop solution.  And
they're not doing it to stick it to Microsoft, but because it
just works.  Admittedly they're testing the waters carefully,
but I think Linux is there to stay.

Best Regards,

> Art
> On Fri, Jan 29, 1999 at 10:00:39AM -0700, Kirk Rafferty wrote:
> > On Fri, 29 Jan 1999, Art Lemasters wrote:
> > 
> > >      Is anyone in the group interested in replacing commercial
> > > systems with Linux systems (especially Internet servers) in
> > > this area soon?  I'm running a Debian GNU/Linux system (release
> > > version any time now) with a 2.1.132 kernel; it's faster and more polite
> > > with processes (better libraries for X Windows?) than any I've run
> > > before.  ...will try to get some examples of how much network traffic
> > > these systems will handle now, too.     
> > 
> > I'm using Linux (Red Hat and SuSE) in commercial systems.  At my "real"
> > job we are using Linux in non-critical roles, mainly to satisfy the
> > suits that Linux really does run.  We currently have plans of placing
> > a Linux server in a mission-critical role, however, as a web server.
> > 
> > I also consult on the side, and a client of mine is using Linux
> > (Red Hat) in several critical roles, such as corporate email and
> > fax server.  They've also been experimenting with Linux at the
> > desktop, and have had great success so far.  I'm told that users
> > (mostly salespeople and administrators) are practically beating on the
> > door to get a Linux box with StarOffice and KDE, because they're so
> > frustrated with "that other operating system."
> > 
> > Regards,
> > Kirk
> > 
> > --------------------------------------------------------------------- (o_
> > Kirk Rafferty          | [GNU Linux]...Live Free or Die               //\
> > kirk*rafferty.org      | Support Free Software http://www.gnu.org     V_/_
> > http://www.rafferty.org| Registered Linux User 73344 http://counter.li.org
> > ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > 

--------------------------------------------------------------------- (o_
Kirk Rafferty          | [GNU Linux]...Live Free or Die               //\
kirk*rafferty.org      | Support Free Software http://www.gnu.org     V_/_
http://www.rafferty.org| Registered Linux User 73344 http://counter.li.org

----- End forwarded message -----

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