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Re: how to convince that debian is one the three major choices for a stable server environment?

On Tue, 23 Feb 2010 06:13:46 -0500 (EST), Stan Hoeppner wrote:
> CxOs prefer paid vendor support contracts.  They want an
> emergency phone number and real, deep answers available when systems implode
> to the point internal staff can't figure out the problem and fix it.
> This is also why Red Hat and SuSE Linux own the commercial Linux space, and
> why you don't see serious corporate penetration of Debian and other
> non-commercially backed Linux distros.  If/when deployed in large commercial
> environments, Debian is usually implemented in niche places where a sysadmin
> can slide it in under the radar.  Same goes for any *BSD.  If a Linux system
> in this world is within sniffing distance of a manager's or CxO's nose,
> it'll usually be replaced with Red Hat/SuSE for political reasons, mainly
> availability of a paid support contract from a "major" commercial vendor,
> whether that support will ever be needed or not.

(Sigh.)  It's sad, but it's too often true.  CxOs are often more interested
in covering their behinds than they are in saving money (unless saving money
directly impacts their bonus, of course).  And they are more interested in
appearances than in reality.  Besides, there's no money to be made in bribes
and kickbacks when using free stuff.  (I'm sure that never happens at *my*
place of employment, but it has been known to happen elsewhere.)

As an example, at a former place of employment I had a problem trying to
upgrade to a new release of a commercial database product.  I opened an
electronic problem ticket.  My ticket was responded to within a few days
by some guy who could barely write intelligible English, who didn't care
if I lived or died, didn't really give a hoot about my problem, and didn't
really know the product very well.  To make a long story
short, I never did get a solution to my problem.  And the ticket had
been open for a year when I left the company.  But that doesn't matter.
The important thing is that we had a paid support contract.  :-(

By contrast, when I post a request for help on this forum, I often get
a response within 15 minutes.  And the person responding is often an
expert on the subject.  The support here is much better, in my humble
opinion, than any paid support contract.  But try convincing a CIO of
that!  Even if I can convince him personally, he's still likely to go
with a paid support contract because he doesn't want to have to defend
the decision to go without a paid support contract to his boss.  Meanwhile,
they are laying off people and cutting salaries to save money.

[pound head on desk here]

"The man who can smile when things go wrong has thought of someone he
can sue^H^H^Hblame it on."

I have found that the best way to introduce Debian, as you say, is by
sneaking it in in out-of-the-way places that are below the radar screen.
Otherwise, they'd cut my salary even more.  :-(  Over time, Debian is
slowly gaining more of a foothold.  But the corporate culture does not
change overnight.

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