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Survey shows NT admins looking at Linux 155

bpdlr writes "A recent survey carried out by the Microsoft Exchange Forum in the UK shows that 20% of NT/Exchange admins in UK enterprises see Linux as a potential alternative to NT, up from 0% in six months (it's a PDF file, see page 4). Compare that with only 29% sure they will upgrade to Win2000. "
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Survey shows NT admins looking at Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    You see, there's this thing called ease of use. By everyone being able to work, and not having to play with text files on their computer, or having to call the administrator to change a font size, they get more work done. By getting more work done in less time, money is saved.
    How much do you really know about Linux, or any Unix? What is it that makes you assume that the end user of a Linux workstation will be forced to "play with text files" or have to "call the administrator to change a font size" (BLATANTLY WRONG AND TROLLISH ANYWAY) any more than the corresponding end user of an NT box, assuming competent sysadmins for both? I've seen NT boxes locked down so tight, to prevent the user from screwing it up (necessary mainly because of NT's half-baked "multi-user-ness"), that the user couldn't get much work done. There's nothing inherent to either OS that makes a huge difference in terms of "ease of use".
    Let's say those licenses cost $100,000. If everybody in the company spent ONLY an extra hour learning Linux stuff (if only we could be that lucky), and the average rate is $50/hour/person, that's $175,000 right there. $175,000 is more than $100,000, theremore, the company saved money installing NT.
    You're contradicting yourself. You said that in a real company, run by grownups, $100,000 wasn't a lot of money. Now you're touting a savings of $75,000 as being significant? Furthermore, it's wrong to assume that people would take more time to learn Linux than NT. I've worked in high-tech companies in which many employees were much more comfortable with Unix than with NT. And even at my current position (not in a particularly high-tech company), my boss has said "If it ain't Unix, it's crap", and his boss has actually written BSD device drivers! And, of course, a one-time saving of $75,000 really isn't a lot of money for many companies - a year's salary for another sysadmin will eat up pretty much all of that. A few high-end NT servers will eat up most of that. Server downtime may make it irrelevant.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I just put up my first NT box ever (stupid software package requires a DEDICATED box for
    one function that will take about 1% of the
    machine resources, and only runs on NT.)
    We installed it, left it for a day, and tried
    to come back and log in. Network layer had crashed for reasons unknown, with nothing in the event log.

    The NT finger pointers usually say "hardware" at this point, in my experience, so I will mention it is a Compaq box. Then they say "you have to have the service pack", so I will mention Service pack 5.

    Doesn't sound stale to me. 8-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Taking your points one by one, about why some people might
    user LInux as their *desktop* system:

    1. Open Source on ideol. principles -
    2. price - can only afford Linux
    3. console users -
    4. programmers wanting to improve system
    5. need only a few apps
    5. dumb/stubborn

    Almost all these points are what make LInux a superior
    desktop system for most users in the world today. As it is,
    X under LInux is not a patchwork of garbage. I think it has
    a look and feel much superior to Windows and people switching
    to LInux don't regard it as a downgrade. Of course the Linux
    desktop can be made to look awful if one has bad taste.
    The Windows desktop is nice, but I think a great many people
    are simply *tired* of it and likewise the tired old argument abot
    needing MS Office compatibility is a red herring, but that would
    require another post. It is true that Linux lacks a really good
    native Word Processor at this time, but it has everything else
    and more. The lack of a really excellent Word Processor has
    not stopped quite a few people from abandoning the Windows
    desktop for most things and using Linux more and more as
    a desktop platform.

    Open source on ideological principles can be an important
    point to many people when they discover that information is
    secretly being sent to Redmond whenever they connect.

    Price already is very important when people can barely afford
    a cheap PC, much less hundreds of dollars for software and
    upgrades. This forces them to make a choice between
    illegal, pirated MS software and Linux or some other free system.
    Most of the MS software in use today outside the US is
    pirated. Most peoople in the world today who can use computers
    cannot afford a new PC every 2 years and afford to keep upgrading
    to run MS desktop apps. Especially because open source
    software is being mandated in schools and by governments
    outside the US people will use it and it will be what they are used
    to (instead of Windows or Dos)..

    Console users - not relevant, but you might be surprised at
    the number of people who want a good console when they
    are frusted by flaky guis that don't let them get from here to
    there. Especially grandmothers who can read and write
    (many kids today can't, but they can mash buttons)

    programmers - a great many home users are teenagers who
    like to cutomize look and feel. These are not programmers or
    geeks. Typically, gamers. IRC, etc. Linux gives them the
    ability to customize a *lot* more. This gives them a feeling of
    control, not unlike programming does. Also, quite a few more
    mature users might find the configurability of Linux in general
    a big plus because their needs vary so much.

    need only a few apps. Actually, 90% of desktop users use
    only a few apps. A very few apps. These days, a web browser
    and email and perhaps a word processor and a few games.
    In corporate setting, the same is true. Often a desktop loads
    its apps off a network and this is strictly controlled by sysadmins.
    It's a lot easier to do this with LInux or Unix and to administer
    remotely if the client is Linux of Unix. By the way, Netscape
    under Linux is a lot smoother than Netscape under Windows
    and KFM is a much better browser for most users' needs
    than either Netscape or IE 5. I never use Netscape except
    for a few troublesome sites with CSS or cgi that Kfm doesn't
    interpret. Ever tried ftp with IE 5 - what a kludge. Kfm does
    it right.

    Stupid and stubborn - stupid and stubborn people people
    don't need the latest gizmo when something simpler will do
    the job. They would still be using C64's but can't get them
    repaired so they might try LInux.

    In summary, I think you are only looking at a very small portion
    of the potential desktop market - American consumers and
    corporate users who buy from respected American retail
    chains or distributors. Consumers who might be using desktop
    computers for the first time worldwide are more literate, and
    better consumers, and less afluent. Others will remember
    their roots (at least those of sufficient age). For example ...

    The Amiga was much bigger in Europe than Windows for
    many years - until the company went under, actually. Cost
    was a factor there as well, especially in apps and games which
    were much less expensive than Windows/DOS equivalents.

    Linux is different, but similar in many ways. It is much more
    stable and has many more apps for business and networking, but
    perhaps harder to learn to use and less interesting at first
    graphically and for multimedia. That is changing, though.

    Actually, there is a lot of interest in Linux for the desktop in
    the mainstream press and among the big companies. These
    big companies want open standards for desktop apps as well
    because they realize it's either that or MS. Not as much
    hoopla as about LInux as a server, because Linux is already
    a proven winner as a server. Look at all the commercial
    sites that just a few months ago featured only Windows software
    reviewing and stocking Linux software for the desktop.

    The main problem is that the real numbers of users are not
    known, especially outside the US.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 1999 @01:37PM (#1868279)
    Well, I have had some coffee and I am feeling a little more relaxed that I was last time I commented on NT ROI issues (where I was referred to as the "skinflint boss from hell", which has shown up in the company directory three times so far, thank you very much), so let's look at some basic issues with licencing and support.

    Your point, concisely made, is that NT allows people to be more easily productive and thus the cost is justified. You define that as being able to change settings without talking to the admin or help desk (I assume that you carry this out to stuff like loading floppies without mounting and unmounting and so on). You then note the savings by comparing the licence costs to the retraining costs. This is where you lose me.

    Now, I can certainly see the math; if the cost of the licences exceeds the costs of retraining, then it is not justified. If the licences are cheaper, then NT is a good idea. However, moving from this back to ease of use as a justification is not really justified. I see what you meant (I think), but let's look at the same concept ... stretched out a little bit more.

    You make a few assumptions (correct me if I am off):

    1. People are used to operating in a Windows 95 or NT 4.0 environment (as 3.51 and 3.11 are both a lot harder to mess around with). Fair enough -- where we use Windows, we use NT4.0, except on some laptops with 95.
    2. People need in the course of normal business (and as part of a valid business reason) to make changes in their environments that would require actions too complex for normal users to accomplish without resorting to the well-known 4357 call. Windows allows them to do this without the call.
    3. By allowing the changes to be made quicker, more work can be done, making the company more money.

    And then the math, which seems right (your math is not in dispute).

    I have to argue that you are making some wrong connections and that some of ypur assumptions are not correct. Here is why I think this:

    1. Assumption 1 (familiarity with 95-type desktop) is seen to be causative in increasing the speed with which users are able to solve "mission critical" problems (perhaps not to the enterprise, but to the users themselves). This is not correct for several reasons:

    a) unless the user is a hardware tech or doing odd graphics things, changing settings is not something that needs to be done by the user. Pick a corporate standard and stick with it. If the user objects to things like the fonts, let them change it via a menu (I am not a perl hacker, but even I could make a menu-based system to allow this in one afternoon, as I have done so before). If the user wants backgrounds with psychedelic flying lizards and feels strongly enough to hold up work until he or she gets said lizards, then the user a) has too little work or b)needs to find another job.

    b)And if you are talking about settings in Word and Excel (I have found that many NT people lump applications in with the OS), the same applies. Is the person doing word processing or are they making art? If they are making art here, they will get Frame and 512MB of RAM and so on and so forth. Art is their job and we want to give them the right tools. If they want sixteen different fonts in five colors with Outlook and Word, well, there is that entire concept of a value-added vs. a non-value-added activity. This sort of thing is non-critical and is almost always a problem that the user has produced themselves. They should be punished, not given tech support (no, not with a beating -- we get the departments to pay per call and their managers are now paying attention).

    2. Assumption 2 (that users need to make changes) is simply wrong, as I have touched on above. Where is user error and user eccentricity and users avoiding work something that we want to go out of our way to encourage by "helping them" do more of the same? I would argue that if the users are screwing with their settings, they need to stop. That is a management problem, not something that inevitably happens -- it happens if you let it happen. If people are messing around with their system, they are not working. The entire point that you are making (that elimination of problems speeds users to a point where they can work) suggests not that we solve avoidable errors faster but that we avoid the damned errors in the first place. Like by telling people that blowing up their machines will become a discipliary issue. Like by using NT instead of 95 and shutting down as much of it as possible (or CDE). The way that you deal with hitting yourself in the head with a hammer is not by taking some asprin so that it won't hurt as much; it is by stopping hitting yourself in the head with the hammer! Why is this so hard to understand.

    3. Finally, Assumption 3 (that the avoidance of time loss pays for the licences) only works if you assume that the other two points are correct, which they are not. If you eliminate the obvious solutions to the problems, the tortured logic makes sense, but that is a little like buying a tank so that you can get to work safely because you insist on driving to work every morning on the wrong side of the road. There are easier solutions.

    From my experience, which goes back a long ways (pushing 30 years at this point), user support is something that has become a huge issue only with Microsoft OSes and applications because they are a) so buggy and b) impossible to administrate centrally.

    a) You cannot fix NT or Win3.x/9x because it is unfixable. It is so buggy and so badly developed that there is almost no way to permanently fix problems. That is why the industry average number for help desk staff:user on Microsoft OSes is 1:15. I am not a huge fan of either Macs or OS/2, but the normal number there have been 1:100 for years now. Our admins are normally in change of 400+ workstations and still find time to play Doom (or Quake). he help desk costs are horrible and they are unique to Microsoft operating systems. NT is only a little less problematic. And this is without going into the multiple revisions of Office that we have to support, many of which do not work well or similarly in very major ways. Even if everyone is familiar with the environment and the apps, it doesn't always help. Contrast this with vi and ISPF, with shell scripts and COBOL, with WordPerfect (for want of a better cross-platform exaple outside of Notes). You will get the calls anyway.

    b) I'm not arguing for terminals -- look at what you have to do with 300 PCs -- you have to do either the same thing 300 times or do it from a distance. I didn't dislike UNIX because the admins could do most of the work without leaving the room and I didn't have to worry about getting the place depopulated because they were off site in case we had a disaster. Of course, the IBM folks never left the machine room at all. With the PCs, we had to send people to every damned machine. This was hugely expensive and continues to be a problem. One reason why Linux looks attractive to us is the remote administration tools from UNIX (and Tivoli, when they get their act together; we do not do CA, period). You cannot do this with NT. I know. I was hopeful when SMS came out. Nothing has or will happen. Microsoft products will always cost more.

    So, basically, I would rather save money by avoiding NT. As I have stated before, it costs too damned much in licences and support. We have users on NCD Xterms that have been happily using SOlaris or AIX for years, some are using Linux now, and the only hurdle was moving to CDE. Some of these people have called us two or three times in 10 years. The mainframe people never call (that is a little misleading -- we have people here who have hacked MVS source code, so they aren't too likely to need any kind of help and occasionally get calls from friends at compeditors and help them with their MVS issues) and they seem to be reasonably receptive to those IBM NCs, so we will get them on a Xterm yet (only twenty years)(those plasma screens last a long damned time). The OS/2 and Mac people almost never call (some of the OS/2 people have never called, even once). The people on Microsoft OSes call all the time. The lesson is top stick with something that works, not to live with the creeping horrors that ooze out of Redmond on a regular basis. I realize that I sound like a LISP programmer saying bad things about UNIX and how Apollo did (whatever) many years before, but I am not that young! I can do the math, though, and mine has a lot more variables in it than your does, apparently. I didlike the expression "thinking outside the box" (when I was in business school, we had to think, we didn't have all of these buzz-words to save us time), but perhaps you should.
  • Stupid and stubborn - stupid and stubborn people people don't need the latest gizmo when something simpler will do the job. They would still be using C64's but can't get them repaired so they might try LInux.

    I fail to see the logic of this statement. Failure to upgrade to every latest, greatest technology makes one stupid and stubborn? I would actually classify these users as 'intelligent and practical'. Somebody who writes their thesis in edlin is stupid and stubborn, but what about somebody who writes their thesis (or a business plan, or SOPs.... etc) with TeX or troff is not neccesserily stupid nor stubborn, even though they're certainly not using the latest gizmo.

  • by drwiii ( 434 ) on Thursday June 03, 1999 @08:58AM (#1868281)
    There seems to be lots of emphasis on NT on the server-side.. Here are some notes from my notepad citing my observations of a few sites who have deployed either NT or Unix on their server-side.

    Customer A:
    Has approximately 100 workstations (Windows 95/98) that will be accessing a central mail server for interoffice and internet email. Despite FreeBSD recommendation, client decides on two NT servers, one for web traffic, one for Microsoft Exchange. Reason for NT choice: "I want everything, from top to bottom, to be Microsoft. It's Microsoft. It's an integrated solution." Aftermath: Client's NT servers are rarely stable, as exchange buckles under heavy email load. Client spends astronomical fees on "NT Experts" to come in and "tune" IIS server to get the easiest of features working correctly. Conclusion: Client has overshot their budget. WAY overshot. Windows 95 workstations seem to destroy themselves left and right. And things still aren't working up to spec.

    Customer B:
    Similar to the above customer, but in a more email-intensive setting. Client has approximately 100 or so computers running Windows NT Workstation that will be accessing a central mail server for interoffice and internet email. Client accepts FreeBSD recommendation. Aftermath: Client's FreeBSD server is exceptional for mail, file, and print services. Sidenote: Windows NT Workstation is an ideal operating system in their type of environment, and is a strong performer on the desktop. Client may be accepting FreeBSD recommendation for HTTP services in the near future. Conclusion: Client is in WAY under budget, and a few months early to boot.

    Based on my experiences, I can say that an ideal company setting would include a BSD Unix (or Linux if you prefer) on the server-side. I prefer BSD Unix because of its excellent networking code. Additionally, FreeBSD in particular is a breeze to install. That's why I carry my FreeBSD CD set with me wherever I go. On the client-side, I prefer Windows NT Workstation for the masses, and Linux or BSD for the techies, at their option. Windows NT Server may be good for nominal load, but I (personally) wouldn't trust it in a mission critical environment.

  • If everybody in the company spent ONLY an extra hour learning Linux stuff (if only we could be that lucky), and the average rate is $50/hour/person, that's $175,000 right there. $175,000 is more than $100,000, theremore, the company saved money installing NT. Did this go over your head?

    And how much time did they spend learning NT? End-user training is remarkably easy in all systems in all areas except troubleshooting, and I don't have to point fingers, where end-user has a lot of chances to get his troubleshooting skills applied.

  • First, this seems to be "what runs your department" (p3) as opposed to "what runs your company". This is like saying that NT runs my department as a passwd and file server, but UNIX handles the entire company's e-mail, web, NFS, print sharing, etc.

    You also have about 75% of the respondants saying they use less than 20 exchange servers. How many users are served by these 20 servers? If I worked for IBM, I'd say that we have more than 100,000 employees, but I'd have no idea how many exchange servers are in operation, so I'd have to answer that question based on the number of servers in my group/department.

    There are a couple promising questions in there (especailly about Linux) but I'd wait to see the next survey before trumpeting this to the PHBs.
  • but I think that the systems with the most usership will be able to put major pressure on server vendors to adopt a service/protocol.

    That said, I also want to remind everyone that Windows9x is in an area (desktop) that Linux aspires to expand into (and doing quite well I might add); conversely, Linux excells where Microsoft wants to expand - the serverspace. Linux rests squarely in Microsoft's upgrade path for Win2000 and is eating into current NT and Windows installations.

    Linux must be easier to install, configure and use than Win9x. Essentially, a nobrainer.

    Briefly, much will be decided this year.
  • If Microsoft *APPEARS* to be easier then, to the user, perception is reality.

    We must not only make Linux easier to install but it should configure itself (at least for desktop distros). Furthermore, Linux should endear perception of near-sentience to the new user in configuring itself and presenting user interface to services.

    Then, Linux will be ready enough for the OEM's to drop Windows completely without even a moment's hesitation.
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    I'd like to see some figures on:

    How many all-NT departments with 50 servers are considering Linux?

    (Companies with a lot of servers are more likely to have competent sys admins. This question will tell us if we are finally getting through to the morons.)

    How many of those with "Unix" listed (especially those with
    ("Unix" is a rather generic name. And the OS breakdown didn't list Linux as an option, even at 0%.)

    What is the difference between the number of each OS that the IT Manager/Director/Whatever says they have and the number they REALLY have?

    (The contention all along is that Linux has been sneaking in through the backdoor. The CTO, by definition, probably wouldn't know about this.)
    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    24% are planning not to move to W2k (but have presumably considered). These are people who have actively rejected W2k.

    Furthermore, 28% are "uncertain" on "considering" Linux. That doesn't even make logical sense--they aren't sure if they are considering? That means they ARE considering. I find it more likely that 28% read the question as "planning". That brings the number of "considerings" up to 48%.

    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    "...virtually ALL of the commercial players getting involved with Linux...are focusing on the server side?"

    Virtual: seeming to be, but not actually being. See Virtual Reality.

    It's true that Linux functions well as a server. And it's true that Linux may well more power than the average user needs on his desktop. But it is NOT true that the commercial players are forgetting the client side.

    IBM: Linux on Thinkpads.
    NVidia: Linux drivers for high-end video cards (only useful on the desktop)
    Loki: Civ:CTP and many more desktop games to come
    Oracle, Informix, etc: Server side stuff first, client tools on the way

    The only reason it seems like commercial entities are focusing on the server aspects is that the server software companies are bigger. An announcment from Oracle can overshadow announcments from "client-side companies".

    That said, I don't think the company secretary will be using Linux on the desktop anytime soon--but:

    1) Why take the short term view?
    2) If Linux wins in the backroom, we make the rules. Win95 would start having to advertise (and support) its "Linux-compatible protocols", etc. In this scenario, while MS might still hold the desktop market, we would have achieved a major goal in squashing many proprietary formats and protocols.

    BTW, why exclude Linux-only companies from your client/server dichotomy? If we include them (since there doesn't appear to be any reason to bar them), we can find a LOT more examples of client-side Linux.
    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    So you are saying W2k is OK for single-user, single-process, simple work?

    Sounds like Micros~1 stole more than a GUI from Apple.
    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    I just read "Good News from Outer Space". Did you get that phrase from there or is it from somewhere else previously?
    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    1) A new PC suitable for installing NT + Exchange and serving 600 people can cost $20k. Let's be more reasonable and discard things like RAID and 1GB of RAM and say $5k.

    2) You neglected to factor in the cost of NT and Exchange, including 600 licenses. That's at least $1129 more, plus $40/user if they don't already have the licenses = $24,000.

    3) It doesn't cost $200k/yr to run a mail server. Our network admin (admittedly incompetent) only gets about $50k. Factoring electricity, etc brings that up to $60k.

    So let's re-add this. ~$30,000 for a new NT/Exchange or $0 for Linux. That sounds like a substantial savings to me.

    "Please remember that how you say something is often more important than what you say." - Rob Malda
  • Posted by generic kewl tech reference:

    I so agree with you, from my personal experience. I personally downgraded to Windows NT Server 4.0 from Windows 95, under the idea that I had better get used to it to improve my employment prospects. Say what you will about Win95, I never had a day of trouble with it. This all changed when I moved to the 'more stable' NT, which had to be reinstalled three times in the first week. God help me, I then decided to try a home network. I'll leave describing this fiasco to those with more technical knowledge and better command of the language.
    Now, I'm running a dual boot of Windows NT (for games) and Red Hat Linux (for everything else). I'm still having trouble because I don't know what I'm doing, but at least that's self-correcting.

    Then my work went to Windows NT ...

    OKay, back to lurking, I obviously still have more to learn.
  • I think it's open to anyone, but only NT admins show, for the most part.

    They make a statement at the beginning of their survey that this will almost surely skew the results.

    That quote you gave about "as one would expect" - I think they're basically saying that such results can be expected from a survey of NT admins. If anything else shows, it means NT is losing their current admins.
  • There are plenty of companies moving from UNIX to NT. But:

    This was a trend 5 years ago too (if MS-Press was/is to be believed),

    Linux isn't going to magically stop all NT houses to up and switch to Linux.

    It takes time....and this is merely more evidance that Linux is here to stay.

    Example: for every one of you who says "I just switched from UNIX to NT" there's one of me, who has seen companies port NT web-servers to Linux for stability.

  • star trek episodes from either star trek or these 3-letter knockoffs in which the enterprise *wasn't* captured, taken over by hostile enitity, taken over by hostile computer, abandoned, told to self-destruct, or otherwise removed or nearly removed from control of the captain & crew.

    These guys shouldn't be permitted shields, let alone phasers & torpedoes :)
  • NT is in for an interesting challange. It would be better if one of the major distros could get passed by either the Europeans or the US as "secure", as that would give a lot of added credibility to Linux.

    Personally, I think by the time Windows 2000 -is- released, at least some of those NT admins would have switched over.

    TARGET: 40,000,000 Linux Users by 2,000.

  • Well, let's start with this. Yes, NT has failed security tests, but Linux hasn't passed them, either. As NT is frequently used in such places, there is pressure to use it in defiance of it failing security checks, as there's no cheap, practical, readily-available alternative.

    Cue Linux! Get a distro certified, and those admins & execs will find it a much tougher case to hold onto NT.

    Next, userbase. There were an estimated 6-10 million users two years ago, double that this year (12-20 million). If the trend holds true for this year, there will be between 24-40 million users by the end of 1999, and 48-80 million users by the end of 2000. After that, the rate can't possibly be sustained. So, 40 million -is- an achievable goal, for this year, and a realistic one for next.

    Actually, I expect the Linux installed base to exceed that of Windows first in Mexico. (I -think- that's where all the schools use it, now.) Because it's widely used in schools, and would therefore be a viable OS of choice for school children where there is a computer at home, it almost has to replace Windows there as the dominant OS.

  • They've decided against going NT before the first year of its release. That's to be expected. That doesn't mean they've rejected W2K, just that they want to wait for it to stabilize, or that they are happy with NT4 and dont see a need to upgrade.
  • So you saved your company $1k (the cost of new PC with 10x the capacity) by using Linux? The total cost of administering email of 600 user is probably $200k/yr, so Linux reduced your costs by 1/200 = 0.5%? Yawn.

    That is quite an assumption saying that email administration costs $200K/year for 600 users. Especially considering that with Linux there are no licenses to purchase, or any software costs at all. If email for 600 people still costs $200k/year, in purely administrative fees, then I want that job. I would really like to make $200K/year.

    And saying that the hardware cost savings weren't significant is also a bit of a red herring. It would take quite a bit of hardware (probably at least $30K) to serve up that much email using Microsoft Exchange. Contrast that with a 486/33, which is basically free, and you have a nearly infinite cost savings.

  • Assuming this is true (Have only used SP3 myself, as my company will not go past SP3 yet because of reported incompatibilities between some software we use and SP4), then isn't it kind of pathetic how long it took them to get NT4 to a point of relative stability? What were people supposed to do all these years while waiting for SP4 to solve all their problems?

  • NT is server smallfry. The back end, where the actual work gets done, is nearly exclusively Unix. You just can't run enterprise class applications that retain the ability to change with your business on NT.
  • On NT you can setup most things with a couple of clicks. On Unix systems you generally have to edit text files which is obviously more difficult for the less experienced.

    The real difference, however, is shown when something goes wrong. If there is no NT button to click on and fix the problem you're stuck. With Unix, you can be "artistic" in the config files, you can see what's happening, you can fix things. At the very least, if you can't fix it you'll find a way to go around it instead :).

    In a larger company you'll see Unix boxes working with NT boxes. Whenever something new is implemented it's the Unix admins that get things to work because they can change stuff whereas the NT guys can't.


  • true, but an NT network needs more admins than a UNIX network. Plus you'll need a much bigger support helpdesk with an NT network.

    A solaris shop i know of employs 4 admins for 250+ sun workstations and ~10 servers. The admins are also the user support.

    How many admins and, more significantly, how many tech support helpdesk workers would you need for a similar size NT network?
  • are there any oss pdf->html converters around, i can't stand having to locate 3rd party plug-ins every time someone puts a document up. this is got to be one of the top ten mistakes [] of the web (Bleeding-edge technology - using pdf's)
  • that 47% of the respondents are uncertain that they will migrate to W2K after it comes out. It may be a point of concern for Microsoft if Microsoft customers don't buy Microsoft upgrades.

    Also of interest is the fact that a majority (52%) are not considering LINUX as a possible OS alternative. It would be of interest to see how many of them are hard-core "I won't switch 'till someone puts a gun to my head" types.
  • Corel is a peecee software vendor

    And Micros~1 isn't? You can't exactly call them an enterprise solutions vendor!!!

    Today's English Lesson: Oxymorons

  • Better yet - There was a reasonable number
    with 5 machines running Unix. So they
    replaced HOW MANY NT machines with machines ;-)
  • With stats like these, we can use momentum marketing (you should use NT cause everyone is going to use NT) ourselves: people are considering Linux as a safe option to hedge against the trainwreck that will be Win2000.

    We have to start talking about providing what suits call an "upgrade path" to get people out of NT4.

  • The problem is that NT marketing hype encourages clueless admins.

    One of the benefits of headless Linux boxes is the prevention of accidental Ctrl-Alt-Delete login attempts. The longest downtime I ever had on Linux was the result of troubleshooting a bad IP Address/Netmask given to me by a clueless NT admin. There are entirely too many of these folks with certificates calling themselves admins.
  • Windows does have it's problems, but what you are saying is not entirely accurate. Windows 95 and 98 both have a semi-multiuser mode where users login at startup, and each user gets his/her own desktop and system settings. You still do have to worry about so-and-so deleting this and that file, but at least you dont all have to have the same configuration. This even applies to programs (not all programs) for example, MS Office and Corel Wordperfect Suite each ahve seperate settings for each user.

    Us giving mis-information about what windows can and can't do makes us look as bad as Microsoft. If we must always put down Windows to promote Linux (which I do not believe is a good idea, we should promote Linux on its merits by itself, not just on how much better than windows it is) we at least should get our information right.
  • There is an interesting survey over at sqlserver mag. 79% of their own folks do not think MS sql server will be as accepted as Oracle for mission critical apps.
  • On Debian, there's a file "/etc/login.access" that allows you to configure local vs. remote logins by group, or source network.

    Try "man login.access"
  • I'm sure all of us at one time or another has had to install windows and installed *unix (duh), but the real fact of the matter is that both have their ground and will stay there.

    *unix has got to be the most god awful thing to install. Thank goodness I have someone who is willing to help me with my installs *if your reading thanks*

    Windows on the other hand is easy to install to a certain extent, however it lacks the reliability of *unix.

    I had a *unix machine running 67 days until I tried to add 3 options to the kernel. After that only god could've got it up and running. Well I'm sure someone could've but the every day user couldn't have...and I consider myself a notch or two above the every day user.

    *unix is nice for those of us who like to program, get around quicker and cheaper I might add, but people also like to add a program with a click here and a click there and your running. Not some 10 step process that may take a day or two, and recompiling the kernel.

    these of course are my honest opinions.

    *not yet decided which is better*
  • Turning off password protection is a bad idea.
    However, to answer your question,
    firstly, the best way to do remote access is through ssh , and turn of telnet services. Check your /etc/inetd.conf file and make sure you know what services are running. Turn off any you don't want.
    If you run sshd , you can edit the sshd config file to deny ssh logins for certain users.
    If you run ftpd, you need to add the people who aren't permitted remote logins to the ftpusers file.
    You can also restrict access via /etc/security/access.conf ( if you have PAM installed )

  • Well, here's one MSCE that's doing more than just looking; I love the ways Linux services, like BIND/named for example, once I get thru the hassle of setting up, just runs, and runs, and runs w/o a glitch.

    Now, my NT4/SP3 servers are basically pretty stable (you must have PERFECT hw) but a VP just asked about having to hit 'reload' to update pages - I explained it was WinGate page cacheing, but offered to switch it off. Unchecked the 'cache' box and saved changes, about 20 minutes later nobody could work thru the proxy and we got a house call from Dr. Watson, the service had stopped. They asked "what happened" I said "I Dunno", restarted the service and it's A-ok now. Embarassments like that happen all the time here. The only time I get 'strange weird glitches' in Linux is when I don't know what I'm doing, but 'oddities' pop up all the time in M$ stuff - I just say, "Hey, I don't write the crap, we just buy permission and install it." Rebooting clears up most of it.

    Incident earlier today was a Win95 box hosting a printer stopped; event viewer revealed it couldn't renew it's DHCP IP lease for some reason. Back to manual control! In other incidents, I've had two other networks complete stop because the DHCP server got corrupted jet databases. I know it is recommended to manually make backups of the DHCP lease databases, but Why, unless M$ just wants to create extra 'make work' for admins to be kept busy continuously mopping up after this slop.


    Office 2000 on Monday, wooho. Now we can create documents the could have been created on a 1985 edition of "WordStar" and sent it to people in Office2Grand format and make them feel obsolete and behind the times.
  • Why switch?

    Umm, economics? Did you really pay over $100,000 for 3500 client access licenses or should we report you to the SPA []?

  • ALSO - I notice your argument is basically the old stale "impune the user/customer" tactic, i.e., NT is perfect, if you're experiencing problems it's YOUR fault, the user or Admin is clueless, blahblah. Yeah, right. The most tightly written part of NT is the product liability disclaimer that's evolved to protect M$ from customers using this excellent work of art.

    Essentially, I grew tired of being an unpaid/unwitting crash test dummy for M$ stuff; If I pay for a license and it doesn't work out of the box I'm not going to waste my time mucking around with something that's going to obsolesce in 3 years - I'd rather muck around with an old standard that at least acts sane.


  • Well, first thing, I'm 40 :) and old enough to appreciate ease of use, such as the disk admin and printer systems. But the promised land of ease of use just never seems to live up to the marketing hype the phb's buy into. Usually mgmt is happy as long as the users at the terminal just endure it and don't complain.

    Next, the potential savings I refered to was just client access licenses, not Linux on the end user desktop. The average IT customer can still use whatever they're comfortable with to freely access many Linux servers, w/o any extra training overhead.

    Just a quick quote from the 5/31 "Network Computing" mag: "Unlike the controversial Microsoft-funded studies released by Mindcraft, we discovered only negligible performance differences between the two for average workloads. Our tests showed that, depending on the degree of tuning performed on each installation, either system could be made to surpass the other slightly in terms of file-sharing performance. But examining the cost difference between the two licenses brings this testing into an entirely new light.

    Anyway, different strokes. DOS prompt, ugh.

  • OTOH, my experience with Linux servers is that they stay up without issue, even if they're mostly just left alone. no magical admin incantations needed to keep them up. the admins get to configure the servers, etc, but a slight mistake won't make the box die with a blue screen every few days.
  • ``We have to start talking about providing what suits call an "upgrade path" to get people out of NT4.''

    I've been doing that already. You might also refer to this as Linux's road map! Another term that the suits are fond of lately.

    Also, don't forget to use the phrase "Proprietary Microsoft Windows". The Micros~1 PR and trade press drones elevated the use of the ``P'' word to an art forms years ago when describing any non-MS software. You could barely open up a computer magazine without seeing something along the lines of

    ``We installed Windows NT and turned off our proprietary XYZ system...''
    ...even though there was nothing wrong with the XYZ system (other than the inexperienced IT technicians not knowing anything about it, not bothering to learn it, and bad-mouthing it at every turn).

    Remember: Bill Gates idea of a portable operating system is that you can run Win95 on an Intel-based PC bought from any consumer electronics outlet.

  • Well, my client workstation has been running Linux for more than two years. It can do just about anything I want except play modern games.

    'Cept Civ: Call to Power, but the jury is out on how modern that graphical update of CivII really is. :-) Also, Myth II and Quake III are on the way, and other game companies are looking at the platform, since it's actually used by their target group.

    But with xpilot available, what do you want with other games anyway?

  • I feel this is where Linux/Unix makes the most sense - being true multi-user. In windows, you have to worry about little brother - or whoever, clobbering one of your files. On top of that, users compete for their desktop configuration. With Linux, each user has his/her own home directory/desktop setup - and each is protected from other users via a login/password - it makes perfect sense. In fact, NT requires a user/password to use the computer (however, the separation of users isn't so clean). Linux == multi-user and Windows == single-user. Remember, Linux is not windows and trying to use it like windows limit its power

  • true - Win95/98 offers a semi-multiuser desktop, but as you stated, it is semi, or partial. I guess the basis of my argument relies on where the desktop starts and stops. With Win95/98, menus, screen savers, etc are not per-user, so yes, users can clobber other users settings.

  • by cody ( 11975 )
    Was the Microsoft Exchange forum be open only to NT users, or was it open to Unix users also?

    It just seems like 3% isn't realistic as far as percentage of businesses using Unix, but that'd make sense if it were an NT only survey. I know Unix isn't nearly that scarce in the US business community.

    If it were an NT only survey, though, why do they brag about NT Server's prevalence? They say that it "remains the dominent departmental OS server as one would expect." This is a strange survey.

  • Note that there's a big difference between having "actively rejected" Win2K and knowing that you are nowhere near ready for it.

    Essentially doing a NT4->Win2K upgrade is going to require that your existing WINS, Network Browsing, and MS DNS systems are all working properly *at all of your sites*. I'm willing to guess that this is not the case for > 50% of NT4 shops.

    Win2K is also going require a big Exchange (and other Back Office server) upgrade.

    The sharper NT admins at these shops probably realize this and are willing to admit that Win2K is not a possiblity until they get the time, money, brainpower, and manpower to do it right. (And wait until MS gets to Service Pack 3 or whateever).

    Note that an NT to Linux migration is not exactly a no brainer either, so while you might see a Linux box here and there in an NT enviornment, a knowledgable admin is going to realize that migration is just not in the cards for a while.

    My prediction is that NT4 is going to be the new NetWare 3 - it'll be around for a loong time.
  • That happens when you're running pure BETA software, have very few beta testers to help find bugs, and, have only 1 (count that: 1) server, that takes so much of a beating that when a few (average #'s anyone???) thousand of it's clients go to another site, it can be easily crippled. Also, it's been moved around quite a bit lately (new versions, new servers, new location?)...
  • If it were an NT only survey, though, why do they brag about NT Server's prevalence? They say that it "remains the dominent departmental OS server as one would expect." This is a strange survey.

    I think that Unix is an enterprise OS Server. That's where Bill wants to go next. I consider a departmental OS Server's to be doing things like file servers and groupware stuff. Ie, competing against Netware and Linux. In this market MS does remain the dominant departmental OS.

    Yet notice the intro of the report where it has a disclaimer that this group represents largely Microsoft customers and the results are likely to reflect a skewed response in that direction. All the results should be interpreted with this in mind. For instance, Exchange was given a figure of 65% as the principal corporate messaging software. If this were a survey of Lotus customers in the same demographics, probably Notes/Domino would have had a larger figure.

    In conclusion I would have to say that the survey should be interpreted in this manner: In a survey of Microsoft customers you would expect Microsoft's OS to be used as the principal server OS. NT is used on 71% of the departmental servers making it the most dominant server OS. Bill Gates should be pleased and mighty relieved that his Server OS is still used by his customers. Whew!

  • Operating systems are just tools, use the right one for the right job. If I want to play quake or
    download streaming media I will use NT. Or if I have some..well cant think of much else to do on NT..Linux is wonderful for programming and as a server. I have a 486/50 server webpages at home (cable modem) that would be dead if NT were installed. I can access it from work and do external security audits on the firewall. Use minicom to dialup our RAS servers and check for security issues too.

  • "...virtually ALL of the commercial players getting involved with Linux...are focusing on the server side?"

    Virtual: seeming to be, but not actually being. See Virtual Reality.
    See "Virtually," the word the original poster actually used, and which conveys precisely what he meant:
    1. almost entirely : NEARLY
    2. for all practical purposes (virtually unknown)

    And it's true that Linux may well more power than the average user needs on his desktop.
    Whether it has any more power or not is irrelevant. The problem is that, for the most part, Linux lacks the apps that most people want to use, the substitutes for those missing apps lack sufficient quality for most people, and at the current time, its "desktop experience" is, to put it bluntly, a patchwork of garbage. When most people can already do everything that they want, and already know how to do it on Windows or a Mac, Linux for them is a severe downgrade. Why would a desktop user switch? The joys of Netscape on Linux?

    Basically, when I see someone choosing to use X under Linux as their desktop OS (i.e., not people who have only one computer and the desktop computer == the server) at this point in time, I can't help but think:

    • They use only Open Source software on ideological principle, or
    • The pricier alternatives are out of their range, or
    • They're console guys just using X to keep a bunch of *terms on their screen at once, or
    • They're programmers, actively working to improve the Linux desktop experience, or
    • Have very limited desktop needs, e.g., need only a few programs, or
    • They're dumb and/or stubborn, usually both.
    Nothing wrong at all with those first five groups. The last group probably deserves their fate.

    If Linux wins in the backroom, we make the rules.
    This is absolutely, positively, unmistakably, without-a-doubt WRONG. If any company ever owns the entire client and server computing enchilada, it's going to come from first owning the desktop. That's why Microsoft could jump down into the brand new (for them) PDA market with CE and grab over 30% of it within a couple of years. And it's why Microsoft having 30% is still seen as a disappointment by some people -- because they know how powerful owning the desktop is. It's why Microsoft could jump up into the server market and put such a hurting on most Unix vendors. The desktop will always be the key to whoever aspires to world domination.


  • sistren

    But brethren is nowadays generally excepted to be gender-neutral, now that it has lost it's literal usage as the ordinary plural of "brother".
  • Well, if that's true, then why don't you post something that proves it? I've never even seen an idle NT box stay up for 6 months let alone on that's actually working.

    I understand your love, but lying about NT won't make Linux go away. Just ask Bill.
  • First of all, NT is at best run on Departmental servers. Enterprise servers are the likes of Compaq AlphaServer ES40s and GS80/140s.

    The intel platform doesn't hold a candle to Enterprise servers.

    He also knows nothing about Linux. Seeing Linux focused on the server market seems to be quite striking news to this guy.

    Since when is posting useful information 'Spamming'? Now if he was posting this info on a Bingo hall's bulletin board perhaps, but posting computer related information in an IS shop really doesn't constitute spamming.

    Personally, I don't really care what OS I see used at my customer's sites. I do, however, like to see working computers. Linux does the job.

  • Fraggin' PDFs won't let me paste, so a short quote:
    "Readers are reminded that this group represents largely Microsoft customers and the results are likely to reflect a skewed response in this direction"

    Another thing worth noting about the 20% that are considering Linux, BTW, is that 29% are undecided. That makes nearl half that are at least open to the prospect.
  • If the schools use Linux it is a big step in bringing Linux into the home, look at all the mac's here in the usa, where many schools orginally had all apple computer labs, now i know my school is pretty much split 50/50, but by being in the schools it really helped move the mac's into the home. Hopefully the same thing will happen there, and then maybe we can follow thier trend. Just thinking about the money that could be saved for educational institutions by using a free open source os has to be a large amount. I'm sure they get educational discounts on licenses, but still, say its only $50 a license, and its a decent sized school with say, 25 or 50 windows machines, its $1250 to $2500 in just licensing...and thats even forgetting all the server licensing. Doesn't seem like much, but in schools every penny counts, so if nothing else $$$$ should be thier first motivator to bring linux into the schools, if the appropriate software is available, and i see that as the real sticking point.
  • Not to be picky, but the 1701D's sister ship is the Yamato. It's named after a certain Japanese person. In addition, there is the USS Galaxy, for which the class is named. They left the other 3 ships in this class unnamed for future writers.

    And for reference, the episode title is Contagion.


  • Linux is to Windows NT as the Enterprise (NCC-1701D) is to the Umoto.

    How many of you remember the episode of ST:TNG in which the Enterprise contracted a virus from a probe and nearly blew apart? The name of the Enterprise's sister ship, which they revealed in that episode, was the Umoto. Remember what happened to the Umoto? ;-) The Enterprise survived because of the skill and resourcefulness of the people maintaining it.

    Yeah, the analogy isn't perfect but remember that contracting a virus from an alien probe isn't perfect storytelling either.

    Of course you have to remember that Commander Data also contracted the virus. He dealt with it better than the other computers--although it spread much faster and nearly killed him, his internal workings solved the problem for him. What operating system would he represent? Hmmm...
  • Thank you for that advice.

    As some have pointed out, turning off password protection is generally not considered the best way to handle security. However, 1) it is not my computer and 2) physical access to the machine should be considered adequate authentication. After all, we aren't going to store anything sensitive and if a cat burglar comes in and wants our files, nothing short of encrypting everything on the drive is going to get in the way. The root password is irrelevant.

    Perhaps this is one reason Linux is having difficulty penetrating the home users: they think of the computer more like an appliance rather than a connection to a vast network. ("onramp to the information superhighway"... thank you al gore...) Without a nice Internet connection or LAN, though, a home computer really is just an appliance. Hackers and experienced professionals don't think that way, so the software they write often doesn't quite fit home users.

    That's an analysis of the present state of Linux. Given the current momentum, the gaps will close and we will be able to write off Windows as a "decade-long fad of the 90's"!
  • Thank you for the clarification!
  • Yeah, they were trying to lure people from W'95 to NT by promoting NT's "reliability". In a MS poll (for what it's worth) something like 42% of the respondents using W'95 said they lost data or time more than once a month due to system performance problems. With NT, it was only 15% of the respondents.

    The funny part was, the URL of the survey report included the string "FullReliability". 15% or your customers suffering outages more than once a month = FullReliability.

    Yeah, right. And a Web browser is part of an operating system.

  • > What constitutes acceptable proof of uptime?

    You could start by listing all the companies that are migrating from Linux to NT due to stability issues.

  • > ...then NT Stays up without issue.

    Clearly, we're dealing with two versions of NT.

    One, which they will license to anyone, is overpriced, bloated, and crash prone.

    The other, which they will only license to a MSCDotF (Microsoft Certified Defender of the Faith), is the very apotheosis of operating systems: cost effective, lean, and so reliable that it never crashes at all unless you let a non-MSCDotF look at it.

  • I don't know what this big thing about WinNT is all about. Easy, out of the box/Install-walk away is not really anything to brag about.
    In my school (as tradition there is) the computer students run their own server, it's basically a small p200/48/7GB thing. I installed it, did the configuerations needed, recompiled the kernel and Apache (for proper perl/php3) and rebooted for the 2nd time. It's only about a 100+ users, but it has run without downtime now for nearly a year. I never rebooted it once since the installation.
    Now, please show me the "out of the box" NT station doing this.... (Especially for over a 100 curious CS students).
    Also this thing about commandline/textfiles are just stupid. I think Linux is very structured and easy to maintain/configure _just_ because of this. There aren't a million subsubsub-menues and shit to "point and click" your way through like NT. GUI is, as far as I go, a hopless situation for maintaining a server. And if you feel like mass-operations in text mode is difficult, I have one word for you "Perl".. write once, reuse after that.
    If you are dependant on point and click, and unable to do a simple script to assist you, maybe that should tell you something before one goes out and complains loudly about text-mode interfaces and config files....

  • It's all about getting info into the right hands, my friends. My boss was ranking on Linux something fierce, saying it was in no way ready for the enterprise. I cooly handed him my Linux Journal extra that had the interviews with top IBM, Corel and Netscape execs and why they went with Linux. Plus I've been posting all manner of info on bulletin boards around the office (people are getting pissed at the "mystery Linux poster" *chuckle* Anyways, most people are biased against Linux simply because they haven't taken step one towards understanding it. Keep plugging away and offering up information, my brethren (and sisters... what is the female form of brethren anyways?) -ZaMoose
  • It was in the old "Webster's [] and in Chaucer.
  • For 'to NT' read 'from NT'.

    Maybe I'm more mindless than I thought ;-)

  • > Linux must be easier to install, configure and use than Win9x

    Hmmm ... Start with a blank pc, a RedHat CD and a Win95 CD - which is easier to install? Redhat, because you can put the CD in and boot of or Win95 where you go off with a floppy disk looking for an existing installation so you can create a boot disk!
  • by Eric Savage ( 28245 ) on Thursday June 03, 1999 @08:14AM (#1868348) Homepage
    29% are planning to move to NT within 12 months.
    20% are considering Linux as a possible OS alternative in the future.

    Sounds to me like the questions are not equal (I don't think they were meant to be). Comparing these statistics is erroneous, as planning is alot different than considering. And future is alot longer than 12 months, they could mean 5 years. Puffing out your chests by spouting figures like this just makes the whole community look worse. Take the following statement, which is close to the survey's: I am planning on wearing clothes tomorrow, but I have considered streaking in the future...
  • Man, I see the change happening as we speak. A couple of months ago, I installed the first Linux box in the shop. My, this would have been nothing short of heretic last year.

    Now I'm actually working in porting one of our (most important) systems from NT to Unix. They want to have it on Linux and Solaris, because people have started to ask.

    And I'm starting to believe that this is the beggining of the end for Micros~1... Oh, the joy.

  • So, you're telling us that they have 3,500 people using NT, and they didn't give them any kind of training whatsoever. Cool. I wish everybody in my company were so smart, as to find out by themselves, in zero time, what does "sharing" a resource means, how to use the "Task Manager" to kill an application that's "not responding", and how to get rid of those freaking Happy99s and Word macro viruses.

    Anyway, if your point is that Linux is harder to learn and use, I somewhat agree. A completely clueless user cannot run Linux yet, because our clueless-user-support systems are either incomplete or buggy.

    So yes, that seems to be the current situation. But with a little vision of "the road ahead", you could see that this is changing fast. Real fast. And by the time this changes, we won't have to pay for an "upgrade" in software and hardware, to take advantage of it.

    My boss seems to understand this, at least.


  • So you saved your company $1k (the cost of new PC with 10x the capacity) by using Linux? The total cost of administering email of 600 user is probably $200k/yr, so Linux reduced your costs by 1/200 = 0.5%? Yawn.

    Go look up the cost of a 600 user Microsoft Exchange license and the NT cluster needed to run it... then redo the above calculation.


  • After working with Windows 2000 Beta 3 for a while, I wouldn't toss it out of the running quite yet AS A WORKSTATION. From my expierence with it, its quicker than NT 4, and (so far) as stable.

    Of course, I still run Linux most of the time...why? Because I need my computer to do things in the background, and I need it to do them efficently. NT isn't able to do that (imho). But you need/want a stable enviornment to code, do word processing, etc. (i.e. not be serving anything on a large scale), then NT definately rivals Linux.
  • Not exactly. NT is great for running multiple single user program at the same time (I've run PS5.0, IE, Word, Excel, played mp3s all at once) and NT has ran without a hitch. However, things like whatever MS's web server is brings NT to a halt.

    MacOS, from my most recent expierences, still had significant problems multitasking. (Try doing something intensive in PhotoShop and then trying to switch to the Finder. GFL.)
  • I see one problem with that.

    This community seems to have a knee-jerk reaction against successful business. I look at the calls for boycott against Redhat and SuSE as being bad precedents of our community fighting those that are putting their money where our mouths are. If some distribution was validated for that kind of role I could see the masses coming out against it as the next great evil.

    I hope it's the vocal zealot minority.

    I just wish they weren't so vocal :)
  • Moving from one platform to another is much more expensive than starting from scratch with any platform. Thus, the hesitation to migrate to Linux is very understandable.

    It would be interesting to see statistics for new IT systems - does anybody have numbers?

    Seems that the message is, that SysAdmins are fed up with NT, and that they hope to be more efficient with Linux in the long run! This is a strong statement, considering that Linux SysAdmins are more expensive than NT SysAdmins, and considering that personell costs are usually a big chunk of any IT department!

  • You are right about that. Personally I think these surveys are a waste of time. What really matters is not what they think is going to happen in the future, but what is happening now. The short of it is this. If linux is a better OS than NT (and I know it is) then companies that use linux will have an advantage over companies that don't. It really is that simple. No need for marketing and such because of the low cost of entry/commitment the Linux model represents. Time will tell which OS is better.

  • From the Report's "Conclusion":

    When I prepared the survey at the beginning of the year, Linux
    had only just started making its presence felt. And yet, when
    I asked this audience of IT Managers whether they were
    considering it as a potential alternative to Windows NT, 20%
    said "Yes", with another 27% unsure of what they might be
    using as an Enterprise OS beyond the millennium.

    Is the writing on the wall and if so, what's changed? Well for
    a start, just over a year ago, I would have said that 80% of
    Microsoft Windows NT Forum members would jump to Windows 2000
    within twelve months of its release. Today, given a number of
    factors, including delays, certitude, among the group that
    were questioned, has slipped to 30%. I'm not sure that very
    many IT Managers really believe that Linux will really take
    the place of Windows NT. However, the evidence from this
    relatively small but influential group of customers, is that
    Windows 2000 is no longer a foregone conclusion and that
    options are being kept very much open.
  • sistern

    Um, according to Websters, there's no such word.

    There is 'cistern', but I don't think that's what you were looking for ;)
  • I Agree, As long as the NT Admins are competent, and don't just load it default, then NT Stays up without issue.
    This is a stale issue, try to find something else to whinge about.
  • "If I want to play quake or download streaming media I will use NT..."
    Uh, don't know what cave you've been in recently but I can play quake2 or quake3 on my Linux box. Also recently Real released the G2 player as an alpha for Linux, and as far as I've used it (listening to music) it works pretty well. So with those two problems solved, what do you use NT for again?

  • sistren

    Um, according to Websters [], there's no such word.

  • Win2K does go a long way towards fixing all of NT's stupid "features".

    I fully agree that NT boxes are nearly impossible to administrate remotely (a big issue for a college student/sysadmin for multiple labs). With the help of third-party utilities (read: more money), _some_ of those stupid features get ironed out.

    I installed Beta 3 of Windows 2000 on my newly-built personal machine. It appears to fix a lot of those problems. Integrated CPU, memory, and disk space quotas (FINALLY! What took them so long?!), practically requires use of NTFS (the ONLY decent filesystem they've ever produced), (X-)terminal services, and a decent networking scheme. And my complete installation took two reboots, and required very little input.

    As for the admin that started this thread, something is seriously wrong if you made a 95 box the print server. Where were you hosting DHCP? My DHCP server is up nine months at a time, and then is taken down for applying patches. It's a P90 from IBM. My file and print servers (one Alpha/4-166, a dual PII-300, and a P200MMX) have uptimes of about six months.

    I also have an NT Workstation box that has all sorts of beta programs, shareware, and freeware installed. It's a P200 with uptimes of three months. Oh, and it's also file and ghost image server.

    The price issue is moot - except for migrations, which should only be done because of SERIOUS problems with the current platform. Migrations are naturally expensive. Licensing is definitely an issue. Microsoft licenses ARE extremely expensive, especially when compared to, oh, I don't know, almost every Linux and BSD variant.

    2000 also demands hardware - and quality at that. Like NT, it is not tolerant of minor hardware glitches like 9x, or some Unix flavors are. On my K62-333, it took two hours to install itself on 900MB (Server, all options). Once installed, it used 128MB RAM. Most *nixes are much happier on much less hardware. Less Hardware = Cheaper.

    All reports are true for NT and 9x. They are dead. The NT kernel did many things right, but it was bulky and unmanagable. 9x finally developed a reasonable interface, but the kernel was major suckage and the networking atrocious. 2000 became managable. Win2K actually is decent. But it's expensive and requires powerful hardware for reasonable performance.

    Unfortunately, *nix had all of these features nearly a decade ago, which means that M$ is finally catching up with reality.

    *nix has the kernel, the administration-capabilities. It just needs a very-compatable-with-all-sorts-of-hardware-and-inc redibly-easy-to-setup GUI, Plug'n'Play support, and it could very much become the OS of choice everywhere. Which is what you have to do to survive the bloated vaccuous force that is M$.
  • Did you ever notice that when ST:TNG needed a plot device, they either used an Alien Probe, Q, or some sort of virus?

    An alien probe was even responsible for making the captain think he was living out the rest of his life on an dying planet.


    Given infinite time, 100 monkeys could type out the complete works of Shakespeare.
  • Would you go to a mechanic who claimed to solve all your servicing needs with a screwdriver. Call me old fashioned but I wouldnt. Would you go to a consultant who claimed to solve all your problems with Linux. Again, I wouldnt. Just as M$ is wrong in its "extreme right" stance, Linux users could be getting into the trap of "extreme left" stance. The problem is not with right or left but with "extreme" Any extreme is bad. Too much of anything can be bad. (including middle. That is why I keep fluctuating)

    Okay NT is not as good as it should be. LInux is not God either. It has its fault too. On the desktop it is not very good. And X sucks. It is a different matter that is sucks independant of the OS.

    What people will have to look at is both NT and linux will coexist. I want an alternative to NT not another NT in disguise who claims that he can do anything and is the be all and end all. I need an operating system that will augument and give me choice. We are using linux on our network to get somethings done. But I would still rate Win as a better desktop OS. HOpefully Linux will become better in the coming years. And so will NT. Then all of us will be winners becos there will be competition and also better features. Linux should thank NT for the competition and respond to issues raised by NT admins instead of ridiculing them. FOr example, there are no apps to match Notes or MSX. There is no Directory Services and so on. Concentrate on having better features. Not on NT.

    Understand that the success of Linux so far has been becos it quietly concentrated on providing a better OS and not on hype. Dont worry about the hype. Do a good job and it will pay off.
  • Before bashing this guy think twice, peeps. While I am certainly a microsoft hater, and would rather slam my balls in a 1977 monte carlo's trunk lid, that is just my opinion and I don't try to push it on anyone else. I seem to remember some famous OSS guy who's referred to by initials a lot saying something about free software being more like free speech than free beer. Instead of the flamage we tend to drop to so quick, we should remember the reason we love linux so much, because it allows FREEDOM. In our case, we want the freedom to have the source to our OS and muck around with it all we want. In some other users' cases, it's the freedom to talk openly about their honest opinion about something that might not be all that popular without fearing ridicule and flamage. Free source, Free speech, Free beer, Free sex... it's all about the freedoms people, lets be as unlike the tyrants and "the man" as we can. If someone wants to use crappy software, lets give him that option, after all, he's free to make that choice.

    Tell a man that there are 400 Billion stars and he'll believe you
  • Umm, That's just plain
    A) RUDE
    B) WRONG

    I've used linux since 1995, at home, along with Windows, Mac and Amiga. I've found linux a joy.

    At work, I program for the win family of fecal matter... i mean products.

    To claim people who use windows are stupid is just fucking ignorant.
  • sob's cant get a damn thing done with iis. im completely frustrated working with nt least the ones ive worked with. im a web designer/programmer/technoligist by profession and i have been slowly persuading the admins to switch from nt and incorporate linux into our webservers/mailservers/printservers etc.

    here are some statements that you can use to persuade your fellow nt admins:
    "you'll never have to reapply a service pack again!"
    "you wont have to reboot your webserver 600 times!"
    "your silly mail server wont get bogged down if the employees decide to send a nude santa claus to everyone on christmas!"

    these statements have successfully worked in convincing the admins of another solution---LINUX

    so by years end we'll be able to chalk up another company that is switching from nt to linux.

    now i gotta get good with linux :)
  • I've been an NT admin for 4 years now and am a RedHat Linux user @ home. I am in the process of testing Samba on Linux vs. NT for my company. I would have to agree that the learning curve for most people going from NT to a flavor of niX is a bit more cumbersome than going from niX to NT.

    However, I consider myself able to move around within linux and am fast becoming Linux literate.

    I do believe that your statment is as IGNORANT as non-linux users saying that linux is junk...

    Watch what you say bud.. Keep you monkey out of your mouth...

  • NT is almost livable once you reach a steady state and do not install/upgrade software. It helps to install cygwin un*x utilities (bash etc), emacs,
    vncviewer (X server) and to develop in Java. The corporations mail system and the use of non standard files (microft word etc) make using linux on the desktop a bit of a problem, though I am tempted to dual boot (yep I am a bit of a coward) and occasionally use another pc remotely for accessing micrsoft stuff.
  • So, did anyone notice?
    'Inaugural survey of the Microsoft Exchange forum'
    principal corporate messaging solution: Exchange with 65%
    and lastly:
    'If anything has to go in favor of the y2k project, what will it be?'
    The Groupware system.

    Link the three together and you'll have difficulty to stop laughing :)))
  • ok ok ok.... I am a sysadmin in an NT shop with around 65 NT servers, 3 HP-UX servers, and I can say this:
    I run Linux at home for EVERYTHING. I have my boss installing Linux at home now that I have DNS running here at work and it actually works unlike microsquish. We are going to be putting together a big 75 agency ISP type service. Was set to be 9 NT servers. I have it down to 1 NT server, 1 HP-UX server, and 3 Linux servers. So I can say that I am tryin my a$$ off to get it in here, and my boss is listening. We don't like NT all that much, but we have TONS of db's, and no other alternative. But with Oracle, we do now.

  • Do you really wanna get me started? . . . .

    didn't think so. you better check yourself before you wreck yourself......
  • The only BSOD you have seen are hardware related??? I wish I were that lucky. I got 60+ NT boxes around, and a few of them have BS'ed and not one of em was hw related. Corrupt event viewer is my favorite. If NT finds a corrupt event viewer message, it BS's.. And you have to replace a dll(during reboot) then reboot again... What a piece...That's why real men run unix in general not so many damn reboots IF something goes wrong...
  • OK I work at one of the largest companies in the world. First of all, how the hell do you come up with $50/hour per employee? And second. Wouldn't you say that Win95 machines locking up or not working an average of 1 hour a week is alot? Multiply that by the 1500 workstations I got, times 52 weeks. At "$50/hour", that's $78000 right there... Now we are up to $178000.... Oops did that go over your head? Sorry.. and nevermind the fact that any admin worth his dough knows that the reboots of the NT box are numerous.. let's not forget that... NEXT!

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.