Cool Solutions

Maybe all these Linux users DO know what they’re talking about


February 15, 2006 1:17 pm





“In many cases, Linux is likely to be a significantly less expensive platform to acquire and maintain than Windows,” says a study released this week by Enterprise Management Associates. The report, sponsored by OSDL and Levanta, helps confirm what many organizations already know … that Linux is a compelling alternative to Windows. It also provides an oasis of Linux research among the seemingly endless dunes of Microsoft-funded reports.So check out the report itself, and a few stories and comments about it from eWeek, InformationWeek, Linux-Watch and InfoWorld.Feb 16 note added: Read the comment below for Bill Claybrook’s more detailed assessment of this study. Thanks!

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Categories: Expert Views, General, PR Blog


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  1. Linux is a Cost-Effective Alternative to Windows: Details

    A February 2006 Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) research study sponsored by Linux systems management vendor, Levanta, shows that Linux is a cost-effective alternative to Windows. The EMA research study is based on a telephone survey of IT organizations, a Web survey, and in-depth interviews with CIOs and MIS managers (in 13 enterprises with Linux environments). A copy of the findings report is available for download at

    The report:
    1.Shows that management of Linux systems is fast, easy, and low-cost.
    2.Counters Microsoft-funded, flawed TCO studies that attempt to show that managing Linux is more costly than managing Windows.

    EMA’s survey shows that Linux system administrators currently have a variety of tools to help them do their jobs quickly and efficiently another sign that Linux has come of age. Novell understands the value of good management tools in reducing Linux management costs. But, it also knows that administrators’ tasks are made significantly easier because Linux is highly available and very secure two areas where Windows fails to impress customers. The EMA survey validates this most survey respondents report that Linux has 99.99% availability, and they spend only a few minutes per server per week managing Linux security.

    Clearing the smoke
    Microsoft has tried to mask Windows’ inherent problems via sponsored reports on its Get the Facts Web page by conjuring up irrelevant workload and workflow processes/scenarios for analysis. But companies that run both Linux and Windows systems can see through the smoke.

    As an example, hosting companies interviewed by EMA with a total of 7,000 Linux servers (and a significant number of Windows systems) said that they spend less than two minutes per Linux server per week managing patches, security, viruses, and spyware.

    EMA interviewed several enterprise IT departments with an average of 700 Linux servers and over 300 Windows servers. They view Linux as inherently more secure than Windows (and Solaris for that matter), and if cost is a concern you go with Linux. One of the enterprises indicated that it performs about one patch on Linux for every 50 patches on Windows.

    CIOs and IT managers concerned about availability, security and saving money should read the EMA research study. While several of the respondents had small numbers of Linux systems, the interviews with large hosting companies and enterprise IT departments indicate that EMA’s findings scale and are relevant for organizations with large numbers of Linux systems. In fact, as Linux organizations grow and gain more experience, we expect the time required for various management tasks to drop.

  2. Here’s another link to a story on the study.

    Any chance Novell will sponsor a TCO study?

  3. Sean, I don’t know if Novell is going to sponsor a TCO study for Linux versus Windows. But I think it would be interesting to see a study done around the cost of downtime and loss of business due to security vulnerabilities. As you probably know there have been a number of papers sponsored by Microsoft that have addressed the efficiency of patching vulnerabilities — Linux versus Windows, etc, using basically meaningless scenarios. But no one has taken on a study like the one that I suggest. This would be a lengthy and costly study best done through the collaboration of a group of Linux vendors. Bill