Is Linux dead in the Enterprise world?

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by Raraku, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. Great_Guru

    Great_Guru Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2001
    Messages:
    1,225
    Location:
    Australia
    Repetition and Automation are two major incentives to make use of CLI irrelevant of OS.

    If you do something once or even a few times the GUI might be faster but if you do it 100 times CLI wins hands down. Throw in automation and I just don't know how people can argue the fact.

    I guess sys-admins who are pro/purist GUI-mins are happy to live their lives building their chances of RSI.

    Sorry derailing thread /resume thread. Some interesting replies here.
     
  2. BAK

    BAK Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Messages:
    1,197
    Location:
    MornPen, VIC
    Like scripting things using Linux CLI or Powershell to quickly and efficiently (or automate) perform complex tasks that would take significantly longer with the GUI?

    Honestly I can't tell if you're the forum's biggest troll or if you are genuinely that lacking in intelligence. How can anybody be "a programming" for 25 years and not find the CLI so much more powerful than the GUI?
     
  3. s3kemo

    s3kemo Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2003
    Messages:
    5,889
    Location:
    in a house
    Maybe he's a GUI programmer :Pirate:
     
  4. Kataton1c

    Kataton1c Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,466
    Location:
    Adelaide
    http://roundcube.net/ - new version just released.

    There's also open source / commercial solutions such as Zimbra, which is a drop in replacement for Exchange.

    You can also communicate with Active Directory for these solutions if you wish.

    I'm not going to join in the CLI vs GUI debate.

    I definitely don't think Linux is dead in the Enterprise world. Have a look at Redhat, they're the first billion dollar open source company. I find it ironic too, that the businesses that pay for it tend to never contact support either, I'm not talking about single server set ups either, but thousands. They also know they can use other free alternatives such as CentOS, but again, are happy to pay.

    As usual with Linux environments, you don't pay for the software, you pay for some one to set it up and maintain it.
     
  5. NSanity

    NSanity Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Messages:
    18,153
    Location:
    Canberra
    Do you honestly think that Roundcube, Horde, Squirrel or whatever else actually stands up against Gmail?

    Seriously?

    No, its not. Nor is Scalix.

    At small user loads, sure it tries to be feature-comparative - but they don't scale well, certainly not like Exchange does.
     
  6. Kataton1c

    Kataton1c Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2002
    Messages:
    1,466
    Location:
    Adelaide
    You asked for 'some thing a little more than iMap'. While a GUI slapped on top of an old one doesn't quite do that, it's a good step in the right direction and is still a very nice interface. I haven't had a chance to test it out but I will soon.

    Gmail obviously has spam protection, especially since their acquisition of Postini, but it's simple enough to set up a decent filtering service in house which is just as effective. That said it is hard to put value for money against Google Apps, $50 per user per year, if the free service isn't good enough already for a small business, it's a good deal.

    Yes, Zimbra does scale nicely.

    I specifically didn't mention Scalix (and I'm not sure why you did), but Scalix isn't even in production any more.

    I'm not going to argue against or for any points - I use Windows/Exchange/GoogleApps/Linux based solutions every day, each has their pros an cons. A good sys admin is a lazy one, so I prefer which ever solution gets the job done as elegantly and cost effectively as possible.
     
  7. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    42,799
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I don't want to clutter this thread, so I'll list a few of them here in bullet point form. If people want to discuss the finer points of each item, then feel free to start other threads either in the business or other OS forums, and I'll continue the discussions there.

    Team-based Knowledge stores:
    * Confluence (commercial + community)
    * KnowledgeTree (commercial + community)
    * MediaWiki (and a million other wikis) - various

    Configuration and patching management
    * RedHat Network Satellite (commercial) / Spacewalk (community)
    * Canonical Landscape (commercial only)
    * Puppet (commercial + community)
    * CFEngine (commercial + community)
    * Chef (commercial + community)
    * xCAT (commercial + community)

    (Note that some of these configuration management tools I mention above are designed and developed by people like RackSpace, NASA and Amazon - they are designed from the ground up to deal with "at scale" management, often for systems with tens or even hundreds of thousands of physical servers).

    No, not every single CIO. I've worked for a lot of different companies that are different sizes and different market segments. I've met my fair share of CIOs who want open source with community support for the cost and speed of turn around, and others who want a commercial contract with SLAs for the guarantee. Like anything, there is no one type of anything. Variety exists everywhere.

    For example, my current CEO (media and VFX) will take open source and/or community support over and above commercial vendor support. Likewise my previous CEO and CIO (large scale online gaming and finance backends) put a lot of effort into removing their commercial vendor ties (Microsoft and Oracle), and moving to an entirely community-supported open source setup (Scientific Linux and JBoss Community Edition).

    Compare and contrast to previous employers of mine (large scale stadium architecture and planning, Fortune500 finance) who were adamant that vendor-support was a must-have for everything they did.

    If *your* CIO laughs at community support, that's fine. That person is supporting their business in the way they see fit. Others do it their own way. If all my experience has taught me anything, it's that the people who run businesses are as diverse as the businesses themselves. When I read IT threads where people authoritatively state "ALL businesses want X" or "ALL businesses want Y", I can't help but wonder exactly how many businesses those people have peered inside of around the globe, let alone around the country.

    Happy to discuss/argue just about anything with anyone in a civil fashion. Thus far you've added nothing of value, instead falling back to argumentum ad hominem.

    Even Luke212 can actually put forward an argument, rather than taking selective pot shots from the sideline (even if the arguments are ludicrous, at least he has the balls to make them publicly heard).

    By all means, let us hear your opinion on the topic at hand, rather than cheap shots about what you think of me personally.

    I find the people who most frequently praise the GUI as a superior tool are ones who don't have to do things in a repetitive fashion at large scale. It's often a good indication of the size of the deployment they are working with.

    My go-to guy for all my Windows problems, and a person who hands down obliterates anyone I've ever met for both breadth and depth of Microsoft product knowledge is one of the biggest pro-CLI guys I've ever met. I only wish I had the time to spend a few months doing a big PowerShell project with him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  8. obi

    obi Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    127
    You want my actual opinion? Linux and Windows are perfectly interchangeable. OK, maybe that is a bit far, but for 95% of things, it's Ford vs Holden. The only reason people like you are "in demand" are the same reason COBOL programmers charge about 9 billion dollars a day, education is focusing at the wrong layer.

    Linux is dying because people are taught Microsoft, not system administration.
     
  9. Gecko

    Gecko Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    Messages:
    2,715
    Location:
    Sydney
    In some instances, I've had responses from community mailing lists/forums faster than the vendor responses under SLA.

    Where I am, we have about 98% Linux, 2% Windows. Some workloads are better suited to Windows, some are better suited to Linux. I can run both (as much as I prefer Linux), and it just comes down to what is going to be the best fit for the business for each project.

    One thing I've never found a perfect "drop in replacement" for is Exchange (and that is a large part of the Windows % above) - Zimbra, Google Apps etc are very nice, but they don't cater for some of the more esoteric options that people use in Outlook/Exchange. Depends on what your users need though, I've deployed GApps for a couple of places and it suits them perfectly.

    I am loving some of the replies in this thread, especially the "CLI is evil" crowd. I'm one of the ones that rejoiced when Microsoft brought out PowerShell, still got a lot to learn about it and haven't had much time to play with it, but the times I have worked with it I've been impressed.
     
  10. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    42,799
    Location:
    Brisbane
    That's a fairly redundant statement. I don't think anyone is arguing the opposite.

    So on one hand, you agree that Linux sysadmins are in high demand, and then you immediately follow that up by saying Linux is dying? Sounds slightly contradictory.

    Lets throw some terms into it.seek.com.au for laughs (no filters applied to pay, work type, or anything else):

    COBOL: 36 jobs
    Windows: 4049 jobs
    Linux: 5294 jobs
    Microsoft: 9985 jobs

    I'm going out on a limb and assuming "Windows" is a subset of "Microsoft", but "Microsoft" includes specialist jobs outside of the OS itself (SQL Server, Dynamics, BI, C#, .Net, etc, etc).

    Even granting that the benefit of the doubt, and going with the raw numbers, Linux comes in at a tidy 53% of Microsoft jobs. Or on a "two OS preferred" basis, 35:65 ratio Linux:Microsoft.

    Not even the same ballpark to the comparison you made to COBOL. And definitely not in the same ballpark as the thread title either. I can't see a "dead" or "dying" OS here.

    So what about trends? I google phrases like "Linux jobs falling" and get resulting phrases like "falling in love". I try "lower" instead, and get geographical locations ("lower north shore", etc).

    Google the phrase "Linux jobs rise" or "Linux job trends", and the results suggest positive and quite large growth.

    Of course, I'm willing to look at evidence to the contrary. Every trend I can find suggests that Linux is growing in popularity (and it's important to note I'm not suggesting Microsoft is going backwards - I personally see a trend towards heterogeneous environments rather than the traditional "100% Windows shop" that was far more popular 5 years ago, and ditto for places embracing MacOSX and iOS as well). If you can provide me with evidence that suggests something different, I'd love to read it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  11. OP
    OP
    Raraku

    Raraku Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2001
    Messages:
    489
    Location:
    Sydney
    That's awesome to hear and it sounds great in theory - but it doesn't work in practice. Most people who are responsible for money (CEO's CIO'S) are interested in Metrics and KPI's and targets. Not 'Hey I saved some cash because this dude in Bulgaria answered me' I'm not against support forums (hell we are on one right now) but you cannot use that when presenting something which costs a company lots of money as a positive.

    Google apps for business is great for a small business - I wouldn't want any more than about 30-50 users on it in an organisation though. I've noticed some problems appearing for a company who asked me to check their system out - they use the IMAP Connector in Outlook for Google Apps, it's incredibly slow, especially when they deal with large attachments. This company is a mulit-national, multi-million dollar company and I have no idea how they were sold this in the first place.

    CLI is amazingly powerful if you know how to use it. The problem with so many people in business is they have a little knowledge and they're dangerous with it. You also get the type of person who insists their way is the best way, that usually ends in disaster too. No two organisations are ever going to be the same. You can't apply a one shoe fits all solution (MS or Linux across the board) PowerShell for the MS stuff is very powerful, especially for Exchange, adding and changing permissions and especially managing Public Folders! Linux you didn't have much of a choice a few years back, it was CLI or bust!
     
  12. obi

    obi Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2004
    Messages:
    127
    No, I'm suggesting they're in low supply.

    If demand remains unchanged and supply decreases, then it leads to higher equilibrium price and lower quantity.
     
  13. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    42,799
    Location:
    Brisbane
    As above, I think you'd be genuinely surprised at just how many businesses are perfectly happy with a combination of local expertise and community support, rather than traditional vendor/ISV support.

    Likewise, I think you'd be genuinely surprised how many services you use every day that are built on community-supported software, and not vendor-supported software.

    And I'll be blunt once again and say I'm not suggesting it's the majority, or that the world is suddenly swinging around to 100% community supported open source. But it's not the fraction of a percent many OCAUers would believe.

    You mention the "some dude in Bulgaria", which is the typical misconception about a lot of open source (that somehow 100% of open source is stuff coded in basements by teenage nerds). There are a great deal of products out there that are "community supported" by paid staff from some very large companies (IBM, Dell, RedHat, Intel, AMD, VMWare, Toyota, Chrysler, NTT, and countless other large companies have many full time paid developers employed solely to contribute code, documentation and time on mailing lists and community forums to a huge array of free software).

    And of course there are many obscure projects with single developers behind them. But there are plenty of popular ones that many businesses rely on without paying a cent for commercial support, because confidence in "the community" (which includes paid professionals from large companies) is high.
     
  14. Daemon

    Daemon Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    5,471
    Location:
    qld.au
    Have at look at Atmail (http://atmail.com/). It's produced by an Australian company too. The web interface is quick, there's Outlook connectors and it's based on standard (ie supportable) components.

    As for Exchange scaling well, that's news to me :) It's far easier to scale a Linux mail server than Exchange and certainly far more cost effective.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    Raraku

    Raraku Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2001
    Messages:
    489
    Location:
    Sydney
    No I'm sorry but not a single CIO, CEO, IT Manager or BDM I've ever worked for in the past 10 years would be perfectly happy with community support at all.

    The issues they would have would range from data security and integrity to sheer panic if customers found out that the service they were using was supported by anonymous people online.

    Maybe small business would be happy with this arrangement, but not even the absolute tightest of tightasses I've worked for would. Not in a million years. If they didn't have a dedicated support arrangement, an SLA or a vendor contact (EVEN if the vendor was Redhat) they would never go for community based support as a positive.
     
  16. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    42,799
    Location:
    Brisbane
    You've mentioned several times in this thread the phrase "the real world".

    http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com.au/

    Google keep a blog of their enterprise rollouts. On the front page they mention Idaho National Labs pushing 5,000 (five THOUSAND) employees to Google Apps. You can trawl through the blog to find out where much larger rollouts than that have occurred successfully.

    So you're suggesting that the demand for Linux has not changed, despite saying this earlier:
    And you're suggesting that supply for Linux jobs is decreasing despite everything I've seen from industry and recruiters that suggests the opposite. I'd love to read anything you could link me to on the topic (factual, anecdotal, or otherwise). Everything I read or search for only suggests that Linux use and Linux jobs are both on the rise. Try as I might to search for any evidence that suggests there's a downturn in either deployment of Linux or successful placement of Linux job seekers, I can't.
     
  17. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    42,799
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I don't doubt you personally have never seen that situation. However I have on several occasions. And I'll be honest with you - even as a die-hard open source fan, I was surprised on each and every occasion, particularly when the discussion came up from heads of IT at a Fortune500 financial, which was the last place on earth I expected to hear such a thing. It was enough for me to choke on my cup of coffee, I'll tell you now.

    I guess the moral of the story is there's an exception to every rule. Or "never say never".
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Raraku

    Raraku Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2001
    Messages:
    489
    Location:
    Sydney
    I'm telling you from first hand experience with the Product it's not ready for enterprise level environments.

    It's a GREAT start and a great app - but it can't compete on the level with Exchange (Hosted or Local) not yet anyway.

    The environments I've been in have had 30,000 (thirty THOUSAND) mailboxes on Exchange. Yes it costs a lot of money, are people happy with it? Yes.

    Another environment had 50,000 mailboxes - the idea of using Microsoft Hosted mail and Google Hosted mail was investigated but once the bandwidth costs were tallied up, plus the privacy issues (which is massive) it was better off going an in house solution.

    I use the phrase the real world because that's where I work - I work in environments of 30,000+ users, petabytes and above amounts of data, enterprise systems which cost millions of dollars for a custom interface and configuration for us - I respect your opinion elvis as a tech and as an admin. But you can't force Linux onto everybody as a solution for every problem. Open Source is not the answer to every single question ever raised. It has its positives and negatives, as does any other product out there, or vendor.

    I'm telling you in the role I work in, I could never offer Google Apps for business to an enterprise that size and be taken seriously - I can picture the chat now.

    'Hi, I'd like to propose we move all staff mailboxes over to a cloud solution. The benefit is we no longer have to host physical machines here, we're not prone to failure as it's going with a tech giant, it's got 99.999999% uptime, they have great support and it only costs $50 per user per month.'

    CIO: So, where is our information stored?

    Me: Oh, on their servers

    CIO: get out.
     
  19. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    42,799
    Location:
    Brisbane
    For your business. And I don't think anyone is suggesting Linux, Google Apps, or anything else is a fit for 100% of businesses.

    But there are a number of examples of Linux and Google Apps being rolled out into businesses around the world with tens of thousands of users. So clearly it can be successful if the conditions are right.

    It certainly sounds like you and your CIO are making the right decisions for the business you work in. But you don't run every business in every country, and you can't speak for all of them.

    Linux doesn't work for you? Neat. But Linux isn't "dead in the enterprise" because it didn't suit your one business.

    By virtue of the fact that things like Linux and Google Apps have successfully been rolled out in businesses that meet and exceed the size of the one you work for is indication that they are capable. Again, the fact that they don't suit your case specifically is fine. I'm not arguing the case that you should convert tomorrow, or any time ever. I'm merely telling you that other businesses have successfully made the conversion, and it works for them.

    It seems that this topic gets people quite animated. It has done so for decades before, and I'm sure it will for decades to come. Yet it's fairly obvious that variety between businesses and the infrastructure they choose to roll out will always remain, and that anyone who wants to convince themselves that one particular solution is on the way out only need do ten minutes of research to see that it probably isn't.

    I'm not sure I can contribute a whole lot more to you, or this thread. It's quite clear Linux doesn't have a huge role in your business, which nobody is arguing with. But your continual inferences that the rest of the world are identical in requirements or solutions to the business you work is something you're going to have to get past for yourself.

    Viva la difference.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Raraku

    Raraku Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2001
    Messages:
    489
    Location:
    Sydney
    Just being realistic and speaking from the point of view of a business owner/CIO - not an admin/tech for 5 minutes.

    Yes this is my own personal opinion based on my experiences - things I can tell you, I've been helping companies and corporations move away from LAMP based systems for some time, in favour of an MS solution - at their request. 95% of the time due to support arrangements.

    Each to their own and no two enterprises or environments are the same. I'm sure there is some middle ground somewhere.
     

Share This Page

Advertisement: