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Linux or Windows IT Infrastructure

Posted on 2015-02-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2015-02-16
I imagine this question is a bit subjective. But I would like to hear some feedback regarding the pros and cons of having a full blown Linux infrastructure. I see more Microsoft dominant infrastructures ( with not one linux server) yet I have seen a few linux environments with some Microsoft servers. Microsoft has always been dominant with the  bigger roles- such as Directory services and Mail, Files servers even database servers, terminal services (citrix)

If you were able to start from scratch, would you be able to build an infrastructure on pure linux and get away with the big commercials products such as Exchange and Active Directory etc ?

I have used linux for a few years now and see how it is very stable. With that said, it can be very granular when it comes to both configuration and troubleshooting.

What is your thought about trying to convince an mid / enterprise level company to think about switching over to linux. Aside from the convergence process, I am thinking about the final product and how the end users  will be impacted with respect to change from Exchange, outlook, and administration from the IT Engineers Point of view.
Will the Microsoft application prevail? Or will an infrastructure be able to merge to full Linux world – assuming all engineers acquire formal training.

Question by:tobe1424
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

pjam earned 500 total points
ID: 40598928
Interesting question.
As someone who was forced to got from NetWare 6.5 (very stable) to Windows, I believe your biggest issue is going to convince upper management.  They are familiar with Windows ad probably now nothing about Linux.
As an old NetWare CNE I would suggest you might try Suse Enterprise.  Trial download here if you have some hardware you can play with and present to said management.
LVL 96

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 500 total points
ID: 40599568
The answer depends on your resources, which include skills of you and your staff.

Consider, LOTS of people think Linux is free.  Is it?  If you know Windows VERY well but don't like the license cost, but don't know linux much at all, how much TIME will it take you to get as good at linux as you might be at Windows?  What about your existing staff?  How much time to bring them up to speed?  How much time and training costs will it be to train your users on Linux desktops?  It's generally easy to train them on Mac or PC - most people have one or the other at home... VERY VERY VERY FEW have linux at home.  

What about troubleshooting... maybe it's changed in the last few years, but in my experience, the "forum" users of Linux have a preferred reply to any request for help... RTFM.  Personally, I would RTFM... if I had the time... I don't... that's why I'm asking the question moron!

I'm not saying linux is the wrong choice... or that Windows is the only choice... but you really have to understand the benefits and drawbacks... yes, you're paying a license fee for Windows... but you also have a HUGE installed base capable or resolving problems... Linux isn't quite so user friendly on MANY levels.
LVL 62

Assisted Solution

gheist earned 1000 total points
ID: 40599800
Linux can emulate active directory and you can keep windows desktops for a while. Libre/OpenOfice is strong unless you have docx forms to fill with 100 macros....
Exchange? http://osalt.com/exchange#alts
Just stay with long-term releases, suse, redhat, ubuntu lts, debian-lts opensuse-evergreen, centos, as you see at the tail you get some fancy free options. SuSE is best place to start to learn about transitioning from netware...

What you will miss - most of the the GPO stuff, SCCM, and other options to pay more per seat.
Linux is handy in learning by doing. Probaby formal training is good to start, but one needs to adapt to environment after anyway.

Author Comment

ID: 40601748
Thanks for the feedback.

I understand that open source isn't "free" it just mean the source code is available. For example, I hear that RHEL can get pricey.

With respect to RTFM, I think i know what you mean as I myself have been around the forums.

But with respect to mass deploying applications (GPO, SCCM)  patching servers,.. in essence, where microsoft leads, how will linux stand out at enterprise level roles - not desktops. Perhaps, what will i be able to cut off from the microsoft world if I go all out with SUSE ent ?
LVL 62

Assisted Solution

gheist earned 1000 total points
ID: 40601860
Weird thinking
If you want to use microsoft products like GPO or SCCM - your path is set into making them rich.
I had nice tadpole laptop that my dad used up and gave to kids - you know UNIX desktop.... At the times "windows" was something you ran shortly over DOS to play minesweeper or reversi... Until it crashed.

How you are cut from microsoft? you buy PCs with oem windows, join them to Ubuntu LTS Active Directory, manage them with MMC server manager, you dont notice the difference... (Ubutnu LTS is free, on par with redhat.)

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