Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server

Andrew Froehlich, Network Engineer & IT Consultant | 2/8/2013 | 10 comments

Andrew Froehlich
There have been some disruptions in the Linux community that may have IT administrators a bit nervous. So nervous, in fact, that they might consider moving to a server OS like Windows Server 2012 that has a far more predictable future.

Even though Linux has struggled to make it to the desktop, it has been hugely successful in the server arena. Linux is known for being a flexible and highly stable operating system, and it's almost a certainty that you have a few instances of a Linux OS somewhere within your infrastructure.

One of the main selling points of Linux is the fact that it's open-sourced. There are plenty of benefits when using open-sourced operating systems as it creates an environment of flexibility and customizability that closed operating systems simply cannot match. Additionally, open-source software has the reputation of quality and security because bugs are identified and fixed by the much larger open-source developer community.

But all this freedom and code-sharing comes at a price. Because there is so much freedom, it has fostered a huge number of Linux distributions that cause a great deal of confusion when trying to standardize and support only a few flavors.

It used to be that enterprise customers gravitated to a handful of Linux distributions that were deemed to be the most stable and provided a sense of stability in regard to a roadmap into the future. But open-source software can get a bit dicy when lead developers begin to disagree in public.

For example, when a lead developer for Red Hat ups and quits while bashing the quality of the latest Fedora release, it doesn't exactly give IT managers a warm fuzzy. After all, the direction and success of open-source software is largely dependent on the community of developers. If the most qualified developers lose interest or dislike the direction a Linux distribution is headed, the quality of code begins to suffer. That leaves you with the choice of either switching to a different open-source OS, or to move back to a closed solution.

Contrast the issues of Linux with the latest closed-sourced server OS, Windows Server 2012. For one, much of the confusion of choosing the right server version is eliminated with Microsoft. There are only a handful of Server 2012 license options and there are easy upgrade paths. Security has also been greatly improved, and Microsoft is getting much better in terms of being faster to patch holes and does so on a consistent schedule. Lastly, the roadmap for Windows server 2012 is clear and it's safe to say that Microsoft is committed to delivering a solid platform with which to run your applications on and to store your data.

I fully believe that there is a place for Linux and open-source software in the datacenter. But there are times when one has to evaluate how much trust can be placed on the open-source community. Today the community for your variant of Linux might be full of the best talent creating exciting new features to patch the latest security holes. But you never know if that enthusiasm will eventually dry up for one reason or another. If this is something that bothers you, then open-source may not be your cup of tea, and you may feel far more comfortable running your applications on a closed operating system.

View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Technocrat   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/10/2013 9:09:17 PM
Re: interesting
@batye   Agreed.  Therein lies the problem, most cannot get the continuous hand ons experience that is required to become proficient with Linux.  This is too bad, at least one admin should be able to navigate this OS.
batye   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/10/2013 6:12:32 PM
Re: interesting
yes, you are right, but this days to know what you doing you do need good hands on expr. with Linux...
Technocrat   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/10/2013 2:48:18 PM
Re: interesting
Agreed Salik, even those who have experience with installation of Linux can get crossed up at times. It is a challenge to change one's thinking during the installation process, but after you do it a few dozen times it begins to get easier - strange how that works

: )
Technocrat   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/10/2013 2:45:38 PM
Re: interesting
Excellent point Andrew, this question of what type of Linux do you use somehow reflects a maturation for Linux in general.  Though while there are many different flavors, IMO those starting out should focus on the most popular in terms of enterprise use. 

One has little to loose by starting and staying with Red Hat for instance, but Ubuntu would get the job done as well.
Salik   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/10/2013 2:26:12 AM
Re: interesting
Yes right, and having read in books that Linux has more flavors than ice cream has, we must be very specific about what version of the Linux OS are we refering to. Many institutes all over know exactly how to install Windows, but give them the task to install Linux OS, many will stagger and will need support. 
Andrew Froehlich   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/9/2013 7:10:40 PM
Re: interesting
And in looking for Linux professionals, you can no longer ask "do you know Linux?" Instead, you have to dig much deeper to know what type of Linux and have the knowledge of how much that flavor will cross over into the flavor you support.
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Technocrat   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/9/2013 7:03:37 PM
Re: interesting
@Salik   I agree.  I think a major reason for the lack of use is that there is little training when one is in school.  It is so much easier to install Windows and forget about it, but the use of MS products can be confining and the power of the OS is buried often under the pretty interfaces, and of course there are other ways to achieve the same end, MS's way is not the only way, no matter what they tell you.
Technocrat   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/9/2013 6:59:26 PM
If "Fear" Is Your Middle Name....
I really don't think the argument against the use of Linux is valid.  If a company is leaning towards using Linux it would be smart to research the options, there are a few main players that are relatively stable and will be around for the length of a company's use.


For those whose middle name is fear, then MS2012 offerings will allow them to unreasonably repress this illogical response to change.
Salik   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/9/2013 2:43:16 AM
Re: interesting
One of the major concerns with the Linux is the lack of knowledge people have using it. If that knowledge is somehow imparted better in the universities as well as high school level I guess efficiency and performance with a better control can be reached. Just the concern of "are people using Linux properly?" is what appeals me.
batye   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/8/2013 2:22:14 PM
I trust you are right as with Linux a lot of the time you have better control and more productivity as long as you know... how to use it properly...

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