Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Jignesh Solanki, Stackify Blog, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Linux Adoption For The Windows User Overcoming Habit and Fear of Change

Overcoming habit and fear of change

In today's market IT professionals face a wide array of issues ranging from virus outbreaks to security flaws. These problems have spurred a revolution called Linux and Open Source.

IT professionals face a wide variety of issues ranging form virus outbreaks to security flaws across the board. In fact, advisories from IT-security services have grown from less than 300 per month to an average well above that for 2005. Of those advisories, 72% of them were of a nature where they could be executed remotely. These problems have spurred a revolution in the IT industry.

As this trend grows, concerns are arising about how safe your data is and whether systems that don't share their inter-workings can move rapidly to address these growing trends.

The Linux and Open Source community as a whole have developed greatly from the days of command prompts and command lines evolving into enterprise class systems with complex and useful graphical interfaces. This offers enterprises more choices than they ever had before as systems using open standards are transportable from one vendor to another. Applications can be hosted on Microsoft or Linux servers. Back office solutions like Apache Web servers (www.apache.org) can reside on Windows Servers until their logical end of life and then be migrated to a Linux platform when and if you choose to move later on.

These hurdles can be conquered, but to make the change from other operating systems cost-effective and the transition as smooth as possible, there must be one crucial piece in place, which should be in your plan. Linux migration can be a tremendous task, taking many man-hours as well as downtime, coupled with the task of retraining people on the new chosen desktop. Today many are looking for a way to transition or to protect an already stressed and venerable Windows environment. The question not only is what distribution to use, but how to find solutions that lessen the problems and labor involved in transitioning your current infrastructure. Moving from Windows to Linux should be no more resource consuming than moving from one version of Windows to another, if you plan well. As a distributor of bundled Linux products, I find that IT managers and end users alike are not interested in products but rather solutions - a combination of tools and systems that solve problems at a reasonable cost. Open Source software backed by competent vendors makes it possible for small companies to innovate and then interoperate to provide robust solutions that rival traditional Windows and Unix software.

The first step in bringing your plan to life is to choose a distribution, the term used by Linux vendors to identify their particular packaging of Linux that fits your needs and will have the most flexibility to leverage the investment in hardware and software. You don't want to make a hasty decision and choose an operating system because it may be a name you know; choose a system that has the most flexibility and features that will benefit you or your company. You may be asking yourself, "Well, what do I do with all the mission-critical information I have accumulated over the past years? Get rid of it?' The answer is no! There are many software suites on the market that will convert your much-needed Windows-based information over to Linux while ensuring that there is no loss of critical data. The next question you may be asking is, "What about the legacy software that my business or I use that requires Windows?" The good news is that there are also programs that will allow you to run Windows on a Linux platform as well as backing up and restoring your data. These include the community-sponsored Wine Project (www.winehq.org), Win4Lin (www.win4lin.com), and VMware. There are even plans by Microsoft to include virtualization products in their next generation product, Longhorn, that are purported to allow for the hosting of non-Microsoft operating systems as guest operating systems.

Finding the right Linux distribution for your company is not as difficult as you may think. Many distributions make the transition simple by providing the tools and interfaces with simple and recognizable formats. SimplyMEPIS (www.mepis.org) and Novell Linux Desktop (www.novell.com/products/desktop) are both examples of simple interfaces that may be familiar or, at the very least, intuitive. Many Linux technical users aren't fans of this approach because they tend to want to customize their interface rather than limit their number of choices This may be a consideration for the technical user or early Linux adopter, but the user who might benefit the most from an Open Source adoption decision is task-based or knowledge workers, not technical users. If your company is like most, you'll need to find one that incorporates many of the utilities and interfaces that resemble what your group is used to. Finding the right tools is what is needed to save time and effort and make your conversion a simple one.

An important thing to look for is an all-inclusive set of utilities to make the transition simple - getting the Windows environment converted to Linux. Several companies now offer a solution to convert a Windows Desktop to Linux by backing up all the information on the workstation and restoring it to Linux. One such provider is Versora (www.versora.com), which makes a product called Progression Desktop; others include Alacos Migration Agent (www.alacos.com) and Resolvo MoveOver (www.resolvo.com). On the server end, Versora offers utilities to convert Windows IIS and MSSQL to Apache and MySQL, along with others. Migrating to Linux may require a phased-in approach where Linux becomes the platform for most of your applications. Though mission-critical Windows applications may not be ported immediately, the stopgap could be to use Windows-hosted clients in a virtual machine, which is either server-based or on the desktop, depending on the number of workstations that need to run Windows applications. Eventually you may find that these applications can be migrated to Web services or ported to a Java or even a native Linux solution. In the mid term, this best-of-both-worlds approach can ease migration headaches and give you flexible Windows environments that are now network transparent and wrapped by the Linux host operating system to help insulate you from the aforementioned growing security threats.

Training
While you may have answered the technical issues, a user or company must consider the training issues involved. This can get somewhat tricky if you have individuals in your company who have used one operating system for most of their professional career, making them hesitant to make a move to a different system. The personnel transition can be attuned to the late '70s and early '80s when people went from paper to computers. As you now know, most employees have some form of workstation on their desk today, which was unimaginable in the '80s.

It's a hard fact that people fear change but there is one way to overcome this issue and that is education. Education means hands-on training, from the technical staff to the end users. In addition, the training curve may not be as bad as you may suspect. In their 2003 Linux Usability Study Report, Relevantive A,G. (www.linux-usability.de/download/linux_usability_report_en.pdf) found that 92% of participants who were using the Linux desktop environment presented to them stated that it was very easy or quite easy to use, and 8% of respondents said that it was quite difficult to use, which was almost equivalent to the 5% of respondents during the survey who had the same to say about Windows XP. The same study showed that 80% of Linux test participants felt they would reach the same level of competence they had on their current Windows PC.

More Stories By Dianne Ursini

Dianne E. Ursini is the CEO of Technalign, Inc., the company that assists in development and markets TaFusion MEPIS Linux and other Linux software. Dianne has been in IT since 1971 starting with mainframe computers and moving to PCs in the late 70s. Her experience ranges from development, sales, and marketing to consulting.

Comments (3) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
LinuxWorld News Desk 10/15/05 01:31:53 PM EDT

Linux Adoption For The Windows User Overcoming Habit and Fear of Change. In today's market IT professionals face a wide array of issues ranging from virus outbreaks to security flaws. These problems have spurred a revolution called Linux and Open Source. IT professionals face a wide variety of issues ranging form virus outbreaks to security flaws across the board.

SYS-CON Italy News Desk 10/15/05 12:57:43 PM EDT

Linux Adoption For The Windows User Overcoming Habit and Fear of Change. In today's market IT professionals face a wide array of issues ranging from virus outbreaks to security flaws. These problems have spurred a revolution called Linux and Open Source. IT professionals face a wide variety of issues ranging form virus outbreaks to security flaws across the board.

LinuxWorld News Desk 09/27/05 01:52:43 PM EDT

Linux Adoption For The Windows User Overcoming Habit and Fear of Change. In today's market IT professionals face a wide array of issues ranging from virus outbreaks to security flaws. These problems have spurred a revolution called Linux and Open Source. IT professionals face a wide variety of issues ranging form virus outbreaks to security flaws across the board.

@ThingsExpo Stories
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...