Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Linux Authors: Roger Strukhoff, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Hovhannes Avoyan, Esmeralda Swartz

Related Topics: Linux

Linux: 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
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The best mobile applications are augmented by dedicated servers, the Internet and Cloud services. Mobile developers should focus on one thing: writing the next socially disruptive viral app. Thanks to the cloud, they can focus on the overall solution, not the underlying plumbing. From iOS to Android and Windows, developers can leverage cloud services to create a common cross-platform backend to persist user settings, app data, broadcast notifications, run jobs, etc. This session provides a high level technical overview of many cloud services available to mobile app developers, includi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will meet your customers' needs of tomorrow - today! Ciqada. Let your products take flight. For more inform...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch of Docker's initial release in March of 2013, interest was revved up several notches. Then late last...
Health care systems across the globe are under enormous strain, as facilities reach capacity and costs continue to rise. M2M and the Internet of Things have the potential to transform the industry through connected health solutions that can make care more efficient while reducing costs. In fact, Vodafone's annual M2M Barometer Report forecasts M2M applications rising to 57 percent in health care and life sciences by 2016. Lively is one of Vodafone's health care partners, whose solutions enable older adults to live independent lives while staying connected to loved ones. M2M will continue to gr...
Dave will share his insights on how Internet of Things for Enterprises are transforming and making more productive and efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures in the cleantech industry and beyond. Speaker Bio: Dave Landa is chief operating officer of Cybozu Corp (kintone US). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dave has been on the forefront of the Cloud revolution driving strategic business development on the executive teams of multiple leading Software as a Services (SaaS) application providers dating back to 2004. Cybozu's kintone.com is a leading global BYOA (Build Your O...
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that GENBAND, a leading developer of real time communications software solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The GENBAND team will be on hand to demonstrate their newest product, Kandy. Kandy is a communications Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) that enables companies to seamlessly integrate more human communications into their Web and mobile applications - creating more engaging experiences for their customers and boosting collaboration and productiv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BroadSoft, the leading global provider of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC) services to operators worldwide, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's WebRTC Summit, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BroadSoft is the leading provider of software and services that enable mobile, fixed-line and cable service providers to offer Unified Communications over their Internet Protocol networks. The Company’s core communications platform enables the delivery of a range of enterprise and consumer calling...
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to offer disruptive APIs to developers.
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. He is a Microsoft Regional Director for Hyderabad, India, and one of the f...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
So I guess we’ve officially entered a new era of lean and mean. I say this with the announcement of Ubuntu Snappy Core, “designed for lightweight cloud container hosts running Docker and for smart devices,” according to Canonical. “Snappy Ubuntu Core is the smallest Ubuntu available, designed for security and efficiency in devices or on the cloud.” This first version of Snappy Ubuntu Core features secure app containment and Docker 1.6 (1.5 in main release), is available on public clouds, and for ARM and x86 devices on several IoT boards. It’s a Trend! This announcement comes just as...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @ThingsExpo Blog launched with 7,788 original stories. @ThingsExpo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @ThingsExpo Blog can be bookmarked. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE
SYS-CON Events announced today that robomq.io will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. robomq.io is an interoperable and composable platform that connects any device to any application. It helps systems integrators and the solution providers build new and innovative products and service for industries requiring monitoring or intelligence from devices and sensors.
Wearable technology was dominant at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) , and MWC was no exception to this trend. New versions of favorites, such as the Samsung Gear (three new products were released: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo and the Gear Fit), shared the limelight with new wearables like Pebble Time Steel (the new premium version of the company’s previously released smartwatch) and the LG Watch Urbane. The most dramatic difference at MWC was an emphasis on presenting wearables as fashion accessories and moving away from the original clunky technology associated with t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable cloud platform.
In 2015, 4.9 billion connected "things" will be in use. By 2020, Gartner forecasts this amount to be 25 billion, a 410 percent increase in just five years. How will businesses handle this rapid growth of data? Hadoop will continue to improve its technology to meet business demands, by enabling businesses to access/analyze data in real time, when and where they need it. Cloudera's Chief Technologist, Eli Collins, will discuss how Big Data is keeping up with today's data demands and how in the future, data and analytics will be pervasive, embedded into every workflow, application and infra...