Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Upgrading or Migrating?

Upgrading or Migrating?

Earlier this year, I dealt with a small company with three users. They also had three servers:

  • 300 MHz web server running NT4 Server and IIS
  • 233 MHz file server running NT4 Server
  • 500 MHz mail and database server running NT4, Exchange 5.5 and SQL Server 7.0

The services were split across three machines to spread risks. Through their firewall, only the web server was fully visible from the Internet, whilst the mail server was visible from an off-site mail forwarder. The file server was not at all visible from the Internet.

Because Microsoft will be withdrawing support for NT4 Server, they had to consider upgrading at some point over the next year. The O/S on the servers would need to go up to Windows Server 2003, which itself has considerable cost. In addition, the first two servers would under no circumstances be capable of running this. The third would probably be able to, but was below the minimum recommended configuration. Upgrading to Windows Server 2003 would require them to buy three new servers. In addition to this, Exchange 5.5 and SQL Server 7.0 would not run on the new O/S, so these would need to be upgraded as well. The cost of this was getting close to £10K, without even considering the costs of technical assistance to make this move. The new software would give them a lot of new functionality, but they did not need it. They were very happy with the NT4-based solution, which did not requre a lot of maintenance. The new functionality also comes with a larger risks of 'vulnerabilities' (a.k.a. bugs), so they would need to start looking very seriously at continuous patch management.

For just three users the cost of upgrading was simply not justifiable. But the risk of not upgrading was that if new vulnerabilities were to be found in their current software, they would not be able to protect themselves, as Microsoft will not be developing patches for NT4 after support is withdrawn.

Although this was not a tech company, the system administrator was a teach-savvy lady, who had used Unix a little bit whilst she was at University in the early eighties. She had not thought of using Linux for their current environment, but after I mentioned it, she was willing to consider the idea. We proposed migrating the three servers to Red Hat 8.0. This runs fine on the existing hardware and has no software costs. The web server was to become Apache, whilst file and print services were going to be delivered with Samba, both of which are free. Exchange was replaced with Samsung Contact and SQL Server was replaced with ProgresSQL, also at no cost (Samsung Contact is a closed source product, but can be used for free with up to five users). The total software/hardware cost of this migration plan was therefore £0.00. The only cost they had was two days of consulting from myself.

After migrating, the company also found that their servers had better performance, were much more stable and required much less attention overall, allowing their system administrator to focus more on her main job.

I had a call from her yesterday: What would it take to move their Windows 2000 desktops to Linux as well?

More Stories By Herman Verkade

Herman Verkade is a UK-based, independent consultant who specializes in the management of large-scale heterogeneous environments. Over the past 22 years he has worked mostly with financial institutions in the UK, the U.S., and continental Europe.

Comments (5)

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.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Charles Araujo is an industry analyst, internationally recognized authority on the Digital Enterprise and author of The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. As Principal Analyst with Intellyx, he writes, speaks and advises organizations on how to navigate through this time of disruption. He is also the founder of The Institute for Digital Transformation and a sought after keynote speaker. He has been a regular contributor to both InformationWeek and CIO Insight...
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 settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...