Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Flint Brenton, Scott Allen

Related Topics: Linux Containers, IT SOLUTIONS GUIDE

Linux Containers: Article

The Practical Manager's Guide to Open Source

Benefits, not costs

IT managers who are about to reach for the aspirin as they try to figure out their open source corporate position should grab this book with both hands instead. As the title suggests, it's pragmatic and deals in realism, not ideology.

The first major benefit is the book's centering on case studies of real implementations, including quantities and dollars. The second is that this case experience is then organized into a plan and a check list to guide any IT manager into exploring what part of and how much of the corporate system can profitably be migrated to open source software and commodity hardware.

Profitably is the operative word, and the theme of the book is the return on investment (ROI) method as a means of evaluating migration potential and of persuading management to consider the merits of and need for the migration. The book examines and puts aside total cost of ownership (TCO) studies not only because they're often silent about their methods and the firms actually sampled; the TCO studies also reflect the motivations of their sponsors and deal in opinions, not facts, and prognostications, not experiences. The chief failing of TCO is that in adding up all present and future costs it omits any benefits, so that a cost/benefits assessment is impossible. The book, then, is a framework and method for conducting IT cost/benefit analysis. As Chad Robinson, senior analyst at the Robert Frances Group (RFG), puts it, "TCO doesn't examine what you could save, what flexibility it will provide you, how much money you could make. Those are the reasons you deploy something."

Despite the TCO focus of the 2002 RFG report, "Total Cost of Ownership for Linux Web Servers in the Enterprise," the book praises the study for its emphasis on the results of actual implementations. It likewise focuses on actual implementations in government and industry, and calculates the benefits from them. One benefit is a perpetual drop in licensing costs for machines switched from proprietary to open source software; another is lowered support costs resulting from having a choice of support vendors. An interesting fact from the RFG study is that "Average salaries for Linux administrators were about 4% higher than for Windows administrators, and about 20% lower than for Solaris administrators." No wonder the largest group of migrations so far could be expressed Slashdot-style as: (1) Drop old Unix hardware; (2) Buy Intel/AMD hardware; (3) Install Linux; (4) Profit. (Even Sun is taking this route with its new Opteron servers, with the hope that users will choose soon-to-be open source Solaris instead.)

The book begins with an introduction to Linux and a general background on how IT departments ended up having to evaluate platform-migration strategies. Rather than bash Microsoft as an evil empire, the author simply sees Windows as an increasingly expensive lock-in that managers must deal with, and shows how to minimize or eliminate the disruption of users from migration, including a good section on how to run Windows applications on Linux (on the other hand, there is scarcely a mention of synchronizing PDAs with Linux). There is important open source licensing information and a discussion of open source benefits.

There are explanations of ROI (including how to calculate benefits), detailed evalu-ations of current open source server and desktop software for corporate use, and a host of tips from the migration case studies. The most interesting is a discussion of how to host Microsoft Office on a Linux server and pipe it out to a number of concurrent users limited to the number of paid Office licenses in the company. The author is an advocate of remotely administered thin-client Linux for savings and efficiency (users can no longer load their computers with junk from home). The growing popularity of thin client is obvious from the recent crowding at the LWCE booth of the Linux Terminal Server Project (www.ltsp.org), which provides free resources for such projects.

While the book may end with rosy predictions of many support organizations and choices becoming available, its blunt talk ranges from schedules (manufacturer Ernie Ball - smarting from the BSA pillory - moved the entire company to open source in four months), to prices (Oracle will be embarrassed), to personnel (since Visual Basic programmers are tied to the Windows platform, they will need to be sent to reeducation camps or liquidated - well, not quite that blunt).

Busy managers should turn to the final chapter for a fine summary of the book's contents and methods before jumping into the details. Remember, benefits should outweigh costs (ROI) and reduced costs enable benefits, such as having more custom software written. Don't forget to look at the long term too, not least because of the competitive advantage the early adopters will have over the late ones. This book says it all.

To purchase this book, go to www.lulu.com/winslow.

More Stories By Donald Rosenberg

Longer bio:


Donald K. Rosenberg is president of Stromian Technologies, a marketing consulting firm specializing in OEM software licensing and Open Source licensing and marketing issues. He is the author of Open Source: The Unauthorized White Papers, (Wiley), a book taking a business approach to Open Source software, now on the Web at ftp://ftp.novell.com/pub/forge/documents/Open%20Source:%20The%20Unauthorize
d%20White%20Papers/FrontMatter.html.
Don has twenty years of marketing experience and has worked with companies large and small in the U.S. and Europe, both in Open Source and
proprietary software licensing and marketing. Besides consulting on
these issues, Don has given talks about them at USENIX, ALS, Linux.SYS-CON.com (San Francisco, Frankfurt/M), Wizards of OS (Berlin), CeBIT (Istanbul), Comdex (Las Vegas, Basel), and in Taiwan and Slovenia. His column, Rosenberg's Corner, deals with Open Source and business issues.


Shorter bio:

Short bio:

Donald K. Rosenberg assists software companies with licensing and business/marketing strategies at Stromian Technologies and wrote Open Source: The Unauthorized White Papers, (Wiley), a book taking a business approach to Open Source software, now on the Web at ftp://ftp.novell.com/pub/forge/documents/Open%20Source:%20The%20Unauthorize
d%20White%20Papers/FrontMatter.html.

Comments (0)

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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
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 sett...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
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, wh...
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. 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. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices 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 opportuni...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his Day 2 Keynote at @ThingsExpo, Henrik Kenani Dahlgren, Portfolio Marketing Manager at Ericsson, discussed how to plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change t...
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...
industrial company for a multi-year contract initially valued at over $4.0 million. In addition to DataV software, Bsquare will also provide comprehensive systems integration, support and maintenance services. DataV leverages advanced data analytics, predictive reasoning, data-driven diagnostics, and automated orchestration of remediation actions in order to improve asset uptime while reducing service and warranty costs.
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...