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Windows 2000 users are switching to Linux

Many businesses running Windows 2000 on servers plan to increase their usage of Linux, according to a new TechTarget survey. Linux is winning converts with its lower cost, easier licensing, stability and reliability.

Like other platform users, about one third of 290 searchWin2000 respondents to a recent TechTarget survey said they plan to run an increased portion of their server-based applications on Linux over the next two years.

Common reasons cited for the switch include lower cost, easier licensing and improved security, stability and reliability.

For Mike Deakin, managing partner of SKS Industries in Howell, Michigan, the reason for the planned move is based on what he believed is Linux' superior server apps. "While we'll still require Windows based programs for some areas," Deakin said. "Linux has a stable reputation in the areas we are most focused on - our financial, database, intranet and Web server infrastructures."

For others, cost and security are major factors. Notes an Air Force systems administrator, who has asked not to be identified for security reasons: "Since AFMC headquarters has already chosen Windows NT class operating system for its standard configurations, Linux isn't an option at this time. But in the private sector, Linux would be my OS of choice, primarily for its system stability, security and scalability."

But a move to Linux isn't without problems, particularly for Windows admins. "The greatest obstacles facing Linux are the service and support," observed Mark Pleasance, customer-provisioning specialist at Toronto-based Q9 Networks. "Both are still expensive and evasive. It's very difficult to maintain a Linux server system without properly trained staff, but finding good technical people with strong Linux experience is a challenge right now. Finding administrators that can maintain a Windows system is a lot easier."

Other searchWin2000-specific findings from the poll:
* Some 35% of the Windows administrators surveyed said database was their most mission critical application, followed by e-mail, which was mentioned by 23% of all respondents.

* Only 4% said they were currently using Linux to run mission critical applications.

* A total of 17% said they would use Linux as their primary OS if they were building a new IT infrastructure from scratch.


searchWindowsManageability News & Analysis: Managing the Windows-Linux enterprise

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