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Linux TCO: Less Than Half The Cost of Windows

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the no-surprise-there dept.

Linux 700

ggruschow writes "Linux Today reports 'The cost of running Linux is roughly 40% that of Microsoft Windows, and only 14% that of Sun Microsystem's Solaris, according to a new study which examined the actual costs of running various operating systems over three years.'"

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700 comments

Lies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410469)

Windows 2000 & XP Forever!!

$3.49 footlong subs rock my world! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410474)

At subway, you get a sub prepared anyway you like, by our friendly, efficient staff. Choose from mouth-watering veggies, succulent meats and cheeses, and a variety of freshly-baked bread. Why not stop in today and pick up some subs for the whole family to enjoy. I suggest the Italian BMT, piled high with genoa salami, pepperoni, ham, and provolone cheese. Top it with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles, a few spritzes of italian dressing, and a dash of salt and you've got a meal fit for king. Subway: eat fresh!

g to the oatse
c to the izzex
fo shizzle my nizzle that Jared guy stole my bike. I would've chased him down, but now that he is thin, he can run faster than my flabby ass!

Trolling Stones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410561)

Is that you?

What happened to the daily lyrics thing?

[Trolling Stones] Re:Trolling Stones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410643)

It is me. Since I'm only working part time, I can't do a daily update/lyrics quiz at the moment. I'm currently in my last semester, finishing up my thesis. I can only check slashdot hourly when I'm at work. When I graduate and start working full time (which should be in decemeber), then look for the lyrics quizzes. But thanks for taking an interest in my work. Keep fighting the good fight, and eat at subway.

g to the oatse
c to the izzex
fo shizzle my nizzle...

Re:[Trolling Stones] Re:Trolling Stones? (-1)

Salad Shooter (600065) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410702)

While at school, learn how to spell December you fucking idiot.

And stop with the lyrics and the other shit, no wants to read that crap. No one likes you.

Especially me.

FOAD.

first? (3, Insightful)

onemorehour (162028) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410480)

What a surprise... Linux today says linux is cheaper. There are many ways of calculating TCO. What makes this more credible than the next?

Re:first? (5, Interesting)

dattaway (3088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410519)

They throw in a few eye catching facts, such as this:

The Windows technicians, however, only managed an average of 10 machines each, while Linux or Solaris admins can generally handle several times that.

Good enough for you?

Re:first? (0, Flamebait)

madfgurtbn (321041) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410564)

The Windows technicians, however, only managed an average of 10 machines each, while Linux or Solaris admins can generally handle several times that.


That could be a very misleading statement, though. What if Windows is much easier to manage, so it can be admin'd part time by someone who does other productive work? In that case, it is very misleading to say that "Linux or Solaris admins can handle several times that". It just means that smaller deployments work better with Windows because anyone can admin them. The windows admins might be able to admin 100 boxen, but they work in places that only have 10.

Re:first? (4, Insightful)

Spamuel (246002) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410626)

I read that and thought it was very interesting myself, but they don't give any reasoning for it. The idea that a Linux admin can handle more machines then a Windows admin doesn't wash with me... Maybe the average Windows admin has less system administration experience then the average Linux admin? That could explain the difference I suppose.

Re:first? (4, Informative)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410659)

Totally. I am an "admin" who "manages" about 150 Windows systems these days. Of course, I'm supported by other teams of "non-admins", so even that figure doesn't clearly indicate the Windows TCO.

Re:first? (2, Interesting)

elmegil (12001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410526)

Someone should check their methodology and explain exactly what items went into that TCO calculation. Things like: training, support contracts, development costs (because no business gets everything they need shrinkwrapped). What's the hardware platform, x86 only? Cost of the OS is really the last thing you need to worry about (and if that were the only thing in their calculation Solaris & Linux would be at parity because you don't pay a line item for Solaris on SPARC hardware either).

Re:first? (3, Informative)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410624)

Yea you could read the report youself. Its too long to post but section 3 explains the way they derive the #'s..

Re:first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410644)

Fantastic idea! How about you follow the link at the bottom of the article to the actual study.

Not Linux Today's Study (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410599)

Linux Today is just reporting on a study done by RFG and hosted on IBM's website. Please don't moderate these posts up when they clearly haven't even read the article in question.

Re:first? (5, Insightful)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410652)

What a surprise... Linux today says linux is cheaper. There are many ways of calculating TCO. What makes this more credible than the next?

The question of credibility in this case does not rely on which news service firsts posts an article. Of course Linux Today is going to be looking for more Linux articles than say Wired.

The question of credibility in this case rests on who commissioned the study. We all complain when MS sponsered studies put MS on top. But do we point accusing fingers at one of the Windows News Sites for posting an article on the story? No. If you are going to imply lack of credibility, at least question the right people.

Now, since the Linux Today article doesn't say, who did commission the study from the Robert Frances Group?

Re:first? (2, Flamebait)

KjetilK (186133) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410677)

The study is not conducted by Linux Today, it is a study by Robert Frances Group [rfgonline.com]. That I admittedly don't know anything about, it could be a group of penguins for all I know... :-)

Re:first? (5, Informative)

kwashiorkor (105138) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410687)

Skimming the actual PDF report linked at the bottom of the article provides a bit of detail.

Apparently they were calculating the TCO of webservers running on Linux vs webservers running on Windows and Solaris.

This had nothing that I could see about running app servers, file servers, databases, etc...

Not to mention that the Windows installations used IIS and the *nix's used Apache. So it doesn't answer the question: What if Windows used Apache? Which may reveal a slightly different result (and would show that the measurement are actually about IIS vs. Apache, not Linux vs Windows).

I'm not saying that their data or methods are crap, just that like with any stats, be careful to read the sources and methods behind collecting and collating the data. Look behind the presentation.

Nice statistics (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410486)

And 43.1234% of all statistics are made up

TCO can't be correctly computed (0, Troll)

Faggot (614416) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410605)

It's hard to add up numbers to produce the genuine TCO for something like this. Where do you draw the line? How much productivity is lost from not having a decent office suite? (No, Mr Zealot, StarOffice/OpenOffice, Applix, Abiword, LyX etc. are far from decent.) Retraining non-technical staff to use a technical operating system? Hours lost trying to spruce up ugly, half-converted .doc files?

Linux does not need to be all things to all people. Race car drivers can drive race cars, but put Jane Q. Receptionist behind the wheel and she won't get it out of first (if she doesn't stall it out right off the line). Let's keep things where they belong: Linux on the servers, Mac on the desktops, Win XP CDs under the coffee mugs.

Solid Unbiased Reporting... (2, Funny)

mythosaz (572040) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410487)

It's a good thing the source was Linux Today. That way we know we can trust the results to not be skewed in anyone's favor.

Re:Solid Unbiased Reporting... (5, Informative)

HerrGlock (141750) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410527)

The study, by the Robert Frances Group, in Westport, Conn., looked at production deployments of Web servers running on the three operating systems at 14 Global 2000 enterprises.

Don't think they work for Linux Today, unless Linux Today has 14 Global 2000 Enterprise businesses.

DanH

Re:Solid Unbiased Reporting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410630)

Interesting that "looked at production deployments of Web servers running...." suddenly jumped to "Linux has lower TCO than Windows".

Web servers are *completely* different beasts from a general purpose machine that you'd put on the desk of most employees who will actually need the machine to do work AND exchange/share work with the rest of the (non government lab) world.

Re:Solid Unbiased Reporting... (2)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410692)

Web servers may be different beast from desktops but that does not mean windows is *automatically better or cheaper than Linux on the desk*. Web servers are just that servers. The TCO on file servers, mail servers and printservers will be about the same.

now as for the desktop, in many settings windows is a better choice because the cost of educating users to use something else offsets the cheeper fees and upkeep a large linux cluster requires.

Nowhere in this areticle (or the actual report if you bothered to read it) says Linux Good, Windows Bad. It says that as a web server linux has a lower TCO, get over your own insecurities.

Re:Solid Unbiased Reporting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410538)

It's a Robert Frances Group study hosted at IBM. Linux today just reported on it similar to what slashdot does. RTFA as always.

Cost? (0)

eamber (121675) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410488)

I run a linux distro I downloaded for free, burnt to CD's someone gave me on a computer I borrowed that's connected to a solar panel/batteries I found. Where's the cost?

Your time (2, Insightful)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410547)

Even with free software on donated media running on a donated computer connected to free power, keeping any computer system running is not free because your time is not free. Time you spend tweaking your OS is time you could be spending producing products, selling them, and buying the food, clothing, water, and shelter you need to survive.

Re:Your time (0, Troll)

eamber (121675) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410562)

I tweak my OS while on the clock. I get paid to goof off.

So I guess Linux makes me money.

If this is true. (0, Troll)

Kenja (541830) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410491)

If this is true then who do I submit my request for recompensation? I've spent way more on my Linux servers then my NT servers. So if Linux has a lower TCO, then someone owes me some money.

Your school (2)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410588)

According to the study, you an exception. The Linux and Solaris administrators handle many more machines per administrator than the NT/Windows administrators. It more than compensate the increased salaries.

Re:If this is true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410616)

Your mileage may vary. You will find your remuneration in the firey pits of Eternal Hell. Go there and get it.

Re:If this is true. (1)

BoVLB (552171) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410653)

I know this was a troll, but it raises some interesting points:

If this is true then who do I submit my request for recompensation? I've spent way more on my Linux servers then my NT servers. So if Linux has a lower TCO, then someone owes me some money.

Or you owe someone some money ...you have paid for all the software licences for your NT machines, haven't you? Perhaps you should request a BSA audit just to be sure.

And when you say you've spent more, is that time or money? And have you more Linux boxes that NT servers? And which affords you more productivity per machine? Enquiring minds want to know.

The study (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410492)

The study did not include the time and money it would take to teach all your employees how to use the system (lets not forget those that forget how to print stuff).

Re:The study (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410530)

Of course, the study was also about web servers only which you typically don't train all of your employees on. It does take into consideration the salary of the admins, though.

HRm... (3, Funny)

B00yah (213676) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410494)

According to this article, only 27% of the Linux servers studied used purchased copies of their Distribution...So the majority of the costs are based on the server admin's cost, which averages $71,xxx a year...my question is, where are this jobs as linux admins for $71k/ year? Who were they talking to about this, or did they just make it up?

Gross pay is less than half the cost of employment (5, Informative)

yerricde (125198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410587)

So the majority of the costs are based on the server admin's cost, which averages $71,xxx a year...my question is, where are this jobs as linux admins for $71k/ year?

An employee's gross pay is typically less than half of what it costs to employ him or her. An employer needs to buy office space, power, lighting, air circulation, health benefits, not to mention the employer's share of the taxes (in the USA, payroll tax and Social Insecurity matching payments).

Re:HRm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410610)

Try leaving your mom's basement and looking for a real job. You'll be surprised what's out there.

Re:HRm... (1)

JCholewa (34629) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410658)

> Try leaving your mom's basement and looking for
> a real job. You'll be surprised what's out there.

That's a weak troll. I've been looking for a real job for two years. Granted, I make no claims about job hunting skills, but even most good job hunters have tons of difficulty finding even moderate paying jobs these days, especially if it's in a technical area.

In my area (Manhattan, Long Island), available jobs for programmers, system administrators and the like tend towards twenty thousand to thirty thousand dollars. Yay.

-JC

Re:HRm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410678)

Ditto... /me Unix Security Admin for Bristol Meyers Squibb

Pay == $39,000 /year as a consultant ie no benefits

Re:HRm... (2)

rutledjw (447990) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410683)

It goes depeer than that. Working at a large, mostly mindless corporation, there are other costs. These guys MUST have support. Without it, nothing works, the sky falls and chaos reigns - basically the worst parts of Ghostbusters.

Soooo, we're buying support from RH for EACH LICENSE so we can run (are you ready for this?) - Apache. There is talk of running WebSphere as well (and maybe even a ~gasp~ DB), but I'll believe it when I see it.

Further, not everyone is as good with Linux as your fellow nerdlings collected here. There could be training, certification and even outside consulting costs as well. So now you have support contracts, training and probably some consultants thrown on top, not to mention the taxes that companies pay on the employees behalf. So that $71K may translate into only about $55K - $60K, but that's a WAG (wild @ss guess).

Now, if you don't mind, I'm going back to the mindless tedium that is my job.

Re:HRm... (1)

gi-tux (309771) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410706)

I used to make about that doing sys admin work on about 30 linux email and web servers and a couple of solaris machines for a moderately large medical institution. However, the stress level of being on-call 24x7x52 was just too much. I took a pay-cut and went back into programming.

Notice that most of the companies involved in this were financial and insurance and these guys are going to have to pay pretty good. They probably also require the 24x7x52 type of employees, so be careful what you wish for.

Steve Ballmer Disagrees. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410498)

He has developers who are willing to fight in a cage against linux coders. NO HOLDS BARRED. One night only.

Be there.

Reboots (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410503)

Imagine if they had factored in the cost of reboots!

Re:Reboots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410570)

Well since they did mention that Windows admins can only maintain 10 machines at a time I assume that reboots and patching is included in there. This is really the only way to measure the cost of rebooting.

Re:Reboots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410586)

In Soviet Russia, Reboots factor YOU in!

Production download their distro from the web? (2, Insightful)

jshepher (50026) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410505)

From the article:

Companies will typically purchase commercial versions of Linux for pilot projects, says Robert Frances Group senior research analyst Chad Robinson, and download free versions off the Web for production deployments.

---
Isn't it the other way around? You want support for your production machine don't you?

Re:Production download their distro from the web? (2, Interesting)

wizkid (13692) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410613)


In most cases, the bugs are worked out on the pilot, and when everything is running, they don't renew the support contract.
And then, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Upgrading packages (rpm's deb's, etc) tends to be
a no-brainer under linux. Most the time without a
reboot.

Re:Production download their distro from the web? (5, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410638)

No- it's not the other way around. This is exactly what happened w/my company.

We decided that using Linux could help us out w/a couple things that we wanted to do- but we were short on cash to go the MS route.

So I went to Frys Electronics and picked up RedHat. I installed it, learned how to do the stuff we wanted to do, and found out 2 things. Pretty much all the software - and support- you need are available for free.

The community provides so much more than development.

One project we needed was a server running SSH for transfering files over a dedicated T1 between us and a client. You don't need me to tell you that it was cake.

Our other larger project is focused on Apache, PHP and PostgreSQL. There is great, free support out there for all those products.

We bought the box to get started - planned to buy support but dropped those plans when we say that the open source community will provide you with tons of support.

That may not be good enough for some big companies- but for someone in the middle and (always) strapped for cash- it is great.

.

Yea But.. (0, Flamebait)

Pave Low (566880) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410506)

you also get less than have the features and productivity you'd get from running windows.

sorta comparing a KIA with a BMW.

different strokes for different folk, I guess.

Re:Yea But.. (1)

fruey (563914) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410579)

Half the features and productivity with Linux? Compared to Windows?

Linux is a kit car. And parts are all free. All it costs is skill to build it. Microsoft is a pre-built car which will guzzle gas at the same rate no matter how fast you drive.

Re:Yea But.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410583)

(Score +1, funny)

Oh wait, were you serious? In that case,

(Score -3, doesn't know the first thing about either Linux or Windows)

Re:Yea But.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410590)

half not have....idiot.

Are you calling Windows a BMW? Watch out BMW might sue you for slander.

Features and productivity? (3, Insightful)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410639)

You'll find that there are very feature rich *NIX based programs that can replace the Windows programs you are used to. Most do not suffer from the feature glut that is a Microsoft trademark, however. And they do not feature the large number of highly suspect "features" that have made Windows boxes such easy targets of virii/worms/trojans/etc.

As for productivity, there will be significantly less time spent on Blue Screens of death, software updates that break most of the functioning, software virii commandeering programs and wiping your hard drive clean and the like.

Your KIA/BMW comparison is highly inaccurate. Linux to Windows is comparing a Honda and a Ford Pinto with a full tank of gas and a bunch of near-sighted rage drivers right behind you rushing home to find their glasses.

Early post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410509)

"All your TCOs are belong to us" -- Microsoft

The Cost of Downtime (1, Interesting)

WebWiz (244386) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410514)

Did they calculate in the cost of Downtime w/ Microsoft Win.? (lost business, opportunity cost).

How about maintence costs? IE patches?

Re:The Cost of Downtime (1)

mrscott (548097) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410657)

This should be a part of an TCO (TOTAL cost of ownership) calculation. Without these essential components, the resulting calculations would be missing key ingredients that go into what it actual takes to operate.

Microsoft says so, too! (5, Informative)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410524)

I think it's more interesting to hear Ballmer acknowledging this too. [varbusiness.com]

Re:Microsoft says so, too! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410565)

An oxymoronical quote from Ballmer in that article:

We are actually having to learn how to say, 'We may have a high price on this one, but look at the additional value and how that value actually leads to a lower cost of ownership despite the fact that our price may be higher,'" he said.

say what?

Re:Microsoft says so, too! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410623)

Not contradictory at all:

We may have a high price on this one, but look at the additional value and how that value actually leads to a lower cost of ownership despite the fact that our price may be higher,


when he says "have a high price" he is talking about initial cost compared to linux ... but over the live of the system time saved with added features relates to a lower cost of ownership.

Now whether you believe that or not is a different thing, but his quote wasn't contradictory.

Re:Microsoft says so, too! (4, Informative)

Nugget (7382) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410642)

I fail to see how this is oxymoronical. Might not be accurate, but the statement is perfectly consistent. Think for a few minutes on what the word "total" is doing in the phrase "total cost of ownership".

wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410531)

linux costs me $0, win2k server $1000+. i save INFINITY % with running linux! w00t

Generation X : Say Bye Bye to $$$ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410532)


Read the Fortune article here [fortune.com].

Thanks, George Bush!

DUH (0, Flamebait)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410539)

Wow there's an objective, non-biased report. Nothing like fair objective reporting on how linux is better from Linux Today. I guess those performance reports on Windows XP from Microsoft.com must be just as unbiased right?

I get all my data from the Gartner Group. I have my TCOs done in house using Gartner's TCO standards. Linux has NEVER been cheaper. Ever. Due largely in part to one simple factor: SLA (Service Level Agreement). Red Hat won't give me an SLA even close to MS. I will post again after I tear this "Unbiased" TCO part and post the conviently missing facts in detail. I'll be back....

Robert Frances Group (2)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410629)

The study is from Robert Frances Group, not Linux Today. You would have known that if you had read the article before posting.

Nothing New.... (1)

jalilv (450956) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410542)

This is nothing new but its good to read about it in media every now and then. When people get to read the same thing again and again they will start believing and consider GNU/Linux as a serious option to Windows (No flames please...this is only for those die hard windows only users). The article is nice but a more detailed explaination of the study as well as more numbers would have certainly helped.

- Jalil Vaidya

Linux: Less Than Half the Suckage of Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410543)

Still - it's not saying much.

normally i would say ... (1)

dlasley (221447) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410546)

normally i would say this just adds more weight to my argument in favor of spreading linux everywhere i possibly can - but one paragraph caught my attention:
Linux, along with Solaris, also came out ahead of Windows in terms of administration costs, despite the fact that it's less expensive to hire Windows system administrators. The average Windows administrator in the study earned $68,500 a year, while Linux sys admins took home $71,400, and those with Solaris skills were paid $85,844. The Windows technicians, however, only managed an average of 10 machines each, while Linux or Solaris admins can generally handle several times that.

so now i must revise my sig to acknowledge the peer relationship with Sun *sigh*

Obvious (3, Insightful)

Drachemorder (549870) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410549)

I've always thought something was wrong with those TCO studies that say MS has a lower TCO than Linux. It just seems blindingly obvious that free software would give you a much lower TCO than something that comes with massive license fees, regardless of what other factors you work into the equation - - - and I've always suspected that those other factors are mostly just handwaving and smoke and mirrors.

Re:Obvious - must NOT be obvious (2, Insightful)

syntap (242090) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410665)

How can you come to this conclusion? If you have ten low-to-mid-experienced people in an office who have used Windows for the last 10 years (figure $100 every two years for OS upgrades per user), it costs $5000 in OS upgrades and everyone already knows how to use the software.

Replace everything with free Linux and you get to send all ten to training courses for Linux desktop and office suite training (10 x 2day training @ $500 at least) = $10,000, and that is before paying for the time it takes to convert incoming documents from MS Office and making sure they look right in MS Office when they are outgoing.

Bottom line: free _doesn't_ mean cheaper from an IT management perspective. If you are starting an office from scratch and basing its operation on Linux, it is probably going to be cheaper. But converting an org from Wintel to Lintel is very expensive.

Re:Obvious (3, Insightful)

Tet (2721) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410693)

It just seems blindingly obvious that free software would give you a much lower TCO than something that comes with massive license fees, regardless of what other factors you work into the equation

It may seem obvious to you, but it's also wrong. Purchase price / licensing fees typically account for a very small percentage of TCO. So while free software may well have lower up front costs, that doesn't mean the the cost of administering it and keeping it secure is lower, and hence has less bearing on TCO than you might think. Of course, as it turns out, free software typically is cheaper to run anyway, but that's usually because it's running on an OS is designed to support multiple users and remote administration, rather than because of the lack of license fees...

Potential Bias? (1)

nenolod (546272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410554)

Total Cost Overall or TCO can be analyzed many ways. Now, this information came from a linux friendly website. The site's editors most likely wrote the article with some bias as a result. Linux is a good operating system with tons of potential, yet, I doubt that the TCO is that much.

Re:Potential Bias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410615)

Linux Today is just reporting on the study, much like slashdot does. If you actually read the fucking article you would see that there is a link to the actual study at the bottom. It was done by the Robert Frances Group and appears to be hosted on IBM's website.

Follow the money! (5, Interesting)

ArthurDent (11309) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410557)

The PDF for the study is hosted on IBM's website... I'd be willing to bet that it was IBM that commissioned the study. Anybody know?

**begin sarcasm**
What a big suprise that would be if a study funded by IBM finds that their Linux solutions perform better than Windows and Sun!
**end sarcasm**

That said, it is nice to have some pro-Linux FUD out there! ;-)

Ben

Shocking News...Linux licenses are cheaper (3, Interesting)

Lamont (3347) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410567)

So the article says that Linux web servers are cheaper to run than Windows ones. Is anyone surprised by this? Is it actually news?

I'm still waiting for the article to come out discussing TCO as it relates to desktops, which is where most of the money is lost in support dollars....

Boeing 747 TCO: Less than half the cost of Shuttle (1)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410582)

...quelle surprise!

What a stupid argument. How did that get on to the front page of Slashdot?

Nick...

Re:Boeing 747 TCO: Less than half the cost of Shut (2, Funny)

Memetic (306131) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410697)

So you are saying:

747 = Linux = suitable for mass usage (i.e. transporting millions of passengers every week.) now an established part of every day life.

Shuttle = Windows = tempramental, specialist technology,costs millions of $ per use and is only operable by an elite highly trained few.

Er... ok if you say so, not the ususal argumnent I have heard from either side of the lin/win battle, but I'm all for free speech...

Other factors (5, Funny)

flamingdog (16938) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410585)

If you could put a price on both sanity and your precious, precious soul, then I'm sure linux would come out ahead even further.

GUI bad, CLI good? (5, Interesting)

toupsie (88295) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410594)

from the article: The Windows technicians, however, only managed an average of 10 machines each, while Linux or Solaris admins can generally handle several times that.

I am assuming that the Linux and Solaris admins are using the CLI to manage the servers via SSH but I believe the slowest way to manage a server is through a keyboard and mouse -- pointing and clicking away. Most of the Windows servers I have managed in my career were through a GUI interface using a remote control program like PC Anywhere and Microsoft's Remote Admin software. With Linux, Solaris and now Mac OS X Server, I use SSH and a keyboard to do my work. With shell scripts and other tricks, I can blaze through server management that I would never be able to do in a GUI environment at the same speed. Even with Mac OS X Server's great GUI management tools, I prefer to fire up Terminal and remotely manage the system through a CLI -- or maybe I just long for the days of my Apple ][.

On the other hand, with the massive numbers of zombied Windows machines probing my networks, it could be that Windows-only Admins are just plain idiots with a MCSE which accounts for the productivity gains of Linux and Solaris admins.

Re:GUI bad, CLI good? (3, Interesting)

sheldon (2322) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410704)

I'm curious...

Considering the tools are all there, why didn't you learn how to use the CLI admin tools for Windows?

Just kind of seems to me you shouldn't be calling people idiots when you don't know what you are doing yourself.

I saw that study last month on CNet News.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410600)

Yeah, it was paid for by Sun... I'm sure they're objective about the whole thing.

Technician Costs (2, Interesting)

secolactico (519805) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410601)

From the article:
The average Windows administrator in the study earned $68,500 a year, while Linux sys admins took home $71,400, and those with Solaris skills were paid $85,844. The Windows technicians, however, only managed an average of 10 machines each, while Linux or Solaris admins can generally handle several times that.
Is this because of the OS stability or because of the technician experience? Given the fact that Windows technician are easier to find and cheaper to hire, wouldn't hiring less (but more experienced) Windows techs level the costs a bit, even if they charge more?

Windows XP for free...if you are a student (3, Insightful)

CanadaDave (544515) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410603)

Windows is actually getting cheaper and cheaper...

For example, at the University of Waterloo, you can get a Windows XP CD for free [uwaterloo.ca] if you are a student. I'm sorry, but I don't know how much Waterloo paid Microsoft for this... so maybe it isn't quite free. I actually got Windows XP from them. I'm mostly a Linux user, but they sucked me in with the free CD thing. Came with a unique activation ID and everything. How soon will it be before Microsoft starts giving away Windows XP to small businesses, home users, then big businesses. They can still make their main money from Office and other things. I think they're going to have to keep cutting costs, in order to match the cost of Linux.

Basically what I'm trying to say is that Microsoft fully realizes that Linux is a somewhat cheaper system to opearate, and this is one way that it is trying to change that. By giving it away free, they've reduced the cost of running Windows by a lot.

Re:Windows XP for free...if you are a student (1)

r0t (612006) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410670)

I'd buy linux even if it was more expensive than Windows because I like having access to the source code

what about recovery costs? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410611)

I noticed it mentioned a breakdown of averge times for repairing and patching Windows by Windows admins, but I am curious about the actual dollars lost when things go down and the cost to bring them back up. For example, if a web service for integrating with one of the databases goes down, then how much money is lost in transactions? (assuming that place is an online seller) How much then will it cost to bring the system back up (meaning that once it is discovered and 'fixed' how long will the systems be down, or are they asynchronous enough to just slow down while parts are repaired, allowing a gradual deployment of fixes?

Start a timer, tell each admin they need to perform some obscure task. Now see who gets it done first, assuming their skills are the same for their respective systems. A windows person might be lightening fast because they just have to click in a couple of places. Then again, they will probably have to reboot. A Linux person might need to check the info (or man) page and pray it is well written for their part then try to implement it. However they will most likely not have to restart anything except that particular service. Solaris? Well I suppose that depends on the version.

now this is exciting! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410612)

It's pretty pathetic - when there's a study that shows Windows TCO / security superiority, it is automatically called bogus and laughed at; when there's a study that "proves" otherwise, woo-hoo, the truth revealed.

I mean, c'mon. Most of studies like that are performed for a purpose of demonstrating a particular assumption or achieving a particular goal. It's a good marketing tool, but for each study, there's at least as reliable counter-study. Get real.

Consider the source (2, Interesting)

seldolivaw (179178) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410625)

It amuses me that everyone on Slashdot will read this report on LinuxToday and say "oh, wow, now there's proof that Linux TCO is low!" Tomorrow, if Windows magazine released a study showing the opposite, everyone would be rushing to say that the source is obviously biased. This is nice to hear, but no decision-maker worth his salt is going to take it seriously until it's reported by a respected and at least nominally impartial source.

Linux is ready for primetime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410631)

Mark my words. In three years, Linux will be the leader in corporate world. Three years, during which Linux will not only attain great combination of stability and features, but equally, many managers will realise the true designs of Microsoft in pushing subscription service + DRM to protect our "rights". Great news. GO Linux! Go Suse!!

-slashuzer(posting anonymously to avoid gaining any karma; by accident)

Lower TCO mainly means lower total payment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410632)

If companies (and people also for that matter) pays less for technology there is no way the salaries in the business can stay the same, they will also go down.

So, this is bad news for the IT-industry, just in case someone has misunderstood that.

Robert Francis Group (2, Interesting)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410654)

I've been looking a bit into the group that did the study: The Robert Francis Group [rfgonline.com]. I'm having a hard time really finding much information about them. It looks like they are basically an analyst group like Gartner. I found some CNET articles, one [com.com] involving Sun and another [com.com] involving Microsoft. In both cases, it looks like the analyst was just there to bash the two of them.

I'm wondering if there is a history of bias against the two companies in favor of Linux/IBM. It does look like they are general pro-Linux and GPL in their recommendations. But their bias could be based on the various studies they have done in the past. Does anyone else know anything about this group?

In other news ... (1)

RinkSpringer (518787) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410668)

Microsoft.com says the cost of running Windows is rougly 20% of running Linux ...

I wonder when they're going to reply something like that ...

Unix/Linux TCO book (3, Informative)

Cato (8296) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410682)

There's an interesting book at http://www.winface.com that looks at how to re-orient a whole IT department from Windows to Unix/Linux. It's mainly about using Unix, but Linux gives the same advantages, only even more so due to improved compatibility across Linuxes compared to the various Unixes, and much lower licensing costs, lower hardware costs for Intel deployments and so on. The book has some annoying errors in places, but the guts of it are very useful for costing out complete deployments of Windows vs. Unix, for small through medium to enterprise scales.

You can download some parts of the book for free to get a flavour of what it's about. I actually bought a copy and would recommend it for anyone thinking about converting from Windows to Linux - it's only $30.

This matches our experience at work (5, Interesting)

ites (600337) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410688)

Last year we decided to migrate off Windows.
We first moved to OpenOffice. Painful, when your clients all use MS Office, but it's possible.
Now we're moving to Mozilla-based browsers.
All our servers (except one) went to Linux in the last year or two.
Now we're killing the last Windows desktops, putting Lindows-OS in their place.
Apart from the license savings, everything just runs better.
There is a huge fear of change, and this works in Windows' favor.
But there is no doubt that open software is better built and cheaper to run.
Changing costs something. But there is no doubt about the TCO of Linux (and its applications) being lower.

Manipulation of data and definitions.. (2, Insightful)

CodeTRap (176342) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410694)

It's interesting what can be done with the manipulation of data and definintions. Perhaps this survey would have been of more value had they included some of the other variations.. such as running Windows with Apache? That would have a huge impact on thier licensing and security costs.

I also have a difficult time believing that one windows sysadmin can only handle 10 machines, while a linux admin can handle 44 in comparison. Of course this could be a reflection of the quality of the MCSE's out there that are brought into the sysadmin fold. *shrug*

Either way... perhaps someone should do a study of a mixed environment? Find out the optimun TCO mix, not just the black & white versions of all one way or all another.

flawed logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4410701)

"The cost of running Linux is roughly 40% that of Microsoft Windows, and only 14% that of Sun Microsystem's Solaris, according to a new study which examined the actual costs of running various operating systems over three years.

The study, by the Robert Frances Group, in Westport, Conn., looked at production deployments of Web servers running on the three operating systems at 14 Global 2000 enterprises."

This group collected data from web servers and then applied the results implying the results are true for all sites/configurations. Flawed logic at its finest.

My dog is brown. My friend has a brown dog. Therefore all dogs are brown.

Fundamental Flaws (3, Insightful)

danheskett (178529) | more than 11 years ago | (#4410712)

There are several fundamental flaws here, just with a few seconds review.

First off, this report is far, far far to light on actual data. The whole report is eight printed pages. That's a summary, not a study.

Second, they describe costs but do not ascribe them to any specific product. For example, they record costs of $1,330 for Year II and III for Windows. Later they explain this as "software assurance costs for Microsoft" products. However, how can this be the results of the collected data? This is a *new* program, and hasnt already been going on for three years. How can they have seen this data in a historical perspective if its a new licensing program? The key to their analysis is this table of costs.

Thirdly, the study is based on a sample of 14 sites. There is no breakdown of the number of samples per case. No original data is provided.

Fourth, after more in depth review of the document, you have to wonder whether this is a projection or a retrospective analysis. When did the period of comparion start and end? Are costs actual or projected? Why isnt the original data presented to us? Where is the rest of the analysis?

To me this looks like someone sent out some surveys, and attempted to collate some data based on those surveys. There are some clues to me anyways that this isn't an actual study, but rather, a projection.

A lot here seems really fishy.
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