Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

The FAA Saves $15 Million by Migrating to Linux

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the new-hat-means-cheaper-bills dept.

The Almighty Buck 191

Neopallium writes "Red Hat has announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) saved the federal government more than $15 million in datacenter operating and upgrading costs by migrating to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The FAA executed a major systems migration to Red Hat Enterprise Linux in one-third of the original scheduled time and with 30 percent more operational efficiency than the previous system."

cancel ×

191 comments

My Dad works for the FAA.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214170)

http://www.helpwinthisbet.com/ [helpwinthisbet.com]

careful of the source (5, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214174)

Disclaimer: I love Linux (and Un*x), and I hope someday Linux (and Un*x) becomes a majority player in the computing world. But, ...

The article paints a rosy success story, but consider the source. This is a Red Hat press release. While it all may be completely true with no misdirection, I put little stock in self-congratulation, especially after an amazing experience with a similar Microsoft claim.

I worked for a major Telcom years ago and we merged with a smaller firm... Shortly after the merger, Microsoft put a full page ad in Time magazine describing an enourmous success story of how our new company now comprised of two previous companies combined the two companies' IT systems and integrated them seamlessly with Micosoft's then new .NET platform.

This would have been an amazing success story except for the fact that:

  1. .NET still had not been released for general consumption
  2. noone in our IT knew of this stunning success effort
  3. our "integrated" systems weren't

For those who doubt, I can provide the digital photograph of the ad, I was so amazed I actually took a picture of it (I will have to dig it out, but I know I have it.)

I know many would not be surprised by a bogus claim from a Microsoft, but I don't trust that any company providing a press release to be providing real news (or trustworthy, or balanced, etc.).

This whole "press release" presented as "news" would be more honest if they placed the disclaimer information up front. (If you don't read all the way to the VERY LAST LINE of the article, you won't know the source is Red Hat.

Re:careful of the source (2, Insightful)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214258)

Here, here. Can you imagine the backlash if a pro-Windows story posted here was based off of a Microsoft press release?

Re:careful of the source (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214519)

Here, here.

Where, where did you learn English?

Re:careful of the source (4, Insightful)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214680)

Uh... that happens all the time. Remember those (many) comparison studies of Windows vs. Linux, all of them funded by Microsoft and all of them concluding that Windows was better for this-or-that reason?

Re:careful of the source (5, Informative)

gdek (202709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214271)

There's nothing disingenuous about this. We released it as a press release on our own site:

http://www.redhat.com/about/news/prarchive/2006/fa a.html [redhat.com]

Everything about it shouts "press release", including the SEC warnings at the bottom and the press contact information. As is typical with press releases, it was picked up and run all over the place. That's what press releases are for. Anything that comes from Business Wire is a press release.

If you think it's dishonestly masquerading as "real news," that's your mistake.

Re:careful of the source (2, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214354)

There's nothing disingenuous about this. We released it as a press release on our own site:

I think the OP was not so much complaining about red hat's actions as the submitters (and by extension the editors).

Red Hat releasing a press release = OK.

Slashdot featuring regurgitation of said press release on its front page as 'news' = not OK.

(At least this shows the MS / Apple Fanboys that the /. hive mind jumps just as hard on linux fluff pieces as it does on MS / Apple fluff)

Re:careful of the source (4, Funny)

hawk (1151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214485)

>Everything about it shouts "press release",

Not quite. Looking carefully, I found a sentence in which the author failed to use "Red Hat Enterprise Linux." There might be a scond one, but I missed it :)

hawk

Re:careful of the source (3, Interesting)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214533)

Everything about it shouts "press release", including the SEC warnings at the bottom and the press contact information. As is typical with press releases, it was picked up and run all over the place. That's what press releases are for. Anything that comes from Business Wire is a press release.

Thanks for the info, I did not know everything from Business Wire was a press release. However, my first guess as to what a publication "Business Wire" would represent would be news about business, not press releases. When I think of Wall Street Journal, I think of articles about business and Wall Street.

As for everything about it "shouting" press release, I'm only giving my opinion, and I don't think it "shouts" press release.

I also have no problems with Red Hat or any other business issuing press releases, they SHOULD. As for whether it is something that should be on slashdot, I refer to the slogan "News that Matters". It's only my opinion, but I don't think press releases fall into that category. (I would have no problem with slashdot creating a category "press releases".)

As in my original post, I have high hopes for Linux, I just prescribe caution to readers who don't know Business Wire is a press-release publication (I didn't). And, as in the anecdotal case I cited, sometimes the press release (or ad) is not only misleading, it is completely false. (The ad I mentioned even had testimonials from Microsoft and "our company" employees... statements and testimonials which COULDN'T have been true.)

And, for the record, I hold Red Hat in high regard for their contributions to the Linux movement.

Re:careful of the source (2, Insightful)

Ryan Amos (16972) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214585)

Much of the "news" posted on slashdot are just reposted press releases. You just pay a wire service to run your press release and it spreads like wildfire with all the news aggregators on the net.

It's also pretty easy to plant a few favorable articles around the place to give yourself PR. It's just marketing. I treat slashdot articles as basically like a tech news wire.. Most of them are probably planted by marketing firms (it's not like slashdot is some secret hideout, everyone knows about it,) so take it with a grain of salt.

Re:careful of the source (4, Insightful)

igaborf (69869) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214691)

There's nothing inherently wrong with a press release. Sure, they only give one side of the story. If you want a more balanced analysis, find a publication that attempts to provide that. Slashdot is not such a publication, has never been, and has never purported to be. Slashdot is little more than a community blog (although it predates the term), with all of the one-sided postings and comments that implies.

Slashdot doesn't practice "journalism." If you want that, look elsewhere.

It should be pointed out, though, that the ./ item begins with "Red Hat has announced..." That makes it pretty clear what the bias of the report is going to be.

Re:careful of the source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214565)

not to knock slashdot, but slashdot is where the blame lays and not the company or Redhat. Redhat is doing what anyone would do, but slashdot readers are expecting a detailed story and not just links to press releases. i like linux like the next guy, but this is fishing for something pro linux to put up, was it a slow news day?

Re:careful of the source - The Real Question Here (3, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214275)

1. .NET still had not been released for general consumption
2. noone in our IT knew of this stunning success effort
3. our "integrated" systems weren't

The real question here, at least to me: Was Microsoft ever punished by your company for running this false ad?

Or did Microsoft pay for the privilege by giving you discounted software or something else of value. Something else, besides a nice lunch for the VP of MIS, I mean.

Re:careful of the source - The Real Question Here (4, Insightful)

iotashan (761097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214507)

Let's say you're this telco giant. Microsoft releases the ad (with approval from the telco's PR people, of course). Now, are you going to admit to your shareholders that the ad was, in fact, not true at all? No.

Microsoft was never punished because the telco couldn't admit that it wasn't true.

Re:careful of the source (1)

nixkuroi (569546) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214413)

The real question here is: Is there any story run here that isn't fodder for an I-Hate-Microsoft rant? Microsoft had nothing to do with this article. The migration was Unix to Linux, yet you were able to correlate those two systems to a way you could criticize Microsoft.

Way to stay in your comfort zone.

Re:careful of the source (1)

Nos. (179609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214648)

He used MS as an example of how misleading a press release can be and asked that /. readers take the actual article with a grain of salt. It wasn't so much to bash MS as to take into account the source of the article.

I worked for a larGe TElco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214470)

years ago (since merged) that SAP took out a full pager proclaiming what a big success story we were, blah.. blah..

forget the exact details (and publication) of the ad (this was '97) but the TRUTH was that there was one business unit barely up on general ledger.

the punchline came when they merged and Kervorkianed the whole SAP project for PeopleSoft which the other company ran (& still does to this day AFAIK)

Re:careful of the source (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214639)

you have to read between the lines, what FTA really said is converting from unix to linux is not as hard as conveting from WinXP to WinXP SP2; well not as hard if you sacrifice security and have everbody running admin privilages.

Re:careful of the source (4, Funny)

Olix (812847) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214814)

...what FTA really said...

F*cking the article? You have a strange fetish, my friend.

Re:careful of the source (3, Insightful)

AnalystX (633807) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214662)

I'm still trying to figure out how someone doesn't recognize this is a press release by Red Hat. "VERY LAST LINE" my foot! Try the very first line: "Red Hat has announced" from Slashdot and "Red Hat (NASDAQ: RHAT), the world's leading provider of open source to the enterprise, today announced" from the link. Do people not start with the very first line when reading an article?

Re:careful of the source (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214811)

Oh my, we are turning a Red Hat Press release that possibly paints a little-two rosy picture of Linux into a Microsoft bash session> This seems a little surreal to me... ;-)

Re:careful of the source (1)

LO0G (606364) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214824)

Please note: the migration was from "Costly unix" to Linux. So this isn't a Windows->Linux migration story, but a *nix->Linux migration story.

Re:careful of the source (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214844)

Simple: Red Hat has more of the trust of the community than Microsoft. Therefore, people are more likely to believe what Red Hat says, for the purposes of a Slashdot discussion, than they are to believe Microsoft. It's no different from believing Wikipedia when it doesn't really matter anyway. It's perfectly rational.

This should hardly be surprising.

About time (0)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214176)

About time someone in the government did something right.

Re:About time (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214689)

Let me guess. You are a "liberal", huh? So for you, protecting the country, saving the economy and controlling the governments spending is "not right"? And you morons wonder why your corrupt buddies in the weak-on-terror tax-and-spend democrats aren't in power.

Re:About time (0, Flamebait)

bshellenberg (779684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214795)

Protecting the country by sending your troops to the other side of the world? Saving the economy by having high levels of unemployment? Controlling government spending by running up the largest deficit in the history of the world? Oh... tell your uncle George I said hi. You are a "republican", huh? Your rosey glasses don't let you see reality.

First (-1, Redundant)

romeo_in_blk_jeans (782924) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214177)

Go me!

Well (1)

ebob9 (726509) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214184)

This is good, maybe it might prevent a future upgrade of the flight control systems to Windows -- Talk about a Blue Screen of Death!

ebob9

Re:Well (1)

SoapDish (971052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214699)

I've switched to Linux from Windows a little over a year ago, and I'm never going back (hopefully). It's funny to say, but I actually miss the blue screen of death. I don't get to yell at my computer anymore - configuration problems just aren't a big deal.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214726)

While flight control systems don't run on Windows, there are many multi-function displays in aircraft that do.

Playing Devil's Advocate (5, Funny)

JustASlashDotGuy (905444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214199)


"The FAA's successful and impressive migration truly exemplifies the value, performance and security
of Red Hat Enterprise Linux,"


All the stories talks about is how they came in under budget. Another reason for saving 15 million
could be that someone simply budgeted too much money. Much like when your wife spends $200 on a pocket
book that normally cost $250, and then she tells you that she saved $50!.

D*mn women.. oh wait.. what was I talking about again?

Re:Playing Devil's Advocate (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214250)

Whoever heard of anyone over-budgeting an IT project? Anyone?

Re:Playing Devil's Advocate (1)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214252)

"Much like when your wife spends $200 on a pocket book that normally cost $250, and then she tells you that she saved $50!."

I guess that's why Microsoft never had an ad campaign telling everyone how they can "save -$300"...

Re:Playing Devil's Advocate (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214757)

Given that it was a government project, this is almost definitely NOT true.

If you come in 15 million under budget, the budgeting committees are going to look at it, and say "Good job. Now we can give you less money next year".

In government spending, the goal is often to spend as much of your budget as possible, only going slightly over the original budgeted amount. This way, you get a slightly incresed budget the next year, and don't necessarily get blamed for over-spending. The only reward for coming in under-budget is a reduced budget the next time around.

In other words, Linux is cheap even if you TRY to make it costly.

And to point out a huge omission in the article: The linux installation is replacing a Commercial Unix installation. It's been acknowledged along ago that non-platform-specific commercial unices are dead, and the platform-specific ones are dying (OS X being the only exception).

If they were replacing windows, this would be a big story. Unix replacing another unix is hardly newsworthy. Such a migration should be trivial (the fact that it's not completely trivial is one of my major gripes with modern unix. IMO, any 2 unix systems should be almost completely interchangable, requiring nothing more than a simple recompile)

Re:Playing Devil's Advocate (1)

bogado (25959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214861)

But it seems that the budget was for a transition that is not expected to happen every year. I could bet that this budget is not part of the normal budget, or it is at least a fraction of the normal budget, in witch case if you didn't spended it all in the migration you could use it to fix the restroom in the 3rd floor. I don't know how it is in the US, but here in Brazil, when the fiscal year get's to the end and there is still money to be spended there is a rush to find out every single item that needs fixing or replacement so they can use the money before it is recalled.

fractional savings are large, replaces unix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214204)

Not much new here -- install RHEL for 0.4 times old line Unix.

More of these types of success stories (0, Offtopic)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214207)

We need more of these types of success stories about using Linux. Especially when governments are involved. I do wonder two things:

1: How hard did Microsoft fight to try and keep the FAA in the fold?
2: How hard did Microsoft fight to try and suppress or diminish the results of their switch?

I suspect a lot in both cases, which makes all this even more surprising. All things considered, Microsoft needs some real competition. Once they get it, all the rest of us will benefit.

Re:More of these types of success stories (4, Insightful)

YU Nicks NE Way (129084) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214269)

Umm...you didn't read TFA, did you? This is a Unix->Linus transition. Microsoft wasn't involved in the case at all.

Re:More of these types of success stories (2, Insightful)

Bohiti (315707) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214427)

Poor Linus, he must be working his fingers to the bone providing all the services that Unix computers were providing beforehand!

I hope Linus isn't free-as-in-beer.

Re:More of these types of success stories (1)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214286)

Did you RTFA? Windows/MS isn't even mentioned. They switched from Unix (vendor unspecified) although your first point could be valid if MS was competing against RH/Linux to replace the Unix system.

Re:More of these types of success stories (2, Informative)

njcoder (657816) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214706)

"vendor unspecified"

Well that rules out a migration from Solaris since RedHat would have had no problem naming Sun as the vendor they replaced.

HP-UX they might be a bit quiet about since their close to HP and definately if it was AIX RedHat wouldn't want to antagonize IBM.

It looks like it was HP-UX ased on this snippet from http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:9WrQ3EspDRwJ:w ww.academy.faa.gov/ama200/S20Catalog.doc+faa+%22tr affic+flow+management+infrastructure%22+ibm&hl=en& gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1 [72.14.203.104]

47415 Traffic Flow Management Infrastructure (TFMI)

S20V5 This course provides training for technicians, engineers, and FAA Technical Center personnel on ETMS Model HP-C360 equipment. The course is 20 hours self-study text with 20 hours computer-based exercises (CBE). Self-study subjects include system overview, workstation user environment, UNIX, monitor, keyboard, trackball, tape drive, troubleshooting, and fault isolation procedures. CBE subjects include login, files and directories, basic commands, HP tools, workstation/file-server basics, addresses, diagnostic commands, troubleshooting, and fault isolation.

It always makes me laugh when people say they upgraded a system for less money and more power. Every time I upgrade my computer it's cheaper and I get a lot more power. That's just the way computers work.

Re:More of these types of success stories (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214349)

1. Not at all.

2. Not at all.

If you'd RTFA (actually, a marketing press release), you'd see that Microsoft was mentioned -zero- times because the migration was from "a costly UNIX platform".

C'mon kids, let's put some more effort into the trolls, at least.

Nice point for linux arguments: (1, Insightful)

dildo (250211) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214210)

"Linux is so stable and reliable that the FAA uses it. If you need a reminder who the FAA is: they keep the planes from falling out of the sky."

Re:Nice point for linux arguments: (4, Funny)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214243)

I think lift has more to do with keeping planes in the sky. Otherwise the FAA coud declare gravity a terrorist "force"

Re:Nice point for linux arguments: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214392)

Good god man...Don't give them any ideas. I can see the news story now "US Government arrests entire US population for being accomplices in terror plot! News at 11!"

Re:Nice point for linux arguments: (1)

kordaff (899913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214472)

You're saying I'm fat huh??? Better come over and we'll settle this mountain to mouse, er man to man...

Re:Nice point for linux arguments: (2, Funny)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214534)

Gravititional forces are terrifying. At this point, it's the second strongest force known to man behind p0rn. Nothing is stronger than p0rnal forces.

Linux does keep them in the sky... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214766)

They use a little-known distro called Bernoullix.

Re:Nice point for linux arguments: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214518)

Don't count on that. Reno's airport has been plagued with issues from FAA-supplied navigation equipment, having to shut down at least twice that I can recall in the past few months, once during holiday travel season.

Re:FAA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214620)

Actually the FAA keeps planes from running into each other. Pilots and mechanics keep them from falling out of the sky.... and the wings help a little. In this political climate though, it is usually the left wing that gets blamed when they crash.

to RedHat, but what FROM? (3, Insightful)

TexasDex (709519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214215)

What OS did they migrate from? NetWare? SCO? FreeBSD? Windows 98? TFA says nothing about their previous platform.

Re:to RedHat, but what FROM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214273)

They probably migrated from a unix.

Re:to RedHat, but what FROM? (2, Informative)

zenhkim (962487) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214339)

> They probably migrated from a unix.

Correct, as TFA *does* state:

> By migrating from a costly UNIX platform to Red Hat Enterprise Linux on its workstations, servers and at the hub site, the FAA was able to eliminate costs and ineffective systems, while creating a scalable architecture that met their high-demand environment today and for the future.

The only question is, *which* UNIX did the FAA drop? Though I suppose it doesn't matter that much now....

Re:to RedHat, but what FROM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214676)

I suspect HP-UX.

Re:to RedHat, but what FROM? (1)

leoxx (992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214743)

Maybe it was Interix (aka Windows Services for Unix). :)

Re:to RedHat, but what FROM? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214276)

You mean TFPR. The eFfing Press Release. Sloppy journalism. That stuff should never just be released without someone at least getting a fricking quote from the FAA.

What, like this one? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214531)

"There is no room for error or down time in our systems," said Joshua Gustin, TFM-Modernization program manager, FAA. "When we first considered refreshing our entire system, we were looking at $25 million in costs and 18 months to full deployment. By switching to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, we were able to spend less than $10 million and accomplish a major system modernization in one-third that time. Red Hat Enterprise Linux fixed our problems of reliability and scalability, and gives us the support we need to reduce our risk."

Re:to RedHat, but what FROM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214305)

Yep, that's what I'd like to know - probably from another Unix. I'm sure they would have made an even bigger deal of it if it had been from MS.

Re:to RedHat, but what FROM? (3, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214324)

From TFA:

By migrating from a costly UNIX platform to Red Hat Enterprise Linux on its workstations, servers and at the hub site, the FAA was able to eliminate costs and ineffective systems, while creating a scalable architecture that met their high-demand environment today and for the future.

So, pick one: Solaris, HPUX or AIX.

AIX is my guess (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214468)

So, pick one: Solaris, HPUX or AIX.

It's pretty well known amongst the compugeek-pilot community that the FAA had a boatload of stuff running on some pretty old RS6000 iron, with quite a bit of it still running on AIX 3.2.5 which was end-of-lifed by IBM like sometime last century.

So, from your three guesses... I'd have to say that the first two don't count ;-)

This is mostly for their "business" systems, not the national airspace operations (the flightplan and radar systems) which are being migrated to a Linux-compatible realtime operating system.

Re:AIX is my guess (1)

Slithe (894946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214522)

>> This is mostly for their "business" systems, not the national airspace operations (the flightplan and radar systems) which are being migrated to a Linux-compatible realtime operating system.

Is it LynxOS?

Re:to RedHat, but what FROM? (-1, Troll)

slashflood (697891) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214353)

Gentoo.



SCNR. I love Gentoo.

Re:to RedHat, but what FROM? (1)

dooling (61228) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214685)

The guy in the video (http://www.redhat.com/rhel/informationcenter/succ essstories/government/faa.html) says they migrated from a RISC-based system. The press release says UNIX. So it must be a RISC/UNIX system. HP-UX? Probably. Solaris? AIX? Maybe (most people do not refer to SPARC or POWER as RISC even though they are). IRIX? Doubtful.

Re:to RedHat, but what FROM? -- Solaris (1)

mac84 (971323) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214714)

This is one system used for flow management (planning of routes and clearances but not actually Air Traffic Control)

TMS was hosted on Apollos using Sys5
ETMS migrated to Sun/Solaris
TFM-I upgrade replaced ETMS

You'll be pleased to know that the Air Traffic Control radar systems dont use Windows either.

Does not sound like Windows (2, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214870)

Box cost going from from $25k to $3k does not sound like a "from Windows" migration.

So far many/most large to-Linux migrations have been from some Unix-like or big-iron OS. Very few have been from-Microsoft.

/.'ed (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214218)

Hmmm...apparently it was slashdotted even before I can read it.
talk about efficiency!

anyone have the google cache version handy?

Not a surprise... (3, Informative)

tyler_larson (558763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214222)

..not a surprise that they'd move to Linux, given their recent bad experience [slashdot.org] with Windows.

Re:Not a surprise... (1)

GIL_Dude (850471) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214736)

And a bad experience with Windows explains why they migrated from UNIX to LINUX? Since Windows wasn't involved in this at all...

Re:Not a surprise... (1)

SoapDish (971052) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214796)

Well, it's possible they considered switching to Windows instead. Afterall, the /. link the GP provided was for an error caused by a windows bug, combined with human error, after the FAA switched that system from Unix to Windows. But, that's still speculation.

Ergh. Press release (0)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214240)

I thought as I was reading the opening paragraph:
Red Hat (NASDAQ: RHAT), the world's leading provider of open source to the enterprise, today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) saved the federal government more than $15 million in datacenter operating and upgrading costs by migrating to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
Hmmmmmn, this reads alot like a press release. Confirmed by the last paragraph
these forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the company's views as of any date subsequent to the date of the press release.

Source: Red Hat, Inc.
Still - good to see some in the federal government moving to cheap commodity systems where they can. The amount of departments who still staying with expensive [google.co.uk] , proprietary systems [microsoft.com] , where they will experience vendor lock in. [google.co.uk]

Did the FAA *really* save $15 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214254)

...or did they simply use that money for something else? Don't government agencies have "use it or lose it" funding?

Re:Did the FAA *really* save $15 million (1)

nevergleam (900375) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214380)

They used it on paying off all the workers they told to get lost or get rehired by Lockheed Martin for the exact same job at the cost of getting their retirements pushed back.

http://www.gcn.com/online/vol1_no1/34950-1.html [gcn.com]

Did Lockheed Martin's takeover of FAA operations centers have anything to do with this switch?

Re:Did the FAA *really* save $15 million (1)

mac84 (971323) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214777)

Nothing to do with the L-M contract which is flight service stations and not Flow control (where the Linux boxes will be used).

And they moved from? (1)

Osrin (599427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214268)

It is not clear if they got $15m in savings by moving from Windows, another flavor of *nix, or some old paper based system. It would really help if the article had some more substantive detail. BTW, I'm personally $7m better off than I would be if I'd have bought myself a Bombadier jet. Now, if I could just find that $7m I'd be able to do something fun with it.

Re:And they moved from? (1)

MeanMF (631837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214443)

They moved from a "costly UNIX system". It says it right in the press release.

Re:And they moved from? (1)

Osrin (599427) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214616)

You would need to know more than those three words to be able to mentally evaluate what the saving meant.

Re:And they moved from? (1)

texaport (600120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214687)

They moved from a "costly UNIX system".

When proposing a move from a big Unix infrastructure to Open Source, be sure to explain to your boss
that new "little keyboards" will become necessary with a cost that sometimes approaches $7 a piece.

Re:And they moved from? (1)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214499)

It is not clear if they got $15m in savings by moving from Windows, another flavor of *nix, or some old paper based system.

RTFA, specifically paragraph 4:

"By migrating from a costly crayon, construction-paper, scissors, and Elmer's glue-based platform to Red Hat Enterprise Linux on its workstations, servers and at the hub site, the FAA was able to eliminate costs and ineffective systems, while creating a scalable architecture that met their high-demand environment today and for the future."

I might have made a typo or two, so be sure to refer to the original article.

Migrating from ... (2, Informative)

rtaylor (70602) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214312)

By migrating from a costly UNIX platform to Red Hat Enterprise Linux on its workstations, servers and at the hub site, the FAA was able to eliminate costs and ineffective systems, while creating a scalable architecture that met their high-demand environment today and for the future.

Quite possibly this is from IBM (Aix) to IBM (Redhat). More likely is that it is another kick in the crotch for Sun.

Knoppix Even Quicker, Cheaper? (-1, Offtopic)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214314)

The FAA executed a major systems migration to Red Hat Enterprise Linux in one-third of the original scheduled time and with 30 percent more operational efficiency than the previous system."

Could have migraged to Knoppix even quicker. I mean, after all, how long does it take to drop in a $0.30 boot CD? And you have a dual-boot system after that, plus a kernal that clears away root-kits on every restart.

or CentOS (1)

birder (61402) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214675)

Or keeping with "redhat compatibility" so people don't freak out, CentOS.

Not a big victory (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214343)

By migrating from a costly UNIX platform to Red Hat Enterprise Linux on its workstations, servers and at the hub site, the FAA was able to eliminate costs and ineffective systems, while creating a scalable architecture that met their high-demand environment today and for the future.

I think that puts it into perspective quite clearly. This was just a conversion from say... Solaris over to Linux. It's not an agency convinced that Linux was better than Windows and then converted over to Linux. Making a really big deal out of this is like saying that it's bold step for environmentalism to replace a hybrid civic with a Prius instead of a 250mi/gal future version of the smartcar.

Migrated from UNIX (1)

spazoidspam (708589) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214348)

From red hats site
Benefits By migrating from a costly UNIX platform to Red Hat Enterprise Linux on their workstations, servers, and at the Volpe Center, the FAA was able to eliminate costs and ineffective systems while creating a scalable architecture that met their high-demand environment.

Not so impressive after all.

Really OOOOOLD systems (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214352)

I remember sometime back in the nineties, a government report was released detailing how secure the governments systems were from cyberterrorism. The only department that was secure was the FAA, because "their systems were so antiquated, they could not be accessed with modern equipment."

Maybe they are finally getting something going? :)

Re:Really OOOOOLD systems (1)

gregarican (694358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214495)

I also recall seeing a TV news story a few years ago regarding the air traffic control systems in the U.S. Some of them still relied on components that also were a bit antiquated and hard to find. I am talking about old Sovtek (sp?) vacuum tubes. Seriously. If I can find an URL I will post it. But figuring man went to the moon based on the technology that nowadays is housed in a handheld scientific calculator I guess anything is possible :-/

Re:Really OOOOOLD systems (2, Informative)

gregarican (694358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214541)

Here is a link to a story [pbs.org] regarding antiquated air traffic control systems. It is more than just a few years old. Eleven in fact. But nevertheless I doubt that things are much more advanced even eleven years later. Maybe the FAA in the /. story could have invested in some of the $150 Chinese peecees?

They had nowhere to go but up (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214550)

The FAA has a long history IT disasters, dating back to the early 1980's. Whatever happened to the Advanced Automation System,
originally contracted to IBM and EDS in 1981 and still not deployed? Taxpayers have spent about $40 billion on that one, with still
very little to show for it.

A brief history of FAA competence. Not the best source, but then the government isn't good about revealing its failures.

http://www.baselinemag.com/print_article2/0,1217,a =25163,00.asp [baselinemag.com]

new Linux ad campaign (4, Funny)

syrinx (106469) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214361)

"So, airlines are going bankrupt all over the place, ticket sales are down, and we're still in no position to catch terrorists."

"That sounds bad."

"But there is good news."

"What's that?"

"I just saved a bunch of money on datacenter operating and upgrading costs by switching to Linux."

Re:new Linux ad campaign (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214871)

That ad campaign needs some kind of mascot. Maybe an animal of some sort.

Too bad they cant stop the subhuman arab hijackers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214362)

Should have spent that money on guns for pilots and stewardesses so they can put a bullet in the head of every filthy arab that boards the plane.

Remember, they attacked us on 9/11 but we will not rest until every filthy subhuman arab man, woman, and child has been slaughtered.

God bless America!

small potatoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15214419)

The FAA's budget is something like 13-15 billion a year. While every little bit helps, OS licensing is really a drop in the bucket.

They ported Linux to their System 360s? (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214426)

Yes, you can do this, it's actually firly common:

http://www.itworld.com/Comp/1369/LWD000606S390/ [itworld.com]

I thought the problem was old, tube-based hardware in the TRACONS and elsewhere always going blinky. Software would be the least of their worries.

ETMS System (5, Informative)

apfistler (971310) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214479)

For all of those who are curious as to what was there before. I worked on this project and was incharge of automating the installation process on the integration side and was part of the integration team for this project. The old system were old HP C360's running HPUX 10.20. The whole TFMI system has been ported and updated since the early 90's. Before they were running on the 360s the system was running on Apollo's before. Of course this refresh was way cheaper in '05 than the earlier refresh because in the '98 refresh they had to swap out thinnet for CAT 5. And if you ever seen some of the cable trays at some of these TRACONS on Towers.... some aren't pretty, espically at BWI. Since the CAT 5 was in place it was as simple as swapping out the machines and putting in the new routers when we got on site. And yes for a govement project this went realitivly smoothly. Once I set up the kickstart server and scripted the install for the ETMS software, intergrating the HP XW8000 workstations was as easy as just hitting F12, so even our warehouse logistic's person could integrate the machines.

FAA Windows Machine "Nearly Perfect" (2, Interesting)

NXIL (860839) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214529)

Did the air traffic control center really have a "Microsoft server crash"?
Submitted by doc on Wed, 09/22/2004 - 19:02.

On Tuesday, September 14, something went wrong at the FAA's regional center that controls high altitude air traffic over Southern California and much of the southwest U.S. Two days later, this Associated Press story (carried here on MSNBC) summarized the problem in its opening sentence: "Failure to perform a routine maintenance check caused the shutdown of an air traffic communications system serving a large swath of the West, resulting in several close calls in the skies, the FAA and a union official said Wednesday." That same day, the Los Angeles Times ran a story titled "Human Factors Silenced Airports". Then, on September 21, TechWorld ran a story titled "Microsoft server crash nearly causes 800-plane pile-up: Failure to restart system caused data overload". It begins, "A major breakdown in Southern California's air traffic control system last week was partly due to a 'design anomaly' in the way Microsoft Windows servers were integrated into the system, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. Here's what the Times story said....

Officials from Professional Airways Systems Specialists, the union that represents FAA technicians, acknowledged Wednesday that an improperly trained employee failed to reset the Palmdale radio system.

But they said the quirk in the system, known as Voice Switching and Control System, is a "design anomaly" that should have been corrected after it was discovered last year in Atlanta.

As originally designed, the VSCS system used computers that ran on an operating system known as Unix, said Ray Baggett, vice president for the union's western region.

The VSCS system was built for the FAA by Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Fla., at a cost of more than $1.5 billion.

When the system was upgraded about a year ago, the original computers were replaced by Dell computers using Microsoft software. Baggett said the Microsoft software contained an internal clock designed to shut the system down after 49.7 days to prevent it from becoming overloaded with data.

Software analysts say a shutdown mechanism is preferable to allowing an overloaded system to keep running and potentially give controllers wrong information about flights.

Richard Riggs, an advisor to the technicians union, said the FAA had been planning to fix the program for some time. "They should have done it before they fielded the system," he said.

To prevent a reoccurrence of the problem before the software glitch is fixed, Laura Brown, an FAA spokeswoman, said the agency plans to install a system that would issue a warning well before shutdown.

Martin, the chief FAA spokesman in Washington, said the failure was not an indication of the reliability of the radio communications system itself, which he described as "nearly perfect."

and how much... (0, Troll)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214618)

And just think how much they would have saved had they used Debian...

flame on!!!!

Un*x? (1)

UbelievablyLame (962303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214646)

Never has the wildcard had it so easy...

And in other news... (1)

paxgaea (219419) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214719)

There has been a seemingly inexplicable decrease in plane collisions across North America...

I know, I know, it is the FAA, not air traffic controllers. Cut me some slack, it's Thursday afternoon.

But... (1, Offtopic)

ortcutt (711694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214788)

Considering that Federal Government pisses away $15 million every two hours in Iraq, it hardly makes a dent.

Biased article. (2, Funny)

xmorg (718633) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214833)

The Article is biased by the use of the word "migrating". Given all of the illegal immigration news in the US, the term was used to slant the article towards Microsoft by the use of the derogatory term "migrate" in reference to Linux. But, more correct term should be "upgrading". To be fair.

In other news (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 8 years ago | (#15214855)

In other news, Microsoft and Sun announced the joint purchase of a former Soviet manufacturer of ground-to-air missiles...

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...