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A CIO's View of SUSE's Enterprise Viability

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the can-stay-out-of-the-fridge-for-quite-a-while dept.

SuSE 184

onehitwonder writes "As part of an ongoing quest to find a viable alternative to the Microsoft desktop in the enterprise, well-known healthcare CIO John Halamka spent a month using Novell SUSE 10 as his sole operating system. His conclusion? It's good enough for the enterprise. In Windows vs. Linux vs. OS X: CIO John Halamka Tests SUSE, he explains how SUSE stacks up against RHEL, Fedora, XP and OS X (in a life-critical business environment), and which issues should influence an enterprise-class organization to adopt it."

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184 comments

Now That's a Good Viewpoint (5, Informative)

nz17 (601809) | about 7 years ago | (#19624641)

We've had everyone from HardOCP to grandmas post their opinion on the "best desktop system" issue, but I think someone with not only workers and an enterprise on the line, but the life-and-death of people on his hands, is really going to give an honest opinion. He doesn't want deaths on his hands either directly or from his recommendations. I think everyone reading this post should give the article at least a cursory glance before jumping to their own opinions.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (1)

Original Replica (908688) | about 7 years ago | (#19624681)

I think it's telling that he was originally gunshy about Linux because of his previous exerience with Fedora and Red Hat. The constant problem (as far as mass adoption goes) with Linux is that there are too many versions running around. It's time to thin the herd.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (1)

jlarocco (851450) | about 7 years ago | (#19624811)

I think it's telling that he was originally gunshy about Linux because of his previous exerience with Fedora and Red Hat. The constant problem (as far as mass adoption goes) with Linux is that there are too many versions running around. It's time to thin the herd.

I completely disagree. There are a lot of problems with Linux, but too many "versions" isn't one of them.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (3, Insightful)

Maxwell (13985) | about 7 years ago | (#19625371)

If you build your own PC's and put up screenshots on your desktop on your website, then it's 'fun' to have dozens of versions of everything. If you are a CIO, it's a pain in the ass and a huge, huge, problem with Linux adoption.

You gave no reason for you assertion that multiple versions is not a problem, but allow me give you some for reasons for why it is:
# You can't even use "linux" because there really is no such thing.
# And you can't hire Linux people because there is no Linux people, there are Fedora, RHEL, Suse, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, BSD, FreeBSd,Openbsd people, etc, etc. And the "linux" crowd tends to rush off on whatever the latest trend is, remember when Caldera Open Linux was trendy? Now it's Ubuntu, whoops, Kubuntu, whoops, linspire, whoops now back to Fedora. Like little kids running after the shiniest candy.
# And no they are not all 'the same'. They have wildly different directory structures, gui, lib version, kernel version support options, kernel versions, etc.
# Oh but any *good* linux admin can use any system, right? How many is that? If a CIO hires 100 Windows admins, thee will be 10 good ones, ten useless ones and 80 somewhere in between. If he hires 100 linux
there will be 2 good RHEL, 2 good SUSE, 2 good Ubuntu, 2 good Fedora and 2 good 'weird brand', 10 useless and 80 somewhere in between. That is spreading the talent pool pretty thin... It's no wonder Oracle on Windows is so popular, at least you can hire someone to install the thing!

Sorry, but multiple versions is holding Linux back at the enterprise level and will keep doing so until there is a clear winner aka 'standard' that can be relied on for stability, industry support, and support personnel. RH and Suse as a 1 - 2 combo were looking very good, but now ubuntu has wandered in and taken most of the community's time...until the next shiny candy shows up...

JON

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (4, Insightful)

Jane_Dozey (759010) | about 7 years ago | (#19625585)

In a corporate environment one enterprise distro will be used and the same software loaded onto each desktop. That means no problems with directory structures, libs, DE's or really much else. Everyone in the company will be using the same thing, much like they are with windows (can you really see the IT dept letting users choose between windows versions?).

The company doesn't care about whether there's a "linux" or not. They're using RHEL/SuSE/whatever not this mysterious "Linux". I think you'll find a whole lot of "Linux people" disagreeing with you there. Every single Linux admin I've ever met has used lots of different distros and knows the quirks of each one. The company will hire people who can do the job on the system used, not those who don't.

A *good* Linux admin will know whether they can use the system or not and apply for jobs accordingly. A bad admin might try and wing it but hey, they're a bad admin and should never had been hired in the first place.

At the enterprise level there are very few options. I can currently think of 2 off the top of my head: RHEL and SuSE. These are what companies will be using and these are what they will be advertising jobs for, so no, at the enterprise level multiple versions really aren't such a problem.
But what if more enterprise distros appear? I still don't see a problem. The IT market has a habit of having it's top 2 or 3 choices and a multitude of alternatives. IT managers will be using the top 2 or 3 and pretty much ignoring everything else unless they get good enough to topple one of the current leaders, in which case there's still only 2 or 3.

It's only really when you get down to individuals and their home desktops that it becomes more difficult...

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (2, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 7 years ago | (#19626029)

RHEL and Suse are the exception, everything else is forked to infinity.

Heres an example, I have a production server I need to run VMware server on, if my running kernel doesn't exactly match one of the 50+ modules VMware was nice enough to compile and include (wasting their time), I have to keep a build toolchain on a production server just to install the kernel module. That is not acceptable.

We don't need forks of everything just to change one small part of the system, we don't need 2 package formats, we don't even need 2 desktops (gnome is at best a thin client right now).

It has already hurt the Linux environment and anyone using Linux.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (1)

eihab (823648) | about 7 years ago | (#19625743)

And you can't hire Linux people because there is no Linux people, there are Fedora, RHEL, Suse, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, BSD, FreeBSd,Openbsd people, etc, etc. And the "linux" crowd tends to rush off on whatever the latest trend is, remember when Caldera Open Linux was trendy? Now it's Ubuntu, whoops, Kubuntu, whoops, linspire, whoops now back to Fedora. Like little kids running after the shiniest candy.


That right there tells me you don't know what you're talking about. Free/Open/Net BSD are not based on the Linux kernel, they're completely different beasts.

I wrote something before about how inconsistent some of the Linux distributions are and how frustrating it is, but this right here is an outright troll.

I'm a BSD guy at heart, maybe mainly because I got introduced to FreeBSD first as what a Unix like OS is all about, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate "Linux" or what it has done for us.

In my living room there's a MythTV (KnoppmMyth) box that is waiting for a second TV-Tuner card to output to TV to be complete DVR system. At my job we have a couple of CentOS servers that replaced FreeBSD because of specific RAID driver support (It's in 6.2 but that was beta back then).

Point in case: I'm no OS zealot.

Having cleared that up, sure there are tons of Linux distributions out there, some of them are "corporate ready" and some of them aren't. If you're a CIO and going to standardize on Linux "based distributions", I hope to god you're not basing your decisions on what teenagers are writing in their blog about the hottest new distribution.

When you imply that the entire community is behind X distribution based on what you read on blogs is a complete disconnect from reality. The Debian people are still Debian, the Redhatters still do their thing, etc. etc.

Sure, Ubuntu's new users can become more vocal and say Ubuntu is the new hotness, but that doesn't mean they're the ones who write great code or do great things for their distributions (not that some of them aren't, but you get my point).

I can hear you thinking "Well what about Beta testers?", well sure, some of the distributions may have more beta testing done than others based on the "community" shift, but that doesn't mean other distributions won't benefit from it. Linux distributions are just that, they combine and distribute Linux, GNU tools and other programs with a few (ok maybe a little more than that) tweaks here and there.

If someone in Ubuntu finds a bug in gcc, all of the distributions will benefit from it (heck even BSD).

Companies like RedHat exist solely to provide you (Mr./Ms. corporate CIO) with that safety net, which is: you're going to get the latest patched stuff, you can demand Certification and get trained Sys admins that know what they're doing, phone and on-site support etc.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 7 years ago | (#19626059)

"If someone in Ubuntu finds a bug in gcc, all of the distributions will benefit from it (heck even BSD)."

I wish I could say code made it back upstream and to others quickly and reliably but I doubt it, even if it does its an extra step for little gain. You also have 6+ companies doing the same work at the same time. It's all bit of a waste.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (5, Interesting)

gweihir (88907) | about 7 years ago | (#19624895)

It's time to thin the herd.

I don't agree. The differences are of an other type than the ones between, e.g., versions of Windows. First thing is that the "look and feel" is really not tied to the distribution. Whether I run fvwm2 on top of Suse, RedHat, Debian, etc. does not matter much for its look and feel. That is almost completey determined by my .fvwm2rc file. Second thing is that hardware support (i.e. kernel) is again not tied to the distribution. I am running Debain with a stock kernel.org kernel with my own config. I did the same before with Suse. Not a problem. Third thing is that the rest of the OS is again not tied to the distro. Practically everything can be changed or customized. Same is true for the applications. Which distro I run an application on makes very little difference. The most difference makes the window-manager, but that is an application in itself and not distribution specific.

The thing that does matter is support and updates. These can be very different from distro to distro. This is also the point that becomes very important in professional adoption. Of course Linux has all the advantages here, since MS support is really very, very bad. For Linux you not only can get better support. You can have your own people do it on every level. Or buy the support from a lot of different poeple, with just the quality level you need. And if one support offer cannot cut it, moving to another one is a very real option.

And if you do not use the vendor-support, the distribution becomes even less important. Of course a large organization will need to hier a few Linux gurus in a move to Linux. But the potential gains are staggering.
 

Now That's a Good Point (5, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about 7 years ago | (#19625595)

since MS support is really very, very bad

I have a live version of Kubuntu running on a machine downstairs. I could install the live version to test that hardware, network compatibility and that it could find the shared network printer and backup drives. It didn't cost anything and the few minor problems resolved online. Actually, there weren't any problems, all I had to look up were some installation instructions. Didn't need to buy anything, call anyone, wait for anything. Tomorrow I can install it if everything else checks out. What risk am I taking adding that OS to my network?

Microsoft support, like Dell's support, used to be THE reason to stay with Windows on Dell hardware. But lately they've both let their support slide. There's no reason to stay with them. There's no risk trying Linux. You can test everything before committing. And it doesn't cost...how much are MSFT service calls going for these days?

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (2, Interesting)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | about 7 years ago | (#19625917)

The thing that does matter is support and updates. These can be very different from distro to distro. This is also the point that becomes very important in professional adoption. Of course Linux has all the advantages here, since MS support is really very, very bad. For Linux you not only can get better support. You can have your own people do it on every level. Or buy the support from a lot of different poeple, with just the quality level you need. And if one support offer cannot cut it, moving to another one is a very real option.

Indeed, I've done just that this week.

I've been running Novell SLED10 on two machines, and have been very happy with it. It's the most professional desktop distro I've seen (good enough to pay for - twice). That is, until the politics started and the SP1 update was released. One machine updated nicely... until the next reboot when a broken initrd didn't let it come back up. The other machine wouldn't update at all, probably due to not having bought the optional "upgrade protection" (SP1 is an upgrade, not an update?!), or possibly the updater, or maybe even something that I've done.

Anyway, rather than fight with a broken operating system or a company moving in directions I don't agree with, I downloaded Ubuntu 7.04. I'm back up and running in 2 hours, with no data loss/copying thanks to keeping /home on it's own partition. Even better, the same would apply if I'd gone with most any other distro such as RH or Mandriva.

We've done the same thing with the server too, moving across 3 vendors over a period of several years due to changing policies and distro hardware support. I just can't imagine being at the mercy of one vendor, especially in a small market like New Zealand.

As long as Linux is free, so are my systems, and so are the companies they work for.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (5, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 7 years ago | (#19624901)

It's time to thin the herd.

So don't use the bad distros, and do support the good ones.

It's called "competition" and while it's been absent from the OS space for a long time, it's what drives innovation in capitalist economies.

Look, this dumb meme gets trotted out at just about every discussion of Linux. It's dumb because:

  • Linux is free. That means anyone can make their own distro. Even if you were right (which you're not), there's bugger-all you can do about it.
  • Having plenty of competing distros encourages distributors to keep improving their versions.
  • Because of the copyleft provisions of the GPL, improvements in one distro can be adopted by all other distros. That means if one distributor fails (like Corel did), their efforts are not lost to the community
  • Having specialised versions of Linux filling dozens of different niches means it's that much harder for an aggressive and predatory competitor to "fucking kill" all of them.
It's great that SuSe is able to fill the corporate desktop niche, but I'd still prefer to use Sabayon for gaming, Puppy on my pen drive, SME on a small server, Debian on a big one, Ophcrack for rescuing Windows users who've forgotten passwords, etc, etc, etc.

There's plenty more reasons this meme is dumb and dangerous. Try thinking of a few yourself, preferably before posting next time.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (3, Insightful)

shlashdot (689477) | about 7 years ago | (#19625131)

"It's time to thin the heard"

no, it's time to develop a decent groupware solution.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (2, Funny)

Ant P. (974313) | about 7 years ago | (#19624727)

One of the things that might've put him off Windows is the EULA clause near the bottom stating "NOT SUITABLE FOR CRITICAL SYSTEMS INCLUDING NUCLEAR REACTORS, LIFE SUPPORT" etc.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 years ago | (#19624829)

He's not running a nuclear reactor -- or a hospital. He's just doing email and typical business person stuff. Nobody lets a CIO do potentially dangerous or important things.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625033)

Good point.

You certainly don't want the CIO making an IT decisions, especially the ones working in nuclear installations.

and it was not suitable for that either! (1)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#19625143)

He's not running a nuclear reactor -- He's just doing email and typical business person stuff. Nobody lets a CIO do potentially dangerous or important things.

Oh, I just hate to quote the fine article but:

That summer, Halamka had embarked on a quest to find a viable alternative to the Microsoft desktopfed up as he was with Windows instability.

It's kind of like ... unsafe at any speed.

Re:and it was not suitable for that either! (3, Insightful)

Daychilde (744181) | about 7 years ago | (#19625237)

"It's kind of like ... unsafe at any speed."

And if you go read up on the history (as opposed to the 'popular knowledge') of the item you reference, you might be surprised at how much that really applies.

Tip: The car in question wasn't nearly as unsafe as it was made out to be - there was a lot of hype involved. That's true here. Not only of Windows, but also Linux and Mac. Some overhyping of the good points, and some overhyping of the bad points...

Well Twitter, (4, Informative)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 years ago | (#19625383)

I'm glad you read the article. Now go back and work on reading comprehension. He's looking for a desktop OS replacement. I've worked in health care for over 20 years and desktop computers don't run health critical systems.

Desktop computers ("PCs" in the vernacular) run things like, please excuse me if this raises your blood pressure, Microsoft Office, Windows Explorer, Outlook and Bugs Bunny wallpapers. The critical systems typically use an embedded OS (ventilators and other machines that go "ping") or they run some UNIX variant (CTs, MRIs).

I'm trying desperately to get our small hospital off of XP. All we run are the above "productivity" apps and a bizarre VT100 terminal program that talks to the billing / order entry / lab system. Any reasonable Linux system would be fine except that company that runs the back end system won't allow anything but this oddball emulator to talk to their system. (Don't even think of VMware or similar - that's much too complex for them).

But anyway, don't have a heart attack if you see the green and blue wavy fields on the screen at your local ER. It won't shock you.

I think we agree. (1)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#19625755)

I'm trying desperately to get our small hospital off of XP.

Then we both agree with Halamka that Windoze is suitable for neither critical systems nor desktops in a hospital. That was my point, so you might want to work on your own reading comprehension skills, coldwetdog

I'll go a step further and say that Windoze is an accident waiting to happen, however you use it. It's surprising how annoying a botnet can be on your network and how such non critical systems, like the door opener to surgery, can be painful when the network is congested by it.

I'll also point you here [slashdot.org] where I note that GE's new CT uses Red Hat. It's not the average PC under the hood because it's very fast at what it does, but that's not so far fetched.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (1)

good soldier svejk (571730) | about 7 years ago | (#19625381)

He's not running a nuclear reactor -- or a hospital. He's just doing email and typical business person stuff. Nobody lets a CIO do potentially dangerous or important things.
John is also an Emergency Medicine MD, so his business stuff is potentially dangerous and important. Actually, he is a programmer too. And he has a Masters in informatics from MIT.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19624937)

Gawd this is getting to be an old and annoying discussion.

The typical home user does three things:
1. Instant messaging
2. Email
3. Surf the Internet

Once the typical user realizes that these tasks can be easily performed on any number of OS's, that they have a choice, there will be some movement away from MS Windows for these people.

Not that it matters that much to MS because most of their profits are derived from corporate customers.

Corporations have a fourth requirement, standardized information exchange of documents and spreadsheets. Love it or hate it, MS Office provides some degree of standardization that *nix platforms still lack. OpenOffice has matured to the point where for most medium or small companies it can meet their needs. OpenOffice still needs improvement but it now good enough for serious consideration as a replacement to MS Office. I'm not advocating everyone switch to OpenOffice, I'm advocating a reasonable evaluation of the users' requirements and the applications that are available.

The article is interesting in that it appears to be indicative of the thinking of a number of CIOs or anyone who is in the position of making IT policy decisions. The guy has a difficult time coming to a clear decision because he's evaluating non-MS options. It's the same thought process many of us have gone through. It's why I use Windows for some tasks and *nix for others. In my case it's using the right tool for the job.

It's about choice. And now we have them :-)

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (3, Interesting)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about 7 years ago | (#19625447)

I won't name where I work, but it is pretty big - over 12,000 employees - and they are seriously considering dropping Windows to switch to Linux. Vista is not considered suitable, the cost is huge per seat, and they figure that as long as they are retraining the workforce to use something, it might as well be something that is cheaper, more secure, and more reliable.

I know people will say that the TCO might be higher but in the long run, is it really? Once you get people moved over and used to it, and after a few new versions of OS where MS keeps gouging but Linux stays free, there is a point where the cost drops drastically comparitively. We don't have so many trained to support Linux yet, but that's coming.

Bye MS.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (0)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 7 years ago | (#19625159)

Life and death? How is desktop usability a life and death issue? Let's not go overboard with the geek hyperbole.

Re:Now That's a Good Viewpoint (1)

boyko.at.netqos (1024767) | about 7 years ago | (#19625533)

Glad you remembered us!

-- Brian Boyko
-- Gramma's HardOCP Contributor

Shit yeah! Not like those HMOs are CHEAP !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19624673)

Shit yeah! Not like those HMOs are CHEAP !!

These are NOT life critical... (3, Informative)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | about 7 years ago | (#19624685)

If anybody knows about medical tech, they do NOT run "laptops" or desktops on critical equipment.

The life-maintaining equipment runs only secure hardware, with mathematically proven code, and fiber-optic links for isolation (to prevent electrocution hazards). There was even a heart monitor someone made and posted to /. , and it would have likely killed someone as it had them hooked up to a computer serial port.

SuSE will NOT run on the dangerous equipment. It will run on the network as a "online chart". Many people should be against that as well, for altogether different reasons. This is somewhat critical, as most med groups run paper charts just in case..

I don't know about that. (2, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#19624997)

uname -a on one of GE's latest generation of CT scanners reports a version of Red Hat. Diagnosing cancer may not be as life critical as an EKG, but it's not something you want to have crash or degrade over time or have some kind of file quirk that screws up images.

Re:These are NOT life critical... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19624999)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real [imageshack.us] Mac [imageshack.us] users [imageshack.us] . Keep your filthy, beige [imageshack.us] PC fingers to yourself.

OhitSuX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625145)

I wouldn't put OSX or Lunix on anything more important than an automatic coffee maker. And actually, even that's too important for them.

I got THE Phone, I got THE Phone !! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19624705)

hot damn !

it cost me a cool grand but I got THE Phone !!

and it works !!!

i placed a call and had her call me back !V

sooooo happy I have THE Phone V

Useless Opinion (-1, Troll)

Interlocutor de Anim (895785) | about 7 years ago | (#19624725)

Do you think this will help the image of Novell after drinking Microsoft's Kool Aid? No, only when pigs fly.

Easy there! (3, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#19625157)

Do you think this will help the image of Novell after drinking Microsoft's Kool Aid? No, only when pigs fly.

If your boss offered you the chance to migrate from the Beast to Novel, you would be crazy to say no. The more free software people use, the better. I'd rather everyone used nothing but free software and I don't like that Novel endorsed M$, but let's not get carried away. When the alternatives are to stick with seven year old software and slowly migrate to Vista or migrate to Suse, Suse is the clear winner.

yep: not viable (0, Troll)

r00t (33219) | about 7 years ago | (#19625267)

History is littered with the corpses of those who entered into technology partnerships with Microsoft.

Some people learn from the mistakes of others. Some people need to learn the hard way.

Buying from a doomed vendor is often a bad move.

In Other News... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19624775)

When it comes to sex, nerds everywhere claim that an inflatable doll is "good enough".
 

Re:In Other News... (0, Offtopic)

poopdeville (841677) | about 7 years ago | (#19624897)

Speaking of nerdy, comparing Windows to sex definitely is.

Re:In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625061)

Nerdy ? How about logical ?! Based on the Slashdot crowd, I'd say there is a correlation between using Windows (i.e. not using linux) and sex...

Re:In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625233)

Speaking of nerdy, comparing Windows to sex definitely is.
What, you don't agree it's like being on the wrong end of anal?

Re:In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625317)

So, are you saying goatse is a victim of M$? Now I understand all the hard feelings around here.

Re:In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19624953)

The way I see it, Windows is like a good christian girl who doesn't do anything but missionary.
Linux is like the dirty girl who will let you stick it anywhere and that swallows, as long as you know what buttons to push and what to say.

Re:In Other News... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625707)

Linux you can recompile to add additional holes that you can use. Windows already comes with multiple holes, but those are only for other people.
 

Why listen to this guy? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19624781)

well-known healthcare CIO John Halamka
Most well known for being the responsible guy for one of the biggest hospital IT failures on the books. All hospital systems out for 4 days? What kind of good CIO has that kind of failure on his watch?

See http://www.medical-journals.com/r0313.htm [medical-journals.com]

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

pionzypher (886253) | about 7 years ago | (#19624831)

Coincidence perhaps, but right at the beginning of the story is this line:
That summer, Halamka had embarked on a quest to find a viable alternative to the Microsoft desktop--fed up as he was with Windows' instability.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 7 years ago | (#19624929)

That summer, Halamka had embarked on a quest to find a viable alternative to the Microsoft desktop--fed up as he was with Windows' instability.

Yeah, and after I read that, this guy lost all credibility in my eyes. As a non-Windows admin (not even an IT person), I have no idea how people manage to make Windows 2000+ "unstable".

Re:Why listen to this guy? (0, Troll)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 7 years ago | (#19625029)

I have no idea how people manage to make Windows 2000+ "unstable".

Using it.

Anyone with any real-life experience with Windows has suffered plenty of problems with 2K/XP's bad behaviour. There's an illusion of stability because by default, XP'll reboot instead of bluescreen, but that's just spin control.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625089)

-1 bullshit

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | about 7 years ago | (#19625225)

Sure, easy to say.

But in the real world, I have a company to run. We use Windows machines mainly for video editing and 3D work, and when I have a task that requires more than a few hours of rendering, I have to plan my jobs around the expectation that a computer running Windows will fail. I'd prefer not to, but my crash logs tell a different story.

Spin it the way you like here, anyone who's seen what it takes to support more than a few Windows desktops will take the astroturf with a grain of salt. Let's face it, if I believed you and ran my business that way in the real world, I'd be committing slow suicide.

That's why things like this guy trying and liking SuSE are so important. If we get a bit of competition in the OS market, we might end up with truly stable computers instead of endless spin.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 7 years ago | (#19626085)

Your crash problem sounds like bad cooling to me.

Will Linux fix that?

Could be a multitude of other HW problems too. But crashing the OS when doing rendering does not sound like an OS (or even software) problem. Though a shoddy driver for a HW accelerator could do it, but I bet a similer card would be closed source driven on Linux too, leading to similar problems.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

shlashdot (689477) | about 7 years ago | (#19625101)

expensive and annoying, yes. Unstable, no.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

gonk (20202) | about 7 years ago | (#19625139)

Hmm, no. I've used XP for years on the desktop and rarely had an issue. I'm a long ways from being ignorant or lacking "real life experience". A long, long ways. That said, I've gone back to Linux on my desktop in the last month or two as an experiment of sorts. Linux was the only OS I used from about 1992 until 2004 or so. I have only used it on the server side since then, until recently. Frankly, I'm not sure I won't be going back to Windows.

robert

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 7 years ago | (#19625175)

Understanding that that is just a setting (on my XP boxes, it is NOT checked by default), I re-iterate my point. I have no idea how people manage to make Windows 2000/XP unstable.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 7 years ago | (#19625397)

People don't make Windows 2000/XP unstable. Microsoft does that for them.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | about 7 years ago | (#19625261)

Anyone with any real-life experience with Windows has suffered plenty of problems with 2K/XP's bad behaviour. There's an illusion of stability because by default, XP'll reboot instead of bluescreen, but that's just spin control.
Very true, but I've typically seen that occur as the result of a hardware problem, not a software problem. In the PC Clinics I've run, blowing the dust out of a CPU's heat sink has fixed more computers than system reinstalls or driver upgrades. (That's not to say the latter two cases don't occur...)

Re:Why listen to this guy? (3, Informative)

cyphercell (843398) | about 7 years ago | (#19625439)

funny, for me when I clean up a Windows PC it's all about re-imaging the thing. Why? because once you run the AV, the Registry Cleaner, the ad-ware remover, blah blah blah, it's a ton quicker, cleaner, and safer just to re-image the damn thing. You can spend days on a Windows machine cleaning things up that are archaically crufty after just a year of use. Of course I may be dealing with a different class of user than you, but I feel that on a system that is as heavily targeted for attack as windows is, it almost requires a new image every year or so, I mean who knows what's on there that you can't find.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | about 7 years ago | (#19625697)

Spyware, adware and viruses all cause issues for many of our customers, sure. Probably the frustrating part is that maybe one in fifty of them even have a product key we can use to legally reinstall with. The best we can do for them is install AVG and Spybot, and possibly use the Repair feature of an XP disc.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

cyphercell (843398) | about 7 years ago | (#19625993)

Sorry, I hadn't thought about that, bet you see some weird stuff some times.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

Jackmn (895532) | about 7 years ago | (#19625541)

Anyone with any real-life experience with Windows has suffered plenty of problems with 2K/XP's bad behaviour. There's an illusion of stability because by default, XP'll reboot instead of bluescreen, but that's just spin control.
I've had XP on my desktop for years, and 2000 before that. I've had roughly three bugchecks in all that time.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19624935)

If his copy of XP is unstable then HE is most likely doing something wrong.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (1)

jeevesbond (1066726) | about 7 years ago | (#19624853)

What kind of good CIO has that kind of failure on his watch?

One that's using Windows? He seems wiser than you think as he's now trying to find an alternative. This month it's SuSE, then he'll be testing Ubuntu next, in July. From TFA:

That summer, Halamka had embarked on a quest to find a viable alternative to the Microsoft desktopfed up as he was with Windows instability. [...] They suggested he try SUSE [...] and Ubuntu. So he did. Keep reading to find out what Halamka thinks of Novells SUSE Enterprise Linux Desktop (SLED), and stay tuned in July for his take on Ubuntu.

He was probably one of the legions who subscribe to the 'Nobody was fired for buying Microsoft' meme, seems he's learnt his lesson now though. Wonder if we'll see this on Microsoft's 'Get the Facts' web site? :)

Re:Why listen to this guy? (2, Interesting)

good soldier svejk (571730) | about 7 years ago | (#19625341)

Most well known for being the responsible guy for one of the biggest hospital IT failures on the books. All hospital systems out for 4 days? What kind of good CIO has that kind of failure on his watch?
In this case, one who inherited a broken network architecture from a previous CIO and was denied funding to fix it until it was too late. I know; I was there.

Re:Why listen to this guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625931)

John Halamka, CIO, ran an IT organization at a major US hospital. There was a major network failure that lasted for roughly three days, damaging most hospital operations. Halamka, according to the previous poster:

inherited a broken network architecture from a previous CIO and was denied funding to fix it until it was too late. I know; I was there.

Sadly, this is not an experience different than any other CIO's experience. Even the most junior CIO at the smallest IT shop has the same issues.

All CIOs inherit baggage; all CIOs have to make due with their funding; all CIOs have to put strong, timely arguments forward if they need additional funding. All CIOs need to defuse the big problems first, before they focus on the minor issues.

No CIO is in any different position. Hell, no IT middle management job is any different.

I was there too. I left on my own, being fed up with the lack of quality and the surplus of JH spin. He is a smart guy, but he's also a master of spin and a downright poor CIO. He should go back to the emergency department if he wants to do the world some good.

Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19624799)

> Every time he launched the application, he had to wait five minutes to use it, until it synced with CareGroup's Microsoft Exchange server. If he deleted an e-mail before the entire store of deleted e-mails had synced, or if he tried sending an e-mail before all stored e-mails had synced, the application would crash.

I wish that someone would introduce Halamka to http://sylpheed.sraoss.jp/en/ [sraoss.jp] - its _really_ fast and contains all the features that one would ever need.. and if not, there are plug-ins.

Re:Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19624973)

And what about Calendar (+sharing), Task lists, shared address books. Jesus, get a life. Real-life business needs typically exceed the functionality of OS clients (Evolution, Thunderbird, Sunbird etc.etc.). There is no free alternative to MS Outlook yet.

Re:Evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625507)

Funny, the original user wasn't complaining about not having a shared calendar, he was complaining about lack of core functionality.

licensing terms (1)

fermion (181285) | about 7 years ago | (#19624833)

One point in the article alleges tha MS knows that it must no cooperate with Linux. This is a silly notion. From what I can tell, the major reason that corporate does not have experience with other OS is because MS sets up the playing field so that it is expensive to do so. For instance, I believe that a customer has to pay for each machine at the location, even if it runs no MS products. Likewise, your agreement to non optional audits insures that any non MS hardware must be defended, and MS can put pressure through the draconian fines for any infringement.

In the end, the best prices go to MS only shops. Which is perfectly reasonable. The fact that this leads to employees only seeing MS, and therefore not realizing that other choices exist, is an coincidence. OTOH, It can be said that any subsidizes, in the same that MS subsidizes the xBox, is worthwhile to maintain the desktop monopoly.

Then we have the terms of Vista use that restrict the virtualization of the product. If MS were competing, it would develop and OS that was the best base for virtualization. Instead, it merely licesnses the product as non virtual. If MS is not the OS that everyone sees on startup, then people might start to believe that MS is not the best choice.

It kind of reminds of hummers, and the assumption of others on the road, that wow, that person can afford to buy a hummer. People in the know realize that for many hummer drivers, the US taxpayer [cbsnews.com] is paying for large percentage of the Hummer. In fact, some figure suggest that if you bought a new hummer, and took all the tax breaks, and sold it after 5 years, your total cost of ownership would be zero, thanks to the goodness of the conservative government.

MS products are the same way. A good deal if you can get, but not such a good deal if you won't play ball.

His conclusion? Its NOT ready... (5, Insightful)

NoGenius (976447) | about 7 years ago | (#19624871)

The author of the summary is flat wrong when he says the conclusion was "ready for the enterprise". If you actually RTFA the exact words were: "Though he personally is pleased with the OS, Halamka is not so sure he'd deploy it widely in his organization." Incredible that the poster of this article actually gets the conclusion 100% wrong. Biases like this is why nobody trusts technology people for an opinion of the readiness of new technology.

FUD! The CIO (you know what that is?) say it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19624909)

In case you didnot now the CIO fo a comapny is like a gernla in the armed froces. He says it is readay is good enioyug for me

What a maroon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625069)

What a maroon. I know you won't get that so it's okay.

But that proves linux is ready for the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625291)

But that, uh, maroon, proves linux is ready for the desktop. arf

Re:FUD! The CIO (you know what that is?) say it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625199)

the CIO fo a comapny is like a gernla in the armed froces
Except when it's like a trucula in a box of werbles.

Or as we used to say when I was a biffspah, "A gorm in the pudge is worth two upside the head!"[0]

[0] Yeah, I know it's a non-sequitur, but them lampshades is sooooo tasty....

Re:His conclusion? Its NOT ready... (1)

duckbillplatypus (596100) | about 7 years ago | (#19624911)

Exactly......from the article: "For your average administrator or manager who is very comfortable with Windows 95, 98 and XP, it might be a little bit of a leap," he [Halamka] adds."

Re:His conclusion? Its NOT ready... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625019)

Did you read why he was unsure?

Though he personally is pleased with the OS, Halamka is not so sure he'd deploy it widely in his organization. "It feels well-integrated and well-supported enough to be used in selected circumstances in my organization, but I don't know enough about the remote management tools and capabilities for it," he says.

His conclusion certainly isn't that "It's not ready." It's that he likes what he saw, but is ignorant of some of the tools he would need to use, and thus isn't in a position to judge.

Do as I say, not as I do? Bogus worry. (2, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#19625109)

His real opinion is this:

The X60 running Novell SUSE is the first Linux laptop I have used that is good enough to be my only computing device,

That is astounding after only one month of use. Most users take years to shake bad old M$ habits and almost as long to learn which of the dozens of free packages is their favorite for any given task. Most people want their Windoze safety blanket for a year or so. This kind of endorsement is ringing - he's saying that he could do without Windoze tomorrow, forever. He's right but has not had time to develop real confidence in his opinion, which is reasonable given the billion dollars a month M$ spends on marketing and lock on major vendors.

To be fair, you should have quoted his worry. What's keeping him from recommending widespread deployment? Well, this:

"I dont know enough about the remote management tools and capabilities for it"

OMFG! and,

"For your average administrator or manager who is very comfortable with Windows 95, 98 and XP, it might be a little bit of a leap"

Free software absolutely kills Windoze for remote control and management. The fact that thousands of computers have been corralled into clusters for decades should tell anyone that remote configuration has been mastered long ago in the free software world. It's amazing how much easier things are when you don't have integrated licensing and copy protection built into the product itself. On top of that, Novel offers it's own set of tools to manage mixed environments which are widely admired. This is a slam dunk for free software and Suse.

The other concern is a bit condescending. Even fanboys, given proper support and encouragement, soon learn how much better free software is. It's true that the deeper you are into M$, the harder it is for you to see anything else, but those who escape become the biggest M$ haters. They, more than anyone else, bear the brunt of M$'s intentional waste. It makes them angry but they accept it without knowing any better. Eventually, the lies melt away and all the talk about software freedom sinks in. Liberate them for just a while and it's all over.

Re:Do as I say, not as I do? Bogus worry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625505)

"Free software absolutely kills Windoze for remote control and management."

I beg to differ. While there are some very good solutions out there for managing *nix machines, they reveal the fact that they were designed wholly for the server market. Desktops are different, and the people who administer them are different (for one thing, I know of very few people who are in charge of >1000 desktops who even read slashdot at all).

Imagine that you've taken a new job and you're in charge of 1000 desktops and laptops, in a 50/50 split, spread across three or four sites and a VPN which is actually used by very few of the field people. You've just bought or downloaded a shiny new management tool. The machines were deployed ad hoc by your predecessor, and there's a directory server. Just to get started,

1) How are you going to install it?
2) How are you going to ensure that it stays installed if your users don't like it?
3) How will you target systems for software distribution or OS deployment?
4) How will you authenticate your technician's ability to do things to specific users?

If it's Windows, the directory service answers all four questions, and so simply that a monkey could do it. If it's Linux, a very advanced administrator could answer all four questions too, but the likelihood has gone down a lot. If it's OSX, you're out of luck, the directory service just supports number 4. Of course, Linux and OSX both support joining Active Directory. /disclaimer, I work for a management software vendor, so I'll post anonymously.

Re:Do as I say, not as I do? Bogus worry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625727)

I work in a department of more than 1000 users, I'm low on the ladder, but I'm also one of a very few that is comfortable with a *nix environment. Having said that, all you state here is that your predecessor already solved your problem with Active Directory. A Linux or Mac administrator (unless s/he's worthless) would not deploy these machines without being capable of managing them. Therefore I will inherit my solution from my predecessor also, probably something along the lines of a shell script that sits on the server that I can change when I want. Including doing things like logging in to the client installing software as root and other such niceties. If the people on the laptops aren't on the VPN much though I really don't see how you are ever going to access them on a Windows network. On Linux and OSX you can write a script that runs when connected to the Internet accesses a password protected encrypted web page, revealing a copy of a script to run locally, then run that script locally. This is something Windows users fail to understand. Things that are special in a Windows environment are often trivial in a *nix environment often times so trivial that *nix users don't think about it until they need to solve the problem. Of course Vista is coming out with a new and improved scripting environment.

Bull (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625525)

Free software absolutely kills Windoze for remote control and management.

While I enjoy using SSH and whatnot, almost all of the Microsoft GUI admin tools have remote capabilities, work with secure NTLM authentication and are generally very nice. Anything you can't do with a tool you can do with WMI and a script. Sometimes I wish Linux and BSD had something that approaches WMI =(

Clinging to the old tried and true is not always better. Microsoft has been working hard to make their tools better, and if Server 2003 is any indication they're well on their way.

BTW, "M$" and "Windoze" make you look dumb. Might want to tone down that a bit.

I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625589)

Even fanboys, given proper support and encouragement, soon learn how much better free software is. It's true that the deeper you are into M$, the harder it is for you to see anything else, but those who escape become the biggest M$ haters. They, more than anyone else, bear the brunt of M$'s intentional waste. It makes them angry but they accept it without knowing any better. Eventually, the lies melt away and all the talk about software freedom sinks in. Liberate them for just a while and it's all over.

I'm trying to wrap my head around the mindset of someone who actually writes things like this. I thought you guys finally died off with comp.os.linux.advocacy, but I guess I was wrong.

Nothing personal mate, but people like you are to free software advocacy what lolcats [icanhascheezburger.com] are to humour. Mildly amusing but painfully annoying in the end and of no use whatsoever.

I second SUSE laptop experience (3, Insightful)

itsjpr (16533) | about 7 years ago | (#19624965)

I've used SUSE 9.3-10.2 on a lightweight Dell laptop for the last 3.5 years. My experience was nearly identical, down the wifi connection issue after suspend and the work around. :)

I've used SUSE for a while. They pulled me away from RedHat with SUSE 9.0. It was the first linux I used that just worked after being installed. I didn't have to jigger with crap. RedHat lost me when they decided to put the desktop user in second place. I've used Linux exclusively for home and office for the past 5 years and it's been SUSE that made it enjoyable.

Too bad Novell felt the need to lick Balmer's d*** last fall. The best thing that could happen to the computing world is *not* greater compatibility between Linux and Windows. Windows is on its way disappearing into the ether. At the moment it fast becoming just a crappy API that can run (safely) in a VM to support the odd application that's not got a functional duplicate on Linux (eg. IE for testing web pages and some of the corporate crapware clients (oracle)). Too bad Hovispan forgot to read the judgment from the MS monopoly trial and pay attention to ever other poor bastard that thought they could dance with the devil.

He's not too lost. (1)

twitter (104583) | about 7 years ago | (#19625197)

Too bad Hovispan forgot to read the judgment from the MS monopoly trial and pay attention to ever other poor bastard that thought they could dance with the devil.

He does not really think M$ is co-operating with Novel and is close to fed up with Outlook/Exchange:

Halamka notes that the problem he encountered with Evolution isnt due to any inherent flaws in the e-mail application; Evolution just doesnt work well as a front end to Exchange, he says. The fact that a Microsoft product doesnt play nicely with an open-source product shouldnt come as a surprise given the Redmond, Wash.-based companys historically vitriolic stance toward open source. However, you might think in light of the partnership Microsoft and Novell struck last year that the two applications would (eventually) work well together. That is, of course, if it is indeed a real partnershipsomething that many skeptical members of the open-source community question.

.... when it came time to [the exchange problem], Halamka found an alternate way to maximize his time: He simply accessed his e-mail over the Web.

I think he's catching on very well for a big dog. Most of us would be very happy with a boss this open and clued.

Re:He's not too lost. (1)

good soldier svejk (571730) | about 7 years ago | (#19625563)

I think he's catching on very well for a big dog. Most of us would be very happy with a boss this open and clued.
Yeah, John is a great boss. And he is very technical. In addition to his MD he has a degree in informatics from MIT and has written books about healthcare informatics, programming and unix system administration. [amazon.com] Also, if you happen to suffer from mushroom poisoning, he is your man. [harvard.edu] John is also the CIO of the Harvard Medical School. Here is a word doc of his CV. [harvard.edu]

Re:I second SUSE laptop experience (1)

friedman101 (618627) | about 7 years ago | (#19625717)

Windows is on its way disappearing into the ether.

Now you might think this is true
And I might wish it were true
But it's just not true. Microsoft is the 900lb gorilla and unseating it isn't something we're likely to see in the next ten years. In the meantime we should all work to promote the virtues of linux but there's no point in pretending microsoft is on its death bed (i'm a happy shareholder by the way)

How did he choose his distro (1)

ruewan (952328) | about 7 years ago | (#19624983)

The article says that many linux loyalist chided him for the distros he chose. I have to agree with them. It is not that difficult to do a search and see what is the most popular distro.

Re:How did he choose his distro (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625071)

As much as some people may hate to admit it, one of the best system administration tools available is YaST and it just so happens to be the one used by SuSE. While there are distros with better package management programs, I think YaST does a good job for managing a system. (This is something Linux has taken a lot of flak for. Each Unix I've used has a system management program that is relatively easy to use, whether it was HP-UX's SAM, AIX's SMIT, or Solaris' SMC.)

CIO or box monkey? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625005)

What sort of CIO does in-depth desktop testing? A terminal geek.

What sort of desktop does a terminal geek choose? A terminally geeky desktop.

What will his business users do shortly after this rubbish is foisted on them? Terminate the geek.

Authenticate into AD? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625025)

Suppose there is a file he needs on a W2K3 share in an existing AD domain. How can he get Linux or OSX to authenticate into the domain to have access to the share? Don't you need to make a descision up front wether to be a MS shop or a *NIX shop. Samba could be a partial solution, but the problem is a Samba *NIX server will still not tightly integrate into an AD domain.

Re:Authenticate into AD? (2, Informative)

DragonTHC (208439) | about 7 years ago | (#19625203)

you can add a suse computer into a windows AD very easily from within yast.

and samba does integrate tightly into AD. It can server as a PDC, BDC or standalone Fileserver.

Re:Authenticate into AD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625271)

Does YaST add the computer to an AD security group inside an OU to which Group Policy will be applied?

Re:Authenticate into AD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625349)

Samba works fine with AD, with the exception of unused/unwanted/useless/redundant AD features such as group policy.

Now the question I should be asking you is how well does AD/Windows Server integrate with Linux servers? Not very well. Just a few examples of many:
- Exchange server does not properly support TLS encryption for the POP3 connector and other parts of the server
- Doesn't integrate with the massive variety of filesystems (including the distributed ones) which Linux supports

The main issue is that Linux servers tend to have software with more features/standards than Windows... and therefore if you are using Windows, you're stuck with support for these features. It is rarely the other way around.

Re:Authenticate into AD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625705)

All of our Solaris and Redhat servers in our datacenter (500+ counting virtuals) currently authenticate users via Active Directory by a combination of Kerberos and LDAP. If the domain controllers are 2003 R2, it's fairly trivial to accomplish, as the RFC 2307 standard attributes are included in the Active Directory schema when you add the Identity Management for UNIX component. I can't say that it doesn't have its quirks (mostly seen in the how the Active Directory tools allow you to manipulate user and group attributes), but it is fully functional. Our users are enjoying a unified authentication system spanning all of our OSes.

Breaking SUSE news: (0, Offtopic)

PurifyYourMind (776223) | about 7 years ago | (#19625099)

I just pooped my cute little pants.

"Typical User" - no such thing (4, Insightful)

Venik (915777) | about 7 years ago | (#19625223)

Here are some of the recent impressions from someone who just had to deploy a 120-node SLES 9 cluster, shortly followed by an 80-node RHEL 4 cluster. This is not scientific research, so here is my unscientific professional opinion: both RHEL and Suse are a royal pain the ass to install, configure and maintain.

I have over a decade of Unix sysadmin experience (Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, IRIX) and about five years Linux experience (Red Hat and SuSE primarily). To give you an idea of my personal preferences and my unbiased nature: my personal laptop runs Solaris 10; my work laptop runs Suse 10; my home PC is a Windows XP Pro; my work desktop #1 is RHEL 4 WS; desktop #2 is Suse 9.1; and desktop #3 is a Sun Blade running Solaris 10.

So what is my problem with Linux? I like Suse as a desktop system. It's easier to configure and re-configure then Red Hat, mostly thanks to Yast and some logical organization of things. I am not a GUI sysadmin: I live inside Korn shell. Still, having a well-organized GUI is useful because you just can't remember everything.

All the little annoying things, which I can deal with on my laptop or desktop, are multiplied to obscene proportions in a large cluster. Scali and Yast apparently don't like each other; there are strange transient NFS problems having something to do with large file support; patching is more complicated then it has to be with RHEL and absolutely infuriating with SLES.

I don't want to go into all the bugs and idiosyncrasies of the two leading enterprise linuxes, the bottom line is: you want reliability and performance - stick with the big 'nixes and leave Linux to ripen a bit more. You want a desktop, then go with Linux, if Windows is not your cup of tea. But be prepared to catch heavy flak from your former Windows users.

There is no such thing as a "typical user". Rather there are typical tasks. Web browsing, emailing, text messaging are all trivial things you can do with most modern operating systems. Or can you? How many of your users ran into problems with video and sound using a Linux desktop? Why don't Java applets in Web pages never seem to work right under Solaris? Why does a thousand other things go wrong?

Is Linux more buggy than Windows? I don't think so, but many of my users do. They are switching from Windows to Linux - not their choice to begin with - and, being already used to all the Windows problems, they find Linux bugs to be new and worth complaining about. A lot. I have Suse 10 running on my laptop PERFECTLY. Everything works right: video, sound, wireless, card reader, volume buttons and all the other little things that usually annoy Linux users. But it wasn't easy getting there and it has to be if Linux is ever going to squeeze Windows market share. Not every PC user is a Unix sysadmin and they don't have to be.

Re:"Typical User" - no such thing (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 7 years ago | (#19625521)

For a desktop your on your own with no fancy gui tools with Solaris. As a server it kicks ass and I agree.

I was going to say Ubuntu works well with almost any piece of hardware compared to most distros. I know OpenSuSE does not even have proprietary drivers which maybe causing issues on your desktops. With Ubuntu it supports proprietary drivers so more hardware works correctly.

But as the article says the CIO is convinced its the hardware and not the software which made his experience with SuSE.

Re:"Typical User" - no such thing (1)

discogravy (455376) | about 7 years ago | (#19625661)

for a more typical windows-like experience in linux distros (w/r/t windows users, anyway,) you really want to be looking at ubuntu-based distros (ubuntu, kubuntu, xubuntu, etc): all those video/sound probs w/ webpages (as well as java apps etc) are unbelievably easy to solve (very literally between 4 and 5 lines of apt-get tomfoolery).

server-side, PHB's like RHEL/SuSE EL for the corporate "support" warm and fuzzy, but I've found FreeBSD and Solaris to be the way to go (particularly w/ Solaris 10's improved patching utils...it's like they finally noticed that all the other major OS's had a better way of doing it).

He is a CIO? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625239)

...and one of his complaints was that darn pesky "update notification"? Is he for real? People actually pay this dweeb serious money to be a CIO and he doesn't realize that a lot of updates are security updates, instead, he was looking for a way to turn the update feature *off*?

Linux is ready for joe sixpack's desktop, because even the dullest there can grok "update". It is obviously not ready for functional 'tards like this dude.

Whatever corp he works for, short their stock, eventually they are going to get pwned bad.

Yet to be convinced! (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 7 years ago | (#19625331)

Guys, I am yet to be convinced about SUSE's viability. It might be stable, secure and the like according to the reviewer...but I'm not convinced its main configuration tool (YaST2) is any better than before. You see, one changes one simple thing and the tool has to go through re-creating [all] configuration files...wasting time...not to mention its slow response time!

The placement of GNOME as the default desktop environment does not help matters either. This is not an endorsement of KDE either. But I hear KDE 4.0 will be a killer.

By the way...does anyone know whether the folks touting Linux as a possible Windows and Mac replacement have made its fonts beautiful by default?

This would not hurt at all. I hope slashdotters will not tell me to turn on the "byte code interpreter" or use "use freetype version xxx", or "load M$ fonts" and what not in order to have a decently looking desktop.

Actually ... (3, Informative)

Kristoph (242780) | about 7 years ago | (#19625519)

The conclusion of the article is that:

Though he personally is pleased with the OS, Halamka is not so sure he'd deploy it widely in his organization.

Although he apparently thought much more of SuSE then he did of RedHat, which is covered in this article:

http://www.cio.com/article/41140 [cio.com]

Incidentally, in that article (which is the actual comparison) he says the best OS is Mac OS X, although his favorite piece of hardware is a Dell?!?

]{

not ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19625685)

the author says SUSE is not ready for the enterprise. While I do agree with him, I would have to say that Windows is certainly even less ready. I have to use XP at work, and damn, I would never use Windows at any business I ran.

This Article Is Heavily Flawed (2, Interesting)

Heembo (916647) | about 7 years ago | (#19625991)

Here we have a study buy a highly technical CIO that claims that SUSE Linux is an acceptable enterprise OS. This is bunk. Any solid technical person can use any OS and make it work.

Show me a study where a non-technical standard business user is successfully using SUSE for 30 days as their only OS, and suddenly you got my interest.
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