Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Linux in Enterprise

Why would you use Linux in your enterprise?
Well apart from the cost saving there are some really nice things that can be done but lets start at the beginning and work our way to that.

Most if not all Linux admins are former UNIX admins, and for them is a little strange to cross over to having GUI but frankly i don't know any admin in windows or UNIX that uses the GUI if he has a command line option to do the same thing.

Now those of you are windows admins will be asking yourself why would you use Linux.

1) the cost saving.

2) the access to open source solutions.

3) the security, Linux and UNIX have always been more secure than windows so for DMZ and public facing server they are stable and secure.... Microsoft has been working hard to catch up on this but frankly are still behind.

4) better resource management, unlike windows you won't be buying new hardware with each version.

5) if you are looking at visualization you want a stable host for your guests windows patching and reboots make it hard to do at a lower level, their high end products can do this well but if you don't have the budget then you might feel a little left out.

Now there are many versions of Linux and there is no such thing as a bad choice on this front but I'm going to just cover the two I like most SuSE and Ubuntu.

SuSE now owned by novel has picked up many of the Novel management tools such as Xen and makes it perhaps the strongest player in the large environment and deployment.

Ubuntu is missing the system management that SuSE has picked up from Novel but at the same time there are many open source tools that can be used to overcome this issue.

So what could you use Linux for well my top list of uses are web servers, DNS servers, email servers and database servers.

Apache on Linux is just great its simple and stable every little work needs to be done once it setup to keep it running something IIS7 is still trying to catch up on as even Microsoft added PHP support to IIS something Apache had for years.

Postfix/Sendmail are great mail server and better for edge deployment as you have them setup as I do with the second and third MX record so should exchange or domino be down in your domain you still have a mail server that is under your control that will store the mail until the problems with your normal mail system can be fixed. (something to many companies are lacking)

BIND is DNS server that is just perfect, its easy to backup and configure and can be move from one server to another quite easy something that can't be said for windows DNS server yet.

MySQL/Oracle Linux does support other database types as well but these are the most common and the performance of both can be seen every time you browse internet, even Google is powered by these. These are also database servers that scale up much better then Microsoft SQL 2008 even, there has been many talk about this failing from Microsoft but as yet no light at the end of the tunnel.

Linux might not yet be the desktop solution for you yet but I have to admit I have changed all my administration workstation over to running Linux and use virtual box to run application such as Microsoft office. (why would i do this i hear you say) well apart from the fact i don't want to spend all day fixing my workstation is also give me access to some great open source tools for problem finding that just don't work on windows, and as always you know the system best if you use it every day.

I would recommend all admins to use a Linux workstation and run a windows as a virtual PC for those windows application you just can't live without... and trust me there aren't that many once you start using it.

Sadly this posing is already to large to go into detail so I'll just have to cover more in the next posting.

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