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scottjsn
05-Aug-2012, 19:53
Between Linux and Windows, which to choose? This is an old subject and yet complicated issue. Generaly speaking, I believe the Windows is easy to use. But it is weak in security and stability such as susceptible to virus and spam attack and frequent rebooting is needed. For this reason, I choose Linux.

Between Suse and RedHat, I like the SUSE for its powerful GUI (YAST). The RedHat is basically commandline based system. I believe the only reason it leads the Linux market is because it entered the market earlier. Other than that, I can see any advantage of it over SUSE's powerful GUI. For this reason, I choose SUSE Linux.

But two things somewhat worry me.

1) Novell has an image of partnership with Microsoft that caused the resentment in the Linux community. Besides it is said Microsoft distributes as part of a resale arrangement approximately 70,000 coupons for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server maintenance and support per year. This makes me wonder if some day the Microsoft pulls the plug, will SUSE be able to survive by its own?

2) When compare the pros and cons between the Windows and the Linux, the general consent is the Windows is easy to use while the Linux will need highly trained expertise. Just how costly will the SUSE Linux's operation and maintenance down the road is another thing worries me a lot.


Post this subject, hope to hear your opinion.

scottjsn
06-Aug-2012, 00:35
More info to add: The OS will be run on two servers: one for Web Application Server and another for Oracle DB Server.

ab
06-Aug-2012, 14:50
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On 08/05/2012 12:54 PM, scottjsn wrote:
>
> But two things somewhat worry me.
>
> 1) Novell has an image of partnership with Microsoft that caused the
> resentment in the Linux community. Besides it is said Microsoft
> distributes as part of a resale arrangement approximately 70,000
> coupons for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server maintenance and support per
> year. This makes me wonder if some day the Microsoft pulls the plug,
> will SUSE be able to survive by its own?

SUSE was able to survive on its own long before microsoft's involvement
and from what I've seen of the numbers recently (SUSE is now private, so
no public numbers which are required from a public company) things are
fine. If anything SUSE's position in the market is much larger now than
it has been in the past and partnerships and compatibility with other
companies have also been developed. There is now a SLES install
specifically for VMware which is licensed with a purchase of VMware.
SUSE is the Linux distribution of choice for SAP installations. For
more years than I can remember SUSE has had installation patterns for
Oracle DB installs which still make getting the OS ready for Oracle
9/10/11 as simple as possible.

> 2) When compare the pros and cons between the Windows and the Linux,
> the general consent is the Windows is easy to use while the Linux
> will need highly trained expertise. Just how costly will the SUSE
> Linux's operation and maintenance down the road is another thing
> worries me a lot.

Well, as somebody who has used the UI, what do you think? The general
consensus may be that windows is easier for some things but I think that
statement in a vacuum is usually misleading. A few factors make it
commonly accepted so let's look at those:

1. The convicted monopolist (microsoft) managed to get their OS into
the hands of the majority of the world. Did that make it easier to use?
No, but it does mean that the majority of the world recognizes an XP
system when it starts up and knows to click on the 'e' (why an 'e'?)
icon to get online. Compare that with the SUSE equivalent. The same
system boots and instead of an 'e' you have a Firefox icon. The boot
time may be similar, the login will be identical, but the colors will be
different. If your IT staff is incompetent they won't get past this
kind of thing, but otherwise this is trivial.

2. windows is, and always has been, a desktop OS. microsoft may
eventually figure out that desktops and servers are different, but their
strength in having an easier-to-use perception is also a weakness since
it means they must continue to cater to people who are not system
administrators. For convenience a bunch of unnecessary software is
installed (leading to more potential vulnerabilities). For years the
convenience was to have no firewall (though I believe that has changed
now). For convenience the OS still has a built-in browser that supports
ActiveX, though these days they have locked it down to the point that
the browser is useless (because it is so bug-ridden that doing otherwise
is a security risk).

In security there is a continuum between secure and easy and while the
gap can be shortened for some features, perfectly secure and perfectly
simple are never going to meet so features must fall somewhere between
these extremes. Linux was designed by geeks, programmers, and
administrators to be the ultimately flexible and secure OS, while
windows was made to be easy enough for the rest of the population as a
desktop OS. Those roots affect where each product is and where each
product is going.

In the end for an IT environment I cannot imagine running windows for
servers. Access is necessarily via something graphical, the command
line is weak so scripting is difficult, trying out the software or
customizing it to meet my needs is impossible... it just doesn't meet my
needs. If it was the only option I knew and if I was not able to learn
anything else I guess it could be squeezed into a rack as a server but
with as many remotely-exploited vulnerabilities as it has had out of the
box in the past I could never trust it to be secure and while the
initial setup is easy making it as solid as Linux can be out of the box
is non-trivial and usually causes other software to fail so now you need
an expert. I'm sure the brightest administrators of microsoft networks
are on par with their Linux equivalents, but they're going to be on par
in terms of training, salary, and demand.

Obvious disclaimer: I work for Novell, and I've used SLES/SLED/OpenSUSE
for many years and it is my Linux distribution of choice for most things.

Good luck.
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