It's budgeting season, and this year is no exception for big corporate IT departments, and the big IT industry players who feed on them. Pressure is yet again on reducing IT costs, and especially costly IT people. And as in most recent years, cost reduction ripples will spread across the IT pond, with the major IT industry …
Act like Google?
"Act like Google, buying commodity computers and relying on standard open system configurations" the second part may be practical (at least for servers), but the first part?
Google are one of the top 5 PC manufacturers (they just don't sell the things), so they have the scale to make this clever idea work. Their specialist computing requirements enable them to make use of massive parallelism on huge numbers of low-cost (relatively) low-performance computers.
For organisations that use a significantly smaller number of PCs (and that's practically everyone except the US government), this will be about as cost-effective as homebrewing your own PC. Dell can get a much better price on semi-conductor parts than you can, get them assembled offshore for a dollar a day and ship them around the world in bulk.
Buying computers or other IT kit purely on price is asinine anyway. Most of the cost of ownership comes in the support costs.
Remember: "Linux is only free if your time is worthless".
Re: "Linux is only free if your time is worthless"
One of the most mind-buggeringly stupid and uncomprehending statements ever made. Unfortunately it's pithy so people keep saying it.
Free: Big F, small f distinction. Linux isn't small-f free anyway the way most businesses use it.
Since when does Linux need more support hours than Windows? If you have good people with appropriate skills, a stable system doesn't require much support effort; can't remember the last time I spent more than 5 minutes 'supporting' my four Linux machines. A few well placed cron jobs about a year ago and they've maintained themselves since. I use and abuse them (heavily) 24 hours a day and every one of them is rock solid.
If you agree that Linux is only free if your time is worthless, good news: your time probably *is* worthless so you may as well give it a try anyway.
Was this whole article for a bet
"I bet you can't fit 200 buzz words into one article"
Saving Hugh Mark-Ups?
Well whoever this guy is, he'd better be less plummy than he sounds to be worth saving.
Sorry, it does not work that way
My impression is that the person who wrote this article is not very knowledgeable about the issues that real CIOs are dealing with. It also occurs that Mr O'Reilly does not fully understand what IT budgets and costs are made up of, because saving a few dollars on a computer may seem like a great idea that looks brilliant in a presentation in front of a CFO but adding necessary extra funding in maintenance for the same “home grown” PCs a few months later never usually appears in the same presentation. The same applies to ideas about “free applications”. Nothing is free since you still need people to install and maintain those applications.
What about HP, 3COM and other network equipment vendors that actually do have products suitable for enterprise networks? Does it really have to be NetGear to find your place among “savvy CIOs”?
As for MySQl databases, no comment, the author has no idea what he is talking about.
Security issues around using household computing equipment and telephones and related issues with SOX auditors have never occurred to the author either
Using Skype is by far not the cheapest option out there but probably this is the only VoIP provider the author heard of.
Re: "Linux is only free if your time is worthless".
By that very logic then Windows is hideously expensive and all companies would be able to significantly reduce their IT spend by canning it.
Oh wait, hang on...
The guy used to be the CIO/CTO of Wang/Getronics, he must know what he's talking about... (sarcasm)
So, we can all agree then that Linux isn't 'free' as in zero-cost? If it's to provide a secure, reliable service It needs to be supported, just like 'Windoze' (LOL). These support costs will (over the lifetime of the equipment) almost always outweigh the initial purchase costs of hardware and software.
Whether Micro$oft (ROFL) or Linux provides the lower cost solution will be case dependent. Anyone who simply claims that Linux will always be cheaper because it's 'like. free, man' isn't going to survive long in a business environment.
how does I watch broadcast storm wash back and forth across my cheap ass switches???
How to sink your business in 8 easy steps me thinks.
O linux fan bois - you try managing network security and identity with linux, sure you can do it, but it takes knowing a truck load about ldap and kerberos (well unless you don't want the security part.) There are things linux is godly at (namely running my database) and things it's crap at (network user management).
Wanna know the best thing about our brand name linux, our Cisco switches, our Oracle databases, our Checkpoint firewall, our Mitel phone system and our EMC storage array?
They're safe as houses. If they break we pick up the phone and say "this is broken - make it work" that's if they break. Your paying for reliability, stability, power and performance.
Sacrifice that and your ass will spend the next year running around fixing stupid problems, until eventually it all just falls into a heap and you need to spend twice as much pulling your self out of the hole you've drowned in.
RE: how (WARNING!! TROLL ALERT!! Someone keep Johnny on his lead!)
Well, you could try running HP OpenView Network Node Manager on Linux.... You may also find that intelligent design circumvents many "it's broken, the business is dying" problems. Oh, and those lovely peeps at Red Hat and Novell are very happy to sell you a support service which will (in your case, obviously quite easily) surprise you.
Big hint - look beneath the covers of many of the products you listed and you will find a Linux- or FreeBSD-based OS controlling the product.