back to article Munich signs off on Open Source project

The German city of Munich has declared that its famous move to open source software is over and a success. Munich famously decided to go open source back in 2003, citing a desire to be independent of big, bad, vendor-land and save a few Euros along the way. To that end the city decided to adopt Linux on the desktop and server, …

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1... 2... 3... just waiting on the popcorn and the MS fanbois with their alternative "proof" of ROI. :)

But seriously, it shows that it can be done and efforts to not being subject to vendor lock-in (at any arbitrary level) are a good thing.

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Anonymous Coward

And it only cost them ~ €30 million more than upgrading to a current version of Windows...and now they have to support a mixed environment with several thousand PCs still on Windows - and it only took a decade to get this far - what a bargain....

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I think you need a new record.

This one's stuck in 2003

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€30 million

is a pretty small price to pay for an organisation that size, just to get unlocked from a good deal of vendor shinigans!

(Yes, I know AC pulled that number out of his virus-riddled BackOrifice, but even if the number was true - tiny price to pay for the benefits brought).

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Re: €30 million

"is a pretty small price to pay for an organisation that size, just to get unlocked from a good deal of vendor shinigans!"

Especially as it was actually cheaper as everyone except MS/HP (and AC!) knows

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And it only cost them ~ €30 million more than upgrading to a current version of Windows

Yup. Once. And it's worth every penny, sorry cent for them because what they will NOT pay for is:

- the resources to keep it all working (aka the daily reboot)

- the massive resources to stay patched and current (aka the Tuesday network stop)

- the license surveillance costs (aka the FAST protection racket)

- the costs of letting people work from home - as there are no real barriers to let people copy this

- any further costs of expanding this idea across THE WHOLE OF GERMANY

Oh, yes, I suspect the MS marketing machine must be gearing up for total warfare. This is going to cost them, big time. Once this story hits the FT, company bosses with a clue will want to know why they are blowing so much money on MS. Fortunately for MS, those bosses are still relatively rare.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"Especially as it was actually cheaper as everyone except MS/HP (and AC!) knows"

I don't know either. How much cheaper was it then?

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"I don't know either. How much cheaper was it then?"

Suggest you read the Munich document. The (MS) 30 million euros figure has already been laughed off the internet

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"now they have to support a mixed environment with several thousand PCs still on Windows "

The Munich document states 14000 on Linux out of 15000 and all 15000 using Firefox/Thunderbird/OO

Stand zum Mai 2013

15.000 Arbeitsplätze nutzen freie Software wie Thunderbird und Firefox

15.000 Arbeitsplätze nutzen OpenOffice.org und den WollMux

14.000 Arbeitsplätze nutzen den LiMux Client

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Anonymous Coward

Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"Suggest you read the Munich document. The (MS) 30 million euros figure has already been laughed off the internet"

Nice try at condescension, but since I can look things up myself without your advice it wasn't the point of the exercise. If you're going to slag people off, at least be ready to quote the figures you're using rather than resorting to the old "look it up yourself" routine. I was really only wondering which you'd choose and you lived down to my expectations again. Congratulations.

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

" I can look things up myself without your advice "

Maybe so, but apparently your patience is outweighed by your desire for an unfounded rant.

"be ready to quote the figures you're using "

Two more minutes. That's all you needed to wait for the direct quote to appear, just as you wished.

"you lived down to my expectations again. Congratulations."

Hmmm.

Two minutes.

You're not helping your cause. You're really not.

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"I don't know either. How much cheaper was it then?"

I hunted for a value from Munich itself rather than a news report. From Nov 2012

http://www.ris-muenchen.de/RII2/RII/DOK/SITZUNGSVORLAGE/2819522.pdf page 5

~12 million Euro saving compared with full Windows/Office

~7 million Euros compared with Windows/OO

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Holmes

Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

Who cares about savings. You could save by cutting down the german administrative fervour. Has any comparative study been done on what savings that would bring?

But in this case, having more control, down to the actual source, over the system that you are working with daily instead of being beholden to a US-based guy throwing chairs and changing strategic direction on a whim who is also trying to shaft you to keep up with the stockmarket bubble? Worth every Pfennig.

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"Who cares about savings."

Well I agree with you within reason, but a politician selling this would have a hard time in a democracy if the costs were unreasonably high. The bulk of the voters (if they looked at all) would just look at the bottom line.

Who knows how much Munich might earn acting as consultants to other organizations.

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PCs

Wonder where they got the PC without Windows.

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Re: PCs

"Wonder where they got the PC without Windows."

I think if you are buying 70000 it's not a problem. Indeed I know several companies in the UK that will sell you one, £70 extra if Windows is included.

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

The problem with those savings is that (as far as I can tell) they compare to the previous environment, which was by all accounts one of the worst conceived, ill supported, fragmented Windows environments on the planet. They should be making those savings and I'd contend that they should be making more than those savings on any infrastructure refresh.

I don't speak German,so it's unclear to me if the savings are annually or for the whole project.

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"o it's unclear to me if the savings are annually or for the whole project."

I think it's the whole project, but they are supposed to be publishing up-to-date results soon.

The French police are claiming 2 million Euros/year in savings

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That well may be, but it works, so 30 mill well spent.

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London calling

London famously decided not to go open source back in 2003, citing a desire to be dependent of big, bad, vendor-land and waste a few Pounds along the way. To that end the city decided not to adopt Linux on the desktop and server, open-source productivity tools and free software everywhere.

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Anonymous Coward

"Yup. Once"

So that's the current cost gap after ten years, and they now have the ongoing costs of supporting 2 environments - and of integrating them where they exchange data and documents. This will never be a money saving exercise - and now a large proportion of their desktops and apps are functionally limited compared to the versions used by most businesses....It's been a big old waste of money for no obvious gain. Hence why pretty much no one else is following on afterwards. I think the French Police is the ONLY other example I have heard of outside of companies with a mission against Microsoft like Google...

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"I don't know either. How much cheaper was it then?"

It wasn't - it costs tens of millions. Much of it thrown at the project by IBM - but still it's a large net cost over what putting in a current Windows infrastructure and licensing and supporting it would have cost...

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Anonymous Coward

"The Munich document states 14000 on Linux out of 15000 and all 15000 using Firefox/Thunderbird/OO"

Yes - but of course doesn't highlight the many more that have to use Windows desktops via Citrix when they want to use a version of Office that actually works, or use many of the other enterprise business apps that they still rely on....

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"~12 million Euro saving compared with full Windows/Office

~7 million Euros compared with Windows/OO"

This has already been widely ridiculed across the internet as it doesn't include the cost savings of migrating to updated Microsoft products, consolidated onto the right amount of infrastructure and with the correct management tools, or allow for the ~ €50 million Euros spent on the project by IBM to develop a version of Linux (Limux) thaty was actually usable on the desktop! Or allow for the increased costs they now have of managing 2 environments and the associated ongoing integration issues.

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"t doesn't include the cost savings of migrating to updated Microsoft products,"

Ha,ha,ha

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"Ha,ha,ha"

That it costs say far less say to run Windows 7 than Windows NT on an enterprise desktop is a well established fact with widely accepted TCO figures to back it up...,.,

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"but of course doesn't highlight the many more that have to use Windows desktops via Citrix"

Oddly enough AC it did - 15% using virtual solutions and 10% Windows - Having Windows on a desktop machine needs to be justified.

Anyway why does it matter to you - are you a Munich ratepayer ?. I judge the overwhelming view of the posters/voters goes against your arguments - must be all Linux supporters - oh wait they are only 1% of population - must be Microsoft haters then - yep that might be another 90%

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Anonymous Coward

And 5% not done yet, so fully 30% still require Windows after ten years....What a failure....A classic lesson into how to unnecessarily complicate your environment!

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"And 5% not done yet, so fully 30% still require Windows after ten years"

No, 30% might require SOME access to Windows programs, 10% might require Windows on their desktop.

70% are just using Linux/OO etc.

Are you a Munich ratepayer ? or just a concerned citizen, or ???

I'm a Linux user professionally, and personally, I care not about MS, but I do care when misinformation is spread around

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Anonymous Coward

Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"it costs tens of millions"

Reference ?

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Re: PCs

> Wonder where they got the PC without Windows.

Originally many of the PCs that ran NT were reused for Linux. That was part of the saving. They would have had to be replaced for XP, and again for Vista. The Microsoft/HP 'report' wrongly included the cost of new machines at frequent intervals (as is done for Windows) to arrive at their inflated figures.

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Linux

Re: PCs

"Wonder where they got the PC without Windows.". Perhaps they put Linux on their PCs like me from the very beginning, perhaps they used multibooting for some time.

Quite a project and I think the technical part was easier than dealing with all the users. Not mentioned in these comments is that the project more or less came to a halt when their lawyers had to find out if there was any credibility to Microsoft's FUD about patents in the Linux kernel. And when mentioning the kernel, there seems to be some who "believe" you need kernel programmers to move to Linux. That is rubbish of course.

Munich will save money each year, they will now have a deeper understanding of their IT surrounding and they will have greater independence when developing it further. I salute them.

There are other similar successful projects like for instance Extremadura, a county in Spain. What I hope has happened is that users in Munich have gone for Linux at home too.

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Anonymous Coward

12 hours later, the miracle is that only one fanboi has shown up (all those AC posts have the same style)...

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Freedom's priceless.

No one but Munich can really tell us what it has actually cost. And no one can provide anything but guesstimates as to what it would have cost had they stayed with Windows. Munich obviously have an incentive to mark this a success while MS and their shills (hi, there, btw) have an incentive to call it a failure, I wouldn't trust either much.

Having said that I'd be surprised if the difference ultimately wasn't in favour of open source, and I'm delighted that Munich has done it. Freedom's priceless.

Also: I'm currently working at a large organisation that is still migrating loads of desktops from XP to Win 7. It's a minor shambles and every developer in my team had significant struggles with various parts of the upgrade, costing us quite a bit of time to get resolved. You'd expect XP -> 7 to be a pretty straightforward upgrade but the devil is in the detail.

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zb

Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

If they looked at all? Of course they wouldn't, they would neither know nor care. This is way outside the standard political debate.

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We are faced with an upgrade of both XP and Office2003. When I looked at the figures - for just 90 licences of Office2013 the total comes to £27000. I decided to trial LibreOffice. I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Most people are viewing and editing stuff that others have created so it doesn't make sense to spend £300 a pop for an office viewer.

I worked out that we only need about 20 licences of Office2013 (some egos need to be pacified). Thus we will save around £21000. If I had another technical resource, I would aim for having Linux on some of those desktops - thus saving £4900 to another £26000. That is staggering for a small business like ours so I can imagine what a huge sum it would be for other Fortune 1000 type companies or councils.

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In reply to AC 16th December 2013 16:44 GMT

Anonymous Coward.

Why don't you just give up as you are coming across as a complete joke and MS shrill.

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

Waitaminute. I need to get this straight here. Are you - the AC Microsoft shill - actually cracking? ARe you attacking someone because they didn't provide facts and figures? Despite months of you spooging made up, outdated or outright bullshit figures all over the comments section?

You live by the FUD, buddy and you die by the FUD.

Munich paid a one-time ding to buy their freedom. Would that we could all afford the cost.

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"That it costs say far less say to run Windows 7 than Windows NT on an enterprise desktop is a well established fact with widely accepted TCO figures to back it up...,.,"

OH NO YOU FUCKING DON'T

You lay into someone for not providing figured in their post and then you outright lie in a comment and don't back it up? Fuck you with charging rhinoceros, covered in 2 inches of gelatinous capsaicin! And you had damned well better provide facts and figured that proove that the operating system alone provides in millions of dollars worth of productivity enhancements to all cognitive classes (as people are different in how they process information) over a deployment size of around 15000.

Live by the FUD, die by the FUD.

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Hey Microsoft marketing shill: why is a decade to slowly disentangle oneself from a vendor a bad thing? It sounds like it is being done carefully, methodically and permanently. It is taking most of my clients similar timeframes to leave the MS ecosystem, but once out, they're out! After that they never have to go back.

Is it expensive up front? Yes. But it pays for itself after one refresh cycle.. Then the next refresh cycle comes along and holy shit savings.

Microsoft is obviously paying you too much, it seems like you have so much money you've forgotten just how burdensome their licensing is on people and corporations that actually have to pay Microsoft's ransom out of their own pockets.

Let me make this perfectly simple for you - and please, do take this up the chain to your masters in Redmond - Microsoft will not be well recieved by the technology community (or by Register readers) until it makes massive changes to it's licensing regime.

We do not object to paying a fair amount for out software, despite what you and your masters think. In fact, we see value in paying for ongoing support and to have someone take various burdens of support and testing off of our hands. Microsoft's fees are absolutely in no way fair or reasonable.

The body Microsoft and I cannot be friends until the fucking fix VDI licensing. That includes the SPLA potion of the exercise.

I think a lot of people here are Microsoft Partners (I am, for one), and they are sick of 15% hike after 15% hike and the dramatic narrowing of their margins. a 50% hike in the cost of Datacenter earned Microsoft no friends, nor has the utter failure to listen to their customers, partners and end users when it comes to the design of their operating systems.

If you want to peddle your shit then you have to start listening to the people who you are demanding buy said shit.

That so many - first one, then two and now an ever accelerating amount - feel that the price of leaving the Microsoft ecosystem is one worth paying should be something that causes you and yours to sit up and take notice, not vitriol, FUD and marketing. The readers of The Register are a canny bunch; far too bright to be taken in by Microsoft's bullshit.

You have the reactions of the masses to your marketing messages. Please, go take those to the next meeting and have and honest discussion about your messages will be met. Maybe you can convince your boss that the best way to meet the marketing challenge of Munich's success is to convince the Empire of Sadness to start making licensing less horrific.

It's a hell of a lot easier to market a good product than to try to shovel shit and proclaim it gold.

Come back after the meeting and let's try this again with the modified marketing message to hand. The existing one is....awful.

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AC your a cock.

"when they want to use a version of Office that actually works"

I'm using LibreOffice in a Windows only environment at work.

I'm the only person in this company of (100,000+ staff) who doesn't have problems opening and editing Visio files ...in LibreOffice Draw!!!

I'm the only person in the same company who doesn't have problems opening and EDITING pdf files.

Everyone else is locked into MS Visio in the virtual application centre or some BS, or having IT tell them to get lost when they request Acrobat.

I'm the only person who doesn't have issues using MS Communicator or Lync or whatever, because I use Pidgin instead.

I'm in a large company which is a closed Windows shop.

I asked IT if I could install VirtualBox and they were fine with that.

I now run Ubuntu on top of Windows and it runs applications faster and more reliably than the Windows 7 installed corporate equivalents ON THE SAME MACHINE.

So MS can stick it as far as I'm concerned.

Case closed!

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Flame

Warehouse worker here.

I have experienced Windows server hell using PDAs in Warehouses along the UK's trunk route of the M6. What makes warehouses buy into Windows they are impossibly awful. The problem comes with new users as the turnover rate at basic pay jobs is high and seasonal. And the machines are constantly running on drained batteries the reboots that takes is nobody's business.

That can't be helped I imagine no matter what operating system is in use but I can't help thinking that a monopolist's one size fits all doesn't work for even quite large warehouses. Not even with the hardware designed for them by other monopolists or cadres.

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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"You could save by cutting down the german administrative fervour. Has any comparative study been done on what savings that would bring?"

It worked well in Britain for the Romans.

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And of course there is nobody tunneling away for a tidy reward inside the wheels within wheels.

Get real. London has always been the home of elitist badgers and corrupt politicians. For goodness sake, the London banks caused all that trouble with the US credit companies in the first place. If they had't been so easily corrupted there wouldn't have been a financial crisis.

In Britain you can't see the moles for the rats.

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Wow.

Bearing in mind that some of those migrations merely involve the installation of Firefox, Thunderbird, and Open Office, if we nonetheless assume 250 working days per year, over 10 years, to migrate 15,000 desktops, we have an average migration rate of 6 desktops per day.

Wow.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Wow.

Wow indeed, but more so that you think they spent the time installing Linux, Firefox & Thunderbird and not compatibility testing, data migration and development to make sure that everything that needs to works and then did a staggered roll out by department using likely only a few disk images and 10-15 minutes per desktop to image them.

That's before you consider migrating servers.

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Re: Wow.

Once you've got down exactly how you're going to configure a desktop, what packages it'll have, etc… mass deployment is actually rather trivial.

There's a few options, including cobbler, kickstart, even the humble Debian installer can take a preseed file.

I've been able to mostly-configure a cluster of 7 nodes from scratch with OpenStack + Ceph using little more than the Ubuntu preseed to load the OS and applications, then hitting it with a set of Ansible scripts which then connect via SSH and set everything up. I've been able to do this within an hour.

About the only bit I haven't done yet is Neutron. If you've ever tried deploying OpenStack you'll understand just how fiddly and tedious it is.

In their case: not difficult to point the machines at a customised APT repository with specialised packages that set up various aspects of a workstation, enroll the machine in some Puppet/Chef/whatever orchestration, and have the machine basically ready to boot utilising PXEboot and letting the magic happen.

The point being, such magic requires forward planning. Lots of forward planning.

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Re: Wow.

Compatibility testing is anathema to MS and their adherents these days.

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@ Stuart Longland: Re: Wow.

"The point being, such magic requires forward planning. Lots of forward planning."

A decade's worth?

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Re: A decade's worth?

Well, all those companies and individuals still dithering over whether they trust MS enough to upgrade from XP yet seem to think so!

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