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Linux in the Enterprise IS ALREADY Prime Time OP/ED -

Linux in Enterprise Is Already Prime Time
by Mark Rais for the OPINION/EDITORIAL section.

I was obviously standing in the wrong place, because I could not help overhearing a group of IT professionals speaking about Linux. Few, if any, had positive words. In most cases they mentioned the word Linux and let out bellowing laughs. Then there were the Linux jokes, mocking the Linux founder Linus Torvalds, laughing up the pronunciation.

So with a disheartened and rather discouraged feeling, I stepped into the foray with a basic but earnest question. "What about Google?"

"What about it, huh?" came a reply that I'm sure was intended to be both endearing and courteous.

I must admit that the Linux t-shirt I was wearing did not start me off on a neutral footing with these technologists. However, I had hoped for some dialogue rather than a sparring contest. I can spar too. Over the years, having to fight for every inch of logic and reason, I've developed quite a technique myself.

However, on this particular evening in the hallway, I was not interested in a battle but an opinion.

I was trying to figure out why people can become so certain of their own position that they no longer consider other possibilities.

I openly admit that there is no perfect technology, no "holy grail" Operating System, nor do I think there ever will be. I see that integration of technology solutions must precede any wholesale migration. I grew up in a Fortune 100 IT environment, and learned a lot about the reality of how to apply "best of breed" for the best results. So, I wanted to learn and was hoping this was such an occasion.

Maybe my insatiable desire to understand other opinions stems from my own failure. To this day I fail to understand the perspective that allows Linux to be largely ignored by many corporate IT departments here in the United States.

No one seems to be able to help me uncover why, when even Microsoft does not choose its own software for some major enterprise endeavours, many people still valiantly choose to ignore this and use their products exclusively?

"even Microsoft does not choose its own software for some major enterprise endeavors"

In the hallway, encircled by a number of rather terse techies, I started to inquire about Google. I noted how significantly utilizes Linux. Then we went on to discuss Star Wars and how ILM switched to Linux. Later I started to actually have open dialogue with a select few of the group and we talked about how uses Linux for its sales infrastructure. We also touched on how IBM and Novell had both integrated Linux in to their infrastructure.

Let me remind you of this short, but rather broad based list from some excellent articles:

  • IBM, note the comment regarding "well worth the $1 Billion"
  • Novell, note the mention that even Linux on Desktop is increasing
  • Industrial Light & Magic, can't help but point out the nice reference to scaling
  • This list is by far not exhaustive. It does not include the countless other enterprise businesses that have integrated Linux through the efforts of RedHat and Novell/SuSe. Not only have they been making major inroads with their enterprise software in the U.S., they have also successfully sold enterprise Linux use to organizations in India and China, two huge markets that even Microsoft is having some difficulty accessing.

    So my question is now more inclined to be: Why debate whether Linux is Prime Time?

    Linux is and has been prime time for quite a while. Linux has been a major player in the business enterprise realm. This is not something to debate. What needs to be debated is why so many companies still ignore this.

    I keep scratching my head, confused as to why this is such a hard point to get across to some.

    A shoe salesman came up to me one day and shared with me the "facts about shoes." His product was going to make me feel better, be easier to adjust to, last longer, and fit perfectly to my other business attire.

    Now, the first question I asked this guy was, "WHY THEN DON'T YOU WEAR YOUR OWN SHOES?"

    As he bashfully looked down at his "other brand" shoes, I smiled. No thank you, Mr. Salesman. I prefer the shoes I'm wearing. My shoes are used by several of the world's best known companies," I reply as I walk off. As for the IT guys hanging around in the hallway... I'm grateful that at least two of them took the time to talk and find out about another option.

    Linux is Prime Time in Enterprise.

    This brief opinion piece should not be construed as factual information, and only contains the opinions and personal experiences of the author at the time of publication. could not find information in this article that at the time of publication was inaccurate. However, the opinions and personal experiences that have been posted do not express the opinions of and are not endorsed in any way. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Microsoft and Microsoft Windows are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation both in the United States and Internationally. All other trademarks or registered trademarks in this opinion piece belong to their respective owners.

    For more help or answers, please visit our HELP PAGE.

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