Linux in the Enterprise IS ALREADY Prime Time OP/ED - www.reallylinux.com
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
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 Google.com 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 Amazon.com 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
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
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
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