hope more article about using Linux in small company

hi, all,

I am new reader here, I hope there can be more article about using Linux in small company, for small company, the cost savings is one key factor. The other primary factor is freedom from licensing dominance that occurs in any non-Opensource environment. Linux is enabling large and small corporations world wide to end one of their most significant overhead costs with relative ease.

yes, iam softsea.

Using Linux in a Test Environment

bobbymcgill's picture

I would like to talk about a different experience with Linux. One of the initiatives of the (now-defunct) Constellation Program at NASA, was to use IP (Internet Protocol) for all communication, even across RF (Radio Frequency) links. Normally, the preferred method for satellite communication is bitstream telemetry. (L3.com has some good tutorials on that topic.) Our group was asked to design a testbed to see how IP holds up under a variety of conditions that might be experienced on an RF link.

When asked what software cost estimates would be, I shocked many by saying $0. Many guests that tour our lab are surprised that we use something that isn't WindowsXP. They are even more surprised at the cost. I try to educate all the VIP's/Top Brass that there are alternatives available that save us money, and give us more control.

We use openSUSE Linux on all the systems in the testbed, and FOSS tools for any software we need that doesn't currently exist. As a matter of fact, because of the FOSS tools, we were even able to modify some of the kernel code to make it do what we wanted - which would not have been possible with a closed source OS.

The most expensive budget items in our testbed are the actual hardware items. There are a total of 13 computers in total, and not one of them has ever seen a BSOD. :-) This is in contrast to several systems we have that are locked into using old/obsolete versions of MS (DOS6, Win3.1) because of dependence on specialized drivers written by companies out of business...

If anyone is interested in hearing more, I can give a LOT more details.

I don't know other countries

nmarques's picture

I don't know other countries reality, but in Portugal there are 240.000 small/medium companies with an average number of workers of 3.

Productivity is a key factor in industry/service development, and it should be faced in with more concern than that. For deploying Internet Services, Linux is without doubt the best choice, for the Desktop, I am not so sure that it becomes cheaper than a Proprietary system.

Most computer purchases include a Windows licence (pre-installed), developer focused companies usually have a MSDN Universal licence and the training of personel and productivy drop due to the swap of tools might actually increase the costs in the short/medium run for small companies.

Open Source advocates a lot, but the hostility towards proprietary software (even if it is small chunks of proprietary code for small applications) doesn't help.

In the day that more software manufacturers have available more packages it might be a turning point, until then, one way or another companies will have expenses, either with licencing or with personel training (not to mention the productivity drop).

Proprietary software enters peoples life already in the Education, even if only the user needs to perform Office related duties a swap from MS Office to OpenOffice or Star Office (which brings an aditional cost) will imply losses at productivity level.

Honestly I think it's an utopia. The way how open source is organized compared to full marketing driven competitors is actually a fight that I'm skeptical about.

Anyway, if productivity is not much an issue, I would consider that eventually open source might make it to the Desktop if they relief the philosophical assault on companies and users that still require to have proprietary software. So much freedom of choice, but in the end, there's a firing squad to pulverize those who advocate the co-existence of open source and proprietary software.

A simple example: Acrobat Reader is free and has a lot of features lacking in most open source PDF viewers. Not even going corporate, imagine a student who has a 500Mb database of PDF's to research, Acrobat Reader offers capability of searching an entire folder. This saves time and helps a lot organizing contents, other way you need to open them all and check one by one. Just a thought.

Options, options

Shawn Powers's picture

The interesting thing, for me, is how well Linux can co-mingle with a pre-existing infrastructure. It allows for a slow (read: cheaper) transition, and in the end, you don't have to be using 100% Linux and open source stuff to be happy.

I'm curious, what sorts of things are you looking at doing in your business? Are you dependent on specific software packages?

This kinda stuff is fun to talk about. :)

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.