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What are the REAL advantages of Linux?

By claymuir ·
After reading the article last week and responding to the discussions I was ripped left and right for defending Microsoft. I still say that while open source is great, Linux is no where near developed enough for a "Enterprise Solution" and most of the people claim it is have never worked in a very large corp where you need a vast amount of software that can work together without any critical problems and an incredible learning curve. I myself perfer Linux for a web server (Apache) but that is the only place I have found it useful and when you consider the increase in salary for a admin of has knowledge of MS and Linux I starting to wonder if it is worth the money. I'm still favoring Apache for security reasons but I am thinking budget and all.

So here is my question:
For all you Pro-Linux Admins and those who claim to know something here is your chance. What do you think the real advantages of Linux are when compared to Windows 2000 server? The truly technical stuff. Not better security, cheaper and the typical say nothing crap you can read anywhere.

So, lets rule out Apache and price. Why did I rule out Apache. I think any Admin knows for security Apache is better than IIS even if IIS is easier to use. There would be no real point mentioning Apache it is common knowledge.

Here is two examples of what I mean:

Microsoft - Many applications (written by MS and third party) are able to share information (and remain stable) under one log in. This ones is one of Microsofts strongholds on the Corp world and is hardly ever mentioned.

Linux- The ability to write "Custom in house" code to use in applications can be very valuable IF you have a good employee you can rely on. I feel this was the backbone of Unix and why many very large corps still have Unix systems running. It is also why Mainframes are making a come back in some areas.

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Allow me to further muddy the water...

by eBob In reply to What are the REAL advanta ...

I too have wondered about all of this Linux stuff. In a smaller shop, where the I.T. staff have a pretty good "hands on" feel for the whole picture, it may have some relevance. But beyond its abvious use as a webserver (Apache, like you say), the real application of Linux is pretty fuzzy to me.

When I look to an alternative to M$, my natural tendency is to some form of Unix. However, what I go for is Solaris. The price is right, the development exists, the support exists. It's stable, secureand so on. In general, it makes a great server platform, as long as the application can run in it.

Which brings me to what I think is the "real" point. In the "real" world, what's important is the application being provided to the users, NOT the underlying O/S. Yeah, yeah, the O/S is important, too, but the "proof of the pudding is in the eating", which is to say that that the real measure of the functionality of any I.S./I.T. environment is what it brings to the (damn) end-users, not what it brings to the "nerds".

So if it will run on Solaris (or Linux, or some other "alternative" to Windoze), great. If not, well, not so great, and we live with it. Sigh.

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Allow me to say this Then...

by radiic In reply to Allow me to further muddy ...

Being a network administrator and also having to help support the workstations in my company, I have to say that Windows at the desktop is the way to go. Weather it be 9x,or Nt4,or W2k. I can't imagine trying to roll out A bunch of Linux desktops and secure each one, especially with all the nifty tools available to scan your network. Not that they are not available for M$, but I think it's easier to lock my users out from using those products.

Now the server arena: Of course having M$ workstations, you like to have a PDC and a few BDC's because using WINS& DHCP is easy to assign IP, and File sharing is easy. Profiles for NT workstation is easy to use.
Have to have an Exchange server for Intranet e-mail. But you want to know what Linux is good for.

How about taking one of those old pc's sitting around in the closet, throw in 2 nics and put it inbetween your internet connection and your network. NAT is easy to setup, Add DNS to the box too. (caching name server only) makes your dns querries go very fast. How about throwing on some IPSEC & IPCHAINS to filter out all the traffic you dont want. Throw on SNORT a free IDS and find out who is scanning your network from the outside world. You can setup an FTP site for your Internal network easier and faster and more secure than using IIS. Not to mention make an employee web site. Need another place for people to store files securely, you can use Samba, need to have email relayed to your exchange server, Can do. Get the picture.

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Continued

by radiic In reply to Allow me to say this Then ...

I personaly don't agree with all the OS bashing going on. Why can't we all agree that different OS's have different purposes, and that as Admins we need to use the tool that makes the Job the easiest. But I guess there is no way to say that this tool is better than that tool without disagreeing, so use what works best for you. Personally my goal is to have 100% uptime of my network and limit the amount of support calls that come in. What ever tool helps me the best than thats what I use.

Have a great day
Radicalis

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No bashing - Bad boy

by claymuir In reply to Continued

Actually, the intent of discussion was to find out some real strengths of Linux not to bash it. I am considering setting up some of are upcoming servers with Linux and I am trying to get some real in's and out's. On a test machine I have already installed Oracle 8i on the Mandrake 8.0 Os. That system works great so now I am thinking maybe some other uses. I did like your post- I found it the sort of thing I had in mind.

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Linux or not to Linux

by anthud11 In reply to No bashing - Bad boy

I was a frustrated user who was tired of having to pay and register software over and over again. My M$ system always seem to have some unfindable bug contained within the software which led to pqmagic.exe and resinstall of all necessary software.I saw no alternative on the market.

That is to say I did not see another system I could use on a homebuilt box that would use anything other than M$. I found Linux and have enjoyed a new world of computing.

From creating the partitions to using Suns office programs.

I wanted to know my computer, not just use it.

With Linux I can know my computer, and learn it's unique way of working. I can't write a driver for M$. I can but any nerd I know would ask why? They are already written. That was my problem, the wheel wasn't broken and if it was I could not change the flat because I did not know how.

Now I am experimenting with new options for web page design, compilers, and I am not limited to a M$ environment. The movement is about freedom. Don't restrict my civil liberties because you can M$. The corporate world is held captive in a guilded cage, don't be fooled it is still a cage. Take away their Excel and they will be helpless. Not I.

Don't get me wrong, I have a M$ box, but I am not limited to it.

Don't bash, however with Linux I don't crash either.

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Bravo!

by Unix_Magic In reply to Linux or not to Linux

Cool!
You've got the meaning and purpose of Linux.
Linux gives us the choice we look for in the computing world.
Sure thing, you can buy loads of expensive software for the M$ flatform and spends about the same amount upgrading every 6 months.
Or you can get good, reliable, powerful software free off the net or dirt-cheap and run your home PC for months without crashing it.
Don't tell me about "cost is not a criterion", because it is.
Agreed, there is an initial high learning curve on the'nix platform.
But once that threshold is crossed, it is escape velocity all the way.
The universe is unlimited and Linux is the ride of taste today.

Bottomline ---
M$ sucks - Unix Rules!!

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Actually not completely..

by claymuir In reply to Allow me to say this Then ...

Tell me about "IPSEC & IPCHAINS" - I have to admitt you stumped me on that one. I was sort of including DNS when I said Apache but to tell you the truth I still prefer MS DNS. (Just because I first used DNS on a MS DNS server). Samba is great but isit possible for Visual Basic (using ADO or ODBC) to see files that reside on a Linux server, served with Samba? Also, can you make connections to AS400 and other various mainframes using Samba? Often the file security attached to MVS/JCL is a problem for third party software. I was just wondering if Samba knows how to deal with connecting.

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Hmmn

by radiic In reply to Actually not completely..

You stumped me on using Samba with ADO or ODBC. But you can map a drive from w9x or NT box and it looks and feels just like a server share. Maybe NFS on the Linux box wolud work better. As for the AS400 part samba can use WINS and server authentication to verify against.

Ahhhh IPCHAINS: Basically manipulates rule sets within a chain, 3chains called INPUT,FORWARD,OUTPUT. Uses the packet header to deceide on Deny,reject or pass of a packet. Its a packet firewall>

You are right, cant really run apache without the dns part installed. But I have setup both NT4 w/dns and RH6.1 w/Bind and both as cacheing name server only. The performance by the RH box was far superior than that of the NT4 box.

Radicalis

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Sounds good...

by claymuir In reply to Hmmn

I'll look into the IPCHAINS - just because it sounds interesting. I'm not sure it would be a real value to me right now.

Now, that I think about it you must be right about Samba and AS400 - after all SNA is really taking care of the security. Just curious - do you find Samba difficult to use in a large network? Oracle recommends not using on a Linux system with a Oracle DB installed so I will probably rule it out for that server. However, I think it might be a interesting way to route multiple Database servers information to one place. We like do Backups of small chunks of information that we keep to help us make the Whole system work together. In shop code that I did not write.

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In a large network Samba

by radiic In reply to Sounds good...

I know samba that came with the red hat 6.1 distro was fun to get working. I finally did get it to work and I could connect to it from my workstation. Even see the server in Network neighborhood and browse right to it. and it would open up my default folder that i had setup in the smb.conf

Now the tricky part. You can turn on WINS support and as clients connect they will be added to a database in the smb server of course it will validate those users using a wins broadcast,and hopefully your wins server will respond. I found that this wasnt allways the case and didnt work too well. That was over a year ago, I havent played with the version available now, but I would expect that there have been some great improvements.
For setuphelp try this--http://www.redhat.com/support/resources/tips/Samba-Tips/Samba-Tips.html

And for good samba support --http://us1.samba.org/samba/samba.html

Radicalis

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