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Unix or Windows

By mhalarabi ·
I am in environment having 700+ users accessing different applications purchasing, accounting, HR, etc..(Oracle based. I came up to be the decision maker for having my operating system to be UNIX operating system or windows operating system in terms of the following:
- cost (long run)
- Scalability
- Response
- Stability
- HW
- SW

Appreciating all the IT gurus to get back on the above..

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by Oz_Media In reply to Unix or Windows

There is no right or wrong answer here, it is strictly preference and learning curve. Firstly I would think you are referring to Linux as opposed to Unix but either works, Linux is just a more popular and widely developed OS now than Unix is.

Unix or Linux would win in some cases (mine for example): cost and stability
Windows would win in others (you haven't mentioned): user ability.

NOw you say this is for a reasonably large operation or is it JUST YOUR desktop?

If for everyone, I would suggest using Windows as it is more user firiendly and people will pick up new software faster as they are used to the interface already.

If it is JUST for yourself, it would depend on how comfrotable you are with Unix/Linux as to what will work best for you.

There REALLLY is no solid right or wrong answer, you will get a hunred reasons for either choice yet without being mroe specific (regarding the use or ability of users) it is hard to suggest what will work. In most cases, i'm sorry to say, Windoze is the easiest way to go all around. It is relatively easy to fix, everyone knows Windows and although it is unstable, it is easy to repair if you don't have much Linux experience.

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No right answer - but try Linux

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Unix or Windows

As Oz said there is no right answer for this one. As most of your applications are Oracle based they will run on Windows, UNIX or Linux. I recommend that you consider Linux.

Linux will save big dollars overall and is more scalable as it is readily modifiable for your use, whilst the others are not. Learning curve can be a problem, especially for users. However, I know of an organisation that set up the boot sequence to go to corporate log on, then corporate menu to choose applications. The latest versions of Open Office as so much like the MS versions that most people can use it without any extra training.

Also most idiots writing a virus attack the MS software.

Using Linux also makes it easier to set up and maintain user profiles, and easier to build pc images. Overall system maintenance is generally easier in a Linux environment as well.

But a secure Internet gateway should be layered and use both MS and Linux/Unix to make it harder for hackers to punch through.

Most of what applies to Linux also applies to UNIX, but Linux has much lower cost and easier to modify.

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Here's an idea

by Oz_Media In reply to No right answer - but try ...

Novell's Linux for desktops. It may seem slightly more expensive for the initial box and licences but when you add it all up, pretty much everything you'll need is included either on the server or the desktop.

Well worth loking into. Right now Novell is doing the second or third round of their Linux for Desktops Breakfast seminars. I don't know where you are but it's a viable option if they are around.

This way you get stability, scalability and a user friendly OS all in one. I have deployed three since firt sseing it last year and it has worked ideally for all of them.

This link will show you all the latest proomos and you can download fully functional trials.

Seminar listings: (Good breakfast, I have another next Wednesday!)

Ximian Linux desktop for Novell

That should keep you busy for a while.

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by pgm554 In reply to Unix or Windows

They all have their strengths and weaknesses.
However,you may want to look at the situation from a who does what better scenario.

Unix flat out scales better than Windows on application services.(Mack truck ,hauls alot very reliably)

Windows is easier to learn and to administrate.
(Mini van ,lots of bells and whistles can't haul as much as the Mack and breaks down every so often)

Novell requires some expertise ,very fast relable file and print)
(Ferrari,what doesn't make it go faster is left off)

A mix of the 3 might be your best bet.

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Not an easy question

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Unix or Windows

But I would image that most of the existing users would be Windows Only users and you will have to restrict Unix/Linux to the server end of the system.

While I would personally recommend Linux over Unix I do understand with the current Legal Action pending from SCO Linux may not be a popular option at this point in time by the company in question particularly after the action by SCO in Germany so Unix it may well be as the only alternative. Now I grew up on Unix machines and I like the OS but to be honest Linux is far more user friendly and probably exactly why SCO is interested in getting a ruling that Linux is in breach of the Unix code so they can grab every line of Linux code and use it them selves without paying for it. But as I am supposing that you have an existing network that is either being upgraded or replaced you will be stuck with Windows if only on the desktops and you will be able to run Linux on the servers where the end user will not have any contact with the OS anyway so they will be no wiser as to exactly what is being used there.

Provided you have a fairly good grasp of Unix you will find it a relatively easy implementation to setup but if you have only seem Unix in action and never got your hands dirty with it so to speak you will have problems as the learning curve is very high and will need a lot of time and effort to master which is not a luxury that you have in business having the network nonfunctional for protracted periods of time. So if you have no previous experience with Unix stick with what you already know and work with Windows while it is not as secure as Unix/Linux/ Novel you at least know what you are doing and what holes to plug.

However if you already know Unix then possibly a mix of different technologies would be the answer unless the Government of where you are demands an Open Source alternative and will not allow Windows to be used then as you are not in the US and most likely not in a country that has international Co pyrite agreements that are enforceable Linux may well be the answer to your needs but it should be a slow introduction so that productive time isn't lost in the change over.


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Good thoughts

by Oldefar In reply to Unix or Windows

I like your approach and there are some good insights in the other posts.

Let me suggest you back the decision up a step. Business objectives drive business requirements. What are the business requirements your tool (the workstation with whatever OS and applications) set will support? If you can get a well defined set of business requirements, you can use these to drive technical objectives.

The technical objectives are the step before technical requirements, which is where you are currently at. The technical objective is where such issues as local versus server processing, level of security, responsiveness, central/remote/mobile work locations, compatability, interoperability, support, and the like are considered. Also considered at this point are user profiles - a gouping of two to five unique types of users based on function and perhaps a three level skill description within each profile that helps define how user friendly any solution must be.

The technical objectives will drive the technical requirements. Perhaps unix or linux will meet one or more user profiles while MS may be necessary for others. Perhaps all can be supported with a thin client with minimal OS - in effect a terminal station.

As for the hw aspect - do not assume that any manufacturer's platform with a common CPU, memory, OS, and clock speed will perform the same. The physical architecture can directly impact performance. Consider as well the environment. A device built for rugged environments may be preferred even if its performance is less than similar devices from other manufacturers.

Of course, the time to do things right is often missing. In that case, keep this thought from Robert McLeod Gray in mind - "Whatever you do, you'll regret it."

All the best to you.

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