General discussion


What would you choose? All Windows or mixed Windows/Linux

By Ian Lewis ·
I ask because I'm being pressured by my manager to agree that we should revise our network infrastructure to completely eliminate any Linux servers. this would then leave only Windows machines which would then be 'easier to manage' and be more 'cost effective' in IT Support terms.

My colleague and I have brought up the the fact that any system where security can be compromised across the board in minutes is a bad idea.

I guess the corollary to this is the question of whether it's worth sticking it out in a job with a stubborn manager.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

sounds like your boss read one too many MSFT sponsored research reports

by RobRoyNJ In reply to What would you choose? Al ...

I'm not a Linux zealot and there are many place where I would and have choosen Windows servers over other choices but to go with one platform simply based on an "ease of management" is in my opinion very dangerous and if I were to do this I would lean towards Linux and not windows in server environments.

Collapse -

Too many MSFT sponsored research reports.. him and his consultant friends.

by Ian Lewis In reply to sounds like your boss rea ...

My boss has been speaking to lots of consultants who spend most of their time immersed in the MS view of the world. The telling comment was that of referring to Linux as having 'no future'. I certainly wouldn't agree there.

I enjoy the challenge presented by IT security but migrating from a stable mixed platform network to a monoculture needs careful thought and planning. Our charity will now be spending more money in the name of standards when in fact it isn't necessary.

Thanks for your comments.

Collapse -

Never agree, just accept

by stress junkie In reply to What would you choose? Al ...

You would do well to maintain your position on the subject. Eventually your manager will override this and make the policy in spite of your objection. When problems from this decision arise you can at least say that you never thought that the change was good. If you agree to the change then your manager will blame you when problems surface.

I've worked with a lot of managers by way of working in contract employment for many years. (Not now, but previously.) In all of those jobs I only met one manager that was an asset to the business. ALL of the rest were liabilities to the business. Therefore you will probably gain nothing by moving to a new employer. Just accept the change without agreeing to it.

Collapse -

Linux to Windows

by Neil Higgins In reply to Never agree, just accept

Just take a look at this article,The Windows to Linux Migration Guide,from 2004.The answer to your question,is in the opening few lines of the article:

Why change to Windows en-mass? Altimately,the final decision may/will be taken out of your hands.Whatever happens,dont quit,sit this one out after reflective debate,and if the outcome is not what you intended,just watch the chaos unfold."Told you so" comes to mind :)

Also see this about the city of Munchen,Germany:

Collapse -

Director of IT and previous consultant....

by rhoninpowers In reply to Linux to Windows

First as an employee the last thing I would recommend you do is go the "I told you so route"...professoinally document the risks as clinically and unemotionally as you can and let the process, whatever its direction takes its course and attempt to support your manager in a professoinal manner.

A lot of whitepapers and marketing buffs push the "one vendor one platform" reduced TCO button, if your environment is one where costs are tightly managed and every task is tracked, then arguments could be made that preserving your existing investment is more wise then going and spending money to deploy more of whatever the platform.

In short the answers to this problem lie with how/if metrics exist in your environment that truly track the cost of managing the systems down to vendor support, internal support, help desk issues, etc. Once these numbers are known it won't be a technical decision also a business decision.
Don't get caught up in the evangelical wars of Windows vs. Linux, as upper management I want my folks with their eyes on the business issues more than platform vs. platfrom discussions.

Also if you have any systems that "can be compromised in minutes"...then I would say no one in your shop has a clue about security. Change is difficult especially for IT folks and beyond looking at my manager I would have to look at myself and what role will I play in the equation.

Collapse -

Security is tops..

by Ian Lewis In reply to Director of IT and previo ...

'I told you so' is very bad news I agree. Whatever the system is I'm responsible for its security so I'd look a fool if I couldn't maintain it.

As for reduced TCO my manager is a 'spend more, get more' type. His perception at the moment is that standardising on Microsoft products is good for our organisation, good for me (in career terms) and will ensure that there is nothing that can't be supported by someone coming in from outside.

I'm not going get involved in the Windows vs Linux argument, I have to develop my career and it's no bad thing to get the training.

I wouldn't want any system I was administering to be 'compromised in minutes' as I take network security very seriously. Better to keep my eyes open and learn Best Practice. That way I'll be able to say 'we need this [widget]' and why and my manager won't be able to disagree.

Collapse -


by Choppit In reply to Never agree, just accept

Stress Junkie is right. If your manager insists then do as they ask, but make it clear that you're doing so because you've been asked, not because you agree.

Collapse -

I agree, with one addition

by ljgizinski In reply to Never agree, just accept

Don't just tell him. Email him. Make it written so you have it documented for posterity.

Collapse -

Your argument

by Cactus Pete In reply to What would you choose? Al ...

You mean that your argument rests completely on "any system where security can be compromised across the board in minutes is a bad idea."?!

If you can't secure a Windows box, then you need to learn how.

Do you mean to say that you believe someone could compromise any of your Windows servers now? Shouldn't you look into fixing those issues? Otherwise, you should insist on switching all to Linux and not even entertain the option for a mixed environment.

basically, if you don't know how to secure your systems, whatever the platform, you should learn or hire someone who can.

You'll be lucky if your boss doesn't think of that before you do...

Collapse -

They don't have Windows servers now.

by Derek Silva In reply to Your argument

dpetrak, you have to read the posts these people make before responding to them. From what I've read, they have a network with Windows clients and Linux servers right now. Ian never said anything about Windows servers. The manager wants to switch to an all Windows environment because he thinks it'll save the company money and be easier to manage. Personally I would disagree with that statement.

Ultimately, I agree with the consultant who posted a few days ago. Read his post, follow his recommendations.

Related Discussions

Related Forums