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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.

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How sure are you?

by Cactus Pete In reply to They don't have Windows s ...

"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."

When reading "...pressured... to completely eliminate any Linux servers" I see that, coupled with the title of the post, as implying that there is currently a mixed environment.

Perhaps it would benefit you to see that this is not a linear posting site, and that the dates lower can actually be sooner thatn some of those above.

Also, I would point out that Ian has not posted anything again, so we can't really know all the details without his feedback.

That said, I will reiterate: Learn how to use the tools you have for the systems you must secure.

And I will also add: Common sense would benefit his whole company.

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by Ian Lewis In reply to How sure are you?

Here's some feedback.

Since my first posting my manager has arranged some Microsoft training. Specifically, how to secure servers. This is good, I like to learn and it can't really do me any harm.

The point about understanding how to secure a Microsoft server is actually a good one. I'd prefer to understand as much as possible about it since it looks as though I'll be working in a Windows only environment.

My initial comment about pressure was based on the fact that my manager has undertaken a lot of discussions with external consultants and contacts without actually including me in any of them. So, when the decision to "eliminate Linux servers" and "standardise" with Microsoft was presented to me I did feel rather insulted. I got over that.

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I don't blame you

by Cactus Pete In reply to Learning...

Management has a way of making decisions like that. It's always a little insulting when they don't even include you in the discussions, whether there is agreement or not. Having a voice, or being offered the opportunity to listen to others' voices, is a nicety seldom permitted.

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tell him

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

all linux, as windows is way to expensive to standardise on, and is far more prone to being down, destroying the system.

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by Derek Silva In reply to tell him

Do you have any evidence to back this claim, Jaqui? I personally find your argument very hard to believe, for either the Linux OR Windows side of it.

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by Jaqui In reply to Evidence?

lets see the evidence that windows doesn't crash. ( Blue Screen of Death ring any bells? )
lets see the evidence that viruses do not take windows machines down.
( impossible, since several major companies ( being one ) just went down from latest virus.

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Document, document, document

by O/Siris In reply to What would you choose? Al ...

You're not going to win a general "Windows is better/worse, Linux is better/worse" argument. That's your manager's job, like it or not. To make that kind of decision.

If you're going to get your side heard, you have to get specific. Linux better than Windows for CRM? Why? Because the app you use is on Linux/Windows and migration would add $15,000 to the cost of standardizing? Windows better than Linux for directory services? Why? Get it ON PAPER. Yeah, I mean hardcopy, and put your signature and date on it. Be specific. Point to specific uses of your network, and why that system is better than moving or not moving it.

You're not the manager. Don't pretend to be one. You're the admin, I presume. It's your job to examine the technical side of things. It's that of your manager to equate that to the pocketbook. So be specific, and be willing to talk dollars.

And get your manager to sign AND DATE every document you write up about this. Let him have the copies, and keep the originals.

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Take the blackbox approach

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

I would take the black box approach, Converting to windows internally shouldn't be that big of a concern, you can make an internal network reasonably secure, but when it comes to the edge, vpn, external web and mail server, I wouldn't do it. The blackbox approach is what would it cost you to replace your Linux boxes in strategic areas with blackboxes. ie your mailserver is replaced with a baracudda, your linux firewall with a netscreen, I would send a very detailed email to him about the risks involved with exposing an IIS based server to the real world, even through a firewall. offer a compromise, Convert everything internal to windows and ask to convert everything external to BSD, thats the way we work.

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Perform a cost/benefit analysys

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

It all depends on the business. No OS (Windows, Linux, Unix, etc.) is unbreakable. If your team can secure Windows OS & apps, but the manager has to hire a consultant to do the same thing to Linux and the apps running on it, well, he may be right.
Do a cost/benefit analysys from the business perspective, factoring all costs of the day to day operations, licensing, and so on. Take into account the risks involved in running both Windows and Linux and do your best to express them in financial terms. Consider the experience you and your team have with both OS, the availability of more experienced technical support people and so on.

Do the math and compare the figures. If they differ by more than 20% (just an example), then you have a clear winner. If they are pretty close, then the manager is right.

It is quite easy to find examples of that calculations. Both Microsoft and Linux advocates have published examples of such calculations. Just get one of them, put in your actual values (I assume those published on the Internet may be a little biased :) and do the math.

Present your results to the manager, as a formal report. No mather what the final decision will be, this is a good exercise for you. It could prove helpful when you will be promoted to a management position.

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Security? CPM? DOS? OS2? AIX? UNIX?

by newby7718 In reply to What would you choose? Al ...

There is no such thing as security. Any qualified hacker can break into any system (including LINUX) that they target as evidenced by kids breaking into FBI, CIA and Pentagon computers. The only real security is an educated user and network administrator who does a well thought out daily backup.

Remember those LINUX predicesors? They all promised to be the CHAMPION operating system of the Century. Today, they are "gone with the wind," or little known and little used.

I have seen them come and I have seen them go --since 1986, the only one that has been a consistent producer of "user-friendly" OS and Apps is Microsoft. As the "defacto-standard," it is no wonder that hackers target it. And, Microsoft is diligent enough to have a patch within hours of a security breach or known issue.

Microsoft certainly has my vote of confidence(as an old gezzer who has been an IT professional since 1959) until something better comes along --and LINUX just ain't it!

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