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Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server

Andrew Froehlich, Network Engineer & IT Consultant | 2/13/2013 | 32 comments

Andrew Froehlich
There have been some disruptions in the Linux community that may have IT administrators a bit nervous. So nervous, in fact, that they might consider moving to a server OS like Windows Server 2012 that has a far more predictable future.

Even though Linux has struggled to make it to the desktop, it has been hugely successful in the server arena. Linux is known for being a flexible and highly stable operating system, and it's almost a certainty that you have a few instances of a Linux OS somewhere within your infrastructure.

One of the main selling points of Linux is the fact that it's open-sourced. There are plenty of benefits when using open-sourced operating systems as it creates an environment of flexibility and customizability that closed operating systems simply cannot match. Additionally, open-source software has the reputation of quality and security because bugs are identified and fixed by the much larger open-source developer community.

But all this freedom and code-sharing comes at a price. Because there is so much freedom, it has fostered a huge number of Linux distributions that cause a great deal of confusion when trying to standardize and support only a few flavors.

It used to be that enterprise customers gravitated to a handful of Linux distributions that were deemed to be the most stable and provided a sense of stability in regard to a roadmap into the future. But open-source software can get a bit dicy when lead developers begin to disagree in public.

For example, when a lead developer for Red Hat ups and quits while bashing the quality of the latest Fedora release, it doesn't exactly give IT managers a warm fuzzy. After all, the direction and success of open-source software is largely dependent on the community of developers. If the most qualified developers lose interest or dislike the direction a Linux distribution is headed, the quality of code begins to suffer. That leaves you with the choice of either switching to a different open-source OS, or to move back to a closed solution.

Contrast the issues of Linux with the latest closed-sourced server OS, Windows Server 2012. For one, much of the confusion of choosing the right server version is eliminated with Microsoft. There are only a handful of Server 2012 license options and there are easy upgrade paths. Security has also been greatly improved, and Microsoft is getting much better in terms of being faster to patch holes and does so on a consistent schedule. Lastly, the roadmap for Windows server 2012 is clear and it's safe to say that Microsoft is committed to delivering a solid platform with which to run your applications on and to store your data.

I fully believe that there is a place for Linux and open-source software in the datacenter. But there are times when one has to evaluate how much trust can be placed on the open-source community. Today the community for your variant of Linux might be full of the best talent creating exciting new features to patch the latest security holes. But you never know if that enthusiasm will eventually dry up for one reason or another. If this is something that bothers you, then open-source may not be your cup of tea, and you may feel far more comfortable running your applications on a closed operating system.

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Zaius   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   3/5/2013 3:42:07 PM
Re: Open Source / Vs Closed
The web masters always want to have the feel of boing a master. So a closed systyem is not his favorite resort. Customization and control at fingertips -these are somthing that lure him, always.
SaneIT   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/25/2013 7:23:41 AM
Re: Infighting?
Yes I do see that a little bit more as the different distros are trying to differentiate themselves.  The really hardcore supports though don't tend to be the developers, the developers tend to defend their intent more than they defend their version of Linux. 
anthony.nima   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/23/2013 12:40:23 PM
Re: Infighting?
I think this has something to do with market as well. Creating and marketing your brand name in such a manner captures the eyes of the users more often than just a normal marketing methodology.
RPatrick   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/22/2013 8:37:36 AM
Re: Infighting?
I think the question becomes, why is now different?
SaneIT   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/21/2013 8:00:36 AM
Re: Infighting?
I think we've been seeing and talking about it for a long time.  If you consider that there are over 600 distributions out there it's not hard to see why there is fragmentation.  The fighting goes back to the earliest days of Linux vs BSD and you still see a lot of the same issues pop up between the various distributions.
RPatrick   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/21/2013 6:43:10 AM
Re: Infighting?
The fragmentation of the Linux community. Who would have seen that one coming?  :)
SaneIT   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/20/2013 7:33:15 AM
Re: Infighting?
I'm actually surprised that more casual users aren't moving to Linux OSes.  Most of the issues you ran into 10 years ago still haunt Linux's image but driver support and functionality are so far beyond that old stereotype that it's hard to believe it still exists.
SaneIT   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/20/2013 7:30:51 AM
Re: Infighting?
From the view point of the guys I've been talking to, no.  Win 7 isn't much friendlier than say Win NT 4 was.  There are better tools but the areas that are off limits still frustrate them.
Tuscany   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/19/2013 8:42:48 PM
Re: Infighting?
" I think the bigger issue is not feeling locked out of the OS when developing tools for OS monitoring, management and low level processes."

Does anyone know if this issue has been improved with Windows 7 and all of the other recent releases by MS ?
Tuscany   Linux Infighting Might Be Opportunity for Windows Server   2/19/2013 8:38:17 PM
Re: Infighting?
"..I wouldn't say that any one OS is best suited for everyone in every situation."

@SaneIT     I agree.  Every OS has their advantages and disadvantages.  The decision depends on a number of factors, objectives and skill level are chief among them IMO.
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