[Talk] Computerworld: Linux 'not ready' for enterprise IT

Enno Davids enno.davids at metva.com.au
Tue Aug 12 11:24:44 EST 2003

On Tue, Aug 12, 2003 at 11:10:20AM +1000, Con Zymaris wrote:
|Let's follow the logic:
| Andrew Whyte, corporate systems administrator at Central Queensland
| University (CQU), said Linux is not ready to run high-end systems
| because of the lack of vendor support and frequent kernel updates.
| "Our experience with Linux was problematic due to the lack of vendor
| software updates," Whyte said. "We are missing out on the latest
| Linux features because the commercial software we are using can't
| keep up with the kernel development. Hence, we are locked in to older
| versions."
|So, what Andrew Whyte is saying is that because vendors (Sun, Oracle, IBM 
|etc.) can't keep up with advancements with the Linux kernel, then Linux
|isn't ready for the enterprise. 
|Makes sense? I think not.

No this is the same old problem Sys Admins always face... I want to use
some package from some vendor (servlet engines and databases are the most
common examples) and must choose a version of the underlying operating
system that will be supported by the vendor of that software. That version
will likely never be the latest and greatest but typically will be whatever
was 6 months old/stable when the app vendor started their support...

This is as true of commmercial closed sources UNIXes of course. The difference
here (the point of the article I suspect) is that if you need any of features
found in the newer versions of Linux, you may have to wait for your commercial
apps to catch up... and as Linux evolves much more quickly than commercial
closed source UNIXes, forgoing those features _could_ be more of an issue.

In practice, most Sys Admins are well able to evaluate the risk exposure of
things like a newer version of an OS versus the benefits. Its not uncommon
to find yourself boxed in to running a new OS release (typically to avoid
some security exploit) and ameliorating the risk by doing a quick test of
the new environment to see if it can function and then waiting for you vendor
to catch you up (you won't be the only customer demanding they get their
shit together in such a situation...)


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