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Re: IT and UNIX

  Mark Hinds wrote:
  > Corporate wide the plan is to dump UNIX servers and get latched up with
  > NT servers. The necessity of doing this is unclear to me. The process
  > of changing ordinary people over from Win31/pcnfs to WinNT/SMB/Wins
  > has been very costly and disruptive. The drive seems to have come
  > from above.
  Here's some theories on why they may be doing it:
  1) It's tremendously easier to find NT administrators than UNIX
  administrators.  If you can't find them you can train them to
  reasonable proficiency in about a week - contrast that with what
  it takes to get someone proficient at supporting a UNIX system.
  2) NT administrators cost a lot less than UNIX administrators.
  3) It takes more time to support a UNIX box than an NT box (my
  estimate is about 2x the amount of time and that's probably being
  generous to UNiX).  Granted, the UNIX box can handle more load so,
  theoretically, you need less of them.  But the reality of most
  of today's corporate compute environments is that systems become
  application centric with each system servicing one application
  (i.e. one database server for your accounting package, one for
  your human resource package, etc.) so whether your using UNIX
  or NT you end up with the same number of systems (just more excess
  bandwidth on the UNIX side).
  4) The Win31/pcnfs to WinNT/SMB/Wins switch is probably also being
  made to cut support costs.  We've seen as much as 2x decrease in the
  cost of client support in some customer environments with the move to
  Win95/WinNT from a Win31/nfs environment.
  The bottom line is costs.  If there is no compelling reason to
  stick with UNIX for a given application or service, then it's
  cheaper to switch to NT.
  Of course, there is absolutely no technical reason why a strain
  of UNIX cannot be developed that would be just as easy to use
  and support as NT.  But UNIX system vendors and system developers (a
  group which I was a part of for the first 8 years of my career)
  spend so much time working on creating technological superiority
  in certain areas (i.e. extremely fast database performance,
  configurability to the nth degree, etc.) that they often forget to make
  the stuff usable by the average administrator.  Even when they
  do try to "dumb-down" the adminstration of their OS, they rarely
  get it right (I've got no good theories as to why).
  David Dunn			| Email: david.dunn@vc3.com
  VC3, Inc.			| URL:	 http://www.vc3.com
  712 Richland St. Suite F. 	| Phone: (803) 733-7333
  Columbia, SC 29201		| Fax: (803) 733-5888