Linux is Cheaper, but
Thats not All"> Linux is also now definitely on the radar screen, and even with Microsoft lowering some of its software prices and Sun supporting Opteron and creating OpenSolaris, Linux was still less expensive over a three-year timeframe, the study showed. Today, real business applications are running on Linux and the study thus focused on J2EE application servers.The biggest delta was on the software license side, but the study also found a big hardware delta for Windows, as many participants were not running their hardware utilization levels to the same level they were for Unix. To read more about IBMs new Linux strategy, click here. Flexibility was one of the key reasons enterprises were looking to Linux as the platform to meet all of their workloads. The long-term roadmap for Linux was also seen as very dependable, which was a change from a few years ago when there were a lot of questions about its future, Robinson said. "So, Linux is cheaper and thats great, but there are other non-monetary benefits to using it. The cost savings will remain an important element, but the strategic benefits will grow to be more dominant factors in the deployment decisions people are making," Robinson said. But the issue of how to quantify TCO remains controversial. Microsoft has funded its own TCO studies. Peter Shay, the executive vice president of the Advisory Council, said in a talk at the 2004 OReilly Open Source Convention that "because there are a lot of different factors that go into TCO, and the published reports make widely differing assumptions that may or may not pertain to your business, you should do your own analysis." Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT Inc., talked about the IBM-funded report he had authored, and published this month, entitled "Beyond TCOThe Unanticipated Second Stage Benefits of Linux." His research centered around three enterprises: U.S. retailer Boscovs Department Stores; Zahid Tractor, a Saudi Arabian supplier of heavy and industrial equipment; and Alliance UniChem CZ, Europes second largest pharmaceutical wholesaler. All these companies had used Linux significantly for more than 18 months. Click here to read more about what Boscovs CIO Harry Roberts said at the Linux Solutions Retail Conference. All three companies had decided to migrate to Linux to improve their IT infrastructures, lower costs and increase efficiency. "All three succeeded in their efforts, reaching or exceeding the goals and results they planned," King said. "All realized significant second stage benefits that resulted in improved IT capabilities, enhanced staff performance and reduced effort and costs." All the companies also reaped unexpected benefits, such as lower migration costs and the ability to leverage the skills of their in-house IT staff. They all also reported benefits from working with and participating in the open source community, and all planned to accelerate their usage of Linux solutions in the future, King said. IBMs Handy concluded that "the reports cite examples of how Linux has given some customers a 40 percent lower TCO than Solaris and Windows servers, as well as other benefits beyond this. "They also show that once customers get started with Linux, they continue to do more and more with it going forward," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
It found that these deployments on Linux were 40 percent less than Windows and 54 percent less than for Solaris over three years.