Improved tools can help
the bottom line."> Red Hat considers systems administration to be an area where Linux vendors can quickly add value for customers, according to a Red Hat spokeswoman. In contrast, for example, the Linux desktop will reach its full potential only "as more drivers become available" over the next couple of years, she contended. Still, Red Hat wasnt exactly alone in the systems management ring at LinuxWorld. Also at the show, Aduva Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., announced solutions for installing SuSE Linux. And in one of the LinuxWorld keynotes, Dave Dargo, vice president of Oracles Linux Program Office, said that Oracle will focus on configuration management in 2004.eWEEK.coms Database Center Editor recently interviewed Oracles Dave Dargo on the companys Linux push. Read more here about the strategy.By and large, analysts agreed that improved tools can cut the costs of Linux administration substantially. "Administrators with an appropriate skill set for Linux tend to have Unix backgrounds," said Jean S. Bozman, research vice president for global enterprise server solutions with Ineternational Data Corp. of Framingham, Mass. "Theyre typically a little older [than Microsoft Windows administrators], and they usually make more money. Anything a vendor can do to reduce the time an administrator spendsor to reduce the total amount of administrators neededcan help add up to savings for the customer." When it comes to provisioning, though, it can sometimes take a while for savings to show up, according to D.H. Browns Iams. "If youre using provisioning simply for server consolidation, you can achieve savings right away. However, if you also want better server utilization, youre probably looking at virtualization, as well. There can be a lot of issues to work out before you get to virtualization," he said.