Page 2

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-11-16 Print this article Print

While the sample size of administrators was too small to provide conclusive statistical comparisons, the results highlight some fundamental differences in the Linux and Windows models, the study said. The results of this initial study showed some interesting patterns, Thompson said in the report. One of the most heavily touted benefits of Linux is its high modularity and the granularity of control that administrators have over a system. "In the experiment, we found that such flexibility also leads to ambiguity for administrators in terms of paths to follow when resolving conflicts," Thompson said.
"On the Linux side, each administrator pursued vastly different paths to resolve dependency conflicts that arose when new components were installed. The result was solutions that grew in complexity and heterogeneity rapidly over time," he said.
Multiple pathways can be both an asset and a weakness, allowing on the one hand highly skilled administrators to solve problems using greatly varied approaches, but on the other leading to the "personalization" of systems that could make issues like administrator substitution problematic, the report said. "The Linux solutions also quickly went out of support from both the distribution vendor and third-party solution vendors as individual components [such as MySQL] were upgraded to meet third-party solution needs," Thompson said. To read about MySQL 5.0, click here. In contrast, Microsoft has pursued a philosophy it calls "integrated innovation," where much of the core system functionality is incorporated with the operating system itself. During the experiment, all Windows administrators followed a fairly homogeneous route to both install patches and apply component upgrades for the simulated changing business requirements, Thompson said in the report. "For the administrator trials, our choice of requirements was based on a common evolutionary scenario, one vetted and confirmed by analysts and corporations in the e-commerce space. Our choice of third-party components was based on market leadership in the enterprise markets," the report said. While the experiment followed only one scenario with a small set of administrators, the results did highlight some key model differences in Windows and Linux, Thompson said. "Our hope is that the methodology presented here will serve as a base that others can expand on and adapt to their own business needs," he said. "The foundation has now been laid, and it needs to be taken to the next level and tried as a database scenario, as a business applications scenario," Microsofts Gavin said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel