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Thread: OP System

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    OP System

    I have been asked about a new server. I have heard about Linux making onroads into the OP system for servers. How does it compare against MS and Novel.

    It will be for a small firm (< 10 workstations) and act mainly as a file server.

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    Re: OP System

    Depends on your familiarity with Linux/Unix. Using Linux will make you appreciate Windows for networking and file sharing, but then again, Linux is also rock solid and more secure (IMHO). I didn't see 79.3 patches issued for Linux vulnerabilities this year, but then people are looking for holes in Windows since it's everywhere so I don't think it's a fair comparison. Novell is too expensive for my blood and probably isn't going to be cost effective for a small network.

    Consider the cost of the license - Linux is free to download, Windows is going to cost. Although all things considered, you would do well to purchase a distribution of Linux for the support and documentation. What are you going to be networking with - Windows PCs?

    You may want to look at http://www.samba.org to get a taste of file sharing with Windows boxes. I use Swat to administer Samba remotely on my home LAN, and it's pretty smooth. I'm not doing massive file sharing, more webserving and database work, but I haven't rebooted my Linux server in a long time....if that's any comfort. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: OP System

    If you are new to any server operating system, there are a bazillion things that you aren't go to know to do, no matter how pretty the shell. Shop around for a a couple of good consulting firms and ask them for proposals so you can compare the overall costs and recommended levels of support for your various options. And pick their brains about reliability and ease of use. (For ease of use, don't forget about Xserve running MacOS X!)

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    Re: OP System

    Thanks.

    Many years ago I used to run a UNIX system amongst other things (Database development and non linear organic materials development !) Since then I have been more programming / DB developing and am self-employed. I just get asked about anything to do with computers from my customers even if it is just for what should they ask third parties.

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    Re: OP System

    Thanks.

    I used UNIX many years ago (command line and shells). Stablilty is something I here about re Linux and is a good point. File sharing - the environment will have people from trainees to company management. Would there a be any problems re permissions to view / modify files? (I've done stuff like that on Win NT 4 servers to hide / protect sensitive info).

    A few thousand more to the microsoft coffers compared to a free Linux is one consideration. If it don't do the job is in another league.

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    Re: OP System

    A lot depends on who is doing the on-going support. Linux/Unix support is generally more expensive than Windows support. Win2k server is very solid. IMHO, I don't think that if the server will be for file and print sharing that Linux will be any more stable than Win2k. Also, win2k server should not be very expensive for file/print sharing only. If someone on site is going to do basic administrative and support work and don't have a Linux/Unix back ground there could be a significant learning curve (more than with Windows).

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: OP System

    Thanks.
    Where it is going the people don't have any knowledge of how to run a system apart from the on/off switch is here and the telephone number for any other things is there. (Software questions end up at my desk, occasionally hardware ones also even if only for another opinion).

    I have heard that Linux is more stable than Windows hence the interest - reduced administration. (Any experience/knowledge of Win2K server vs Win XP server?)

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    Re: OP System

    > Any experience/knowledge of Win2K server vs Win XP server?

    Win2K server has one very big advantage. Win XP server doesn't exist. It will (probably) be called .NET server and is sitll in Beta test.

    StuartR

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    Re: OP System

    It might be nore stable, but the total cost of ownership is high due to support costs... it's not designed for the typical admin to handle. (Typical = person who knows most about computers is given the admin job, about which he knows nothing)

    linux is not more secure - security is totally dependant on the knowledge of the admin and the hopes that he does it right.

    As Joe alluded to, if someone onsite is doing the basic admin, it doesn't take a lot of knowledge or skill to admin windows. The learning curve for linux is much higher.

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    Re: OP System

    Thanks - I just assumed XP Server existed as XP has been out for such a time.

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    Re: OP System

    Thanks. Cost etc. - running costs are part of the equation as are initial costs. If the OP system is stable then it should only need to be set up and then have minimal running costs afterwards. A sytem thats needs rebooting often, patches installing (that then stop another utility functioning) ... has considerable recurring costs.

    Security. If the admin provides plenty of holes then the system will not be secure. If the supplier of the OP system provides software full of holes then an admin is running around putting out fires that a secure OP system wouldn't have provided the flammable material for in the first place. One major reason for considering non-Microsoft OP System with what ones hears.

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    Re: OP System

    Many patches can be deferred for a more convenient time with a good firewall, unless the server needs to be Internet-facing. This is not to say the ceaseless flood of security updates from Redmond is not aggravating and costly, but many of them are low risks if only employees have access...

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    Re: OP System

    Do not be deluded into thinking that Linux or Unix systems do not need patches. MS just gets the most pub. There are a ton of Linux patches too. You can setup either an MS, Unix, or Linux OS to be stable and secure if you take the time. We've got an NT 4.0 server that seldom gets re-booted. We've also got a Win2k server that is used to test several third party packages. It is very stable in spite of having some not so stable 'outside' software installed/uninistalled/reinstalled. Also, a Sun server running Solaris 8.0. Used to test software also. It too is stable. For all OSes I've read in various articles & newsgroups proponents extolling their virtues. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. You should just get as informed as possible and take your best shot.

    Joe
    Joe

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    Re: OP System

    Thanks. Part of the problem is deciding is this a low/high priority for installation. The lazy way is to install when received.

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    Re: OP System

    Thanks. I don't have knowledge of Linux so it's interesting to here that has numerous patches also. I guess MS problems are front page news because of the volume but Linux problems would be bottom of page 6.

    I don't want to touch NT 4. Where my wife works they have that. It seems like she has to reboot the server every other week because something stops working. Recently the service people installed a patch to stop one problem occuring. The backup software didn't work next day. Service people said 'OK, you need to buy the latest version of the backup software as it is incompatible with the patch'. My wife was not impressed.

    I am trying to get as informed as possible. Replies on the lounge are usually good quality (I keep track of the Access threads). I reckoned that there would be people with good knowledge here and started off this discussion.

    I'm tending to lean towards Win 2K mainly due to familiarity.

    Thanks for your time and help in responding. Andy.

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