September 03, 2001
This article is titled "A

This article is titled "A case for Linux," but what I find compelling about it is how how works Microsoft's sales staff works at moving everything in the corporation to a Microsoft product.

Under this proposal, annual licensing fees would increase from $40,000 to $300,000, but uptime performance would be guaranteed at a specific rate and there would be rebates should those rates not be met on a consistent basis. The company had invested over a million dollars to make the switch from the old to the new, and at this point, going back was not a viable option. Reluctantly the agreement was made and they moved forward.

The next couple of years saw a dramatic increase in data storage requirements and internet use as employment rose to nearly 7,000. The server redundancy helped ensure a higher level of uptime, but maintenance costs were going up as the internal IT team spent more hours working on the extra units that did go down, prepping them to go back up again. As redundant servers went in and out of service, data synchronization was becoming more critical and ensuring data integrity became an even costlier proposition.

During further licensing negotiations, Microsoft proposed that the company transition away from other suites and applications to Microsoft Office. In exchange for this move and the earlier commitment to the NT server line, Microsoft would give them a significant break on site licensing for these applications. They would even aid in transitioning their data warehouse from Oracle to SQL Server.

Red Hat's sales staff seem to be on the ball though:

Red Hat was key in helping them realize the benefits to the bottom line. Within 60 days of the first overtures, they were on site with a demonstration that completely blew the corporate team away. Red Hat brought a single Pentium class system for a site visit and thanks to the early legwork their engineers had done, were able to integrate the box into the network and take over all file and print server requests for one busy segment within four hours. The system ran for the next 10 business days without any downtime, something NT machines had not been able to do very often. All issues that did come up were fixed on the spot without a single kernel restart. File and print transactions were stored in ques and processed without incident. Samba allowed the Linux box to seamlessly integrate into the file network and actually increased overall performance. Nightly backups were performed from the master NT server without any sign of incompatibility. Print jobs were also handled seamlessly with fewer delays and error messages along the way. This limited demonstration was an absolute success and had most of the corporate advance team nodding their heads in approval.

Posted by Bill Stilwell at September 03, 2001 12:00 AM
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