A couple of months ago I was talking to an IT manager who was appalled at the price of upgrading to MS Windows XP and Office XP. The network is running NT, which MS will no longer support. All the hardware would have needed changing to support an XP upgrade. We looked at RHL 9, Mandrake 9.x, FreeBSD 5.1 and SuSE 8.2 as an alternative. I since found out about the JDS and have been testing it for the last few days prior to demo at the end of this month.
JDS is based on SuSE distro and is remarkably similar. I first installed JDS on a Dell Optiplex with PII266 4GB HD and 128 MB RAM. It took a very long time to install, over an hour and was very slow when running, this machine spec would not be suitable for JDS. I then installed it on a Dell Dimension PIII 500 20GB disk and 256MB RAM, it runs very well on this machine, to bring the target machines up to spec it'll mean upgrading disks and RAM as opposed to buying new PC's. I give JDS the thumbs up for now, I will give an update when I put JDS into production. With regard to the price, the test system I bought cost $80.00 USD for installation media, one year license and shipping charges. The yearly update license will cost $100 USD per employee per year, sounds pricey, but with that you get telephone support and all patches and updates as they are released. When I think of the amount of hours spent integrating NT to UNIX/Linux servers and maintaining the system, the stability of linux could very well outweigh the few dollars per year. (Not to mention the costs of replacing all the PC's with new ones and the license costs for XP!)