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Why not? Everyone always seems to ask the question of why they should make the change. Why not do some homework and look around and see just what companies already use linux and what they have to say.
It may surprise you just how many companies actually prefer a linux server solution easily over a Windows based one. My personal experience has been that only smaller based companies
who do not have the time or inclination stick with what is familiar whereas the larger share of large commercial based companies will use linux in a heart beat.
This is not to say that only large companies are suited, but that these are generally the type of companies that look to security and stability as a must have which is not negotiable.
To my way of thinking, the answer to your question should not provoke any sort of controversy.
Microsoft Corporation, much like IBM Corporation (with its MVS [Z/OS] and System/38 offerings) basically takes the business position that they offer you "a complete, vertically-integrated, 'soup-to-nuts' business solution." (And, in fact, they do.) Their operating system, Windows, sits at the bottom of this rather-large suite of offerings, and binds all of them together. Microsoft specifically promises that they, and they alone will be able to keep everything together "under one roof." (And, in fact, they do.)
Yes, Microsoft Corporation does make good on their promise ... believe it or not.
But there is another, parallel world of computing: "Unix / Linux and open-source." The very-different world of cooperative software development. The world of, "a rising tide lifts all boats."
This world has also proved itself to be viable, and to offer certain business advantages that proprietary, vendor-centric models such as Microsoft's and IBM's cannot counter.
Now, here's the kicker: "these two worlds are not(!) 'mutually exclusive.'" Microsoft's (and IBM's) models are valuable, successful, and "worth the price paid." Meanwhile, the parallel(!!) environment represented by "open source" has abundantly demonstrated its business value, too.
(And, yeah, there was a reason why this ol' boy became a "day-one IPO RHAT shareholder," even though at the time his stockbroker was fairly screaming to him that he was nuts ...)
The two business models, different though they are, are not "enemies." Corporations actually embrace both at the same time, and are amply rewarded for doing so. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive at all: they are disjoint(!), and parallel.
Last edited by sundialsvcs; 04-01-2016 at 04:49 PM.
If we take the cost of a license out of the equation, as a business...
You can't take the cost out of the equation if you're asking a business question. The cost of the license actually is an important consideration. Microsoft's entire "Linux: get the facts about TCO" campaign 10 years back attacked that specifically, because it's so important.
For one Linux is an open source community so you will find a wide variety of platforms to host your server on. The other thing is that it is just the most widely used on any device, even your phone might be running Linux. So for a business point of view it only makes sense to be able to integrate with everyone else. Also being open source means that anyone can add on to the platform that you might host on, this can be a fix to a vulnerability or a general improvement to the whole thing. Which means that you would be getting more update than the typical Windows server.
1. TCO: Microsoft licensing is a nightmare, and the direct and indirect costs are significant. Linux is cheaper to start, and generally you have very few issues with license monitoring and maintenance compared to Microsoft licensing.
2. Deployment: deploying the product is fast, free, and consistant (if you settle on a distribution standard). Activation in the case of RHEL, SUSE, or other paid support version is trivial and not expensive. Patching and updates can be throttled and controlled at a local repository, or by the distribution maintainers, allow whatever level of control you desire and are willing to commit resources to support.
3. OSS means freedom: You can create your own distribution, or even your own corporate standard kernel. Whatever you need to do to support you want to do to support your business and technical needs is allowed.
4. Security: Multiple issues addressable here. You are immune to Microsoft 'spying' and add intrusion. Generally immune to Microsoft malware, but note that you need to take reasonable precautions to protect against Linux and OS agnostic malware, rootkits, and the like. The os lends itself to local control of configuration and security standards to a degree difficult or impossible to matching under Windows environments. Active Directory level central control is possible with Linux, but does require additional planning.
5. Avoiding vendor lock-in: Microsoft and Apple charge what they do because they can, not because they must. The people who value what they provide really have nowhere else (in their view) to go for that product and experience. With Linux, if you dislike one thing about Linux you can change it. ANYTHING! That is something not completely or well supported by ANY proprietary operating system. And if you just use a canned distro and they go in a direction you dislike, there are many other choices. If you dislike the choices, you can spawn off a distro of your own that works YOUR way!
6. Increased productivity: many things that are difficult or require multiple steps in Windows and be easily automated or require one or two clicks in Linux. Also, the command-line environment offers power unmatched by Microsoft powershell (good as that is) even if you never get beyond simple shell scripting.
7. Power: When was the last time you heard of a Windows cluster or SuperComputer breaking the news? Linux is the base and runaway winner for nearly all such projects, because it easily lends itself to better communication and better use of hardware. (And, it can be adapted to be optimal for the SC or Cluster environment.)
You can go on adding reasons, but 1-4 cover the most common reasons. Number 5 drives much of the adoption of cross-platform suites like Libreoffice, as well as Linux adoption.
Having a more capable system that can handle more kinds of things that can be thrown at it and is generally more useful is gold. Having employees that enjoy and support the greater range of desktop choices and increased productivity also helps.
For some small countries, small companies, and low budget government agencies the low cost of increased productivity is a key factor.
My reason? It is FUN, and there is great value in having the workstation and server running the same kind of 'stuff', and Microsoft simply cannot keep up on the server side on any hardware.
PS. adding a single Microsoft server for a special purpose (Exchange?) is far cheaper and easier than running, monitoring, and maintaining a Windows server farm. A combined operation can make very good sense. I belive this was mentioned by others. It is not an all-in choice either way.