Whether the ailing economy is real or imagined, you might be looking for ways to shed some pounds off your bloated IT budget. You should seriously consider Linux and Open Source software to put your 2009 financial appetite on a diet. Here are 10 reasons to choose Linux in a bad economy and none of them have to do with the fact that Linux is free.
10. Value - Linux has value to a worldwide group of consumers. It runs most of the world's mission critical websites and is the platform of choice for server virtualization.
9. Less Hardware Overhead - You can still run world class websites, applications, and services on a machine that is outdated by today's standards. And you have the added bonus of being able to outrun those applications compared to their Windows counterparts.
8. Active Development - Linux is actively developed meaning that new hardware drivers are available as soon as a new device hits the market and improvements are being made on a daily basis to the kernel and supporting code. No need to wait two or three years for the next belated and bloated version from the other guys.
7. Choice - Linux gives you a choice to do things differently and better in your home, office, or data center. Having a choice is good for consumers because it means that vendors and programmers are trying to get your attention by creating quality products for you to use. Competition creates better products and services which is a boon to you and your budget.
6. Multiple Distributions - I've heard this one used as a negative part of a campaign by Microsoft claiming that there are too many Linux distributions. Balderdash! Having a system that meets any need from cell phones and wristwatches to supercomputers is just what we need to solve the problems at hand. Having only one distribution is like needing to build a house but finding only a screwdriver in your toolbox.
5. Open Source Model - The Open Source Development model helps everyone in the Linux community from end users to other developers all the way up to C-level executives. The way in which this model helps is that all development is open and source code is available for all to see and improve upon. You can create applications and alter the Operating System itself for any purpose.
4. Available Development Community - Want to contact the developers who created a particular application, protocol, or service? You can. You can submit bug reports, email them directly, and in some cases speak directly to them on the phone. You can even submit your own code that will be included in a major distribution. You have real input to Linux and Open Source software.
3. Unix Stability - Linux is based on Unix and shares its multi-tasking, multi-user, and stable kernel and filesystem structures. For mission-critical environments, you need this kind of stability. Stability means not only that you don't have to reboot the machine for software installations, driver updates, or even network changes but also that you'll enjoy uptimes measured in years not days.
2. Compatibility - The old argument was that Linux wasn't compatible with Windows but through the magic of Samba (File and Printer sharing), Wine, and Cygwin; Linux and Windows are very interoperable and can share files, applications, and services.
1. Commercial Support - Another old complaint from the Redmond camp was that Linux is supported by a bunch of amateurs and part-timers. Red Hat, Novell, Xandros, IBM, HP, Dell, Canonical, and others have thrown their significant financial and human resources behind Linux. Linux has commercial support--even from Microsoft.
In a downturned economy, you have to be creative and look for innovative solutions that are cost-effective, supportable, and protective of your business. By choosing Linux, you have all those options at your disposal.
Let me know how you're using Linux in your environment and how you're cutting costs.