>> Yes, there are free (unsupported) SQL and scripting environments for Unix,
>> for example, MySQL for the database and php for scripting, but although
>> they are good for small development projects, no company on the market
>> develops their professional systems using these tools. MySQL is still
>> quite buggy, and support is essentially non-existent. If we were to opt
>> for a Unix-based solution, it would have to be built using professional
>> tools, such as a ColdFusion application server and/or an Oracle/Informix
>> SQL database. These alone would raise the cost of ERes by 3 to 5 to 8
>> K. And that doesn't count the fact that the actually development of the
>> system is much more straightforward using VBSCript, etc., which keeps our
>> development costs down.
>> I should also note that the performance of an NT system will be way more
>> than sufficient for an application such as ERes. And at least in our
>> experience, NT offers better security: while 3 of systems running under
>> Linux have been hacked in the last 9 months, we have had no reports of
>> problems from our sites running under NT.
I have just been recently unshackled from the confines of Corporate
America and one of the major "issues" facing my department when I left
was the struggle between moving from a UNIX environment to NT only for
development of our product.
I can't do the argument justice in the space provided (or even patience
provided) but I'll try and summarize. We were an Oracle VAR which meant
we wrote with C and Oracle Forms on top of an Oracle Database for
Hospital Managed Care Software. (Databases in the 45-80 GB range.) We
ran on AIX (IBM RS/6000), DG-UX (Data General), and DEC UNIX (DEC
Alpha). Few of our customers were technical enough to support the
platforms we installed.
The debate comes in like this. UNIX scares a lot of people. So we were
losing work to companies that had NT solutions. Even though we could
prove that our solutions were more scalable AND more fault tolerant AND
had a lower TCO. The problem was being able to get the sales people
(more clueless than the clients) to understand how to sell the package.
If they said 'UNIX' with no knowledge to back it up they were not
effective because they could not defeat the preconceived notions that
arise when you say UNIX - but they could say 'NT' and everyone "knows
what that means" (thanks to MS marketing) so no translation is
necessary, even though the assumed knowledge is porous or even wrong.
So what to do?? When I left I was vocally saying, don't do it. My main
argument was how often have we had to reboot a UNIX box because it
locked up?? (Answer: In four + years there, never.) We'd have to add 5-7
people to the official support staff just to support the OS problems
we'd encounter, when we currently had 3 for about 600 clients. And how
would we look to the client if we had to call them and asked them to
reboot the server because the remote control software blew up? You still
can't beat telnet to manage a server.
NT/VB/ASP/IIS looks sweet. But under the hood its a nightmare. Now with
the mandated IE 5 is the part of the OS crap, 300% brand new never field
tested out side our beta clients code AND Active Directory 1.0 (stress
1.0) - how more stable is NT 2000 going to be??
To belabor the point. With UNIX we always knew our code or Oracle was
the problem (mostly our code). But with NT, I argued - you add another
variable in to the mix. Did our code blow that up? or was NT just
It sounds like your mystery company does not want to find good coders
that think - they want MS coding clones. Replaceable, low salaried and
non threatening. Its been shown time and time again that you can not
reduce your TCO by moving to an all MS solution. We are being ground
under by a relentless marketing machine - not superior software.
I hope this makes the point I am trying to push home -- According to
many postmortems of the Mindcraft Study of NT versus Linux - the MS
Techs that helped Mindcraft "tune" the NT Server used techniques that
are not even taught to MSCEs. They are not documented anywhere. What
does that say about the product and MS? They can effectively stack the
deck because its "their" software - but can anyone outside the company
effective replicate that? I doubt it.
It's with this biased non-replicatable data that people see NT as the
safe choice. And its a long road to educate the people who make
decisions based upon this type of misinformation swirling around them.
And as my olde employer stated "I can't educate them, I'm tired of
trying to. MS just has too many dollars for me to compete. And to
survive, we'll have to follow the Pied Piper of Redmond."
South Park Speaks Version 3 is here!!!
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