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Author Topic: Some observations regarding server solution.  (Read 809 times)
Posts: 4070

« on: March 28, 2010, 03:18:50 pm »

A client has a couple dozen WXP clients accessing a file server. The scheduling/billing/tracking software uses a flat file database on the shared folder. Since there are more than 9 clients, you can not use XP to host the files. It runs Windows Server 2003 SBS.

It became necessary to upgrade the hard drives so I decided to install from scratch and configure it bare bones. Unneeded services are not installed, or turned off. It is now pretty snappy, compared to the original factory install. Still, I was curious, wondered how it would compare to a Linux setup. A 2G partition which I had used for the hard drive install was available and perfect for a quickie test. In less than an hour I had an up to date (net install) samba server and dual boot configured. It includes the time to download and burn the install disc. This compares very favorably to the many hours it took to install, configure and bring W2K3 up to date.

Some numbers to compare:
                          Linux             W2K3
Install size:             <900MB            >8GB
Initial memory usage:     16M RAM/0 swap    300M RAM/200 swap
BIOS to login promt:      15 s              120 s
Login to stabilized:      0.4 s              50 s

Yes, I know, it's not a fair comparison. The Linux machine doesn't load all that GUI goodness. Nor does it need it, sitting tucked away in a small, dark room.

Next, I hooked up an XP client and did some more tests:
                                                    Linux         W2K3
Time to load main network application:                7 s          11 s
Time to copy folder with 1.36GB of mixed content:   300 s         376 s

There are performance gains to be had by running a server with only the apps it needs.

Finally, the cost comparison:
W2K3 SBS plus 20 Client Access Licenses: $ 1400.00
Linux: $ 0.20 (cost of blank CD).

I am going to keep the Linux option and run some more test in a live environment. When the time comes to replace the machine, I am hoping to be able to offer the boss some significant savings.
Posts: 1278

« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2010, 03:27:50 pm »

Way back in the golden age of computing when consultants commanded a premium, we were told to prepare to switch from a Netware environment to Windows. We sat down and crunched the numbers, and showed where it would cost them triple to convert and then maintain a Windows enterprise environment (10,000 users, 5 server farms). Bean counters didn't care as they were getting a "great" deal from Microsoft for the OS. **banging head on desk**

After the conversion, they couldn't figure out why we needed triple the manpower and machines. DUH!!

Gotta love the Government and their love for a "good deal", even when it isn't.

Just be prepared, even if the Boss loves it. Bean counters have a way of really twisting reality to suit the bottom line.


ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
Posts: 1868

« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2010, 03:57:19 pm »

My clients Linux servers are running with little time needed for
maintenance. The fear of downtime vs MS machines does not
exist. The only downtime I have is upgrades or kernel failures.

After looking at hardware and stability Linux is a winner. The
only failure is when proprietary programs require AD for license

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