What are the right questions to ask?

Steve smorrey at gmail.com
Thu Jan 17 09:40:00 MST 2008


Last night I was called over to help with a project.

The concept was pretty simple.
It was suspected that there was a data leak via malware within the
organization, but McAfee was coming back clean.
So I brought in a copy of linux called "system rescue" and we started
performing an offline scan of all the machines on his network.
After several hours it was determined that there was a massive
infection of every machine on the network.
It looks like a rootkit was on each system, it appears that it was
hidding some keystroke loggers, and a trojan who's purpose is to wipe
critical system files at a particular date.

Anyways thanks to linux we saved the day.

This got us on to a discussion of the benefits of using Linux in a
corporate environment vs running windows.
He's sold on the concept so now all we need to do is determine what
distro would meet their needs the best.

Here's the rub though.
We aren't exactly sure what those needs are I think we need to ask
more questions before they make the jump.

There are a few proprietary windows apps which cannot be replaced, but
I'm relatively certain they could run in wine.
The company is running Windows Small Business Server 2003 as their in
house email and file/print server.

This server runs exchange but only for it's email handling and not
it's calendaring additionally it does spam filtering via McAfee spam
filter, albeit not so well :)
Additionally it functions as the "Primary Domain Controller".

Where do we go from here?  What are the right questions to ask and
answer before moving this company over completely to Linux?

So far I'm getting ready to ask the following...
Are there good linux replacements for exchange in this context?
What Linux app would you use to replace a PDC?
Additionally there is a single large copier/printer/fax that is hooked
up to the machine and it's being shared through the network via the
main box, what are the odds that this thing has got good drivers for
Linux?

Can you folks help me come up with more questions (and possibly
answers) that we should ask/answer and have ready to make this
company's transition to Linux as seamless as possible?

Thanks in advance!

Sincerely,
Steve



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