A departement moving to Linux...

Bryan Sant bryan.sant at gmail.com
Fri Feb 17 15:06:36 MST 2006

On 2/17/06, Doran L. Barton <fozz at iodynamics.com> wrote:
> All in all, this is a major landmark accomplishment and I applaud the
> company. Who is the company?

The LDS Church -> FCH Division -> Engineering Department.  About 110 engineers.

> I'm curious why the company chose SUSE over other distributions. How much
> control will the IT team have over what is installed on these systems and
> whether or not software updates are applied?

The Church has always been friendly to Novell and IBM.  IBM and Novell
have a psudo partnership with Linux.  Choosing SLES was the natural
choice (this was done before I even worked here).  Since we're using
SLES, we might as well use SUSE right?  And the rest is history. 
Aside from that though, SUSE/SLES has serious local corporate support
-- and big organizations (the LDS Church is the largest employer in
Utah) like that.

Like many here, I cut my teeth on Redhat.  So it's hard for me to see
SLES as anything other than Redhat done wrong.  Seriously though, I
have major complaints with SLES out of the box (I'll save that for
another post).

> I'm sure the decision to do it this way is rooted in IT management - people
> who don't want to deal with managing a diversified heterogeneous network. In
> the past, whenever I've wanted to run Linux on my desktop at a company, the
> IT people have always been quick to say, "Do what you want... but don't
> expect any support from us!"

Typically IT management comes to me when they have problems with
Linux, so I'm not worried about them saying, "We won't support your
setup".  OK.  If they *did*, that would be infinite recursion...  We'd
run out of stack space and the universe would segfault :-).

> Again, I think it all comes back to resource management. The IT department
> probably does not want the responsibility of maintaining lots of different
> machines running different operating systems.

This is true, but they've been supporting Windows thus far anyway. 
You are right toughy -- It will reduce complexity (and thus cost) to
focus on Linux only.

> This is precisely why most Linux vendors are excited about the corporate
> desktop. For what _most_ people do, Linux works well and it's definitely
> easier to manage from an IT perspective.

Right.  Just for the curious, the major components in our world are: 
GroupWise, IntelliJ, CVS, and OOo.  Because these things work equally
well on Windows and Linux, the transition was super easy.  I pitty
those who are moving away from more entrenched environments.


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