Bergen's CTO: Why we moved to Linux

Bergen's CTO: Why we moved to Linux

Summary: The second largest city in Norway is moving its servers to Linux. We chat to Bergen's CTO on the practical business of going open source in public


Was your existing infrastructure giving you reliability problems?
The educational network had lots of troubles -- our database servers weren't unreliable, but they were quite old, the HP 3000 running older version of the HP UX, and we had several servers that had reached the end of life. After five years, hardware support costs rise. It's important you have full support for databases.

Has anything about the process surprised you?
We haven't had any unpleasant surprises, other than the press coverage. Despite some press reports in the Norwegian papers, we are not chucking out Windows. For our employees used to working on Windows and Office, to open the paper and see incorrect reports saying that we were terminating use of Windows caused quite a bit of discussion. We have already paid for Windows, so it would not be a good economic decision to jump about. Sooner or later, our Office platform will reach the end of its life, and we will re-evaluate what we do. We will look at a Linux desktop next year, but we have to test it, and it would mean that the teachers would have to use both the pupil's Linux desktop and their own Windows desktops, which might make life hard for them. Sooner or later we will review that, but there are no decisions there as yet.

Topics: Apps, Software Development

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  • Life is silly in Linux land. Stick with windows if you want stuff to work without spending hundreds of hours "configuring"
  • Its good to see common sense has prevailed. Theres much more to Linux than its low price - namely real security that just works and excellent stability with uptimes in excess of a year. Its utter madness to waste such huige amount of money on buggy, unstable, inferior and insecure products from Microsoft.
  • To McSpank,

    How did you become an IT Manager ?
    Statements like that are blatantly ignorant.
  • We have had similar experiences albeit on a much smaller scale. Our migration to Linux started about 7 years ago when we moved from dial-up Internet access to a dedicated IP line. We were already using Netware for our LAN infrastructure and simply required Linux to serve as a gateway between our LAN and the Internet.

    From humble beginnings as a simple router, with an email gateway, more and more functions are migrating to Linux simply because the tools are there and readily available. The argument that you need to learn a new OS and need to spend resources configuring a system simply does not hold water in my opinion. You need to know the nature of the beast whether it is Linux, NT, Netware etc. You need to configure your servers regardless whether it is through a pretty GUI or by editing a text file. If you are relying on Windows 'wizards' to configure a server rather than actually knowing what you are doing, then you shouldn
  • I guess in some situations it makes sense. Is this the sign of a wave? First Munich, now for the world!