Linux gets a new enemy

Linux gets a new enemy

Summary: commentary So, just what does services heavyweight Electronic Data Systems (EDS) really think of Linux? EDS' vice-president of Global Alliances, Robb Rasmussen, this week launched an extraordinary attack on the open source software.

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TOPICS: Open Source, Linux
17
commentary So, just what does services heavyweight Electronic Data Systems (EDS) really think of Linux?

EDS' vice-president of Global Alliances, Robb Rasmussen, this week launched an extraordinary attack on the open source software. At an event in Sydney to spruik the benefits of the so-called EDS Agility Alliance -- a grouping of vendors which have nominated as preferred suppliers of their speciality technologies to the services company -- Rasmussen claimed that Linux had issues with security, scalability and a potential to splinter in the same way as Unix did.

It is not often that a company other than Microsoft or the SCO Group sticks its head up over the trenches to slag off Linux and open source. Of course, the primary target of EDS and the Alliance is IBM and its consultancy arm, Global Services, both very strong proponents of Linux. Only last month, Big Blue unveiled a plan to spend US$100 million over the next three years to build support for Linux into desktop applications for its Workplace software.

However, Rasmussen's remarks seem extraordinarily at odds with EDS' own global stance on the open source platform. In a case study -- dated 21 September 2004 -- on the services heavyweight's own installation of an enterprise-wide instant messaging solution, EDS says it implemented a Linux server environment "to ensure stability and security while keeping costs low.

It further installed a Linux-based messaging application "that meets EDS' corporate security standards while enabling communication with users of other messaging software". That application had to effectively service an environment of 137,000 employees across 60 countries worldwide.

The laudatory remarks continue: "Nearly a decade after it was first developed, Linux is gaining popularity with corporate IT departments that admire the operating system for its stability and security. Now that commercial developers (like Red Hat, whose Linux version 7.3 now powers EDS' perimeter messaging servers) are able to offer upgrades and support, the system's affordability makes it a natural choice for high-volume transaction processing".

Another case study -- dated 4 January this year -- quotes the chief information officer of computer reservations company Sabre as lauding the benefits to his organisation of shifting from Unix to Linux. These include no less than a 40 percent improvement on return on investment.

The inconsistencies here are more than a little troubling. EDS would not be the first vendor to re-tailor its message to service a shift in its business model. However, if I was an EDS customer who had been sold Linux as part of a project, I would be on the phone to Rasmussen as quickly as possible. An explanation is certainly warranted.

What do you think of Rasmussen's remarks? Does Linux have a case to answer in the areas of security, scalability and prospective splintering? E-mail us at edit@zdnet.com.au and let us know.

Topics: Open Source, Linux

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17 comments
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  • Surely there can be no suprise that EDS continually contradicts themselves. Isn't this just a stance to pit themselves directly against IBM, regardless of what previous comments may have been published? Having worked at EDS, in my opinion they have very short memories, across a multitude of subjects. What ever they think people want to hear at that moment is the right answer as far as they are concerned.

    And don't forget Microsoft are a part of the alliance!
    anonymous
  • It's an old, old story; a company that wishes to gain market share uses Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt instead of providing a quality product and using their reputation to expand their business.

    I'm afraid that those comments made by Mr. Rasmussen will cause more harm than good to EDS.
    anonymous
  • If linux really had all those problems, then why is its use still growing so fast? And why would some self-appointed, so-called "industry expert" need to pontificate about it?

    The facts speak for themselves.

    I think most of us are capable of working out the strengths and weaknesses of operating systems (and differentiating between people who know what they're talking about and people who don't).
    anonymous
  • Since the previous article that was anti-linux drew a lot of flak from Linux supporters, I would like to see what the Linux haters have to say about this article. The ball is now in your court.
    anonymous
  • Let us suppose that Linux has all these problems. Suppose it has stability and security issues and so on...May I ask which is the operating system that outruns Linux in all those fields?
    anonymous
  • This just shows EDS lacked of understanding of "security, scalability". Any clients doing business with them may want to reconsider their positions.
    anonymous
  • Microsoft and all of its friends is suck. They just try to attack Linux by saying that Linux is unscalable and have any security risk. Just remember how bad MS-Windows are? How bad the stability and the security of Windows is? And how Microsoft drain all people's money by selling in high price? Many people wasting their money just to buy a very bad, very unsafe, very expensive Operating System. And now they (especially Microsoft) try to attack Linux as the free Operating System. Saying that Linux is bad? I'd use Linux for a long time and didn't have any problem with it till now. I can open the protected files (private files) in my harddisk, my NTFS harddisk which the OS is Windows XP SP2. It proof how bad the security of Windows is. And Windows have so many bug, security hole, **** in it. PnP in Windows? Change it to PnR, mean Plug and Pray. USB? It my USB just become Universal Serial BUG in Windows. Microsoft just a plagiator, they take the concept of Mac Aqua MacOSX's LOOK N FEEL concept. Changing it to Luna Theme andget a popularity in it. How bad and how suck the way of Microsoft is. Lucky Apple didn't sue Microsoft at court for copying their concept. And now they say Linux is bla...bla... because they can't block the popularity of Linux nowadays. They (Microsoft C.S.) afraid of Linux will be the leader, so they try to make any bad issue about it. Linux is the best!!!!!
    anonymous
  • All I can say now is:Microsoft and all of its friends is suck. They just try to attack Linux by saying that Linux is unscalable and have any security risk. Just remember how bad MS-Windows are? How bad the stability and the security of Windows is? And how Microsoft drain all people's money by selling in high price? Many people wasting their money just to buy a very bad, very unsafe, very expensive Operating System. And now they (especially Microsoft) try to attack Linux as the free Operating System. Saying that Linux is bad? I'd use Linux for a long time and didn't have any problem with it till now. I can open the protected files (private files) in my harddisk, my NTFS harddisk which the OS is Windows XP SP2. It proof how bad the security of Windows is. And Windows have so many bug, security hole, **** in it. PnP in Windows? Change it to PnR, mean Plug and Pray. USB? It my USB just become Universal Serial BUG in Windows. Microsoft just a plagiator, they take the concept of Mac Aqua MacOSX's LOOK N FEEL concept. Changing it to Luna Theme andget a popularity in it. How bad and how suck the way of Microsoft is. Lucky Apple didn't sue Microsoft at court for copying their concept. And now they say Linux is bla...bla... because they can't block the popularity of Linux nowadays. They (Microsoft C.S.) afraid of Linux will be the leader, so they try to make any bad issue about it. Linux is the best!!!!!
    anonymous
  • I have only used Linux for about seven months and this article only makes me want to try to convert MS users even more to Linux. I have three operating systems on this computer. Win 98, Win XP Pro and SuSE 9.2. Pro. I repair computers on the side and
    keep Win 98 to stay familiar as there are still a
    lot of computers still out there with Win 98 which
    is a truly crummy O.S. I use Win XP for two apps that I can't use in SuSE. SuSE is my main O.S. and
    always will be.
    anonymous
  • Always amuses me when people say Microsoft clones Apple software look and feel. Guys there is absolutely nothing original in Linux, it is a direct rip off from Unix, Minix, Xenix and every other *Nix like system that has preceeded. For being cloneware it is the biggest offender!
    anonymous
  • Hahaha, I like their Jokes.
    It's too late, EDS, you and your custumers are already using Linux for the reasons you caim to be false.
    Try an other FUD, please... Tis one is now ridiculous.
    anonymous
  • Can you say NMCI? EDS has been in bed with Microsoft for several years in it's failed alliance to bring NMCI online. Talk about high TCO!
    anonymous
  • When you get a contradiction, and you weigh up the evidence, are you coming to the logical conclusion? There's one reporter's article that says one thing and then there are several serious, well-documented case studies that say the opposite. Which is likely to be right? Could it just be that the reporter's got it wrong? You know what they say: 'don't believe all that you read in the papers'.
    anonymous
  • When you get a contradiction, and you weigh up the evidence, are you coming to the logical conclusion? There's one reporter's article that says one thing and then there are several serious, well-documented case studies that say the opposite. Which is likely to be right? Could it just be that the reporter's got it wrong? You know what they say: 'don't believe all that you read in the papers'.
    anonymous
  • NMCI. 'nuff said. I have a friend who was converted from being a Bellsouth employee to an EDS network engineer, and now that IBM has Bellsouths outsourced IT management account, is shaking in his boots waiting to see if Big Blue will take him. He said that EDS= Every Day Sucks vs. Electronic Data Systems. EDS management is ****ed @ IBM GIS for eviscerating them deal upon deal, so Rasmussen is making their Linux deals go sideways with his blind ignorance of whats in the pipeline. Wuddahhh marooon! :)
    anonymous
  • Rasmussen is an idiot talking head.
    EDS uses Linux on all it's old IBM mainframes.
    EDS uses Linux on many of it's networking equipment.
    EDS customers use Linux and Linux clusters.
    Many EDS employees use Linux at home.
    EDS desktops are in fact Microsoft, but some are using open source products.
    Rasmussen, like most leaders out of touch with the reality of the marketplace and the company should be fired. What a dunce.
    anonymous
  • Why would anybody listen to EDS in the first place?

    I think the real question here is, why would anyone pay ANY attention to what a company like EDS has to say on this particular subject? Come on, now.
    anonymous