'No downsides' to Linux, says procurement official

'No downsides' to Linux, says procurement official

Summary: A New South Wales (NSW) government procurement official has publicly endorsed Linux, telling agencies the open source operating system has "no downsides".In an address to delegates at a NSW Department of Commerce exhibition on Wednesday, official Cameron Parle touted the benefits of open-source to state departments and agencies, at one stage referring to wearing his own metaphorical "red hat", a reference to the Linux vendor of the same name.

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A New South Wales (NSW) government procurement official has publicly endorsed Linux, telling agencies the open source operating system has "no downsides".

In an address to delegates at a NSW Department of Commerce exhibition on Wednesday, official Cameron Parle touted the benefits of open-source to state departments and agencies, at one stage referring to wearing his own metaphorical "red hat", a reference to the Linux vendor of the same name.

"There's no doubt you can deploy Linux in any situation, it's truly robust and flexible," he said.

"It has the potential to save huge sums of money.

"You get it all with Linux, there's no downsides."

Parle's speech covered the NSW government's recently-created procurement panel for open source (Linux) enterprise software and services. The 11-vendor panel, which Parle helped create, was designed to cut the time and money agencies would otherwise spend issuing their own tenders for open-source software.

"We want to be able to consider open source and feel confident about it," Parle told attendees.

The professional services vendors included in the panel could demonstrate the total cost of ownership savings of adopting Linux to an interested agency's particular infrastructure, according to Parle.

"You don't get companies like IBM, Red Hat, Novell, committing to Linux if there's no money in it," he said.

Vendors on the panel include CSC, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Novell, Red Hat, Sol1, Starcom, Sun Microsystems and System Integration Services.

Topics: Government, Government AU, Linux, Open Source

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  • linux and open source

    Whilst it's good to see that the NSW Government is placing no obvious roadblocks in the path of linux adoption, there are other steps they can take to minimise their reliance on proprietary software.

    A good example is MS Office file formats. These are undocumented formats which require (licensed) MS software to use, unless you rely on systems that have reverse engineered the formats. The Commonwealth of Massacheusetts has decided that, from Jan 1, 2007, they will require use of the OpenDocument file formats for general state government use. This means that other (ie non-MS) office productivity software can compete. MS is able to compete by including a plug in to enable MS Office to read/write the format, although MS has announced that it has no plans to do so.

    Clearly if other sovereign Governments also insist on documented/open file formats, then MS will have to follow suit.

    A nice poker game for us to watch!
    anonymous
  • I use Linux for business

    ... and frankly, that's just not true.

    It's very useful, but to claim it has no downsides is unrealistic. There can be more customisation and configuration required than I'd strictly like, and some things are harder than might be ideal.

    You also just can't run some apps on it, because the vendors don't offer them. Small market semi-custom software in particular.

    That said, I use Linux servers and quite a few Linux thin clients with excellent results.
    anonymous