Norway's second city embraces Linux

Norway's second city embraces Linux

Summary: The city of Bergen is migrating its education and health services from Unix and Windows to a system built around SuSE Linux


In a move that echoes an earlier high-profile migration by the German city of Munich, authorities in the Norwegian city of Bergen have opted to replace existing core Windows and Unix systems with Linux.

The two-phase rollout will see the 20 existing Oracle database servers running on HP-UX that support the City's health and welfare applications replaced with SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 running on HP Integrity Itanium 64 bit servers.

The second part of the implementation will see the city's educational network migrate and consolidate from 100 Windows application servers to about 20 IBM eServer BladeCenters running Linux.

"In addition to the IT-based benefits from migrating to Linux, we attain a business model that doesn't tie us to a single vendor's solution architecture. By migrating to Linux, the City of Bergen has a business model that is open and democratic and, we believe, that will ensure a greater degree of freedom of choice, more efficient operation and major cost savings that will benefit the citizens," said Janicke Runshaug Foss, CIO of the City of Bergen.

Click here to read ZDNet UK's interview with Ole Bjoern Tuftedal, CTO of the City of Bergen.

Bergen's decision to migrate to Linux follows similar projects across Europe, with authorities in Paris, Munich, and, most recently, the German Federal Finance Office signing up with Linux -- a deal thought to be one the largest Linux-based mainframe deployments in Europe.

Much has been made of the cost-savings from moving to Linux ,which some companies see as a way to avoid potentially prohibitive licensing costs from Microsoft. For its part, the software giant has been keen to rubbish the alleged discounts on offer through a series of events aimed at dispelling what it called "the myths" surrounding Linux.

A key plank in its argument is that open-source software isn't actually cheaper in the long run, because companies need to spend more on retraining IT staff who may be experienced in Windows software but not in the open-source arena.

"We asked an audience of 250 or 300 business people today if they thought that Linux was a free option, and no hands went up," said Nicholas McGrath, head of platform strategy at Microsoft, speaking at the first Microsoft Linux event in the UK McGrath also cited a series of recent customer wins, including the London borough of Newham's decision to go with Microsoft rather than open source.

Novell, along with competitors such as IBM and HP, sees Linux as a way of allowing customers to standardise on a single low-cost, non-proprietary platform, allowing a migration from a hodge-podge of systems to open-source-based clusters or mainframes. Novell EMEA president Richard Seibt, in a recent interview with ZDNet UK, said: "You need one operating system to do that. What we have is an important initiative to help customers to add Linux to their infrastructure," he said.

Seibt, formerly the head of Novell's SuSE Linux business unit and chief executive of SuSE before its takeover by Novell, took over as head of Novell's European operations earlier in February.

The Bergen project is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Topics: Apps, Software Development

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  • And the Munich project still shows no signs of ever completing... although half of it seems to involve running the windows apps on virtual machines running Windows on top of linux, which means they have to buy the licenses anyway!
  • It's quite funny to see that your an IT developer yet do not understand IT projects

    This is a migration process or changeover. Old apps have to be converted to new platform and this takes time. The idea here is to have smooth changeover. This is sometimes called parallel changeover.

    The same is true if it's from Linux world to Windows world. The linux apps needed to be run in a virtual environment
  • how far linux is better as compare to windows, do u have any facts & figures which can prove this statement true , if yes then how in marketing terms
  • Speaking in techology, Linux totally defeats Windows when it comes to multitasking, memory management, cpu usage, cpu optimization, hardware posibilities(hotswap emulation, parport scsi emulation), graphics performance(My Quake3 runs @ 90 FPS 800x600 full detail on my 1,5GHz laptop while the windows ver just does 80 FPS).

    The list can go on forever. Most people say that Linux is mainly for servers. That's partially correct. They've probably got their opinion from the fact that many companies run Linux at their servers but not at their clients. That's sadly correct. The incorrect thing is that Linux is unusuable on clients. That's WRONG! I don't know how many times I have to tell this, but Linux is as good as Windows when it comes to standard workstation work, finances, music, development, accounting, internet cafe administration and so on.

    Financially i can clearly see that switching to Linux is cheap if documentation is present. If so, users can train themselves. If not, it becomes too expensive to train all the users in a large company. But if you run a small company/pizza house/internet cafe this is a very small cost.

    It's time to make a change. At least take a look at Linux, it might change your world.