Greenpeace UK makes 'sensible' switch to Linux

Greenpeace UK has updated its IT systems and chosen to use Linux in three of its four systems because it was the 'sensible' choice

In a general update of its IT systems, environmental campaign group Greenpeace UK has chosen to run three of its four systems on Linux instead of Windows because the open source operating system was the "more sensible" option. The decision makes Greenpeace the latest in a long line of high-profile organisations to switch from Windows to the open-source Linux operating system.

Steve Thomson, finance and IT director at Greenpeace UK, said the organisation evaluated both Windows and Linux and decided to run its Mail server on Windows but employ Linux for its Web server, application server and general office operations system: "We looked at the two and Linux just seemed more flexible, probably cheaper and probably more sensible for these particular bits. We pick what is best for what we are doing -- there is no religious bias towards Linux or Windows," he said.

Thompson said move to a SAN would allow the organisation to manage the increase in its data storage requirements without having to keep upgrading individual servers: "Like everybody, we are going to grow the amount of data we are storing fairly dramatically and the most flexible answer was to get a SAN. Server upgrades will become fewer and far between -- we hope," he said.

Another reason for the change was to reduce the overall complexity of the Greenpeace IT system, which previously also included Windows NT, Unix and Novell servers. "Having only two operating systems is an advantage after effectively running five," said Thompson.

The choices made by Greenpeace reflect an increasingly common move by IT departments to deploy Linux where it has already proved to be more versatile, secure and cheaper -- despite attempts by Microsoft to convince people otherwise.