Linux 'easier to manage' than Windows

Survey: Research has found that administrators are more productive when working with Linux servers rather than those running Windows, but not everyone agrees with the results

Linux administrators are able to effectively manage more servers than Windows administrators, according to a study published on Monday.

The employees of over 200 companies that run Linux were interviewed for the Get the Truth on Linux Managementstudy, which was sponsored by pro-Linux organisation the Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and Linux management software vendor Levanta.

EMA found that in sites with up to 100 servers — which accounted for 85 percent of respondents — each Linux administrator managed 15 servers on average, while Windows administrators managed only 12 servers. It did not have any conclusive data on larger sites, but said that across all respondents, each Linux administrator managed an average of 68 servers, while each Windows administrator managed only 32 servers.

But Marty Kacin, the chief technical officer of KACE, a vendor of Windows management software, argued that administrators can manage many more Windows servers than this.

"Current Windows management technology enables a single administrator to manage 50 to 100 Windows machines," said Kacin.

The study also found that 95 percent of Linux administrators spend less than 10 minutes per server per week managing viruses and spyware, with the majority of respondents spending less time on security management for Linux servers than for Window servers. One administrator for a major US bank reportedly spent twice as much time working on virus and spyware protection for Windows than for Linux.

Stuart Cohen, chief executive of the OSDL, said the study showed that Linux systems are at least as easy to manage as Windows systems.

''For too long, special interest groups have attacked the manageability of Linux, and fuelled the FUD that Linux environments are somehow more difficult or labour-intensive to manage than Windows environments,'' Cohen said in a statement. ''In fact, Linux system management tools are in many cases outpacing Windows management tools," Cohen claimed.