Linux 'not suitable for enterprise use'

The Agility Alliance, a group comprised of EDS, Microsoft, Sun and Dell among others, does not think Linux has what it takes to make it in large businesses
Written by Munir Kotadia, Contributor

Large enterprises should not use Linux because it is not secure enough, has scalability problems and could fork into many different flavours, according to the Agility Alliance, which includes IT heavyweights EDS, Fuji Xerox, Cisco, Microsoft, Sun, Dell and EMC.

The alliance comprises a group of IT hardware and software firms that have combined their expertise and products to help EDS create ‘best of breed’ solutions and compete with the likes of IBM Global Services and Hewlett-Packard for the most lucrative government and enterprise contracts.

It was first announced in the US during 2004 but senior executives from partner companies gathered in Sydney on Wednesday to officially launch the Alliance in Asia Pacific.

At the launch, Robb Rasmussen, vice-president of EDS Global Alliances, explained that the alliance does not consider Linux to be a suitable operating system for the largest of enterprise customers because the open source operating system has issues with security, scalability and the possibility of forking.

"From a corporate perspective, we are not confident where Linux is right now today. A large enterprise needs to be sure because it relates to securifying [sic] the environment. We see some of the same things occurring that did to Unix — it could splinter into many different types of languages. We are quite cautious about Linux and its deployment," said Rasmussen.

Rasmussen said he was just as concerned about using Linux on mainframe computers.

"We are concerned about security on an open standard environment like that. We are also concerned about some of the scalability issues that we are seeing on our clients on a global basis. Also, we are somewhat cautious about what happened with Unix — it splintered into eight applications — until McNealy (Scott McNealy, chief executive of Sun) finally announced he won the battle and had the one surviving Unix out there. We think Linux has the possibility of going the same route," said Rasmussen.

Additionally, he said that Linux is not significantly cheaper than alternative operating systems.

"Quite honestly, in the notion of costs, as we look at what we are structuring with our alliance partners, we are not seeing a compelling cost advantage that would lend us towards Linux — given the other things I have mentioned," said Rasmussen.

Jim Hassell, managing director of Sun Microsystems Australia, argued that Linux was no loss to the Agility Alliance because it could use Solaris 10 instead of Linux rival Red Hat.

"If you test Red Hat against Solaris 10 against whatever else… we would say that Solaris 10 beats it hands down on functionality and everything else," said Hassell.

Munir Kotadia reported from Sydney for ZDNet Australia. For more ZDNet Australia stories, click here.

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