Novell counters Microsoft's Linux 'facts' with 'truth'


ww52 (496)
11/6/2004 10:34:50 PM
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In comp.os.linux.advocacy, AeoN
on Sat, 06 Nov 2004 14:34:50 -0800
> http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/os/story/0,10801,97277,00.html

It gets weirder.  I brought up that page; it was a bit thin on specifics
though it at least brings up the topic of Microsoft's selective fact-pulling.
However, the ad that came with asks the question

   "Which offers superior performance:  Windows [green type]
   or Linux [red type]?"

Web server performance comparison hints at 276% better peak
performance.  (The actual graph is more like 8 to 3, so the
numbers aren't too inconsistent internally.  The source is from
Veritest, according to the graph.  A few clicks, and one gets
to http://www.veritest.com/clients/reports/microsoft/default.asp
which has at least two tests; they also compared Samba's
performance with Microsoft on a PowerEdge 3500.  One has
to ask the question as to why one didn't run a similar comparison
using a pure Linux/NFS network as a third option; Samba is
a bit of a kludge because of the proprietary nature of CIFS/SMB,
though it's a nice, easy-to-use solution.)

The second page brings up the TCO ad; again Windows gets green,
and is touted as 14% less expensive.

Three guesses who's sponsoring this controversy.  I'm hoping
for some real unbiased numbers, but there are several problems
in TCO:

[1] NRE is part of TCO, and is highly variable.  If the staff is
    expert on Unix (or, for that matter, Linux), it's a no-brainer
    unless shown otherwise.  If the staff knows nothing of Unix or
    Linux, but is very well-conversant on Microsoft tools, then it's
    also a no-brainer unless shown otherwise (e.g., lots of viruses
    eating bandwidth).

[2] So far, my thinking on FOSS is that it might be, occasionally,
    harder to *find* stuff than to construct it.  This may change
    as search engines improve and/or the organization solidifies
    for distributing software, but there are, for instance, over
    a dozen freeware charting packages.  There are also several
    databases, a large number of editors, and even three Java
    JDKS:  Sun, Kaffe, and a third one whose name escapes me
    (I don't think it's gcj, though; that's just a compiler,
    though a good one).

[3] I'm not knowledgable enough about IT to suggest which is cheaper
    to maintain after installation, and that's also somewhat
    variable, as the Linspire root controversy shows.  Config
    of a secure system is well-known, but that doesn't mean
    everyone knows it, and IT might on occasion do workarounds
    rather than doing root-cause, if the root-cause turns out to
    require expensive replacement of, say, a software switch,
    or a lot of NRE.

[4] Fetches per second, as hinted at in the ad, is also highly variable.
    If one has a tiny, simple page, it might take a tenth of a
    millisecond.  If one has a complex page that requires a database
    fetch or two or many, it might take a few seconds on an *unloaded*
    system, never mind a computer that's busy.  Of course anything
    more than about 2 seconds is bordering on poor design; anything
    more than 8 seconds runs the risk of losing customers -- but there
    are a fair number of factors, not the least of which is the patience
    of someone downloading a huge picture (e.g., from the USGS website,
    or perhaps maps.yahoo.com).

So what's the real, real truth here?  An interesting question all around.
I suspect Microsoft has a consulting/professional services department
to help customers (for a fee), which might be the best way to handle
this for payware.  I don't know what RedHat, SuSE, or other such offer
in that space, though Cygnus for awhile had a subscription service
for support of their stuff.

We've seen some of the tweaks they've done to systems in the Mindcraft

#191, ewill3@earthlink.net
It's still legal to go .sigless.
ewill (4394)
11/8/2004 8:00:10 PM