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Open Source Development Labs Total Cost of Ownership Report “OSDL TCO Report”

Posted by egovindia on June 19, 2006



Research Report Reveals New Facts on Linux Management that Show TCO Superior to Windows

Contribution by Mr. Sean Median, OSDL

BEAVERTON, Ore. and SAN FRANCISCO, February 13, 2006 – Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) and member company Levanta today announced the free availability of an Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) study titled “Get the Truth on Linux Management.” The 17-page report re-examines previously reported, anti-Linux management claims – deriving updated analysis from in-depth research with more than 200 end users. The “Get the Truth on Linux Management” report is available in its entirety, for free download, at An executive summary is available at


In previous studies, Microsoft and some industry analysts have claimed that Linux® has a higher total cost of ownership (TCO) than Windows, and have cited higher systems management costs as a significant shortcoming for Linux. In “Get the Truth on Linux Management” – co-sponsored by Levanta and OSDL – EMA findings indicate that previously reported Linux management “pains” no longer hold true, and that enterprises running Linux are in fact often spending less time and money on common systems administration tasks than they are with their comparable Windows environments.


"For too long, special interest groups have attacked the manageability of Linux, and fueled the F.U.D. that Linux environments are somehow more difficult or labor-intensive to manage than Windows environments,” said Stuart Cohen, CEO of the Open Source Development Labs. “In fact, Linux system management tools are in many cases outpacing Windows management tools.”


In its vendor-neutral study, EMA analyzed the cost factors cited in previous studies, canvassed more than 200 enterprises, and determined that organizations are managing their Linux environments more cost-effectively and reliably than previously reported. A few of the key findings include:

  • Productivity – Linux tends to be more productive, as Linux administrators tend to manage more servers than Windows administrators, and Linux systems tend to handle greater workloads than Windows systems.
  • Provisioning – 75% of administrators using sophisticated tools can provision a system in less than 1 hour; one third can provision a system in less than 30 minutes.
  • Patch management – most Linux administrators spend less than 5 minutes per server per week on patch management. Sophisticated management tools reduce this effort even further.
  • Problem resolution – in over 60% of cases, when problems occur in Linux environments they are diagnosed and repaired in less than 30 minutes, over 8 times faster than industry average.
  • Management and support – 88% of enterprises with Linux and Windows spend less effort managing Linux; 97% believe it is, at worst, the same for both systems. Respondents with sophisticated management tools all report Linux management is the same or easier than Windows management.

“Past Microsoft-sponsored reports on Linux management are simply outdated and onesided,” said Matt Mossman, CEO of Levanta. “The EMA study has confirmed what the Linux community has known to be true for some time now – that the F.U.D is unfounded, and that management doesn’t have to be viewed as a red flag when considering the overall TCO of Linux.” “Get the Truth on Linux Management” concludes that in many cases, Linux is likely to be a significantly less expensive platform to acquire and manage than Windows. Respondents indicated that the average resource costs (salaries, training, and support) are no longer significantly higher than Windows and that the management of Linux is of minimal concern when considering the overall TCO. “The genesis for this research study was not a head-to-head comparison with Microsoft,” said Andi Mann, senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates. “The goal was simply to measure and analyze the effort required to manage Linux systems.” The primary research surveyed a random sample of several thousand IT organizations by telephone, and over one hundred self-selected web respondents. It was supplemented with in-depth interviews with selected CIOs and MIS Managers in a wide variety of large Linux and mixed environments. Participating organizations ranged from small datacenters (<20 servers) to global 1000 (>1,000 servers), and represented almost 20 different industries, including Finance, Manufacturing, Retail, Education, Service Providers, Media, and Telecommunications. About Open Source Development Lab (OSDL®)
OSDL – home to Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux – is dedicated to accelerating the growth and adoption of Linux. Founded in 2000 by CA, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Intel and NEC, OSDL is a non-profit organization at the center of Linux supported by a global consortium of more than 60 of the world’s largest Linux customers and IT industry leaders. OSDL sponsors industry-wide initiatives around Linux in telecommunications, in the enterprise data center and on corporate desktops. The Lab also provides Linux expertise and computing and test facilities in the United States and Japan available to developers around the world. Visit OSDL on the Web at About Levanta®
Levanta is a leader in Linux management and data virtualization. Levanta's unique technology marries change control with data virtualization, delivering dramatically faster and more flexible control of Linux on commodity hardware, racks, blades, boxes, virtual machines, and even mainframes. Levanta's customers include industry leaders in financial services, entertainment, government, retail and telecommunications. Levanta has partnerships with IBM, HP, Novell, and Red Hat. A private company, Levanta is headquartered in San Mateo and can be found on the Web at About Enterprise Management Associates®
Based in Boulder, Colorado, Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) is the foremost authority in all aspects of technology management (Service Level management, Networks, Security, Storage, and Applications/ Systems Management). EMA conducts in-depth research on emerging technologies and IT management trends, providing its clients with exclusive knowledge of the products, market forces, and directions. Through relationships with major IT publications and industry groups, EMA has significant influence in the marketplace, reaching nearly 300,000 people each month. For more information, visit Contact

Travis Van
Page One PR for Levanta
Jennifer Cloer
Page One PR for OSDL

You can download this document in PDF format here.


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