Linux TCO : Less Than Half The Cost of Windows

Posted on Tuesday, October 08 2002 @ 14:53 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Linux Today reports that the actual running costs of linux are roughly 40% of Microsoft Windows, and only 14% of Sun Microsystem's Solaris, these are the results of a 3 years study from IBM :
The study, by the Robert Frances Group, in Westport, Conn., looked at production deployments of Web servers running on the three operating systems at 14 Global 2000 enterprises.

Linux cost $74,475 over three years, while a Windows deployment cost $190,662 and one on Solaris $561,520.

Most of the savings with Linux come from software licensing fees. Companies will typically purchase commercial versions of Linux for pilot projects, says Robert Frances Group senior research analyst Chad Robinson, and download free versions off the Web for production deployments.

Only 27% of the Linux servers in the study were provisioned with purchased copies of their respective distributions.

That allows organizations to "significantly lower their software costs, and take advantage of the economies of scale that make Linux a more compelling option," Robinson says. The larger the deployment, the greater the savings: One of the companies in the study had deployed more than 10,000 Linux nodes.

Linux, along with Solaris, also came out ahead of Windows in terms of administration costs, despite the fact that it's less expensive to hire Windows system administrators. The average Windows administrator in the study earned $68,500 a year, while Linux sys admins took home $71,400, and those with Solaris skills were paid $85,844. The Windows technicians, however, only managed an average of 10 machines each, while Linux or Solaris admins can generally handle several times that.

There were other costs the study was not able to quantify, according to Robinson, such as security. While study participants were reluctant to provide hard figures on the costs of security breaches, it appears that the "cost for handling security issues on Windows systems was very high," says Robinson. The study revealed that Windows administrators spent twice as much time patching systems and dealing with other security-related issues than did Solaris or Linux admins.
More info @ Linux Today , and the study can be found here

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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