[nSLUG] NS OSS Foundation?? [was]:Maritime Linux Shops [was] ubuntu iso a dud

Dop Ganger nslug at fop.ns.ca
Thu Mar 1 21:50:39 AST 2007

On Thu, 1 Mar 2007, Robert Ashley wrote:

> It's a little discouraging for me because I would love to explore a
> migration from MS to Linux in the municipal office I head up
> (Berwick).  I've raised this question before in NSLUG, more generally,
> about how to even "think" about a migration because there are manifold
> options. Thanks again to those people who chimed in on that, if they
> even remember!

I just completed the Certified Novell Salesperson exam (don't ask, I only 
did it to make up the numbers) and a huge part of it was about selling 
Linux, not only on the server but also on the desktop. The point made 
repeatedly in the materials is that they've customised Suse to make it as 
Windows-like as possible, "even down to using CTRL-C to copy and CTRL-V to 
paste" (!). They also suggested the ideal path for desktop upgrades would 
be to isolate groups of users; the best starting point would be things 
like single use users who have just one application they use all day as 
the primary focus of their job - call centres was one of the big examples 

If you want to go through the PDFs to get an idea of how Novell is trying 
to get their Linux efforts sold (but avoid the videos, the scary bug-eyed 
woman made me paranoid after a very short period of time) you can pull 
them off http://www.novell.com/partners/training/academy/spresent.html .

> I think University buy-in is possible, but my nagging doubt hovers
> over the question of the private sector. Could we talk to IBM, HP?
> What other kinds of potential partners?

I've done a lot of work with HP servers under Linux and they work well (in 
fact, I believe the nslug.ns.ca is still running on an old HP server I 
arranged for IMP Solutions to donate to the cause). I haven't done 
anything with IBM gear but I know other people who say they run well. I 
used Sun's early V60 and V65 servers which were basically just rebadged 
Intel servers; I haven't used anything more recent.

I can't think of any other top-tier vendors off the top of my head that 
might have government programs involving Linux, but if you want, I could 
probably get one of our salesdroids at IMP to get in contact with you to 
reel off all the possibilities. I know that HP has all sorts of special 
government type programs but what the exact details are I don't know, as I 
try to stay far away from sales stuff (not always successfully). It might 
be possible to match it up with a special deal from Novell, too, then 
you'd have the support side available (phone support, at least).

> I suspect that one or several of our NSLUG gurus could easily manage a
> basic OSS setup in our town offices. My pressing worry, however, would
> be the continuity, immediacy, and reliability of expert support. One
> idea I had was to create a "shadow" OSS system, completely redundant
> of our existing system, with perhaps only 4 or 5 non-critical
> workstations (no accounting or billing).

Not a bad approach, and redundancy is always a good idea. The only issue I 
could foresee is the problem of having access to on-site support; I can't 
think of anyone nearby who does consulting, so you'd probably be looking 
at someone coming up from Halifax - unless you can persuade Donald Teed to 
pop over from Wolfville ;->

Cheers... Dop.


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