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*nix Thread, If you were to make the move from Windows to Linux/open source..... in Technical; How would you go about it? What would you start with first clients or servers? What would you do about ...
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    Disease's Avatar
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    If you were to make the move from Windows to Linux/open source.....

    How would you go about it?

    What would you start with first clients or servers?

    What would you do about all services you offer through windows i.e AD, ISA, Backup Exec, Email and print management?

    What about running all the windows programs you have at the moment, SIMS CS4 etc?

    I was posed the question by a teacher, have we considered moving to a complete linux setup, somethingI have not until now considered, but wit buget constraints etc it migt be worth looking at so any feedback would be useful.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Best person to speak to would be Simon at the cutter project.

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    Im not linux expert - but i know there is an app called WINE to run windows apps on linux.
    WineHQ - Run Windows applications on Linux, BSD, Solaris and Mac OS X

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    With Linux you have got to look at total cost of ownership. Yes its free but how long will it take to fix something? Time is money etc. Linux experts are harder to find than Windows. I am not saying don't go down that route but it will be a very steep learning curve...

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Software.

    Start by making a list of all the client and server software you currently use. Then see if it'd run on an open source system. For those that don't are there open source alternatives available? If there are will you (on the server side) or staff/pupils (on the client side) be happy using that software instead of the usual $$$$$ coperate branded stuff you use at the moment. If there is no OSS alternative, are you happy doing without that software?

    Running Windows software typically means WINE or a Virtual Machine. Is the Windows software compatible with WINE? If not will staff/pupils be happy running said software from a VM? If you run Windows software from a VM does that defeat the object of going OSS?

    Typically servers are easier to go OSS with since most of what they do, like file serving, is back end stuff and the end user would never notice. OSS on the desktop means very careful planning and having the whole facualty involved and on side. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Disease View Post
    How would you go about it?

    What would you start with first clients or servers?
    Both, all in one go over a summer. It's not worth the hassle trying to get stuff to co-operate if it's going to be replaced anyway.

    What would you do about all services you offer through windows i.e AD
    LDAP, Kerberos, dhcpd3 and bind. LDAP and Kerberos are used by AD in any case.

    , ISA,
    Smoothwall

    Backup Exec
    Bacula

    , Email
    Probably Zimbra, I should think

    and print management?
    Papercut.


    What about running all the windows programs you have at the moment, SIMS CS4 etc?
    Terminal sevices for stuff that can't be ported or replaced, like SIMS.

  7. Thanks to powdarrmonkey from:

    torledo (28th May 2010)

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Disease View Post
    What would you start with first clients or servers?
    I'd start with the servers - most of our servers are Linux-based now anyway, so they obviously work okay. File servers, in particular, are dead easy to set up and no-one will even notice they're Linux based.

    AD
    I'd keep your current domain controller for now - that would be the last thing to go, once you'd got rid of all Windows clients.

    ISA
    A web cache? Use a dedicated device - for a school you're probably going to have to pay for some kind of filtering solution in the end.

    Backup Exec
    rsync.

    Email
    Install some web-based email-reading system, desktop clients are pointless these days.

    print management
    Many people seem to use CUPS / PyKota, although I used the page-couting code from PyKota and set the rest up myself.

    SIMS
    That will need to run over Terminal Services (which is the better, more secure to run it anyway, even from Windows).

    CS4
    That's unlikly to run over Terminal Services, although you could give it a try - you'll probably need to have some Windows machine around to use it.

    --
    David Hicks

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    Disease's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your replies, certainly given me something to think about.

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    linuxgirlie's Avatar
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    I did it servers first with OSS on the clients. Then when we got new computers in we built them without an OS and installed Linux, as the clients died we replaced them with Linux machines. We are at the point now where we don't have many Windows clients left.

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    Quote Originally Posted by linuxgirlie View Post
    I did it servers first with OSS on the clients. Then when we got new computers in we built them without an OS and installed Linux, as the clients died we replaced them with Linux machines. We are at the point now where we don't have many Windows clients left.
    What flavour Linux are you using?

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    We don't pay the annual fee, but have perpetual licenses for Windows XP and MS Office 2000. Our annual software licensing costs are now limited to Antivirus for the XP machines.

    We started with easy wins, adding software that people would need on anyway. Open Office, Firefox, Audacity, Inkscape, iTALC and others.

    Implementing a few servers (Squid, samba, clonezilla, nagios) gave us some quick wins where we needed it and it allowed us to spend more on the hardware. It also proved to management that it would work in our environment. At the same time we implemented a few Linux desktops in a drop-in area to get people used to the idea.

    Since then we have replaced our entire central infrastructure with debian/openldap/bind/dhcpd/gosa/etc all running on KVM (kernel-based virtual machine) with the vm images coming over iSCSI. There are 3 virtualised windows servers (FollowMe print, SIMS and the antivirus server). Our Windows, Mac and now Ubuntu desktops all authenticate against the same OpenLDAP (+samba) infrastructure. As part of regular maintenance we replaced a drop in room with Acer Revos running Ubuntu, which cost us less than half the planned amount so we used the spare to build an additional suite of Ubuntu machines (2 for the price of one, few people could complain about that). What helped was that people only ever used Firefox and Open Office in there prior to the swap. Students haven't really commented, or apparently even noticed.

    We currently have 830 students, 4 XP suites, 2 Ubuntu suites and 2 Apple suites. The infrastructure is 6 blades (for VMs), a storage server and a backup server. We use rsynch with LVM snapshotsv to backup to disk efficiently and simply, with some scripts to date each backup and de-duplicate data by replacing copies of files with hardlinks. The management tools are largely web based, except for the NT4 style ADM/POL files for managing the XP desktops, which was a bit of a learning curve compared to gconf, but works very successfully.

    We're in Somerset if you fancy a look around.

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    linuxgirlie's Avatar
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    Karoshi on the servers, which is Ubuntu Based and Ubuntu on the Clients.

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    We had Sirius help us with the installation of the infrastructure, and have a support contract with them going forwards. In theory the school could manage without me and pay Sirius more (but less than they pay me, probably) to support the entire network instead. Fortunately the school likes having me around.

    Oh, and the big wins for us were on new functionality, convenience and versatility. Cost savings helped, but at the end of the day the ability to retask the money to hardware and practical support was a key selling point to management.

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    Quote Originally Posted by linuxgirlie View Post
    Karoshi on the servers, which is Ubuntu Based and Ubuntu on the Clients.
    Thanks.

    What makes Karoshi a good choice for schools over and above, say Ubuntu server?

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    linuxgirlie's Avatar
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    Well I'm biased as I am a Dev for Karoshi. But it is the setup of the servers and web management tool that makes it above a vanilla Ubuntu server, but if you have the knowledge then you could create your own setup using a vanilla system, Karoshi is really designed for people that don't want to do the fiddly bits.

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