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Special Forums UNIX Desktop Questions & Answers Need your help and opinion
# 1  
Old 07-09-2002
Question Need your help and opinion

Hey all,

I'm brand new to Unix/Linux and have a couple of questions. I own a small education/consulting company that has a staff of approx. 50 employees. Most our work is geared towards the office-style environment (i.e. Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.). There are also some C and Java programmers that help support the office staff. I am seeking to establish a network environment that is very stable and reliable.

My company currently has Pentium machines (233) with 64 MB of memory. I know that they will most probably have to upgrade someday but am trying to avoid buying all new hardware. Some of the machines are running windows while others are Macintosh. As a side note, I would also one day like to have my own web server.

I would like to have opinions/suggestions regarding whether or not to use Windows NT or UNIX/LINUX as the server for the backbone of my organization. What are the advantages/disadvantages of one over the other? What are other companies using?

Like I said, you input is greatly appreciated before I spend so much money.

Thanks,
Dennie1
# 2  
Old 07-09-2002
Sorry to say, but for ease of use and set-up speed you are probably going to be best staying with NT (well win 2K server).

If you have the time to invest in teaching yourself then it would be well worth going for a Linux server, not only is it cheaper, but it can do anything that windows can do with bells on it.

If you are seriously thinking about taking Linux to the desktop (and there is no reason that you shouldn't) then it makes sence to invest the time in creating a stable Linux backbone.
# 3  
Old 07-09-2002
You're asking this question on a UNIX site you know. Smilie Still, I'll try to be honest.

The microsoft stuff is ok for small sites like yours but it will not scale up. If you are anticipating explosive growth so that you will soon need to make several terrabytes of data available to thousands of users then you have no choice...you must switch to unix. If this is not the case, then you do have a choice. It doesn't need to be either/or. Unix and microsoft can interact. You can afford to go slow.

Unix (including linux) is more powerful but less idiot-proof. You will need unix expertise to run unix. Does your organization have it? If you replace all of servers with stuff that your staff can't run, you will crash and burn.

I would suggest bringing up one unix development box and one unix test box. If things seem cool, then bring up one unix production box. Once you have the two OS's running side by side, use your own collective judgement about what should be your next move.
# 4  
Old 07-09-2002
Thank you for the replies thus far. I have prioritized my company's networking needs in order of importance from 1-10 to help you better answer my question.

1. Stable
2. Reliable
3. Fast
4. Secure
5. Fairly inexpensive (both to maintain and set up)
6. cross platform
7. Good Tech Support

-dennie1
# 5  
Old 07-10-2002
I am going to throw in a suggestion for FreeBSD at this point.

FreeBSD is a very reliable server and the ports tree makes it easier (IMHO) to install applications and the FreeBSD Handbook is available on-line and is very well written.

You can use FreeBSD (as well as Linux) as a samba server for connecting shares to your Win32 machines and I believe that you can run Unix machine is a PDC for an NT 4.0 network.

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