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Battle of the Linux-Windows studies

Nov 30, 20052 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinux

* Results of two Linux and Windows management surveys vary widely

Once again, the results of some recently released surveys on Linux and Windows manageability varied widely, depending on who was asking the questions.

In one recent report, two sets of network administrators performed upgrades to Linux and Windows servers. The results showed that Linux admins took 68% longer than their Windows counterparts to perform the same upgrades, tweaks and configuration tasks to meet a predetermined, theoretical business need. This study was carried out by security services company Security Innovations, and commissioned by Microsoft.

Meanwhile, another survey looking at security issues regarding open source software found that 47% of developers said they could fix any bugs in open source code in under eight hours. Of the 450 open source developers who responded to the survey by Evans Data Corp., 17% said they could find and repair server bugs in less than four hours; 20% said it would take them as much as eight hours to do the job. Also, 94% of these developers said their systems have never been infected with a virus.

Clearly, these numbers (94% virus-free systems?) are the kind you might expect from technologists who specialize in open source software development. And the data coming from the Microsoft study – which was forcefully disputed by Novell and Red Hat – should be taken with a unit of sodium as large as a farm animal’s salt lick. So what do these surveys tell IT professionals who are looking for information on the merits and pitfalls of open source software? Answer: Don’t pay too much attention to industry surveys; do your own lab evaluations, tests and pilot deployments, and see for yourself what works best.

Or, check out some of Network World’s most recent open source reviews, done by our independent Lab Alliance members:

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