Linux Distributions and How They Can Reduce Costs for Ottawa IT Companies
Clients of Ottawa computer services providers should be aware of the Linux Kernel
and the distributions (distros) based on it. Ottawa IT companies are bound to know
about it considering anywhere from 36 – 96% of public facing servers use it.
While Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s Mac OS offerings would be familiar to most
desktop users, Linux distros seem to not be in the general public consciousness.
Which is a surprising thought considering there is a high chance that Ottawa IT
Companies and clients of Ottawa computer services utilize the Linux Kernel
everyday in the form of Android OS. Linux, including Android, runs on just shy of
40% of devices globally.
The great news for IT companies in Ottawa about Linux is if it is not free it costs a
fraction of the price of proprietary operating systems. As an added bonus open
source alternatives to proprietary applications such as Microsoft Office are usually
free as well, making it attractive to users of computer services in Ottawa. Below
is a brief explanation of 3 distributions that will help Ottawa IT companies to
decide if Linux is the right choice for them.
Ubuntu: Ubuntu is usually the first Linux distro mentioned when somebody enquires
about Linux, and with good reason. It is one of the more accessible distros for
novice users, but also has the power that experienced super users have come to expect.
Ubuntu itself is free but Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, offers Ubuntu
Advantage. A pay-per-license professional support service to help with your larger
(50 host devices or more) Ubuntu-based networks and environments. Ubuntu has a life
cycle (release to end of support time) of approximately 5 years.
Linux Mint: Linux Mint is Ubuntu based and seems to be designed with user migration
from Windows in mind. Once in the desktop environment, a sense of familiarity can’t
help but being noticed. Linux mint is aimed at new users with a gentler learning curve
than Ubuntu and a familiar layout. There are no enterprise solutions for Linux Mint,
meaning while ideal for a SOHO(Small Office, Home Office) environment, it would not be
suitable for larger companies like other distros. Of course it is free to download
and has a life cycle of approximately 5 years.
Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL): Fedora is a free community-driven OS
offering that targets general users and SOHO environments, and RHEL is it’s
pay-per-license enterprise-level sibling. Fedora is a constantly changing breeding
ground of sorts for innovations and features that could very well be in the next RHEL,
which responds in kind with advances in stability, security and integration. Both offer
a sleek interface, and act like a traditional Linux system, so the learning curve is
steeper than Linux Mint. Fedora offers a relatively fast life cycle of about 13 months
while REHL offers a long life cycle of 7-8 years.
With many cloud-based solutions to traditionally, locally-stored applications being
offered like Microsoft’s Outlook and Office 365, platform independence has never been
greater. Meaning that all Ottawa IT companies should start taking interest in the lower
costing Linux platforms, and Ottawa computer services user should too. The above list
is just a taste of Linux distros on offer, and are great jumping points for IT companies
in Ottawa to get introduced to the Linux Environment and the benefits they can offer.