TCO: 'Cause decisions are driven by logic

It doesn't make sense to talk about TCO (Windows vs Linux) for any other country when your business is operating in India. So, how does Total Cost of ownership (TCO) look  like when your company is located in India and you are going to be deploying a large solution.

Linux deplyoment is 15.9% MORE EXPENSIVE than Windows in India.

this data has been provided by Frost & Sullivan and independently verified by Cap Gemini.

Some interesting factiods about the study:

  • Software cost is just about 6.8% of the TCO; Hardware constitutes about 46% of the TCO
  • TCO of Linux is greater than that of Windows 2003 server by 15.9%

  - Training cost are 60% higher on Linux servers than Windows 2003

  • Downtime costs on Linux servers are 25% higher than Windows 2003.

  - Linux environments exhibit 30% higher soft costs than Windows 2003
    server environments.

  • TCO of Linux is greater than that of Windows across 3 workloads that account for nearly 80% of x86 servers

  - Applications (22.4%), Networking (11%) and E-mail (8.24%)

  • TCO of Linux is lower than that of Windows in two workloads that account for 12% x86 Servers despite OPEX costs being in favor of Windows

  - File (5%) and Web (31%), , indicating opportunity for Windows Server Web Edition and Windows Storage Server


Some conclusions drawn by me on the facts above:

  1. Windows is an ever evolving platform and it pays to stick with technology that's evolving rapidly
  2. In the two technologies, the difference is to whom you pay your money to - In Windows, it is MS that gets the major chunk while in Linux it is the consultant / company supporting the Linux build that gets the money.
  3. For a company that has developed some applications, Windows Server are the unanimous choice.
  4. For small companies who only need file sharing and web hosting, Linux may make sense as well. however, web site hosting is always maintained in a different hoster and file sharing isn't a reason enough on why you should go for Linux hosting :)


Anonymous said…
Could you give me a link to this study? I find a few things to be extremely hard to believe.Eg: I dont think they would have considered the following - MS will force an upgrade every 3 yrs by discontinuing support to older releases. Say I use Windows NT4 and it works fine for me- MS doesnt support it anymore-I dont get security patches,updates or software! Linux,as mentioned earlier, will crank out as much juice as possible from a legacy box.

Also,How does linux incur more hardware cost? Linux runs on the entire spectrum of x86 machines, right from 486 (minus GUI) to AMD64 (or EM64T). This is because linux does not require a GUI, whereas windows does. Hence linux's resource utilization can be minimized. Hence throughput on linux boxes can be higher than windows. (Unless they included SUN/solaris as well, which is then cheating.)

Another thing I find it hard to believe is the downtime of linux-I have seen linux systems run for over 2 years without any issues. Windows requires more frequent reboots- a famous case of this was at LAX airport, LA (see link I think it is more due to poorly trained staff than a linux issue, because linux is legendarily stable.

Training costs: Yes, that is true - if you have MS staff retrained for linux. If you hire UNIX guys out of the market, will they require much training? I dont think so! Even newbies will be hired with some knowledge of UNIX, so I think that is a moot point. A single unix admin can handle more machines because of its power once you learn the ropes - powerful scripting languages, every GUI click has a corresponding command line etc. (long curve, I'll admit, but you have more control over the OS once you master it than an MS admin).

Applications are more expensive on linux? Yes, if you port from MS to linux. If you have an MS app already, dont port unless you have a good reason to do so (say u want to run it on an 8 way multiprocessor. Windows isnt half as efficient at multiprocessors over 4 cores as linux). Or, porting is easy.

Here's what most sensible companies do - (I have seen this done at more places than one) - keep less critical or low throughput apps (or both) like email, intranet on Windows. High traffic databases (OLTP types) like oracle usually run on linux (or solaris) - mainly because they handles multiprocessors/multithreading better than windows. If few threads are all that is needed, windows does the job. Here's what it boils down to: if what you need is scalability, performance, stability and security, go for Linux. If you have an MS infrastructure and are willing to forego some performance for an easy to use, idiot-proof OS, stick to MS. In other words, know your application - A core2duo wont make your disk reads any faster!

Have they considered the fact that 98% of all viruses are targetted towards Windows and that the damage it could cause, though infrequent with good antivirus programs, is pretty serious?

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