[Linux-aus] Computerworld: Linux 'not ready' for enterprise IT

Brent Wallis (IS) brent at wallis.id.au
Tue Aug 12 12:38:01 UTC 2003


David Lloyd <dlloyd at microbits.com.au> wrote ..

> I have had to downgrade a good number of RedHat servers or hold them back
> because of RedHat's rather broken RPM dependency issues. 

Same here, up until 18 months ago where I took a decision to stick with
one distro with a reasonable packaging system, namely RH.
Keeping mind that I deal with a "wide audience" of industries and needs...
(consultancy)... I had to pick something like this because it enables me to do more for less.

When evaluating an FOSS product, I always consider the package's "forward path" before commiting. If it isn't there, then I leave it out. Of course, there is a need to look byond that rule from time to time, but then, that's up to me, a choice I don;t have in a proprietry offering.
It's better for me (and my client) if I can put in place a tool which handles issues like security patches etc without having to blink, to that end. RedHat Network seems well suited. 

Yep, installing individual RPMS for upgrades can be a bastard, but why bother when RH do all that via RHN? You see, laziness is a virtue. I could choose to run each patch individually and suffer the consequences of a never ending dependency loop, but why bother when it's all there and done for a paultry yearly cost?
>People who say
> that
> "you can't use [name some such distribution]" in the enterprise generally
> :
>  1) Have a religious love of another distribution
>  2) Have no real knowledge of the distribution that's allegedly not good
>     enough
>  3) Have opened their mouth before thinking and/or put foot in such mouth
> A person not familiar with a particular distribution is obviously going
> to
> take longer than a person familiar with it. That's no indication of whether
> a particular distribution is a "better choice in terms of workload" fo
> r a sysadmin.

Agreed on all counts... but you left off one :

4)Have not a productive bone in their bodies and spend their time smoking up the room to hide their own inadequate approach to their job. 

As a consultant, I have to deal with so called IT gurus like this on a regular basis. They are "old school" operators, using the "magic of computers" to smoke up the facts with an ignorant user base/manager (aka BOFH.)

> I postulate this null hypothesis:
> "That the Debian packaging system--with its configuration tools, priority
> levels and in-built dependency handling--coupled with a tightly controlled,
> peer reviewed, open source repository is flawed and likely to increase
> a system administrator's workload."
> Now, go prove it...

You see,this is where I reckon the FOSS paradigm works so well. 
I don't have to prove anything, it's the demand on a particular package which matters most. IMHO , low demand for a FOSS product equates to there not being a need for it, or that there is a fundamental flaw in it's approach. The latter often addressed by a code fork if the "demand" is there.

It's not what I or anyone else does (or postulates...;-) that matters, more so, it's the general acceptance of what is being done with it that matters most in terms of one distros acceptance over another. For my part, it provides choice and an ability to be precise with a particular install. Although I chose RH for high maintenance sites(Red Hat Network being the key here), I still use Debian in some circumstances. Maybe evan a FreeBSD install here and there for a Firewall, and RedHat AS for a clients accounting package cluster with RedHat Network.

To that end, a convergence of distros would be disasterous, and would slow down development by moving away from plural views. 
The trick ,is it not, is to establish differing points of view through which the best solution is found. There HAS to be choice, wide sets of choices, otherwise the FOSS development model would fail.

The thing that irks me the most about such comments as this CQU admins, is that it slates this "choice" as being a downside, rather than a postive and enlightening feature. It's a contrary thought in direct oppostion to the culture that existed in CQU right up until I finished in 2000... I am ashamed of my Alumni...:-(


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