By: Rajarshi Bhattacharyya, Country Head at SUSE, India
The debate about the best operating system for datacenters is a never-ending one. Each operating system has supporters to argue why one is better than the other. The dispute over Linux vs UNIX is a particularly interesting one, especially because Linux branched out of UNIX.
Though both UNIX and Linux share similar traits, they serve very different business purpose. In the enterprise segment, UNIX is increasingly getting abandoned for Linux and other open source solutions. Enterprises, vendors and analysts are beginning to see a consistency in the benefits it brings to an organization after years of experimenting at enterprises with Linux.
A competitive datacenter strategy requires five key platform benefits for long-term enterprise success. If you’re considering a migration of mission critical applications from UNIX to Linux, ask yourself these five questions.
1.Does the new solution feature a secure and consolidated architecture?
In the past few years, Linux has matured into an efficient, reliable and secure platform. Evaluate the platforms available and choose one designed to handle a mix of mission-critical application workloads. Ensure that the platform you choose shares a consolidated infrastructure which maintains the characteristics of your current physical and dedicated UNIX infrastructure. The new platform must reduce security vulnerabilities and performance issues which you can typically expect in traditional provisioning and virtualization.
2.Will it sustain predictable performance of dynamic and increasing workloads?
Scalability and flexibility are the main reasons why enterprises migrate from UNIX to Linux.
To address these factors, choose a platform that supports large workloads including ERP, Big Data, high-performance computing and applications. Look for features like page cache limits, kernel parameters and certain UNIX-level attributes like secured partitioning. Solutions that utilize isolated, integrated resources – such as network, partitions and storage – provide performance- boosts, as well as flexibility for consolidation.
3.Does it feature fast and easy implementation?
Enterprises commonly cite skills and resources as concerns regarding virtualization of mission critical systems. It benefits the organization if you look for features like an installation wizard or an automated, end-to-end installation framework, as these tools deploy mission critical solutions quickly with ease. Such tools do not require highly specialized skills to set up a working system, and reduce the time and errors associated with manual installations.
4.Does it include high availability?
The issue of high availability can be dealt with a fitting Linux platform designed specifically for mission critical applications. Look for a solution that offers an interface for the operating system as well as clustering software as it ensures 100% compatibility of the stack. This will increase flexibility and scalability, while decreasing the time spent trying to track down OS and cluster issues. Besides, memory expansion and granular allocation capabilities can help reduce resources required to change computing requirements and business needs.
5.Is it ready to handle a high volume of analytics?
Analytics is playing a huge role in today’s businesses. Invest in a platform with larger memory capabilities to prepare for Big Data processing and analytical requirements. Make sure you seek a big bandwidth, high-speed connection to support large system clusters for in-memory database processes and high-transaction computing like ERP, Big Data and high performance computing applications.
It is evident that a migration of this magnitude requires careful consideration and planning. Evaluating a migration to Linux with the above standards can save an enterprise from a potential IT disaster.