Bridging the Server Divide
Consolidating Linux and Windows servers may not be easy, but it may be best for the business.
Over the last several years, it has become very clear that the two dominant server operating system environments are Windows and Linux. In fact, it’s not at all uncommon to find both these environments running inside the same organization…
Most IT organizations chalk up the bickering between the Windows and Linux partisans to good-natured rivalry. But as the economy has taken what looks like an extended turn for the worse, the issue of costs associated with running both operating environments is starting to raise its ugly head.
As a result, the tenor of the Windows-versus-Linux debate is becoming shriller, as advocates for each begin to view the issue as a matter of survival: Many companies must start thinking about standardizing on one environment to reduce costs. The core issue is that each environment requires its own dedicated hardware, management tools and associated specialists.
What could, perhaps, forestall the inevitable is that there are a number of third-party system-management tools that IT organizations can embrace to manage both Windows and Linux server environments. That could reduce the management software footprint in a way that would allow these enterprises to run more systems using fewer people.
But the issue of consolidating servers is trickier. The only way to consolidate Linux and Windows servers on the same machine is to leverage the Hyper-V virtualization technology that Microsoft has made available with Windows Server 2008. As part of Microsoft’s alliance with Novell, the SUSE version of Linux that Novell sells can run as an “enlightened guest” on top of Windows Server 2008. This means that as a guest operating system, SUSE Linux can see and use all the hardware resources that Windows Server 2008 sees and uses.