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5 Reasons to Migrate Unix to Linux [SUSE]

Enterprise Software | Posted on September 11, 2012 by Emily A. Davidson

You can probably relate to this scenario. Your hardware, OS or applications have reached end-of-life, and you need to deploy new software that’s not supported on your current (legacy) platform. You’re tired of being stuck with a proprietary, single-provider IT strategy, and want one that’s based on open source, open standards, and multiple vendors.

You like freedom, you’ve considered the options, and you’ve decided to migrate from Unix to Linux. Are you doing it for the right reasons? Our team provides five reasons to migrate Unix to Linux, and how SUSE solutions will help with this transition.

  1. I want to feel confident in my OS: Linux is Open source and incredibly compatible software that is free to be innovated – you don’t have to be stuck with any particular way of doing something. Linux can run for years without needing to be restarted.
  2. I want to avoid viruses: Every time you request a system change, an administrator password is required (and if you’re not an administrator on this system, you simply can’t do it). Viruses can’t just go around and delete or modify what they want in the system; they don’t have the authorization for that.
  3. I want to update easily: Software packages available to you (free) are continually improved and innovated. Linux has a “Package manager”, which takes care of everything installed on your system, but also every single piece of software your computer has. So if you want to keep everything up-to-date, the only thing you need to do is press a single “Install Updates” button.
  4. I don’t want separate drivers: All the drivers are already included in the Linux kernel, the core of the system, and that comes with every single Linux installation.
  5. I want access to help anytime I need it: The Open Source community (Linux in particular) means users and developers really are out there, on web forums, on mailing lists, on IRC channels, helping out new users. They’re all happy to see more and more people switch to Linux, and they’re happy to help them get a grip on their new system.

What about the migration?

A major concern about converting from a closed source to open source software is compatibility. The International Organization for Standarization (ISO) approved an XML based document standard (ISO26300) from OASIS called ‘open document‘. This standard is freely available for anyone to learn and implement because it is open source. Even Microsoft supports this format with Office for Linux!

As the ISO states, “Organizations and individuals that store their data in the open format avoid being locked in to a single software vendor, leaving them free to switch software if their current vendor goes out-of-business, raises its prices, changes its software, or alters its licensing terms”.

What about my applications?

Usually, applications running on Unix are mission-critical to the business: like SAP, line-of-business apps, financial apps and more. Since these apps demand 0% downtime and continuous performance, you will need enterprise Linux servers to support them. For example, more than 9,000 third party applications are certified and supported on SUSE Linux Enterprise Servers, and they are recommended by Microsoft, SAP and VMware.

No one said migrating was easy

Migrating to Linux may seem like a good move, but consider that some of your Windows software will not run on Linux natively (you will have to find Linux equivalents). Also, you may have a particular software product you must use without a Linux equivalent. Although it’s possible to emulate Windows using programs for Linux, you still need your own Windows license key and installation media and getting everything running is tricky.

Don’t forget to find Linux drivers for some wireless cards, printers, internal dialup modems etc. For example, ‘Win-hardware’ devices usually have a software component that needs to be installed on Windows for it to run properly.

Seem like a ton of work? There is a good chance your hardware devices will work by default on Linux. In order to take full advantage of this system and ensure a smooth migration, you should definitely consult someone who has been there many, many times before.

SUSE Migration Services

Why would you let your mission critical applications go down? This could mean the difference between profit and loss during an already stressful time for IT. SUSE consulting now offers a Fast Track – Unix to Linux Migration service.  Whether you have Solaris, HP-UX- or AIX workloads, a discovery session can help you understand what to expect from migrating Unix workloads to SUSE Linux Enterprise Servers. They offer sessions that can assess workload inventory, resource utilization, Linux options and savings estimates.

SUSE will recommend you use their SUSE Enterprise Servers – based on the 3.0 Linux kernel – and they don’t seem like a bad option considering, again, more than 9,000 third party applications are certified and supported on SUSE Linux Enterprise Servers, and they are recommended by Microsoft, SAP and VMware.

What about SAP?

In addition, SUSE and SAP have optimized SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP applications with regard to performance, reliability and scalability. The SUSE Linux Enterprise High Availability Extension has also been validated, offering a proven, multi-node high availability solution for SAP applications. SUSE’s implementation of Xen in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server was also validated by SAP, enabling SAP server utilization levels as high as 70% through server consolidation with Xen.

How do I get started?

Visit our product catalog and contact your Softchoice Account Representative to discuss a SUSE solution.

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