Integrating Ubuntu with a Windows-based network is harder than it should be
Posted by: Anonymous
on December 14, 2007 10:54 PM
Same old, same old.
Budget problems? Have you heard of time-phased incremental migration? Your charity is not going anywhere (presumably unless the funding is cut off completely.) Take five years if you have to to migrate. So what?
Either hire an IT consultant who has a clue or get a clue yourself about how to design an IT operation so that it does what's needed without using Windows. It can be done. In some extreme cases, it might even require having some local apps custom redesigned or ported to Linux. This, too, can be done on a time phased basis as funds are available.
I have a client stuck with Windows because they do digital media conversion and he requires Adobe products for which he cannot (allegedly) find a replacement in Linux. I suspect he's wrong because they really don't use every feature the Adobe products provide, and I suspect some recently developed Linux apps could replace it. Unfortunately, I'm not an expert in those apps, so I can't be sure.
But this sort of thing can be worked around either with limited copies of Windows (used for only the missionj-critical Windows apps), or serving the apps up via an app server (which does cost money because they require Windows licenses), or as I said, simply having the apps redesigned by someone who can on a time development basis. Or simply figure out a way to use the less capable Linux apps in such a manner that the problems are overcome (again, not something you have to do this week.)
One advantage of OSS is that the apps and tools are usually capable of being glued together more easily than proprietary apps via scripting languages or simply by using standard data formats. This makes it possible to create systems that work around the limitations of given apps. It takes a little time and smarts initially to do this, but once done, the scripting can make the result almost automatic and even more effective than a commercial app because it solves the precise problem needed to be solved.
Everybody wants to migrate in thirty days or ninety days or six months or even a year. Why? Take your time, do it right, and you will solve your problems.
By the way, I agree with those who realize that Ubuntu is 1) not really for first time users despite the claims; there are too many bugs and things that fell through the cracks, and Canonical has a rep for releasing system utilities and tools that are not ready for prime time end users; their QA simply isn't as good as, say, Novell; 2) is not necessarily as well developed for deployment in enterprise environments as the larger corporate distros such as Red Hat and SUSE which are designed for that environment. If you can't afford Novell Desktop, just get openSUSE which is free, comes loaded with everything, and can be integrated just as well as Novell's other products.