Redmond spin machine goes off on one again

Linux Misses Windows of Opportunity

The Redmond machine is out in force on this one. A PR blitz about an Aussie company dropping Red Hat for its SAP installation and moving to Windows instead. Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire! If you were going to drop Linux in favour of another Operating System surely you wouldn’t choose Windows? (I have to admit to a bit of personal experience here – I’m currently running SAP on Windows for one of my customers).

Let’s look at a couple of points…

Mr Horton called in Red Hat-recommended contractors to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux and ensure it was configured according to SAP standards, a process which took two weeks. “You have to be using the right certified components, otherwise SAP won’t give you the support. To go through and match everything off was quite tedious,” Mr Horton says.

And you don’t have to do that with a Windows installation of SAP? Oh yes. Of course you do. My mistake. Two weeks to get any platform up to SAP’s standard is pretty good going, Solaris, Linux or Windows.

Aside from the stability issue in this particular case, Mr Horton also found the total cost of ownership included soft costs such as the hard work required to keep Linux up and running. Software updates had to be manually installed to ensure SAP certification. “With the manual process of patching, we were spending about two days a month ensuring that and testing. A lot of people call it a soft cost, because you’ve got IT people anyway but they shouldn’t be spending all day maintaining the system,” Mr Horton says

And again… These soft costs don’t exist on a Windows platform? And manual implementation of patches? Have you not heard of up2date? Our patching cycle is 4 days a month, every month. On top of that the test cycle from the development and regression teams is another 4 days a month. That makes 8 days a month. And we have a very pragmatic approach to patching.

Kicking out Linux for Windows because you have a stability issue is fair enough, if you really can’t fix the stability issue (but you have to ask if they really tried). But citing those other reasons is just PR garbage. I’m no Red Hat fan myself, but talking about manual implementation of patches, soft costs, TCO and system certification from app vendors is utter tosh. Anyway. Here endeth the rant. I’ll just leave you with a quote from the SAP consultant currently working through our latest “insufficient resources” problem:

I’d be wary of changing anything which reduces the amount of RAM available to SAP. I reckon the only real solution will be a decent enterprise standard o/s.