[SATLUG] Open Source Fest ?

John Pappas j at jvpappas.net
Mon Mar 14 23:04:59 CDT 2011

On Mon, Mar 14, 2011 at 13:40, r3d91ll <r3d91ll at grandecom.net> wrote:

> I would like to see a presentation on how switching to Linux or F/LOSS
> can lower IT costs for businesses. Why should a small business with less
> then 20 employees need Active Directory don't know but many small
> businesses are doing just that?  Why do these same businesses use
> Exchange when they should be using something like Zimbra for half the
> price.  Example a perpetual license from Zimbra for 15 users costs $840
> with MS exchange the standard edition of exchange 2010 costs $699 plus
> $67 per CAL.  Assuming 15 users thats and additional $1005 plus the $699
> just for the package.  Given the current economy these are the things we
> should be talking about.

I tried to do this at one of the businesses that I helped found.  The
biggest push back was related to office and (initially) email access.  When
you are working with a group accustomed to a certain work method
(outlook/word), disrupting that is a challenge.  I had all of the office
support staff with desktops on Linux, as Firefox was familiar, OOo was
"compatible-enough" and familiar enough to get by.  The "earners" all ran
Windows laptops (I tried but could not get them to give).  I outsourced
Zimbra hosting, along with SugarCRM and KnowlegeTree document management, as
I did not have the staff or desire to host Exchange/SharePoint, and this
was much cheaper and more feature full.  Zimbra Desktop worked as
a stand-in for outlook in most cases where user did not want to use the AJAX
interface or needed offline mail access.

I had to pick up Webex Remote Support to manage the laptops, as they
traveled and I needed a way to push patches and provide seamless remote
support to those users, and it was awesome.for that.

On the other hand, the back-end servers running Linux were no problem, as
Samba looks like windows.  I ran SUSE, as Yast made my like easy and works
the same over SSH or via X.

The low hanging fruit that I feel really good about was the phone system.
 It was a RHEL box running Asterisk, built out with a PoE switch and Polycom
VOIP PoE handsets. I outsourced this to Fonality and all in cost less than
$250 per user station, and those more progressive folks could use a
Softphone and Headset and have a full-on corporate phone extension wherever
they were (Call transfer, Hold, conference bridging, and other full-call
management features).  It was awesome.  Had a full IVR system and much more
functionality than the Cisco, Avaya, or Nortel systems that cost 2x-3x more.
 Users had no problem adjusting, but the advanced features (call parking)
were a bit more difficult, but transfer, conference, and hold were very
intuitive.  The only issue was user's memory of each other's extensions ;)

In my experience, it is just "how we've always done it" and most folks are
not willing to accept even the slightest difference in "how they have always
done it."  For those that did not have a preconceived notion about things,
they picked up the Linux Desktop no problem, and were very impressed when I
was on the road and SSH'ed in and seemingly "magically" fixed their problem.

> On Mon, 2011-03-14 at 10:17 -0500, Don Davis wrote:
> > <snip>
> >  Get people interested in using free and open source software first and
> > some may make the transition to (GNU) Linux. It is much easier to sell
> > somebody on using Libre Office or Blender (arguably the best free
> > software available) or Gimp than to try and convince them to reformat
> > their hard drive and use a completely alien OS.&nbsp;
> > <snip>
> > Very true. Imagine they say "sure go ahead put Linux on." What about
> > data back up? How many will not have backed up data or been unable to?

Same problem applies to all OS's.  I am pinged a couple of times a month by
users/friends that are freakin' because they accidentally overwrote/deleted
a "critically important' file.  None of them have a back strategy in place
for this issue, and aren't willing to pay a couple bucks a month to get
something set up (in the case of online) or just set up CrashPlan to backup
to other of their own PC's.

For myself/family I use JungleDisk with Rackspace CloudFiles (or AmazonS3
depending) and have 2 processes:

-  For the family members that have more than one PC, I have a Sync profile
for documents, desktop, etc so that it syncs each PC
- I have a Backup profile for each machine.

Costs about $0.15/Gb/Month.  Between ZumoDrive (60GB@$20/Mo=33c/GB-Mo), S3
(275GB@$40/Mo=14.5c/GB-Mo), and JD/RS CF (50GB at 7.50=15c/GB-Mo)+$5/Mo for JD+
and 2xJD Business Users.  Thus, I store about 385GB online and spend about
$70/month (or an average of $0.187/GB/Month).

CrashPlan has a couple tiers (10GB at 25/Yr=20c/GB-Mo or Unlimited at 50/yr for
1PC or $120/Year for 10PCs) and SpiderOak charges $100/100GB-Yr=8.33c/GB-Mo.

Depending on your needs and the value of your data, that may or may not be
worth it.

FWIW, I have just begun testing SpiderOak, but initial thought is that I may
be moving my backups to either CrashPlan or SpiderOak, as they are cheaper
than RSCF per GB and consolidates my backup data and management to one

What are the chances they'll format anyway and later blame Linux zealots
> > for the loss of their kitten pictures?

Depends on the user.  I have a couple that are more understanding than

> What about a transition to FOSS roadmap / flow chart?

Good Idea.

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