[SATLUG] Open Source Fest ?

John Pappas j at jvpappas.net
Tue Mar 15 16:10:01 CDT 2011

Edited, reformatted as plain text,  and resent as I hit the 12K ML
bounce limit....

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 SMB with less
> then 20 employees need Active Directory?  Why do these same businesses use
> Exchange when they should be using something like Zimbra for half the price?

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>
> > 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

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

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 service.

> > 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 others.

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

Good Idea.

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