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Are you ready to discover Linux?

While unsubstantiated marketing hype and the sowing of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) have long been prevalent in the IT industry, the phenomena have been exacerbated by the growing interest business is showing in Linux and OSS.

As a result and although the benefits are clear to many, companies have delayed their investigations into alternatives for more established software brands. Local OSS specialist, Ubusha, has devised a methodology to address this issue by helping local business to objectively assess the relative merits of migrating to the OSS world.

According to Marius Agenbag, a director of Ubusha, the chief inhibitor of OSS adoption has been that business views it as a purely technological decision. “The Linux Discovery and Assessment programme looks beyond pure technology issues and considers the people and processes of a given IT environment,” he says. Ubusha believes OSS and Linux can be effectively deployed in three primary areas of a business – areas that can in fact constitute the entire IT infrastructure of a company. “We look at the desktop, the infrastructure services [server] environment and software development aspects of an IT shop,” notes Agenbag. “Each of these areas has its own set of business values, requirements and dependencies and these must all be fully considered before mooting any migration strategy.”

Stafford Masie, MD of Novell SA agrees: “For OSS and Linux to succeed in business environments, it needs an operational framework that complies to industry standards. Ubusha's effort addresses this need – it provides the collateral that serves as a bible for implementation and discovery workshops. It will also help to address key questions associated with Linux: Once Linux is in an environment, how does it live there? And, how do you measure service delivery around Linux?”

Masie believes the key is to establish best practice and methodologies for delivering Linux and OSS in corporate environments. “And once it’s in , how do you maintain it and how do you measure its effectiveness based on industry standards? Ubusha is helping to address those issues,” he says.

The primary outcomes of an Ubusha-facilitated assessment are: a strategy report outlining the business case for migration; an architecture report which offers recommendations around people, processes and technologies; and, finally, a roadmap that considers change management issues and provides timelines for effective deployment and training, where required.

“The purpose of the programme is to assist businesses in fully understanding the benefits of OSS alternatives and help them to mitigate the risks involved in a transition,” concludes Agenbag.

Contacts: Marius Agenbag; Business Development Director; Ubusha; (011) 679 1942; Trish Barwick; Channel Manager; Novell SA; (011) 322-8300; Craig Rodney; Emerging Media Communications; 083 357 3439;

Author: Trish Barwick, Novell SA