Operating systems based on the Linux kernel provide an opportunity to reduce initial and on-going software costs, and to use the same hardware platform for both UNIX- and Windows- based servers. Both the hardware and the Linux software itself are available from multiple vendors. And the most widely used server-side software and middleware packages are fully supported by their vendors on Linux.

Most important, all the system and management tools that have made proprietary UNIX boxes the systems of choice for enterprise-class data centers are available on Linux. These include clustering/fail-over, logical-volume management, fiber-channel shared storage, SMP support into the tens of CPUs, and kernel features required to support high performance, high capacity, and high reliability.

Moving To Linux
SyPort's focus on application availability and operations isn't forgotten during a technology transition such as platform migration; it's the driving force.

A typical Linux migration engagement will begin with a review of the current data-center configuraion, operating process, and applications being supported, to determine system and middleware product requirements and to identify potential process issues. We'll then develop a migration plan based on the value and risks for each application/server. Usually this will begin with servers that primarily run "off-the-shelf" applications such as Web Servers, File Servers, and small data-bases.

A "Linux test-bed" will be implemented, and the performance and functionality of each application being migrated is evaluated on that test-bed before the pre-Linux application is replaced in production by the Linux-based version.

Generally, improvements to data-center configuration and operations will also be made during the migration process. These include server clustering for high availability, implementation of network shared storage, system/network/application monitoring, automated system installs, etc.