Linux for Business
For many organizations, network operations have always carried the heavy costs of license fees, downtime and support/maintenance. Linux offers a different way to deal with these issues.
Linux doesn't bother with licensing fees because it can be downloaded and used at no charge. As mentioned in the background information under "New to Linux?", the operating system was originally developed by Linus Torvalds and other developers around the world for anyone to use. A free operating system doesn't mean you're on your own. Many companies like Red Hat, SuSE, Caldera and Mandrake not only offer packaged Linux software, but they also support it. That's not all; other companies such as IBM and Real Time Enterprises make it a point to support various Linux distributions.
Stability and reliability really means decreasing downtime, which can be a huge cost for any network operation in the form of extra expenses for repairs and lost revenue. Linux is based on the Unix operating system, which is known for stability and reliability. In fact, most Linux servers experience up-time measured in months and sometimes years. Imagine having a mail server on your corporate network that provided email to employees for a whole year without any service outages!
To some extent, support is a function of stability and reliability. The better the day-to-day performance, the lower the costs to fix support issues. As far as maintenance, Linux can require upgrades to patch security holes or enhance performance like any other operating system. These patches or upgrades are freely available and they can be applied by in-house staff or outside consultants.
In short, Linux provides a stable platform for network operations that is flexible and reliable. Maintenance and support can be taken care of by in-house staff or outside consultants. Even with all of these benefits, Linux has the lowest initial cost and the best total cost of ownership over the long-term.