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Re: Server Share

__/ [ Larry Qualig ] on Wednesday 22 February 2006 16:20 \__

> Roy Schestowitz wrote:
>> __/ [ Linønut ] on Wednesday 22 February 2006 13:10 \__
>> > After takin' a swig o' grog, Roy Schestowitz belched out this bit o'
>> > wisdom:
>> >
>> >> http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-6041804.html
>> >>
>> >> <quote>
>> >>  Computer makers sold $17.7 billion worth of Windows servers
>> >>  worldwide in 2005 compared with $17.5 billion in Unix servers,
>> >>  IDC analyst Matthew Eastwood said of the firm's latest Server
>> >>  Tracker market share report. "It's the first time Unix was not
>> >>  top overall since before the Tracker started in 1996."
>> >>
>> >>  And in another first, fast-growing Linux took third place, bumping
>> >>  machines with IBM's mainframe operating system, z/OS. Linux server
>> >>  sales grew from $4.3 billion in 2004 to $5.3 billion in 2005,
>> >>  while mainframes dropped from $5.7 billion to $4.8 billion over
>> >>  the same period, Eastwood said.
>> >> </quote>
>> >
>> > And
>> >
>> >    Conventional wisdom in the 1990s forecast that Microsoft's Windows
>> >    would inexorably move to market leadership, but its arrival was
>> >    slowed by several factors. For one thing, Windows took much longer to
>> >    mature than many expected.
>> Windows is not maturing. It is aging. Viruses are one indication (among
>> others) of the its wrinkles, which will soon have Windows put in a
>> parents' home.
>>            ( Microsoft's Midlife Crisis )
>> > Too bad they didn't compare server counts.
>> Linux servers would probably be cheaper; not only to buy, but also to
>> maintain. Remember IBM's TCO rule, which suggests that Linux is 40%
>> cheaper to own.
>> It is worth pointing out that this article was the only one, among several
>> that had cropped up, which bothered to explain the decline UNIX, which is
>> the due to the impact of Linux. The Windows /relative/ share of the pie
>> may have actually decreased.
> -> Windows is not maturing. It is aging. Viruses are one indication
> (among others) of the its wrinkles....
> Not that Windows isn't without wrinkles or problems but the server-side
> of MS seems to have their act together much better than the
> desktop/client people do. Much of the OS is common but NT-Server seems
> pretty tight right now. Here's why I say this...

Before I move on, I should at least point out that Microsoft servers were
shown to have critical problems. Their level of tolerance for DDOS attacks
is worryingly low. Frankly, I don't know which sources you received this
information that you disseminate from. I can only speculate.

> 1) If you go to these security-oriented web sites (Secunia, Sans, etc.)
> and look at the security advisories the number for NT Server (not XP or
> desktop) is about the same as for any other OS.

It is easier to watch the white box which is *nix and report an endless
number of deficiencies. Microsoft relies on the black-box-based model. They
now threaten those who call for a bug 'bounty hunt' -- that which could help
them accumulate constructive tips and pointers.

> 2) What hacker wouldn't love to take down Microsoft.com? But the
> web-site, FTP servers, etc are all up 24/7 which implies to me that the
> server product isn't something that can be easily hacked. Nobody has
> taken down eBay, Dell or any other large MS site either. Microsoft.com
> was taken down many years ago but they never hacked in to the site...
> that was a denial of service attack. About the same time
> Whitehouse.gov, CIA.gov and a bunch of other government agencies were
> hacked and they run *nix.

Kind reminders:

* MSN in Korea had all user profiles stolen a few months ago, or something
along these lines.

* eBay came under zombie attack that brought it down about 2 months ago,
albeit maybe only the UK was affect. Subsequently, the offender appeared in

* Governmental agencies are *the* prime targets for hackers, not Microsoft
/et al/. Merely any government in the world (particularly those that are not
close allies, e.g. Russian, Korea, China) has an interest in national
secrets. Such governments can afford to employ the shrewdest and most
experienced hackers whose (paid) work is motivated by loyalty to the
country. They only receive extensive training. You cannot compare that to an
out-of-work IT professional (or incompetent) whose hatred to Microsoft is
the only incentive.

> 3) The virus/malware issue is more of a user/operator problem than a OS
> problem. Servers are typically operated by people who have a higher
> degree of technical knowledge than Joe six-pack. The typical Joe
> six-pack home user runs Windows as Admin/root all the time which is an
> invitation for trouble. This isn't the case with servers.

I can't say I agree with you on that one (/with respect/). I am not thinking
only about the malware/virus issue. Let me stress my point using a recent


Security is not everything. Ease-of-use, resilience, stability and
predictability are extremely important matters. All the guys ever do around
here is give love & affection (attention=$) to Windows servers and their
disappointed clients who cannot do something as simple as receiving mail,
let alone keep their O/S clean from trash.

> So in my opinion I don't believe that Windows servers have nearly the
> problem with malware/viruses that you see with XP desktops. The generic
> term "Windows" tends to lump both product lines together and the
> reputation of XP desktop may be tainting the server product.

Have you run and maintained a cluster of servers yet? I have not, but I see
the level of attention each server requires (i.e. frequency of downtimes).

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | "This sig seemed like a good idea at the time..."
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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