"InfoWorld analysts debate the virtue of sticking with Microsoft's
oft-targeted Web server"
December 21, 2001 01:01 PM PST
In one corner we have Tom Yager who in the byline "believes well-tended
Windows servers are as secure and reliable as any." ("Windows being
inherently less secure than, say, Linux, doesn't wash with me.") Sparing
with him is P.J. Connolly: ("Just try and remove the Outlook Express
virus-propagation tool -- oops, e-mail application -- from a server you
want to secure.")
What is remarkable about this article is that Tom Yager concedes that
Windows servers are not any easier to maintain or secure than Solaris or
Microsoft does need to admit that Windows requires as much
administrative care as competing operating systems. But in my
experience, Windows' burden of care does not exceed that of Solaris or
Linux, and that's where Gartner's advisory jumps the tracks. Instead of
abandoning IIS because it doesn't manage itself, companies running
Windows servers should institute cultural reforms that ensure Windows
machines get as much attention as those from Sun and IBM. That might
affect Windows' perceived ROI within the organization, but the
stability of Windows systems and services would improve dramatically.
This is an extraordinary concession. It instantly puts Windows on the back
foot compared to Linux in TCO comparisons. Is this a hard choice: Free
operating system that requires as much burden of care as an expensive
operating system with onerous licensing restrictions?
There could be significant consequences for Microsoft server sales and
deployments if the mass perception is lost that Windows servers are easier
to administer and maintain than competing operating systems.