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SearchEnterpriseLinux: Four on Linux/OSS Support

Apr 30, 2003, 23:30 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jan Stafford)

[ Thanks to Michael S. Mimoso for these links. ]

Linux/OSS Support, Part 1: Does Free Equal Shoddy?

"For eight years, John H. Terpstra has provided free technical support to Samba users almost every day. Often, Terpstra--cofounder of the Samba Team--answers users' queries for as much six hours a day. From 1996 to 1999, Terpstra and his Samba Team cohorts handled 30,000 inquiries.

"Such generosity seems suspect in our capitalist society. What's the catch? Well, there is no catch, Terpstra said. Free support for Linux and open-source software (OSS) is available and, with rare exceptions, excellent...

"Businesses doubt that Linux/OSS support exists, 'because they can't 'see' it,' said Andrew Bartlett, network administrator for Hawker College in Hawker, Australia. He serves as Samba Team's manager of authentication subsystems. 'They doubt it because there isn't an physical address, the 'bricks and mortar' that they have become accustomed to seeing from some of the other vendors...'"

Complete Story

Linux/OSS Support, Part 2: Ten Reasons to Turn to Open Source Support Services

"Can businesses rely on open-source software (OSS) support services? It all seems so nebulous. Why, most OSS support options do not include an 800-number! For anyone who's reading this while on hold for a 800-number support rep, that could be a plus. Others, however, may worry about turning to a disparate band of techies for help with enterprise systems...

"Here are their top 10 reasons why OSS support can make IT shops happy..."

Complete Story

What is Support?

"The trouble with evangelizing Linux/OSS support is that support means different things to different people. Canvassing IT pros, SearchEnterpriseLinux.com found that to be true.

"To some IT pros, support means being able to trust a product's makers, having the 'goodwill' that comes from 'knowing I can count on someone to help when I need it.' To others, it means that a support person will always be on tap and will even jump in a car and be on site in a certain period of time..."

Complete Story

Linux/OSS Support Weaknesses

"While IT pros find a lot to praise in free Linux and open source software (OSS) support offerings, they also see its weaknesses. In interviews with SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, they pointed out these free support shortcomings.:

  1. "There is no 800 number, said consultant Peter Rescinti. Most initial contacts with free support services take place via e-mail. Sometimes, free support teams will send a phone number in response to an e-mail query. Of course, 800 numbers are as helpful as rubber crutches...."

Complete Story

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