Network Computing: Like the Old Days: Cisco Runs Print Jobs Off LinuxNov 09, 1999, 19:36 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kelly Jackson Higgins)
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"Ivereigh knows all about tradition at the company. He was the mastermind behind Cisco's worldwide distributed print-server architecture, based on Linux: It is classic retro-Cisco given Linux's open source code. Cisco's move to Linux began three years ago when the company began expanding its branch offices and added a data center in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The company needed more print servers to support the growing number of PC desktops that now had begun replacing its old Macs. "I couldn't budget to buy more SunOS servers, so I started playing with Linux at home and realized there was no reason I couldn't do [Linux] instead," Ivereigh says."
"A big power outage in Cisco's San Jose, Calif., data center a year later knocked the company's two main SunOS print servers offline. They didn't come back up, and Cisco's production printing for its manufacturing line was down for a couple of days. Meanwhile, two little Intel-based Linux servers sitting alongside the Sun servers recovered from the outage, so Ivereigh ported the production print jobs to them and three other PC-based Linux servers. That sold Cisco corporate on PC-based Linux as a print server OS. The cost was a factor, too--at the time, you could buy four or five PCs for the price of one Unix server."
"The next step was distributing the print server functions so that print jobs weren't all being sent over the WAN. Cisco now has three main hubs in San Jose; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and Sydney, Australia. Branch offices house their own Linux print servers. "It's all remote administration [to the branches]--I've never even physically seen most of the servers," Ivereigh says. "I send them a floppy and load the system from scratch over the network." New Cisco acquisitions also automatically get sent Linux print servers, too, he says."
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