"As IT budgets contract, many Windows administrators
are being asked to manage mixed-mode environments. Often, they have
to make antagonistic operating systems, such as Linux and Windows,
play well together. In search of tips that would help
administrators avoid common heterogeneous infrastructure and
standards administration blunders, searchWindowsManageability
recently interviewed Mike Wilkinson, director of product management
for Orem, UT-based Caldera's Volution management software suite.
sWM: Which is harder to manage, Linux or Windows?
Wilkinson: For the most part, Linux and Windows both have similar
challenges. The only reason I would say that Linux is harder to
manage today is that there are fewer trained Linux administrators.
When you compare the small base of Linux-trained administrators to
the phenomenally growing installed based of Linux servers, there's
a huge mismatch. So Windows administrators, with little experience
in dealing with Linux technology issues, are being forced into
managing these Linux servers. Trying to get up to speed in that
situation is causing a problem.
sWM: What are common mistakes that IT managers make when
setting up management infrastructures for heterogeneous
Wilkinson: IT managers need to choose scalable technologies that
are based on open standards, and select products that are
extensible. If an enterprise-level customer is trying to
incorporate a new standard into its environment, but doesn't have a
feasible approach to doing so, it hasn't planned for extensibility.
That customer would then be forced into a sticky situation of
having to either rewrite its current products or forego the
implementation of the new standard because it isn't able to extend
its current products to accommodate it."