"Moving to the new Linux-based IP network over the past
year was a major transformation for the Syracuse, N.Y.-based
Raymour & Flanigan, which has nearly 50 stores in the
Northeast. The IP-and-frame relay WAN replaced the company's old
leased lines, and Linux runs the firewall, database, DNS/DHCP and
POP mail servers for the new IP infrastructure.
Brian Dewey, the network engineer for Raymour & Flanigan who
spearheaded the Linux decision, considers Linux a liberating
alternative to Microsoft Windows and Novell NetWare. "We don't have
to worry about licensing or pay an upgrade fee for the next
version," he says.
When Dewey first joined the company a year ago, he and his team
were able to recycle some of Raymour & Flanigan's older server
and PC hardware to get the firewall and DNS/DHCP servers up and
running quickly on the company's Red Hat Linux. "We used old PCs
and retired servers to get these services installed and running,
and to help management understand their usefulness," Dewey says. It
was easier to put Linux, rather than another operating system, on
the older 486-based machines, because you can custom-compile the
kernel without a CPU-intensive graphical user interface, he says.
Raymour & Flanigan now is upgrading those processors to
Pentium-class machines, Dewey says."