"Linux and Open Source deployments have proven popular with
start-up companies over the last couple of years. This is due to
the low entry cost and the much touted reliability of this
particular solution. One example of this type of start-up is Viata
Online - a Hawaii based firm that develops Internet solutions for
the travel industry. When Viata was formed back in 1998, it decided
on a complete Linux solution and implemented it across the board.
We asked Viata's resident Linux guru, Deven Phillips, about the
Linux deployment and the reasons behind it."
"What were Viata's primary reasons for choosing a
Linux/Open Source solution?
There are a great many reasons Viata chose Linux, but they
are too numerous to list, and so second nature to me now that I
would forget many of them. Let's stick with the tried and true.
Reliability - Viata's workstations average about 45-50 days of
runtime before being rebooted. The only reason we reboot machines
is to upgrade them to either new hardware or new software (e.g.
Kernel). Our Linux routers have not been rebooted since the day we
installed them (over 200 days now). Our database and application
server also have been running since the day of install (90+ and 60+
days respectively). Another reason for running Linux is for user
support. In any other desktop environment that I have worked in,
when there is a software problem in a closed-source application,
you may be able to get it to work, but when you reboot the fix
needs to be done again. In our Linux environment, our help-desk
time has been reduced to about 2 hours per week due to the fact
that when we fix a problem once, we roll that change out to all
systems, and the change is permanent. By documenting these changes,
Viata easily implements them in future iterations of our
workstation builds. Another reason Viata chose Linux is for the
open standards. Our business model for travel applications requires
that we can share data and translate data between our business
client's systems, our systems, and our customer's systems."
"Were any other alternative operating systems
NT was considered, but thrown away quickly due to cost
considerations. The average 10 user NT server licence is over
1000USD, whereas Linux (if we bought a prepackaged distribution)
costs less than 100USD, and comes with many more applications and
tools than NT server."