"It took three years for Tractor Supply Co. to migrate its IT
environment from Unix to Windows on Intel. After the deed was done,
it only took a few weeks for the IT staff to realize that Windows
was the wrong choice.
"'We saw blue screens of death and got calls in the middle of
the night constantly,' said Stevan Townsend, manager of database
and BASIS administration for TSC, a nationwide chain of stores that
deals in farm and ranch products; the Nashville, Tenn.-based
company's 2002 revenue surpassed $1 billion. 'It didn't take us
long to realize that Wintel was not the wisest move.'
"TSC's enterprise migration saga started five years ago. Back
then, TSC ran Solaris on Sun's SPARC servers. Buying new SPARC
servers to accommodate growth was expensive, as was maintaining
existing servers and software, Townsend said. The price performance
of Intel-based servers appealed to TSC's IT vice president. The
team wasn't aware of Linux as an enterprise option at the time,
having concentrated on Unix, Townsend said. Also, they didn't look
into Linux because the VP was smitten with Wintel..."
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