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Amazon: Linux saved us millions

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  • Trisna Widya
    Dear Netters! Ini ada berita dari zdnet.com, namun ada salah satu kalimat yg cukup menggelitik, yaitu pernyataan atau tepatnya bantahan dari Microsoft mengenai
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 3, 2001
      Dear Netters!

      Ini ada berita dari zdnet.com, namun ada salah satu kalimat yg cukup
      menggelitik, yaitu pernyataan atau tepatnya bantahan dari Microsoft mengenai
      claim dari Amazon ttg penghematan yg telah dilakukannya dgn Linux. Berikut
      petikan salah satu paragraph-nya:
      <quote>
      Amazon's disclosure could provide hard data for Linux proponents who have
      long argued that the open-source software can save corporations money over
      the alternatives, such as Unix and Microsoft's various Windows products. <in
      question> A Microsoft representative, however, warned that short-term
      savings seen by Amazon could turn into a long-term increase in costs. </in
      question>
      </unquote>
      Mungkin dari para linuxer ada yg mempunyai tanggapan ttg hal ini, tepatnya
      ttg "the hidden long term cost" yg dimaksud oleh Microsoft. Bagaimanapun
      sangat menarik kalau bagi para linuxer newbie spt saya mengetahui lebih
      jelas ttg hal ini, yg mana erat kaitannya dgn arah kiblat technology di masa
      depan (Microsoft VS Linux), sehingga kita bisa lebih wise (red: yg lebih
      menguntungkan) dlm meng-investasi-kan waktu utk mempelajarinya.
      Berikut petikan lengkapnya:

      Amazon: Linux saved us millions

      By Stephen Shankland, Robert Lemos, and Margaret Kane
      ZDNet News
      October 30, 2001 3:28 PM PT

      Online retailer Amazon.com shaved millions of dollars from its technology
      costs last quarter by switching to the Linux operating system, a disclosure
      that could provide some guidance for other companies seeking to cut expenses
      in a stagnant economy.
      In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the e-commerce
      giant said it was able to cut technology expenses by about 25 percent, from
      $71 million to $54 million.

      The reduction was attributed primarily to Amazon's "migration to a
      Linux-based technology platform that utilizes a less-costly technology
      infrastructure, as well as general price reductions for data and
      telecommunication services due to market overcapacity," according to the
      filing.

      In a related development, an Intel executive said Tuesday that the Napster
      file-swapping service and Linux inspired the company to overhaul some of its
      technology infrastructure.

      Amazon's disclosure could provide hard data for Linux proponents who have
      long argued that the open-source software can save corporations money over
      the alternatives, such as Unix and Microsoft's various Windows products. A
      Microsoft representative, however, warned that short-term savings seen by
      Amazon could turn into a long-term increase in costs.

      Linux, a 10-year-old clone of the Unix operating system and a competitor to
      Windows, burst onto the scene in the late 1990s and now is an established
      force in the computing industry even though many companies pushing it are
      faltering. A recent study found that Linux is more powerful than some
      versions of Unix, but Linux in businesses is used more often on lower-end
      servers than on the powerful machines at the heart of large companies. But
      because Linux is essentially a clone of Unix, it's a more natural candidate
      to replace Unix than the dissimilar Windows.

      Linux, which is developed by numerous volunteer programmers and companies,
      has some major pricing advantages.

      "We've recently...found that Linux--if you look at the overall cost of
      ownership including the hardware, software, staffing, and purchasing and
      retirement costs--ends up being significantly less expensive than Unix over
      a three-year period for things like Web serving," said IDC analyst Dan
      Kusnetzky.

      Half the price tag
      For 1,000 users tapping into a Linux server, the total cost is about a fifth
      to a half that of a Unix system, Kusnetzky said. The cost of administering a
      Linux system is about the same percentage of the overall cost for a Unix or
      Windows server, he added.

      Cutting expenses is certainly important for Amazon right now. The company
      trimmed its losses by 30 percent in the third quarter, posting a net loss of
      $170 million. Amazon has pledged that it will be profitable on a pro forma
      basis by the fourth quarter, and with revenue inching up only $1 million
      from the year-ago quarter to $639 million, every little bit helps.

      According to Internet research firm Netcraft, Amazon's Web pages are dished
      out by Linux servers running Red Hat's Stronghold Web server, a derivative
      of the open-source Apache project.

      Amazon executives could not immediately be reached for comment.

      Linux can cut costs in several ways. When a company first obtains the
      operating system, the software can be downloaded for free, or a single copy
      purchased from a company such as Red Hat or SuSE can be installed on as many
      computers as a company wants. Secondly, it comes bundled with other software
      for sending Web pages to people's browsers or running company e-mail.

      Thirdly, in many cases companies don't have to pay extra licensing fees for
      the computers that connect to Linux servers. And finally, Linux is often
      used on inexpensive Intel computers, sometimes generic "white box" machines
      and sometimes older computers seeing a second life.

      Linux has enjoyed strong penetration into the server market, accounting for
      24 percent of server operating-system shipments in 1999 and 27 percent in
      2000, Kusnetzky said. That's second to Windows, which went from 38 percent
      in 1999 to 42 percent in 2000.

      But there are hidden costs to Linux, Microsoft argues. "I think a lot of
      customers are lured by the apparent low price of Linux," said Doug Miller,
      director of competitive strategy for Microsoft's Windows division. "They
      don't have a real issue with Linux, but it ends up costing them in the long
      run."

      With Linux, customers "end up being in the operating systems business,"
      managing software updates and security patches while making sure the
      multitude of software packages don't conflict with each other," Miller said.
      "That's the job of a software vendor like Microsoft."

      While Red Hat offers some of those services, it's difficult to ensure that
      software packages updated frequently by hundreds of people around the globe
      work well together, Miller said.

      Linux largesse
      Amazon said in June that it was revamping its computer systems and switching
      to "commodity" computers running Linux. Executives said at the time that
      they expected technology costs as a portion of net sales would decrease by
      20 percent this year.

      While the company may have saved money going to Linux, there still was
      funding to go around. Two beneficiaries were Hewlett-Packard and Red Hat.

      HP supplied Amazon's Linux servers, large numbers of thin, rack-mountable
      models with Intel chips, said Mike Balma, marketing director for HP's newly
      formed Linux Systems Operation. And Red Hat customized Linux for the
      servers.

      HP has been working with Amazon since October 1999, Balma said, but the big
      contract win came in May 2000, when HP announced its systems would replace
      Unix servers from Sun Microsystems.

      HP helped Amazon migrate its customized software from the earlier servers to
      the Linux servers that dish up Web pages as well as to higher-end HP Unix
      servers for the heavy-duty systems nearer the heart of the operation, Balma
      said. "They're basically an all-HP shop."

      Red Hat spearheaded Amazon's switch over to Linux, said Billy Marshall, vice
      president of enterprise sales and marketing for the Durham, N.C., company.

      "Amazon has been a customer of ours for over a year now," he said. "Each of
      the transactions that goes through their systems touch our technology. Now
      they are locked down for the holiday season. They are very happy with the
      output that they are getting."

      With Linux systems cheaper than Unix systems, the current lean times offer a
      silver lining for the surviving Linux companies.

      "I think things are very good for Linux--particularly in a down economy,"
      Marshall said. "Companies are looking for alternatives to expensive
      proprietary systems that they were all too willing to shell out for in the
      go-go days."

      On the desktop
      Some companies are even putting Linux on the desktop to save money. Though
      Linux has a low penetration there--Linux accounted for only 1.5 percent of
      operating systems shipped for desktop use in 2000, compared with 92 percent
      for Windows, Kusnetzky said--some forces are aligning to increase its
      possibilities.

      Among those forces: the coming version 6 of Sun Microsystems' StarOffice
      package of office software, which many believe will be a more capable
      product than the bulky current version and thus a more credible alternative
      to Microsoft's Office; burdensome Microsoft licensing fees during a time of
      economic austerity; and the overall price tag of Windows and Office.

      "People are looking at Linux as a replacement for Windows," said Chad
      Robinson, an analyst at Robert Frances Group. "Not that people are switching
      en masse, but many corporations are exploring that area" chiefly for
      special-purpose desktops such as bank teller computers.

      "The potential for cost savings there is huge," Robinson said.

      In late September, independent consultant Rob Valliere published the results
      of a business study that convinced his small-business client to adopt Linux
      for a 24-person company. The bottom line: Switching the majority of
      computers to Linux would provide nearly the same functionality as an upgrade
      to Windows 2000 and save the company more than $10,000.

      The study concluded that Linux applications could provide solid alternatives
      to nearly every Windows application, with the possible exception of the
      scheduling and e-mail integration of Microsoft Outlook.

      In the study, Valliere found that licensing fees for 24 copies of Windows
      2000 and Office 2000, along with a Windows 2000 server and necessary memory
      upgrades, would cost about $15,000. Installing Linux on the server and 20 of
      the computers--with the remaining four upgraded to Windows 2000--would cost
      slightly more than $5,000, including consulting and installation fees.

      Cracking the whip
      Another financial incentive to use Linux on the desktop is that Linux's
      open-source licensing makes it simpler for a company to make sure its
      computers are in compliance with license restrictions, as opposed to
      Microsoft's per-seat licensing plans that can result in costly and legally
      daunting audits.

      "Staying in compliance with licenses is something a lot of companies are
      scared of right now. It's more difficult, and the ramifications of being out
      of compliance are becoming more and more onerous," Robinson said. "As of the
      last year or so, Microsoft has been going after companies where they've
      gotten tip-offs or had other suspicions."

      With Windows XP and Office XP, Microsoft now has a better tool to enforce
      license compliance: product activation technology that locks versions of
      Windows and Office to a particular computer.

      "We are a commercial software vendor. That's how we earn revenue," Miller
      responded. "Our goal is to be properly compensated by customers for our
      software."

      --GoesAde
      dari yg lagi ngoprek slackware, lagi pusing
      setup x, nggak mau jalan!

      nb:
      Bagi rekan yg punya slackware bisa bantu nggak? Saya baru saja install
      slackware(dapat dari majalah cd linux edisi 7) di windows 98 pakai disket
      booting di lain hard disk (/dev/hdb). Sekarang saya hanya bisa jalan text
      base/native mode, mau startx tapi gagal di tengah jalan. Q: apakah xfree86
      harus di setup dulu, bukannya langsung bisa booting ke x-windows tanpa harus
      melalui command prompt? atau bisa langsung di set di /etc/init file yaa?
      Thx sebelum-nya.

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    • I Wayan Warmada
      On Sun, 4 Nov 2001, Trisna Widya wrote: % Mungkin dari para linuxer ada yg mempunyai tanggapan ttg hal ini, tepatnya % ttg the hidden long term cost yg
      Message 2 of 4 , Nov 3, 2001
        On Sun, 4 Nov 2001, Trisna Widya wrote:

        % Mungkin dari para linuxer ada yg mempunyai tanggapan ttg hal ini, tepatnya
        % ttg "the hidden long term cost" yg dimaksud oleh Microsoft. Bagaimanapun

        Yang dimaksud the hidden long term cost oleh Microsoft apa? Gua males
        membacanya, soalnya dari dulu provokasinya Microsoft nggak ada
        isinya...$-). Pertanyaan gua, bagaimana kita tahu mempelajari OS itu
        menguntungkan atau tidak? Apakah ada jaminan setelah mempelajari Windows
        akan menguntungkan atau OS lain merugikan?

        IWW
      • Ronald Kuwawi
        maksudnya mungkin, selain initial hardware buy, kita harus upgrade software ke versi baru, apply patch security dll. Mempelajari sebuah OS menguntungkan atau
        Message 3 of 4 , Nov 4, 2001
          maksudnya mungkin, selain initial hardware buy, kita harus
          upgrade software ke versi baru, apply patch security dll.

          Mempelajari sebuah OS menguntungkan atau tidak? Saya kira pasti
          ada keuntungannya, setidaknya dari segi teknis, kita bisa tahu
          lebih banyak tentang dunia komputer. Dan kita bisa tahu sendiri,
          bisa membandingkan dengan OS lain (Linux, FreeBSD, dll) apa
          kelemahannya dan kekuatannya.

          IMHO kekuatan Microsoft ialah mrk mempunyai dedicated R & D
          department yg pegawainya dibayar sehingga mrk lebih konsisten
          thd software developmentnya, dibandingkan Linux yg cenderung
          lebih desentralisasi. Tapi kelemahannya karena mrk lebih mengejar
          profit, jadinya software masih banyak bug-nya tetep aja dirilis
          untuk mengejar deadline. Sedangkan kalau Linux programmer, nyantai
          aja kan soalnya nggak ada deadlinenya dan bebas mau desain
          program dia kayak gimana, nggak harus nurutin kata bos hehehe :-)

          ./ronald




          I Wayan Warmada wrote:
          >
          > On Sun, 4 Nov 2001, Trisna Widya wrote:
          >
          > % Mungkin dari para linuxer ada yg mempunyai tanggapan ttg hal ini, tepatnya
          > % ttg "the hidden long term cost" yg dimaksud oleh Microsoft. Bagaimanapun
          >
          > Yang dimaksud the hidden long term cost oleh Microsoft apa? Gua males
          > membacanya, soalnya dari dulu provokasinya Microsoft nggak ada
          > isinya...$-). Pertanyaan gua, bagaimana kita tahu mempelajari OS itu
          > menguntungkan atau tidak? Apakah ada jaminan setelah mempelajari Windows
          > akan menguntungkan atau OS lain merugikan?
          >
          > IWW
        • I Wayan Warmada
          On Mon, 5 Nov 2001, Ronald Kuwawi wrote: % maksudnya mungkin, selain initial hardware buy, kita harus % upgrade software ke versi baru, apply patch security
          Message 4 of 4 , Nov 4, 2001
            On Mon, 5 Nov 2001, Ronald Kuwawi wrote:

            % maksudnya mungkin, selain initial hardware buy, kita harus
            % upgrade software ke versi baru, apply patch security dll.

            emangnya windows nggak perlu diupgrade. Linux sebagai server nggak
            diupgrade nggak apa-apa, paling cuman butuh dl patchnya saja dan itupun
            tidak besar filenya. Nggak punya uang buat dl, ya mungkin ada tetangga
            yang sudah mendl atau ada teman yang punya CD komplit tinggal copy
            beberapa filenya saja... Emang ini keluar duit?? Linux nggak perlu
            hardware yang baru, seperti yang dituntut program Windows.

            % Mempelajari sebuah OS menguntungkan atau tidak? Saya kira pasti
            % ada keuntungannya, setidaknya dari segi teknis, kita bisa tahu
            % lebih banyak tentang dunia komputer. Dan kita bisa tahu sendiri,
            % bisa membandingkan dengan OS lain (Linux, FreeBSD, dll) apa
            % kelemahannya dan kekuatannya.

            selamat belajar deh kalau gitu... saya bukan orang komputer jadi kagak
            tahu sisi menguntungkannya dimana belajar OS...

            % IMHO kekuatan Microsoft ialah mrk mempunyai dedicated R & D
            % department yg pegawainya dibayar sehingga mrk lebih konsisten
            % thd software developmentnya, dibandingkan Linux yg cenderung
            % lebih desentralisasi.

            maksudnya? Apakah desentralisasi so bad? Apakah development Linux tidak
            konsisten?

            % Tapi kelemahannya karena mrk lebih mengejar profit, jadinya software
            % masih banyak bug-nya tetep aja dirilis untuk mengejar deadline.
            % Sedangkan kalau Linux programmer, nyantai aja kan soalnya nggak ada
            % deadlinenya dan bebas mau desain program dia kayak gimana, nggak harus
            % nurutin kata bos hehehe :-)

            Ini bukan alasan yang masuk akal...$-). Kalau si Microsoft menunggu sampai
            softwarenya perfect untuk dijual, ya kapan dia akan menjual softwarenya?
            Atau mesti menunggu 10 tahun sekali dia mengupdate versinya? Linux nggak
            ada deadline, he..he... silakan mas baca homepagenya beberapa developer
            software opensource, hampir semuanya ada deadline. Yang paling strick
            dengan deadline ya KDE. KDE selalu melaunching software tepat waktu yang
            direncanakan.

            IWW
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