Many companies are facing the challenge of how to transition from Windows 2000. While the default reaction to this challenge is to move to a newer Windows release this approach can lead to other concerns:
- Am I licensed for the new OS (especially when using the OEM supplied license)?
- Do your applications and peripherals work with the newer Windows OS versions?
Despite these challenges, in most scenarios, with proper planning, the transition can be managed effectively. However, in some cases IT departments should take the time to evaluate the progress that Open Source platforms have made in being a viable alternative.
If you are still using Windows 2000 it is likely that these systems are being used in a limited capacity. When the systems needing to be replaced are ‘task oriented’ terminals and a thin client is a good alternative but the cost of replacing hardware may be prohibitive, there are a variety of Linux Distributions and Open Source applications that can prove to be a valuable alternative. Take, for example, a scenario where a Windows 2000 system is used for a limited set of applications with specific hardware and peripheral requirements. Even better, let’s assume the Windows 2000 system is being used as an RDP terminal. A Linux desktop may be the perfect solution waiting to be discovered.
With the recent Linux distributions it’s easier than ever to develop a custom Linux image that can meet the challenge. Take, for example, Puppy Linux 4.3. This small yet powerful distribution is packed full of hardware device support, tons of the most typical applications, a streamlined installation experience, and flexible deployment options. All with a 110 MB footprint!
Check out the goals of the Puppy Linux distribution here:
As with any IT project, don’t assume or accept marketing slicks in place of due diligence. Do your homework, test and validate potential solutions, and plan for the full life cycle management of an approach. If done properly your organization will be successful whether the answer is Windows 7, Puppy Linux, or something off the ‘beaten path’ altogether. With the technology advancements of today’s operating systems, taking the time to re-evaluate the options may surprise you!
Source: Coretek Services – Sr. Systems Architect