Complete ousters of an operating system from any IT environment are pretty rare in this day and age of heterogeneous data centers, but I managed to find one in Northern California at the Windsor Unified School District. The IT staff there was tasked by school administrators with cutting costs associated with a Windows upgrade. They chose, ultimately, to cut out Windows entirely. The article shaped up to be pretty pro-Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux (I wouldn’t necessarily call it a lovefest), but I was able to get Heather Carver, Windsor’s IT director, to dish a bit on ID and authentication headaches that still plague Linux.
Seems people are still addressing these issues locally on a server by server basis — a tedious task — but one left over from the “golden days” of Unix directories that many analysts I’ve spoken with say people have just gotten used to and are hesitant to change. Well, unless we’re talking about the guys at Samba, but you get the idea.
With that in mind I gave Xandros a call to speak about a new product they have set to launch sometime this spring called BridgeWays. Xandros is heavy into Linux, but they’re hoping a foray into heterogeneous systems management will get some IT pros in need of Linux-Windows interoperability on board. Look for an article later this week on their efforts and how they’ll stack up against what’s already out there from vendors like Centeris, Centrify and Quest Software.