You claim that it’ll cost $1,000 per machine to upgrade to Windows 10. Engineers tell me it’s way cheaper than that.
We quote up to 1,000 EUR/GPB/USD, which includes: hardware purchase, labour costs, (including project management), disruption of user function and user training
We view this as a maximum – however there are certain factors that you can not, or should not avoid – such as buying enterprise class machines, or getting high quality installation services. Training is also a factor: Windows 10 is a fundamental shift in the user interface and many users will require training simply to navigate.
Can’t I just install Windows 10, and add an SSD?
Yes – but the time required to do this is typically longer than 4 hours – especially as installing a SSD requires the migration of all data from the old disk onto the new.
However, Windows 10 performs poorly on any machine older than 2-3 years: in other words, any machine that was 'designed for Windows 7'.
Installing a SSD does very little to improve the performance - installing memory is more important. By the time you have done both, you might as well have installed a new machine in the first place.
Taking this approach will vastly increase the cost of labour and requires a pool of spares as opening the case of any machine increases the risk of damage.
Time scales seem long. Why?
If you are upgrading 1000 machines, and you assume a best case scenario of 2 hours per machine it will take a team of 4 people 12.5 weeks (non stop, 4 machines per day) at a minimum cost of €200,000.00 - just for labour.
Of course this does not include:
Time for failures, delays or travel (the assumption is that all the systems are in the same location).
The labour cost alone described above is close to 10 times the total price of our total solution that could be deployed (typically) across 3 or 4 nights over the same period.
Is Linux Secure?
Yes. Linux is a lot less subject to viruses and security flaws - and impervious to ransomware such as "Wannacry". Linux and open source in general is actively maintained by hundreds of thousands of engineers and programmers all around the world – 24/7.
Contrast this with Windows: closed source and only maintained by a small group of engineers within Microsoft.
Our software can automatically wake machines at night to update them with the latest software versions, thus minimising the attack surface across the enterprise.
Anti-virus software is also available.
Ease of Use
Isn’t Linux hard to use? Won’t this impact the migration costs?
Modern Linux is fast, with a number of desktop environments that are extremely easy to use. The current favourite, known as Gnome, has many features that are reminiscent of the Mac OS.
From the very first login, where the users can use their existing username and password, it is easy to customise the system to be focussed on the task that the user performs.
But what about Microsoft Office?
Office 365 – Web Edition – works perfectly on Linux. Microsoft have elected not to release the full version of Office for Linux. Yet.
As they are moving some of their most important systems to Linux (such as SQL Server) and open sourcing many tools (such as .Net and Visual Studio), we expect this to change.
Regardless, if your job absolutely requires Microsoft Office as you are a document creator, then Linux may not be your ideal desktop environment – and that is fine.
Many Companies Depend on Old, or Legacy Applications.
There are a number of approaches to deal with this – even without a Linux migration. Legacy applications are increasing being made to run in a “RDP” or Remote Desktop Environment. This isolates the application in a centralised system so that the client does not need to be installed on every machine.
This approach allows for centralised upgrades, greater security, and relies on simple client software to connect to these environments. Of course, Linux has this client software – such as FreeRDP and Citrix Reciever.
But Companies don’t have Linux skills.
Given that all cloud based systems are all based on Linux, and most modern server based systems now have Linux at their core – this is now longer the case.
There is another consideration, however: Linux systems run faster, fail less often and typically require less maintenance than the Windows systems that they replace.
This means that it is possible for small teams to manage hundreds, or even thousands of machines due to this increased reliability. *
Compare that to the average of 1 Windows support engineer per 100 desktops, consider retraining the appropriate people to support the new environment.
* At Allied Irish Bank, i-Layer (Ireland) Limited supported some 7,500 end user Linux systems with 2 engineers.
If you are using a so called ‘thin client’ system, chances are you are already using Linux to do just that.
If, however you are a document consumer – there are many tools available that can read Office documents without issue.
As modern enterprise applications are increasing built with access via web browser in mind, migrate to Linux is easy as it features both the Chrome and Firefox browsers – meaning there is no downtime, because the users already are familiar with them.