Next, ask yourself the question, "If my suppliers were to make a sudden and rash change towards a more restrictive and much more costly licensing scheme, what precisely is my company's exposure?"
Third, BEFORE implementing a Linux solution, make sure you understand the platform and know how to manage it. For starters, you need to know how Unix file system and access control permissions work. You need to understand how to configure users and groups. You need to know how to back up and restore the system with minimal (no) downtime.
Get trained -- sit for the LPI exams if you want to go the route of least costs. Enroll in the Red Hat Certified Engineer program and get up to speed fast.
You will also need to learn how to find support and solutions for your problems.
Lastly, identify all the important Linux applications you will be dependant on, find the support and training channels for these products, and start listenting in on key IRC channels and mailing lists for these products.
Good places to start:
- Internet Software Consortium: DNS/DHCP
- samba.org: MS Windows File and Print (Samba)
- www.squid-cache.org: Web proxy serving
- The Apache Software Foundation: Apache Web Server
- www.php.net: Web automation using PHP
- PostgreSQL: SQL for MS Windows clients
- Common UNIX Printing System: Printing
- www.webmin.com: Configuration management
This was first published in May 2003