Cybersource Pty. Ltd., a provider of Linux applications and ardent open source supporter based in Melbourne, Australia, has released an update to a two-year-old study that compared the total cost of ownership (TCO) of Microsoft Windows and open source applications.
According to Cybersource, the report showed that a company with 250 users running Linux will experience a 27% to 36% cost savings over Microsoft alternatives, over a three-year period.
The report included expenses attributed to workstations, servers, networking, IT departments, mail and print servers, SQL and network infrastructure servers, Internet and intranet servers, in addition to a comparison between free Linux platforms and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
While some could see the pro-Linux company as biased, Cybersource executives defended the results as sound because of "concessions" made in the report that "tip the scales in Microsoft's favor."
"We know that Cybersource is identified as a Linux solution provider, so we made a great effort to prepare a balanced and open analysis," said Cybersource CEO Con Zymaris. "The prices used for the study, along with research methodology, vendor specifications, cost calculator tabulations are all included so that these results can be verified by others."
A Robert Frances Group study is one "concession," in Microsoft's favor, according to Zymaris. Cybersource did not modify the model to reflect the study, which shows that Linux required 82% fewer staff resources. The cost of malware, viruses, spyware and worms were not included either, he said.
Some studies have comes under fire from the Linux community for failing to include viruses and malware in their risk assessment comparisons between Linux and Windows. A study in October conducted by U.K.-based security firm Mi2g that labeled Linux "the most breached operating system" was largely dismissed because it did not include information on virus or malware attacks.
According to principal analyst for Hayward, Calif.-based Pund-IT Research Charles King, Linux users were justified in their passionate reply to the Cybersource report because the Mi2g report offered scant information regarding the methodology, the IT environments surveyed or the size of the sample used. This was exactly the type of information Zymaris wished to include in the Cybersource study to eliminate inconsistencies afterward.
The Cybersource report comes two years after the company became the first to author a study contrasting overall TCO between Linux platforms and Windows platforms. Indeed, Zymaris was at the forefront of the outrage with an e-mail to the press that labeled Mi2g's data as "lamentably broken," amongst other things.
Zymaris said the update was penned to accommodate changes in both platforms and to extend the model to increase relevancy and accuracy.
"We know that many organizations and many governments around the world are looking at adopting Linux and are therefore carefully analyzing the numbers. We now provide what we think are the tools for making such a decision easier. And the final numbers are indeed startling. We've given Microsoft every head start possible, but Linux's cost advantage is simply too great."