Linux and open source are moving beyond academic and government institutions, with small and medium enterprises, as well as large corporations embracing and committing their technological future to this technology. Speaking at a CXO Executive Breakfast Seminar held in conjunction with Linuxworld Singapore 2005, Wolfgang Herrmann, CIO, Schenker Asia Pacific, shared his experience on the switch to Linux and open source.

Schenker is an international provider of integrated logistics services. It provides support to industry and trade in land operations, in worldwide air and sea freight, and in all the associated logistics services. Singapore was chosen as the Asia regional data centre which runs the centralized application and data servers for 20 countries, in 93 branches in the region. These servers run fully on Linux. Approximately 32 rack mounted servers were migrated from Solaris/HPUX to Linux within a month. However, the planning and proof of concept took a much longer time, said Herrmann. The value proposition of open source is not about cost but on the hardware and application independence.Steve McWhirter>Text The entire legacy system was replaced by Red Hat, hence some of the in-house developed applications had to be recompiled. “We moved from an entirely proprietary environment to a best-of-breed combination of open-source and proprietary software on commodity hardware,” said Herrmann.

This resulted in faster response time and quicker turnaround time for Schenker’s supply chain customers. “By eliminating dependency on proprietary hardware, it resulted in cost savings,” he added.

“The value proposition of open source is not about cost but on the hardware and application independence,” said Steve McWhirter, vice-president, Asia Pacific, Red Hat.

“It is most important to keep options open, [regardless] of hardware, software or architecture, so as to be flexible,” added Michael Tiemann, Red Hat’s vice-president, open-source affairs.

Herrman also pointed out that with the Red Hat network, Schenker was assured of a secure, 24×7 professionally managed infrastructure. “We were betting the future of our IT infrastructure on Red Hat and have not been disappointed at all,” he said.

Related links:

British public bodies say no to open source

Norway throws weight behind open source



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