The Business Value of Migrating from UNIX to Microsoft? Windows Server SystemTM
Published: May 2004
For the latest information, please see http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/
In the past, organizations that required high performance and availability from their critical business systems built
86 processor performance equaling and even exceeding that of RISC, on the UNIX/RISC platform. Today, with x
many are exploring new opportunities to improve the price/performance ratio and total cost of ownership (TCO) of their IT infrastructure. This has sparked a migration to Microsoft? Windows Server SystemTM, the integrated
server infrastructure software that delivers on the promise of today’s x86 performance and cost advantages by
delivering an integrated, services-oriented architecture for better organizational efficiency, competitiveness and agility. Windows Server System not only delivers cost and productivity benefits for native Windows?-based
applications, but also extends the service life and functionality of legacy UNIX applications and file systems. Microsoft also provides a clear road map and the guidance needed to substantially reduce the complexity and time involved in migrating from UNIX. And Windows Server System products such as Microsoft Windows ServerTM 2003 and Microsoft SQL ServerTM 2000 are enterprise ready, providing the highest levels of security and reliability as well as the processing capacity needed to support organizational growth long into the future.
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Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 1 Comparing Windows Server and Linux for the move from UNIX ............................................... 1 A platform for the next generation of business applications ...................................................... 2 A dependable enterprise partner .............................................................................................. 2 Major customers lead the way .................................................................................................. 2 Outstanding Price/Performance with Low Total Cost of Ownership ...................................... 3 Gain a price/performance advantage for your business systems .............................................. 3 Reduce the cost of your IT operations with lower TCO than Linux ............................................ 4 A Strategic Application Platform for Business Success ......................................................... 5 Streamline your migration and skills transfer from UNIX to x86 ................................................. 5 Rapidly develop new, integrated business solutions ................................................................. 5 The Right Enterprise Partner .................................................................................................... 7 Deploy enterprise-ready technology to maximize your IT investments ...................................... 7 Achieve operational excellence for IT-driven business operations ............................................ 7 Rely on an extensive, global network of partners, professionals and products .......................... 8 Summary ................................................................................................................................... 9 Related Links ........................................................................................................................... 10
For many years, organizations have built their enterprise business systems on the UNIX/RISC platform. UNIX systems have a strong track record of performance and scalability for critical business systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP); customer relationship management (CRM); supply chain management (SCM); and custom-built financial, accounting and commerce applications. However, the recent evolution of technology on the x86 platform has prompted many customers to reevaluate whether to
continue supporting their UNIX systems or to shift to an x86-based architecture. From a business
perspective, this decision is largely based on two factors:
; Organizations can lower their IT costs, as x86 processor performance now equals or exceeds that of
RISC. As a result, the ratio of price to performance (price/performance) and the total cost of ownership
(TCO) of a RISC/UNIX platform are no longer competitive by comparison.
; Companies developing products for the x86 architecture are leading the shift to a ―services-oriented
architecture.‖ Services-oriented technologies can extend the service life and functionality of UNIX
applications while reducing the time and cost required to develop next-generation business solutions. In response to these factors, many organizations are migrating from UNIX/RISC to Microsoft? Windows
Server SystemTM integrated server software on the x86 platform to gain substantial improvements in
price/performance and TCO as well as greater business agility. Designed to support end-to-end solutions built on the Microsoft Windows ServerTM 2003 operating system and using products and technologies such
as Microsoft SQL ServerTM 2000 and the Microsoft .NET Framework, Windows Server System creates an infrastructure based on integrated innovation, Microsoft’s holistic approach to building products and
solutions that are intrinsically designed to work together and interact seamlessly with other data and applications across your IT environment. This allows you to reduce the costs of ongoing operations, deliver a more secure and reliable IT infrastructure and drive new capabilities for the growth of your business. This white paper outlines the business benefits of choosing Windows Server System in comparison to Linux when migrating your business systems from UNIX to x86. It discusses how migrating your business
systems from UNIX to Windows Server System can extend the service life and functionality of your existing UNIX applications on lower-cost hardware while reducing TCO and delivering a dependable business systems platform that can improve the agility of your organization. And because Windows Server System is designed to extend both the time in service and the functionality of UNIX-based assets by hosting them on lower-cost, commodity x86 hardware, immediate savings can be substantial.
Comparing Windows Server and Linux for the move from UNIX
Many customers compare Windows Server with Linux when considering a replacement for UNIX systems. Some customers consider Linux an option that will deliver ―good enough‖ business value at a lower overall cost or believe that migrating from UNIX to Linux will be easier than migrating from UNIX to Windows Server. In fact, as this white paper outlines, industry analysts and major customers who evaluate both Linux and Windows have found that Windows Server delivers both lower total cost of ownership and greater business value. And Microsoft has invested heavily in making interoperability, migration and skills transition from UNIX to Windows Server easier than from UNIX to Linux, so your organization can more quickly realize TCO benefits with Windows Server than with Linux. By enabling organizations to leverage the value of their IT investments and do more with less, Windows Server System can substantially reduce the costs of ongoing operations while delivering a more secure and reliable IT infrastructure. The Business Value of Migrating from UNIX to Windows Server System 1
A platform for the next generation of business applications
There is a direct relationship between business success and information technology. The right IT investments can raise your organization to new levels of productivity, competitiveness and business agility. Of all the IT decisions that your organization makes, the choice of the technology for developing and deploying your business applications is perhaps the most important. Business applications are the payload of IT technology, whether they are ―packaged‖ applications such as ERP, CRM and SCM or applications
that have been custom-designed to implement your accounting, financial, or commerce systems. Although UNIX systems have been used for years for these types of applications, many organizations are choosing to move their business systems infrastructure from UNIX to Windows Server System to speed the delivery of new solutions using the most up-to-date implementation of service-oriented technologies available. A dependable enterprise partner
Migrating from UNIX to x86 is likely to require choosing a new enterprise partner for your enterprise business systems infrastructure. Microsoft understands your enterprise computing needs and offers a wide range of products and services to support your business. Microsoft offers a history of business stability, a solid record of technological investment and innovation and a long-term strategy of business-focused product delivery. Microsoft offers a comprehensive set of services and guidance to ensure that your business systems achieve the maximum business value possible for your investment. The enterprise readiness of Microsoft software and the level of choice created by an extensive, global network of partners, professionals and products can mean a lower degree of risk to your business when migrating from UNIX. Major customers lead the way
Customers such as Safeway, 7-Eleven, Bank of New York and Suncor Energy are just four of the many organizations that have chosen Windows Server System based on cost and returned business value.
; Safeway, one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, operates more than 1,800 stores
in the United States and Canada. In 2002, Safeway was running its in-store application servers on
SCO UNIX. Safeway chose to migrate from UNIX to reduce costs and create a more effective in-store
environment. Safeway considered Linux and other UNIX variants but concluded that Windows Server
System provided the most cost-effective software that would meet its demanding requirements.
; The Bank of New York (BNY) is one of the largest financial holding companies and providers of
global securities services in the United States, with total assets of over U.S.$80 billion and total
shareholder equity exceeding U.S.$6 billion. With the release of Windows Server 2003, BNY decided
to move from a mixed operating environment that included many UNIX servers to a server and
application environment built on Windows Server System.
; 7-Eleven, the worldwide leader in convenience retailing, decided to enhance its distributed retail
information system, a strategic asset that runs in its 5,800 stores in the United States and Canada.
After a detailed evaluation of Windows Server System and Linux, 7-Eleven concluded that Windows
Server System would incur 20 percent less TCO than Linux and would reduce by 50 percent the time it
takes to deploy new capabilities to its stores, increasing its ability to respond to customer needs.
; Suncor Energy was running SAP R/3 on Sun and Oracle software, but it sought to cut UNIX costs by
migrating to Windows Server System. Suncor was able to convert a key R/3 system in a "seamless"
move implemented over a single weekend. The company estimates that running on Windows Server
2003 will reduce hardware, software and support costs by 42 percent over six years. In addition,
performance is up 400 percent on batch jobs and availability is projected at 99.99 percent.
Among the wealth of supporting evidence presented in this paper, the experiences of these customers will
be further examined to substantiate the specific advantages of Microsoft Windows Server System as the
platform of choice for running x86-based business solutions.
The Business Value of Migrating from UNIX to Windows Server System 2
Outstanding Price/Performance with Low Total Cost of Ownership One reason to move from UNIX to x86 is the intersection of low cost and outstanding performance offered by x86-based hardware. Independent research has shown that commodity x86 hardware outperforms
RISC both on price alone and on the ratio of price to performance (price/performance). According to the benchmarks published by the nonprofit Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) in March 2004, the price/performance leader on x86 hardware is Windows Server 2003. In addition, analyst organizations and customers report that Windows Server 2003 provides lower TCO than either UNIX or Linux. Gain a price/performance advantage for your business systems
According to the results from the nonprofit Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) in March 2004, the price/performance leader on x86 hardware is Windows Server 2003. The TPC benchmarks show that systems that use x86 processors and run Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server currently hold all 10 of the top 10 spots in price/performance as measured by the TPC-C benchmark and 3 of the top 110 spots in pure performance. The TPC-C results in Table 1 show that, in terms of price/performance, the best Linux solution was over twice the cost per tpmC (a measure of transactions per unit of time) compared to the best Windows Server 2003–based solution. The best UNIX solution was nearly three times the cost per tpmC of the best Windows Server 2003–based solution.
HP ProLiant ML350-T03-HP $1.68 18,318 Windows Server 2003 04/14/04 X2.8/533
PowerEdge 2650/1/ Dell $1.85 22,052 Windows Server 2003 02/18/04 3.2-GHz/2M
HP ProLiant ML370-G3-HP $1.88 35,030 Windows Server 2003 03/17/04 2M/3.20-GHz-1P
PowerEdge 2650/1/ Dell $1.92 32,185 Windows Server 2003 02/23/04 3.2-GHz/2M
HP ProLiant ML350-T03-HP $1.96 17,192 Windows Server 2003 12/17/03 X3.06/533
Dell PowerEdge2650 $2.06 20,108 Windows Server 2003 01/14/04
Rack RackSaver RS-2164/op-r $2.06 20,477 Windows Server 2003 10/21/03
HP ProLiant ML350-G3-HP $2.14 28,711 Windows Server 2003 03/17/04 1M/2.80-GHz-1P/8 GB
IBM eServer xSeries IBM $2.15 31,910 Windows Server 2003 12/03/03 235/3.2-GHz/1P
HP ProLiant DL380-G3-HP $2.24 19,814 Windows Server 2003 11/24/03 1M/3.20-GHz-1P
Red Hat Enterprise 03/05/04 HP HP Integrity rx5670 Linux $4.09 136,110 Linux AS 3
IBM eServer pSeries 690 IBM $5.43 1,025,486 IBM AIX 5L V5.2 08/16/04 Model 7040-681
Table 1. TPC-C results as of April 16, 2004, show that the price/performance of servers running Windows Server
2003 exceeds the best price/performance results of Linux-based or UNIX-based systems.
1 As reported on the TPC Web site, April 16, 2004, http://www.tpc.org/. TPC, TPC-R, TPC-H, TPC-C, TPC-W are trademarks of the Transaction Processing Performance Council. All amounts are listed in U.S. dollars.
The Business Value of Migrating from UNIX to Windows Server System 3
Reduce the cost of your IT operations with lower TCO than Linux
One of the main selling points of Linux is its perceived low acquisition cost. However, as organizations have come to realize, the purchase price of a business system is only a small percentage of its overall TCO and the costs of operating, maintaining and supporting an information system frequently exceed initial licensing costs as a percentage of TCO. Recent analyst studies demonstrate that Microsoft Windows Server offers lower TCO than Linux.
; A study by the analyst firm the Aberdeen Group found that Windows Server delivered a 46 percent
overall cost advantage compared to UNIX, with specific advantages in the cost of server hardware, 2deployment, administration and training. Aberdeen also noted significant improvement in the TCO
offered by Windows 2000 Server compared to the Microsoft Windows NT? Server operating
system version 4.0. The study credits advances in reliability, performance and scalability for the 3TCO improvement.
; In a recent study, analyst firm IDC found that Windows Server delivered lower TCO than Linux in
four out of five key server workloads over a five-year period, with cost advantages as high as 22 4percent. The authors of the study write, ―Our in-depth study suggests that Microsoft Windows
2000 offers lower total cost than a Linux solution in four of the five workloads common to most
corporate IT environments. In these four workloads (network infrastructure, print serving, file
serving and security applications), the cost advantages of Windows are significant: 11–22 percent
less over a five-year period. The cost advantages are driven primarily by Windows’ significantly
lower costs for IT staffing, generally the largest single component of IT costs.‖
; A Total Economic Impact (TEI) analysis by Forrester Research found that Windows Server and
the Microsoft .NET Framework offer substantial cost advantages over Linux and the Java 2
Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application development language—25 to 28 percent lower 5cost over a four-year life cycle. The study reported that the cost of the Linux-based components
drove up product costs and development complexity relative to the comparable Microsoft software
and that Microsoft tools actually simplified the development of business applications. Industry analysts are not the only ones to document the cost benefits of Windows Server System. Before choosing Windows Server System for its retail information system upgrade, 7-Eleven performed an exten-sive study of cost factors and found a 20 percent lower TCO for Windows Server 2003 than for Linux. The company’s study indicated that the majority of the cost differentials were in functions related to daily opera-tions, such as software deployment, application management and operating system support. ―The nominal
licensing cost of Linux gets a CIO’s attention, but our analysis showed that the up-front cost/benefit of
Linux was quickly overcome by other cost factors, such as the higher cost of managing an open-source operating system across 5,800 stores,‖ says Chief Information Officer (CIO) Keith Morrow. ―Our TCO study
was central to our decision, with the result showing a significant cost differential in favor of Microsoft. When we compared the TCO of Windows Server 2003 to Linux, we found a 20 percent cost differential in Microsoft’s favor and in this industry, in today’s business climate, 20 percent is very significant. It's huge.‖
2 ―Windows Server Cost-of-Ownership Study: MLE Business Segment: An Executive White Paper.‖ Aberdeen Group, Inc.,
March 2002, http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/docs/AberdeenMLE.pdf.
3 Note that in order to investigate TCO across several years, several of the studies referred to in this white paper compared a previous version of Windows Server—Windows 2000 Server—to UNIX or Linux. Microsoft’s multiyear investments in increasing
the performance and lowering the TCO of Windows Server 2003 are not reflected in these studies.
4 Bozman, Jean, et al. ―Windows 2000 Versus Linux in Enterprise Computing: An Assessment of Business Value for Selected Workloads.‖ IDC Whitepaper, 2002, http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/facts/default.asp.
5 Rymer, John R. and Cormier, Bob. ―The Total Economic Impact of Developing and Deploying Applications on Microsoft and J2EE/Linux Platforms.‖ Forrester Research, September 4, 2003, http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/facts/default.asp.
The Business Value of Migrating from UNIX to Windows Server System 4
A Strategic Application Platform for Business Success
Like most technologies, application development tools and techniques tend to evolve in bursts of innovation. The recent shift to services-oriented technologies has revolutionized how applications are designed and operate. The services-oriented approach uses technological innovations such as Web services and Extensible Markup Language (XML) to implement a more connected approach to data and systems, and is changing how business systems are designed and how they interact with other systems and with employees, customers, suppliers and partners. These technologies are especially important if you are migrating from UNIX and want to extend the service life and value of your existing business systems. Windows Server System provides a clear road map for migrating your infrastructure to the lower-cost x86
platform. First, Microsoft makes it easy to migrate your line-of-business applications from UNIX to Windows Server System: With award-winning tools, you can convert UNIX applications to run on Windows without having to change the application’s business logic. Microsoft simplifies the skills transition for your IT staff, providing an operational environment on x86 hardware that includes tools that are familiar to IT staff
trained on UNIX. Microsoft then makes it easy to develop and deploy new business applications using a services-oriented approach for designing and integrating information systems, even creating new systems that incorporate your existing UNIX-based data and applications.
Streamline your migration and skills transfer from UNIX to x86
Microsoft has made a commitment to supporting UNIX applications on the Windows platform and has the products, services and guidance you need to make the transition smooth for your business systems and your IT organization. To help you capitalize on the opportunity to reuse and extend your UNIX business systems, Microsoft provides Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX 3.5, an extensive and easy-to-use toolkit for migrating a UNIX application to Windows Server 2003. Windows Services for UNIX 3.5 is a free download from the Microsoft Web site that provides a universal environment in which to run applications for both Windows Server and UNIX on a single system. One of just 10 award winners at the 2003 LinuxWorld conference, Windows Services for UNIX received the Open Source Product Excellence Award for Best System Integration Software. With Windows Services for UNIX 3.5, you can leverage your UNIX investments by porting your custom UNIX applications to Windows Server, saving development time and sparing the business risk and cost of having to rewrite those applications from scratch. Many people believe that migrating from UNIX to Linux will be easier than migrating from UNIX to Windows Server. As it turns out, Microsoft offers an extensive set of tools for transitioning your IT organization to the x86 architecture. Windows Services for UNIX provides more than 300 UNIX tools and utilities that centralize network management across UNIX and Windows Server platforms. Your UNIX-trained IT staff can use these familiar tools to ensure that they are quickly productive in the Windows Server environment. And the interoperability tools in Windows Services for UNIX make it easy for IT to continue to manage your remaining workloads on UNIX while migrating applications and developing new solutions on Windows. When Suncor turned to Windows Server System, its primary goal was a "seamless" migration from UNIX. Suncor was able to convert a key SAP R/3 system to Windows Server System in a weekend. "Our users were surprised at how smooth the transition was in moving R/3 to Windows Server System," says David Massart, Enterprise IT Architect at the company. "They couldn't even tell that we'd moved them. We planned and executed the migration completely on schedule. Very few issues came up, none of consequence. It was an ideal experience."
Rapidly develop new, integrated business solutions
No company has invested more time, energy and resources into the development of the services-oriented architecture for business systems than Microsoft has. Windows Server System is at the center of The Business Value of Migrating from UNIX to Windows Server System 5
Microsoft’s multiyear investment in researching and devising methods of developing, deploying and
operating business applications. Windows Server System delivers the latest generation of services-oriented application development through technologies such as the .NET Framework, making business system development and integration faster, easier and less expensive than it is on a Linux-based application platform. As a result, organizations can deploy new business services to employees and customers at a much faster rate, increasing organizational productivity, competitiveness and agility. When convenience-retailing leader 7-Eleven decided to enhance its retail information system, it compared Microsoft and Linux. The company needed to respond more quickly to customer demands. 7-Eleven determined that it could deploy new capabilities to its stores 50 percent faster with Windows Server System and Microsoft technologies such as the .NET Framework than with technologies such as Linux and Java. Says Keith Morrow, CIO of 7-Eleven, ―Cutting development and deployment time in half for major changes
to our retail information system was one of the main reasons why we chose Windows Server and the power of Windows Server System over Linux. Reducing development time by half will allow us to anticipate customer demand, not just respond to it. The customer experience is better, we are more competitive as a company, and we lower IT costs in the process. It's a win all around."
UNIX to Windows
Figure 1. Migrating to Windows Server System can extend the service life and value of your UNIX application assets
while you develop the next generation of your business systems.
The Windows Server platform increases interoperability in networking, data sharing, management and application services. Windows Server 2003 supports virtually all other commonly used client technologies, including Macintosh, UNIX and Linux. Tools are also available to allow Windows-based clients to access other server platforms, including UNIX, IBM mainframe and Novell NetWare. Microsoft goes beyond platform interoperability to allow Windows-based applications and environments to work seamlessly with data and applications hosted on other platforms, including UNIX and Linux. Windows Server 2003 data-sharing technologies allow access to distributed corporate data and applications. Windows Services for UNIX even makes it possible for UNIX applications to run on Windows Server 2003. In summary, no other enterprise platform can match the interoperability of the Windows Server operating system family. The Business Value of Migrating from UNIX to Windows Server System 6
The Right Enterprise Partner
Migrating from UNIX to x86 is likely to require choosing a new enterprise partner for your enterprise business systems infrastructure. Microsoft understands your enterprise computing needs and offers a wide range of products and services to support your business. Microsoft offers a history of business stability, a solid record of technological investment and innovation and a long-term strategy of business-focused product delivery. Microsoft offers a comprehensive set of services and guidance to ensure that your business systems achieve the maximum business value possible for your investment. The enterprise readiness of Microsoft software and the level of choice created by an extensive, global network of partners, professionals and products can mean a lower degree of risk to your business when migrating from UNIX. 7-Eleven demands the highest reliability possible for its information systems and, after a lengthy and detailed analysis, concluded that choosing Linux for its critical retail information system would endanger its business continuity. "We feel like we've mitigated the risks to our business by deciding to use Windows Server 2003," says CIO Keith Morrow. "We trust the product's reliability. Who is really standing behind the open-source operating system? Given the reliability and predictability that we need in our stores, we realized that we could not risk stepping into the open-source world. We know Microsoft and we know we can depend on Microsoft."
Deploy enterprise-ready technology to maximize your IT investments
As a platform for business applications, Windows Server delivers enterprise-class capabilities that are comparable to those of most UNIX-based systems. ―Our business is one of volume, velocity and moving
large sums of money,‖ says Kurt Woetzel, chief information officer at Bank of New York. ―With the reliability, manageability and availability in Windows Server 2003, Windows is now reaching a level we’re used to seeing in the glass house. That means we now can consider moving our mission-critical applications to Windows. We can take advantage of vendor applications for this space. That wasn’t true for us in the past.‖
What’s more, recent studies indicate that Windows Server 2003 outperforms Linux. Comparing the
performance of Windows Server 2003 and Linux, the testing organization VeriTest found that Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0, the Web-serving technology included in Windows Server 2003, delivered up to 300 percent higher performance as measured by server throughput compared to Apache, the most 6commonly used Web server on Linux, running on Red Hat Linux. A separate test performed by VeriTest
found that Windows Server 2003 delivered up to 100 percent better performance on file serving than a 7popular Linux product. Better performance on tests such as these translates into better productivity; better customer services; and lower hardware, software and operational costs.
Achieve operational excellence for IT-driven business operations
Microsoft provides extensive guidance to customers seeking to achieve mission-critical system reliability, availability, supportability and manageability for their business systems. For example, the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) provides operational guidance in the form of white papers, operations guides, assessment tools, best practices, case studies, templates, support tools and services. This guidance addresses the people, process, technology and management issues pertaining to complex, distributed and heterogeneous IT environments.
6 ―Microsoft Windows Server 2003 with Internet Information Services (IIS) 6.0 vs. Linux Competitive Web Server Performance Comparison.‖ VeriTest, April 2003, http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/facts/analyses.asp.
7 ―Microsoft Windows Server 2003 vs. Linux Competitive File Server Performance Comparison.‖ VeriTest, April 2003, http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/facts/analyses.asp.
The Business Value of Migrating from UNIX to Windows Server System 7