Dundee picks Linux to cut back-office costs

Dundee City Council has standardised on Linux for its back-office systems, as part of a drive to increase efficiency and lower...

Dundee City Council has standardised on Linux for its back-office systems, as part of a drive to increase efficiency and lower costs.

It has replaced a large server farm from a number of suppliers with one IBM z800 mainframe running Linux, but declined to reveal the value of the deal.

Interest in Linux is growing in both the public and private sectors. Earlier this year, Gartner research director Nikos Drakos said that councils could reduce IT costs by up to 10% over the next five years with open source.

But the initial findings of a trial at Newham Council in East London, which pitted open source products against Microsoft, found that open source products did not offer short-term savings. New-ham is due to make a decision this month on which to adopt.

Dundee's payroll was the first application to be moved to the mainframe, which uses z/VM virtualisation technology. This gives the council access to the equivalent of hundreds of virtual servers housed on a single box.

"The IBM z800 running Linux gives us the reliability and cost effectiveness we need, and the ability to add capacity on the fly will allow us to add new applications to conform with e-government requirements," said Tim Simpson, IT support manager.

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