Savings using Linux Server over Windows
Much is being said about the actual savings and ROI made when using Linux as a server operating system over Windows. This article aims to give a brief and factual overview of the cost savings obtained when using Linux as a server rather than Windows. A comparison is made between the cost of the OSs, including a comparative cost for all software that a company would need to run a network.
This last point is often ignored when comparing the cost of a Linux distribution against a copy of Windows Server: A standard Linux distribution comes bundled with much more software and functionality than a standard copy of Windows Server. For example, Linux ships on four to six CDs, Windows Server on only one.
Every Linux distribution also includes a professional proxy server, an IMAP mail server, a SQL database server and so on. You can download groupware, content management, CRM and other software for free and make substantial savings. Although Windows includes IIS as a web server, as soon as you have to create accounts on the web server for protected areas, you start running into client access licenses (CALs).
The prices below have been obtained by conducting a search on price.com, and selecting the best price that could be found. It should be noted that often these best prices are only available in the USA, and prices outside the USA are much higher.
|Windows 2003 Server with 5 CALS||$572||Average cost of a Distribution1||$349|
|Microsoft Exchange Server with 5 CALS||$910||Included – Cyrus, Postfix & Opengroupware||$0|
|Microsoft ISA Server Standard Edition||$1,250||Included – Squid & Iptables||$0|
|Microsoft SQL Server with 5 CALS2||$1,079||Included – MySQL or PostgresSQL||$0|
|Total for server||$3,811||Total for server||$349|
Total cost saving of a Linux Server compared to a Windows Server with 5 CALS is $3,462. Remember that for each additional USER, you have to add a CAL. For the full price difference, you need to calculate the additional cost based on the number of users you have. For each additional user:
Windows Server CAL $80, Exchange Server CAL $70, SQL Server CAL (if required) $146
|Network size||Extra CAL cost||Server cost||Total cost||Saving if using Linux|
Other server software
If you have installed Linux and are familiar with its operation, there is a whole range of server applications that you can use which will give you substantial savings on licensing costs, such as:
|Content management software||$6,995||Content management software, e.g. Typo 3||$0|
|CRM software||$9,995||CRM software, e.g. Compiere||$0|
|Additional IIS licenses||$795||Apache has no user limitation||$0|
1 There are many good Linux distributions, ranging from totally free (Fedora, Debian) to $349 (SUSE Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Server). Since Linux is clearly cheaper anyway, we have taken the most expensive license, even though one could easily use a much cheaper license.
2 It is possible to buy SQL Server as a processor license at $4,995. We have however chosen the 5 CAL version, since it is likely that only a few users will require access to SQL Server. This option is then significantly cheaper.
3 On a 50-user network it is not advisable to have all software installed on a single server. Therefore the server applications detailed in the table have to split out onto 3 different servers.
4 We have not included a SQL license for each user. We have estimated that only 10-15% require such as CAL license. Therefore in this calculation there are 100 Exchange CALS, 100 Server CALS and 15 SQL CALS.