Linux Vs Windows Tco
Essay Preview: Linux Vs Windows Tco
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There has been significant interest in the broader business community regarding the
difference in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) between the Linux and Open Source
solutions on one side and Microsofts proprietary Windows solutions on the other.
Microsoft software is licenced to users on a feeforproduct
basis, whereas most Linux and
open source applications are available free of charge. There are, however, installation and
support costs to consider. We will take all such costs into consideration in the models we
While it is difficult to qualitatively analyse all of the TCO factors at play, it is possible to
produce a reasonable firstpass
quantitative estimate for the instantiation and operation of
a complete computer environment and network infrastructure for a smalltomedium
organisation, to illuminate the TCO differences between these two competing platforms.
To that end, we have modelled an organisation with 250 computerusing
staff, an
appropriate number of workstations, servers, Internet connectivity, an ebusiness
network cabling and hardware, standard software, and salaries for IT professionals to
establish and support this infrastructure and technology. Weve also added IT training for
the staff along with expenditure items for ancillary IT systems and external consulting
staff to assist in making it all work.
We ran the model with two options: firstly, purchasing brand new hardware and network
infrastructure explicitly for establishing this organisations computer systems; and
secondly, using preexisting
hardware and infrastructure. We also simulated the IT
expenses over a 3 year period, mimicking the operational lifespan
of many corporate
computer systems, and amortising the purchase and installation costs over that period of
Throughout this comparison, we will be presenting the raw data as well as the explicative
methodologies used in the determination of the overall costs. While we have taken care
and effort to present a holistic analysis, we are mindful that no organisation is likely to
operate with the exact parameters presented here, and we therefore recommend the use of
the document as a guide only. Consider this document as a primer which you can use to
generate an enhanced TCO model specifically tailored for your organisation, by removing
those line items which dont make sense for your site and adding additional costs which
are specific to your organisation.
Further, while this document makes express use of technology and services found within
the IT industry, it is intended for an audience of nonIT
executives within small to medium
sized organisations.
The final results are summarized in the tables below. One compares the TCO difference
between Standard Linux (namely the one that isnt acquired with a prepaid
contract) and Microsofts platform. The second compares Red Hats managed Enterprise
Linux and Microsofts platform. Both models include costings for deployment on either a
sites existing equipment or through a complete hardware refresh.
Standard Linux Solution vs. Microsoft Solution
Achieved by
Using Open
Existing hardware
& infrastructure is
used $1,066,712 $682,090 $384,622 36%
New hardware &
infrastructure is
purchased $1,366,883 $1,012,260 $345,623 26%

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Network Infrastructure And Complete Computer Environment. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from