On Friday 05 August 2005 22:38, Guy Teverovsky wrote:
> On Wed, 2005-08-03 at 20:28 +0300, Shlomi Fish wrote:
> > On Wednesday 03 August 2005 18:54, Oron Peled wrote:
> > > BTW: My normal reply is that those people cost more because
> > >      (on the average) they know more. If you'll get a
> > >      *realy good* windows admin -- he also won't work for the
> > >      dirt cheap salaries the low level MS-crowd work for.
> I'll second that. Good MS admins are not cheaper than Linux ones.
> > There are several factors in play here:
> >
> > 1. As you said Linux sys-admins, on the average cost more than their
> > MS-centric counterparts, but on the other hand genreally know more.
> Please do not compare apples with oranges. Find 2 sysadmins with the
> same salary level and both considered professionals in their field, and
> you'll be surprised to find out that MS guy might even cost more.

Possibly because _clueful_ Microsoft sys-admins are rarer than their Linux 

> > 2. It was shown that Linux admins can on average take care of much more
> > workstations than Windows sys-admins.
> This is FUD. I know more than one organization where 2-3 *good* MS
> admins handle several hundred core infrastructure servers spread all
> over the world (and no, no one else has logon rights on those boxes)

Well it might be a common mis-conception. I first found it here:


Reading from it one finds:

Your editor, who, in a previous life, managed a medium-size system 
administration group, observed that a single Linux or Unix system 
administrator could handle about twice as many systems as a single Windows 
administrator. As Windows systems replaced Unix systems on desktops, the 
administration staff had to grow.

What may be true is that a "typical" UNIX sys-admin can handle more machines 
than a typical Windows sys-admin. (or rather "operator" as you call them). 
Most people who aim to become a UNIX sys-admin, don't expect to get done with 
the UNIX equivalent of an MCSE, but rather also do more extensive studying 
(including scripting, etc.). This is while many Windows sys-admins only have 
MCSE or less.

> > 3. Low-maintenance X-Terminals may reduce the administration overhead
> > even further. Similar solutions now exist for Windows, though, even
> > though they also tend to incur per-user software licensing fees (which
> > are not a big deal for long-term TCO)
> So you have just discovered the "thin client" buzz word ? 

X-Terminals existed a long time before the thin client buzz word started.

> And what does 
> licensing has to do with administration overhead (apart of $$$) ?

Well, you have to make sure there are enough licenses. You have to pay for all 
of them, and you have to make sure to pay more once you need more. Then you 
have to deal with BSA raids who believe you have an inadequate amount of 
licenses, and with your good name tarnished once they publicized the fact 
that you were raided...

I'm half-joking here. Never mind.

> Moreover, thin clients are far from being ideal solution for most of the
> cases.

Possibly. (note that I said "may") But when they are suitable, they certainly 
save a lot of trouble.

> > 4. One of my friend works in a software development house who has an NT
> > server farm that needs to have close to 100% uptime and operationality.
> > Needless to say, they have top-of-the-class admins, and also make use of
> > scripting, the command line, command automation, etc. a lot. Most NT sys
> > admins don't know anything about the NT command line, much less about
> > scripting and automation.
> Welcome to the real world with *real* MS sysadmins. Those who script,
> automate, write code, know a thing or two about security and the
> underlying technology. You know... professionals.
> Please, please, do not tag those other "MCSE wannabes" with "Systems
> Administrator" title. People that hardly know how to administer couple
> servers and dozen workstations in my world are hardly called
> "operators" (and the same stands in Linux world)

"operators". It's been a long time since I saw this word used anywhere. In 
fact, I think the first and only time I saw it so far was in the story "The 
Bastard Operator from Hell". (which is a highly recommended read).

But we need a common word for both sys-admins and "operators".

> > I recall hearing about an incident that a mail server running on an NT
> > (in a different company) was flooded with messages containing viruses.
> > (all of the same characterists) The local admin had no idea how to
> > eliminate them. What they eventually did was copy the mailbox file to a
> > UNIX server, where the UNIX admin wrote a simple script to filter out the
> > bad E-mail messages, and after that, they copied the mailbox back to the
> > Windows box.
> This has nothing to do with the platform. If he knew a thing or two, he
> could:
> - filter inbound mail at SMTP level with either VS API or custom event
> sink.
> - write a short script which uses MAPI and walk the Exchange store to
> clean up the existing dirt.
> - write couple CMD one-liners to clean up the SMTP queues.

I realize you can do that on Windows. (in the worst case scenario you can 
install cygwin or perl or whatever there, and do it like you are used to on 
UNIX). But that's not the point. The point is that the Windows sys-admin had 
no idea how to do it, while the UNIX one did (at least in his natural 
environment). And they were both working for the same company, and needed to 
transfer the mail queue to UNIX and back to actually do it.

So the company's UNIX sys-admin was more clueful than the Windows sys-admin 
they hired.


        Shlomi Fish

Shlomi Fish      [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Homepage:        http://www.shlomifish.org/

Tcl is LISP on drugs. Using strings instead of S-expressions for closures
is Evil with one of those gigantic E's you can find at the beginning of 

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