concerns about linux

Matt Olander matt at
Fri Apr 21 23:58:05 UTC 2006

register wrote:
> The hosting company I work has been using FreeBSD for our hosting 
> platform for about ten years.  Honestly, we love it.  We are currently 
> in the process of migrating to version 6.  Recently we have invested 
> some development into the same product, but on linux.  My dilemma 
> concerns how this will affect our FreeBSD product.
> I have the impression that once we have both products side by side our 
> new customers will tend to choose linux, due to name recognition.  This 
> is especially true for our Japanese customers.  Our existing customers 
> will likely stick with FreeBSD because they are used to it and like it.  
> In the end I expect that our revenue for hosting on linux will grow 
> quickly and on FreeBSD will stagnate.  When development costs are 
> considered by management the justification for two products, with their 
> separate development costs, will not hold up well.  The result will be a 
> complete migration to the linux product within the next couple years.
> Frankly I think FreeBSD is much better than linux.  Our developers agree 
> emphatically.  We feel like our customers would be better served by 
> having FreeBSD.  However, the revenue benefits of a move to linux seem 
> to be insurmountable.  I am looking for valid justifications of 
> maintaining our FreeBSD development team and FreeBSD product in light of 
> the anticipated changes in revenue streams.  These justifications must 
> relate to the business side of things.  Any insight into this problem 
> will go a long way to helping us keep FreeBSD in our portfolio, which is 
> what we really want.  Thanks

Hi Eric,

We've done business with some Japanese customers and, from my 
experience, they are usually more open and knowledgeable about FreeBSD 
than many of our US customers.

If this is a hosting platform, it's really up to your company to decide 
what platform to standardize on or remain with. Is hosting the core 
"product" that your company is involved in or are there some software 
offerings that are OS specific? Don't let your customers get caught up 
in the hype. A hosting company should choose it's platform based on 
internal resources to manage it, reliablity, stability, etc.

In the hosting arena, Yahoo!, Pair Networks, New York Internet, Host 
Department and many others all run FreeBSD. XO Communications and 
Rackspace have a huge base of FreeBSD customers as well. They must be 
doing something right ;-)


Matt Olander
CTO, iXsystems - "Servers for Open Source"
Public Relations, The FreeBSD Project
Phone: (408)943-4100 ext. 113                     Fax: (408)943-4101

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