FreeBSD & Linux distro

Jonathan McKeown jonathan+freebsd-questions at
Fri Feb 22 09:03:02 UTC 2008

On Thursday 21 February 2008 23:03, D G Teed wrote:

> For example, no where in this have I heard a peep about backup
> software. Anyone serious about IT is serious about backup. Yet there
> is no support for EMC (Legato) Networker in FreeBSD, and this is why
> our organization is migrating away from this FreeBSD.

Petty quibble: I suspect that you mean ``there is no support for FreeBSD in
EMC Networker'' rather than the other way round. Picking a backup solution
that can't back up some of your servers, and opting to fix the problem by
getting rid of the servers, seems to me to be doing things the wrong way
round - irrespective of which OS you're forcing yourself to get rid of.

Of course, EMC Networker may be so much better than any other backup
solution as to justify the work involved in moving working services
to a different platform - I don't know Networker so I can't really
comment, although I agree with most of what you said about making
sure you pick a platform which supports what you're trying to do.
I say most because my own feeling as a sysadmin is that you must
have a very good reason to run more than the bare minimum range
of operating systems you can - which is an argument for moving
away from some platforms if you're already running several. I
am in the process of moving from multiple platforms, ranging
from Windows NT4, through e-smith (server-in-a-box based on
Red Hat), Debian, and FreeBSD, from 4.8 up to date. We are
aiming to end up with a bunch of FreeBSD boxes, all using
a standard build from a central buildserver, plus one or
two boxes running Windows Server 2003 supporting users,
who are all running Windows desktops and applications,
including apps which run on the server, with clients
connecting over the network. It's taken a while but
every time we get rid of an old box my workload in
supporting the rest of the system drops a little.
Note: I'm not saying everyone should standardise
on FreeBSD - that's just what I'm most familiar
with at the moment, and when I started to move
things round we had more FreeBSD servers than
anything else, so it made sense to pick that
and bring the rest into line, where we were
able to, especially because the other OSes
were mainly running on hardware which was
due for replacement soon anyway, so that
the migration could be seen as being in
the ordinary course of maintenance and
not extra load on busy systems staff.

(Sorry: when I realised I'd started
my reply with a few lines which by
accident were tapering off at the
ends I couldn't resist trying to
see how long I could keep it up.
It's foolish, I know, but it is
a fun exercise in picking your
words carefully and yet still
trying to make sense. If you
aren't reading with a fixed
width font, you may not be
getting the effect of the
layout anyway: so if you
can't see it, I'm sorry
for taking up yet more
of your time, just to
play about with line
lengths and make up
pretty patterns in
your mail reader.
I'll stop now or
at least once I
can taper down
to the length
of the given
name I sign
off with).


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