Thursday, September 20, 2012

IM 2.0 on Linux vs. Windows

With the release of IM 2.0, I've been testing the installation of the various components on CentOS because my lab's investor (my wife) doesn't see the need to purchase a RedHat license.  All the better anyway since others might want to know if CentOS is an option for installation to save on adoption costs.  Frankly, I'm not sure why CA decided to go with RHEL.
While it is probably the most popular Linux server operating system, all (I repeat, ALL) of the previous NetQoS software ran on Windows.  I'm not counting MTP since it's sold as an appliance not software.  The target audience for the original NetQoS products was the network engineer.  It has since bloomed to include application owners and server administrators.  However, if you look at the role of the person who normally administers and champions the NetQoS products, it's still a network engineer.
It is my opinion that network engineers are most familiar with two operating systems: Cisco IOS and Windows.  There will be that case where the network engineer used to be on the server team but is now working on the network side.  While this obviously happens, I think there are just as many server-turned-network engineers who come from Linux/mixed (Windows & Linux, come on even Linux only environments have Exchange) environments as come from Windows only environments.  So, my conclusion is that most network engineers will be most familiar with Cisco IOS and Windows (both from server OS and desktop OS experience).  IM 2.0 should have been released on Windows.
There is another possible reason to use Linux over Windows: speed.  I agree with this argument.  Even with CentOS, I can turn off the GUI and save the resources that would otherwise be dedicated to display a locked screen 99.999% of the time.  However, the minimum RAM requirement for IM 2.0 is 4GB.  What!? I thought Linux was a better performer and could get away with not having as much RAM.  Well, it turns out that even in a lab environment when monitoring a very small infrastructure, 3GB isn't always enough.  The fact that I installed DA/DR on a box with only 1GB was pointed to as a possible reason why I was seeing problems on my installation.  Wait guys, if i have to dedicate a ton of resources, why don't we just run it on Windows?
Wasn't IM 2.0 supposed to be developed on Java?  If that's the case, why does the OS even matter?  Shouldn't it be a fairly trivial matter to compile installers for all of the major operating systems?

I'm not a developer, so you really shouldn't be reading any of this without your tough over in your cheek.  But still.

Really?
I have to learn Linux?
Really?
I have to purchase RHEL?
Really?
I have to dedicate at least 4GB of RAM in a lab environment?
Really?