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Where is Linux's Answer to Microsoft's Small Business Server? - page 2

No Linux LAN Server

  • November 2, 2009
  • By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Red Hat didn't discuss the logic of why they do what they do, but Red Hat's Caroline E. Kazmierski agreed that this is the case. Kazmierski said, "Unfortunately, you are correct in your original email that there is not a pre-packaged competitor to the Microsoft SBS. There are several projects and solutions that align with elements of the SBS offering, including Alfresco, Zimbra, and XO, and many of our Business Partners customize and configure these solutions with RHEL for small enterprise customers."

And, indeed, as Kazmierski points out, many of Red Hat's customers partner with VAR (value added resellers) and ISVs to create their own SMB solutions. But, if you want a basic, ready-to-go small business server, you're looking at the wrong company.

Which is really funny since, as Jay Lyman, an analyst at The 451 Group points out, Red Hat still has some offerings, like the Red Hat Directory Server, which includes LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol)functionality that's meant specifically for small businesses. But, Red Hat certainly isn't pushing this product.

Lyman agrees that "We don't generally see vendors pushing or promoting them much." His explanation for that is that, "We can't blame them given Microsoft's grip on this market, usual inertia and the fact that larger enterprises are more likely to have the developers and IT teams that have experience and expertise with Linux."

Lyman doesn't think it will stay that way though. "Nevertheless, things are changing. I argue that small businesses may be using a lot more Linux, whether or not they're aware of it, as hosters, other service providers, system integrators, VARs and of course, cloud computing players use Linux for their offerings." For example, many small businesses are trying Google Docs out for office work, and underneath its Web front-end lies Linux.

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