Unix to Linux migration advice and case studies

Making the decision to migrate your mission-critical data center applications from Unix to Linux requires a lot of work. These tips and strategies for planning a move from Unix to Linux include business and technical advice from case studies with cost comparisons and savings ranges to advice on porting and compatibility considerations.

Following the recent acquisition of Sun by Oracle, some IT shops may be concerned about continuing to run Solaris. If you are considering migrating from Unix to Linux, this guide will provide you with helpful resources to make the decision. From the basic differences between operating systems to advanced porting, integration and migration advice, learn what you need to know before you begin switching your data center servers from Unix to Linux.

Table of contents:


The differences between Unix and Linux
Considerations for migrating from Unix to Linux
Porting from Unix to Linux
Unix to Linux news and case studies

  The differences between Unix and Linux

Advice: What does a Unix shop need to know about Linux?
An expert examines the history of Linux and the differences between Unix and Linux.

Advice: What are the major differences between Unix and Linux?
Unix and Linux differences include origin, support model, licensing and flexibility.

Advice: What does an AIX veteran need to know about Linux?
What does an AIX user need to know about moving from Unix to Linux? An expert offers advice on where to start.

Article: Unix updates are slower, and users like it that way
Unix updates are less frequent than OS updates for Linux and Windows, which Unix users say equals more stability and fewer headaches.

Glossary: Unix definition and links

Glossary: Linux defined and links

Glossary: Unix, Linux and all the other little ixes

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  Considerations for migrating from Unix to Linux

Tip: Five reasons not to migrate from Unix to Linux
If you're considering a Unix to Linux migration in your data center, assess your situation thoroughly to avoid making a costly decision.

Tip: When to use Unix or Linux?
When deciding whether to use Unix or Linux, consider support models, kernel implications and endian.

Tip: When to use Unix or Linux, part 2: Applications and support
Choosing between Unix and Linux means taking into account cost of server consolidations, application offerings, virtualization and more.

Tip: Should you dump Unix for Linux?
An expert discusses the right reasons to move from Unix to Linux and how to examine your options.

Tip: Using Linux in a data center consolidation management strategy
Hardware versatility makes using Linux in a data center consolidation a great cost-saving strategy.

Advice: How will a SQL database run on Unix, Linux or Windows?
An expert discusses factors that influence SQL database performance on Linux, Unix and Windows.

Tip: Server-side interoperations between Unix/Linux and Windows
Tools like Samba and Kerberos can boost interoperability between Unix, Linux and Windows.

Tip: Which database is best for multiple platforms: Windows, Linux and Unix
Find out how to choose the best database for a heterogeneous data center.

Tip: Security differences between Unix and Linux
An expert offers advice on comparing Unix and Linux security concerns.

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  Porting from Unix to Linux

Tip Series: Getting started on a Unix-to-Linux migration
This three-part guide covers the basics of moving from Unix to Linux. Part 1 discusses where to start, including choosing a Linux server. Part 2 covers coding concerns and setting up Linux administration. Finally, Part 3 addresses source-code management and other Unix-to-Linux migration issues.

Tip Series: Solaris-to-Linux porting
Ken Milberg delves into porting from Solaris to Linux in this four-part guide. Part 1 focuses on understanding your Solaris environment and choosing a Linux distribution. Part 2 covers your Solaris-to-Unix porting methods. Part 3 emphasizes the differences between Solaris and Linux. Part 4 of the series concludes with information on becoming a Linux expert.

Chapter Download: Chapter 1, Porting project considerations, of Unix to Linux Porting
This chapter download covers the process of how to port apps from Unix to Linux and risks developers should consider.

Tip: Migrating infrastructure from Unix to Linux
An expert discusses the key infrastructure considerations when moving from Unix to Linux in the data center.

Tip: Enterprise open source migrations: Dealing with file services
This tip offers an overview of open source file services and how to use them.

Tip: Assess the mess: Porting apps from Unix to Linux
Avoid unforeseen problems when porting older Unix apps to Linux by assessing the project from the technical, business and project management perspectives, according to an expert.

Tip: Porting Unix apps to Linux: Tackling architecture and platform differences
An expert offers advice on how to smooth process of transitioning Unix apps to Linux.

Tip: Porting criteria: Migrating apps from Unix to Linux
During a Unix-to-Linux migration, application testing is one of the most important steps.

Tip: Moving files from Unix to Linux
Moving files during a Unix-to-Linux port is an often-overlooked but critical step of the migration.

>i>Advice: Migrating from Oracle to Linux -- tips and TCO considerations
An expert offers answers on how to migrate an Oracle database from Unix to Linux and how to tackle other migration tasks.

Advice: Migrating the domain controller to Linux
Find out which software offering is best to migrate the domain controller to Linux.

Advice: Transferring data from a Unix SCO server to Red Hat Linux 3.0
An expert outlines how to reformat a Unix server to Red Hat Linux and transfer its software and data.

Guide: Novell's guide to Solaris-to-Linux porting tools
Novell lists porting tools and resources for Unix-to-Linux migrations and more.

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  Unix to Linux news and case studies

Article: Aussie financial firms dump Unix, Windows for Linux on the mainframe
Three case studies of Australian financial institutions that have dumped Unix (Solaris) and Windows and replaced them with Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM System Z.

Article: Will Solaris on x86 survive the Oracle-Sun acquisition and Linux?
Bill Claybrook offers advice to Solaris Unix admins about the future of the OS on x86 following the Oracle acquisition of Sun. The current small market-share Solaris has compared to Linux is not a good sign, says Claybrook.

Case Study: Hilti chalks up big savings from Unix to Linux move
Lichtenstein-based Hilti Corp, a $4.4 billion construction tooling and services business, decided to switch its SAP system from Unix to Linux following Hewlett-Packard's decision to halt support for its Tru64 Unix OS on Alpha servers. According to Hilti, the company is saving up to 50% on software licensing and hardware costs since the move.

Article: HP donates legacy Unix file system code to Linux
Hewlett Packard donated its Tru64 Unix Advanced File System (AdvFS) source code to the open source community under GPL v2. The AdvFS code has been used widely in Unix systems for 16 years and is expected to automate and integrate Linux operations, with fewer steps required to execute commands.

Article: Red Hat spawns new Unix killer: Extended Update Support
For admins worried about running mission-critical applications on Linux rather than Unix, Red Hat offers extended update support (EUS) that allows IT managers to run the same release of RHEL for longer without invalidating their support contract. This change mirrors the support policies of Unix distributions like IBM AIX and Sun Solaris.

Article: Red Hat Linux trumps Unix on TPC price/performance test
The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) validated RHEL 5's processing of 1.2 million transactions per minute on an IBM System x 3950M2 with an Intel X7460 Xeon processor – doing so at 22% lower cost than its next closest competitor.

Case Study: Data center makeover: Linux topples college's IT Tower of Babel
The data center at Golden Gate University was a cornucopia of hardware and software platforms. CTO Anthony Hill considered Solaris, Windows, and Linux. He examined all of the costs and advantages of each platform, including developing cost models for a Linux, Solaris or Windows deployments.

Case Study: Linux solves city's woes with Unix
Bloomington, Ind.  removed its HP-UX servers and workstations and rolled out Linux at lower cost.

Case Study: Mississippi deal a landmark for Linux in government
Linux is the OS running a public safety information-sharing initiative in Mississippi, one of the earliest examples of Linux use in government.

Article: Niche Linux servers break out of HPC into enterprise
Watch out, IBM, Dell and HP! Linux server vendors that have carved out a space in high-performance computing markets are taking their tailor-made servers into new enterprise markets, providing a welcomed change for businesses that want to save money and get customized products.


If you are looking for information about user groups you can find a UK directory for server, platform users: Windows, Unix, and Linux user groups.

This was first published in March 2010

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