Open Source and Unix
What do we do?
We help our customers to switch from commercial software to open-source software.
With open-source software, anyone can download, view, use and modify the respective freely available source code. This means that errors and vulnerabilities can be quickly identified and corrected. In most cases, open-source software is free of charge. The developer communities are financially supported by clients, fee-based support, and by fee-based advanced software features. Our goal is to enable our customers to use open-source solutions as much as possible. The remaining (usually significantly lower) license fees then go directly to the developers rather than to large software giants. To give examples:
- Database: from Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle Database to MariaDB and PostgreSQL.
- Web server: from Microsoft Internet Information Server to Apache httpd and NGiNX.
- File server: from Microsoft Windows server to FreeNAS.
- Image editing: from Adobe Photoshop to Gimp.
- Firewall/VPN: from Cisco to pfSense.
- Productivity: from Microsoft Office to LibreOffice.
We believe that open-source alternatives now work better than the original closed-source products. Because of the higher quality, open-source products require significantly less support.
We support you in upgrading from Microsoft Windows to UNIX operating systems, such as Linux, macOS and BSD.
Historically, Microsoft Windows operating systems were based on DOS; today on Windows NT - both closed- source. We relied instead on Open-Source-Unix operating systems at no licensing cost.
Although the Apple macOS operating system is not open source per se, it is largely open source and Unix. Actually everything except the graphical user interface is open source and Unix - so about 95%.
If you still need a Windows program, we would run Windows virtualized on a disconnected quarantine network to keep the other systems on the network secured.
We are certified technicians and administrators for Apple and macOS since 2003. We are happy to help you on the subject of Apple Mac.
We have been working as Linux system administrators, since 1999, with all components, e.g. web servers, databases, mail, DNS and Java/PHP production environments.
We are FreeBSD, pfSense firewall, VPN and network experts since 2011 and realize any kind of network.
Why is this interesting for you?
In the recent survey by Black Duck Software and North Bridge, 90% of respondents said they rely on open source. The 2016 survey results show that open source is the foundation for nearly all applications, operating systems, cloud computing solutions and Big Data. Top reasons for using open source, according to the survey, include flexibility, vendor independence, highly competitive features, and technical capabilities, customization and overall quality.
Open Source ⇄ IT Footprint: Open-source software is more sustainable compared to closed-source software because less power is consumed by more efficient programming and mostly less demanding hardware can be used. With lower licensing costs, you also benefit from the better quality, transparency, stability, and better performance.
These benefits carry over to Apple's macOS operating system, which is largely open-source code: https://www.heise.de/mac-and-i/meldung/IBM-setzt-auf-277-000-Apple-Geraete-4204728.html
Apple users need much less support: http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/10/15/only-5-of-mac-users-at-ibm-need-help-desk-support-compared-to-40-of-pc-users. For every Mac Help Staff administrator, there are comparatively eight Windows administrators. It follows: 67% of Windows administrators could be reduced.
IBM had previously raved about lower support costs with Macs. Previn backed this up with new numbers. It should be possible for an average of seven engineers to support 200,000 macOS devices. In the PC sector, he said, this would require 20 engineers. Moving to new Mac operating system versions is also "easy" - 98 percent of macOS users at IBM see it that way, whereas this value was only 86 percent when switching from Windows 7 to Windows 10.
Open Source ⇄ IT Security: Using open-source software can increase data security for larger companies for the following reasons:
- Quality programmed source code
- Network automation interfaces
- Security and compliance automation
- Perfect integration with our Cloud 4.0
Global open-source community helps detect and close security vulnerabilities faster.
Open Source ⇄ Privacy: Caution is advised with data protection/data security for manufacturers of closed source software, because US and also Chinese companies are bound by the laws of their country without exception. Laws in these countries lead to the forwarding of customer data to their own state institutions, if the government or authorities require it. So-called "back doors", built into the respective software, could also allow arbitrary access to the purchased software in Europe. Closed-source products are therefore problematic for data protection reasons. As a positive side effect, it can be observed how companies are gradually understanding that data security is a value proposition for customers - especially in Europe.
Adding: Europe's Greens (EFA) demand: no proprietary software for public computers!"
[Reference: Time Online]
With macOS, there are specific policies to protect against privacy breaches. Through our knowledge, we can guarantee data security with privacy on Macs; however, this assumes that you do not use iCloud.
Open Source ⇄ Independence: If you want to be independent of large software manufacturers, you must use open-source software.
Closed-source products tie your company to the software manufacturer, products/services, or a specific provider in the long term. Because of switching costs, technical barriers, ownership of data, and other barriers to switching, it is difficult to change the product or vendor (vendor lock-in).
With open-source software, on the other hand, license fees are often only incurred in the enterprise sector. Integration, adaptation and further development can be carried out by internal teams or freely selectable IT service providers. Companies are not tied to individual manufacturers or service providers.
Improved Employee Performance - According to IBM research, there are 22% more macOS users who exceed expectations in performance reviews than there are Windows users. In addition, 16% more "high value sales deals," or sales with particularly high conversions, are generated by Apple users.
Higher Employee Satisfaction and Retention - The so-called Net Promoter Score, which the group uses to measure the likelihood of employees speaking positively about their employer (and thus recommending it to potential new employees and customers), was significantly higher among Mac users - 47.5 points to 15 points among Windows users. In addition, Apple users are 17 percent less likely to leave IBM again. Mac users are also more satisfied with the available third-party software at IBM. Only 5 percent would like to see add-on programs from the IT department, compared to 11 percent for Windows users.
Open Source ⇄ Health: Satisfied & productive employees also tend to be healthier employees....
How do we do it? Our own BIO-certification
With respect to open source and Unix, we inventory your software, distinguishing between two categories: operating systems and applications.
For operating systems, we pay attention to open source and Unix:
- BIO OO Cl 1 OK FREE: Unix server or workstation without commercial parts. Here we suggest Debian and CentOS.
- BIO OO Cl 2 OK: Unix server or workstation with less than 5% commercial content. Examples here are macOS, RedHat and Ubuntu.
- BIO OO Cl 3 FAIL: Closed-source operating systems. Examples include Microsoft Windows or the old macOS before version 10.
For applications, we distinguish five categories, depending on how far they meet criteria of open source and compatibility with Unix:
- BIO OA Cl 1 OK FREE: Open source software that is completely free and versatile, e.g. Apache, MariaDB, OpenJDK, Swift, WordPress, OpenOffice and Gimp.
- BIO OA Cl 2 OK PRE: "Freemium" open-source software, where the basic features are free, but then some additional features are available for purchase. Good examples here are paid WordPress plugins, but where you can see the code.
- BIO OA Cl 3 OK ALT: Closed-source software to which there are no open- source alternatives that are equal or better in quality, consumption and functionality.
- BIO OA Cl 4 FAIL ALT: Closed-source software to which there are probably open-source alternatives that are equal or better in quality, consumption and functionality, e.g. LibreOffice instead of Microsoft Office.
- BIO OA Cl 5 FAIL OS: Open-source software that works only on Microsoft Windows operating systems and not on Unix operating systems.