Windows 2003 gains advantage over Linux

CIOL Bureau
Updated On
New Update

NEW DELHI: Organizations in India are increasingly moving towards having a detailed information policy along with well-defined IT objectives, according to a recent study by Frost & Sullivan.


CIOs have realized that they need analysis that reaches beyond initial purchase costs of a hardware or software, and indicates post-implementation operation, support and maintenance costs as well. Hence, there is a need to capture the total cost of ownership (TCO), the sum total of all direct and indirect costs associated with the life cycle of an IT asset.

The study on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) revealed that the Microsoft Windows 2003 environment across enterprises has close to 15.9 per cent advantage over Linux and constitutes lower TCO in 80 per cent of the instances encompassing application servers, network servers, and mail servers.

The research was conducted on 54 organizations (both high end and mid-tier) across BFSI, manufacturing, public sector and government, ITES, BPO and telecom verticals.


The target respondents consisted of senior IT professionals (consisting of CIOs, CTOs, heads of information technology, general managers – information technology, senior IT managers, senior system analysts) of large and mid-sized enterprises (500 and more employees).

The report was audited by Cap Gemini and commissioned by Microsoft.

According to Frost & Sullivan, the TCO consists of the cost incurred by an enterprise in the course of selection (search and evaluation), installation (capital and deployment cost), maintenance and deployment (both planned and unplanned), and upgrades of software systems over the course of five years.


It also includes indirect costs associated with planning, audit, and other incidental costs such as consulting, roll-out, configuration management, bug-fixing and testing, and module integration. Interestingly, in India, hardware is the largest component of TCO of Indian enterprises, where software costs are just about 15 percent of the Capital expense and 6 percent of overall TCO.

Elaborating on this study, Dr TR Madan Mohan, director – Consulting, ICT practice, Frost & Sullivan India, said, “While assessing the TCO, organizations should evaluate the CAPEX and OPEX of the specific IT investment throughout the life cycle of the asset. More often than not, the focus is just on CAPEX, which leads to skewed decisions. Specifically while comparing proprietary software with open source software, the CAPEX constitutes 53 percent of the TCO and OPEX constitutes 47 percent.

Our analysis shows, while CAPEX for the Linux operating system might be low but the OPEX could be as much as 53.1 percent higher as compared to the Windows 2003 operating system, primarily due to the high cost of support and manpower. Hence, it is prudent for an organization to capture all necessary cost components beyond just the initial cost of acquisition.”


He further added: “Our research revealed that, for application servers, Microsoft Windows 2003 emerges with the lowest TCO which is 22.4 percent lower than Linux where as for network servers and mail servers, it is 11 percent and 8.24 percent respectively, lower than Linux. Linux platform offers a TCO advantage of 4.7 percent in file print server and 24 percent in web server over Microsoft Widows 2003. However, costs of maintenance and upgrades of file print server for Windows 2003 are lower than the Linux environment.”

With business understanding about IT in most organizations on the rise, Frost & Sullivan foresees that more and more IT professionals will begin taking into account the support costs, application integration costs, performance considerations, and availability of IT skill to implement and maintain a platform before they decide on a particular one.

© CyberMedia News