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LINUX MADE EASY: MIGRaTING FROm WINDOWS

UZOma NWOSU, SENIOR INSIDE SOLUTIONS ARCHITECT, RED HaT

2 ABSTRaCT 2 THE ISSUES aND THE OPPORTUNITY 3 MISCONCEPTIONS aBOUT LINUX 5 RED HaT NETWORK SaTELLITE THE KEY TO a SUCCESSFUL TRaNSITION FROm WINDOWS TO LINUX 8 LIFECYCLE maNaGEmENT 8 NO mORE CDS 9 MONITORING maDE VISUaL aND SImPLE 9 ADmINISTRaTIVE aCCESS 9 SUmmaRY 10 BIO

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Linux made easy: Migrating from Windows

ABSTRACT
Organizations consider migrating to Linux to dramatically reduce costs and increase and improve stability, security, uptime, and availability. When migrating from a Microsoft Windows environment, Red Hat Network Satellite Server can make the transition to Linux significantly easier and more process-driven. This brief deals with the misconceptions, fears, and myths that Windows administrators may face when planning to migrate to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

THE ISSUES AND THE OPPORTUNITY


Today more than ever, enterprises are looking for ways to reduce costs while still providing improvements in the security, performance, and availability of their systems. The move to Linux offers these direct benefits, but it can appear daunting to an organization that has relied on Microsoft Windows for its server infrastructure. Perhaps the biggest benefits to this move lay in the increased security and stability of Linux systems. Its likely that an organization considering migrating to Linux has already faced a security breach or expended significant resources dealing with security or compliance issues. From a compliance standpoint alone, keeping an enterprises systems fully compliant with standards and requirements (e.g., PCI DSS, HIPAA, SOX, and FISMA), as well as potential internal requirements of a Six Sigma program, can be complex, expensive, and in some circumstances, virtually impossible. The constant deluge of patches and updates raises the likelihood of failing an audit or exposing an organization to a devastating security breach. Availability and performance are other key benefits of migrating to Linux. In a Windows environment, the most common troubleshooting technique is to reboot a server when it is having problems. While this may fix the problem, the server is unavailable to the organization during the reboot, thus disrupting the organization. If this disruption is not an option, which is the case for many mission-critical servers, servers can only be rebooted during maintenance windows. With Linux, it is not uncommon to have a server that hasnt been rebooted in months or years.

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Linux made easy: Migrating from Windows

MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT LINUX


A migration from Windows to Linux can be daunting for system administrators who have little or no Linux experience. Many suffer from misconceptions about Linux, and many system administrators are concerned with their personal roles in their organizations and whether they may be replaced. Below we address these myths and concerns so that your organization can take advantage of the benefits of migrating to Linux. MYTH: COmPUTERS RUNNING MICROSOFT WINDOWS REQUIRE WINDOWS SERVERS The first misconception that many must address is that computers running Microsoft Windows require Windows servers. Windows is an appropriate desktop operating system for many organizations; however, there are no system requirements that Windows desktops have to use Windows servers. In fact, many applications today are web-based on the server side, which means that a web browser is all that is necessary to access the server. Many Windows system administrators are shocked when they see the typical uptime statistics for Linux servers, which are often measured in months or years compared to the typical Windows server that is restarted every few weeks or days. MYTH: LINUX IS mORE EXPENSIVE THaN WINDOWS Then there is the issue of cost. As organizations grow, one of the largest IT expenses is often found in server licensing and application costs. For a growing organization, licensing can be a staggering expense. This is one of the primary motivators in the move to Linux. While there is some confusion over the concept of free in Linux systems, the predictable and modest cost of subscriptions makes the total cost of ownership (TCO) of Linux systems extremely affordable. MYTH: THE TOOLS aND aPPLICaTIONS THaT THE ENTERPRISE NEEDS WONT BE aVaILaBLE FOR LINUX Beyond costs, organizations that are not familiar with Linux may be concerned about the availability of applications for Linux systems to meet their core needs. Organizations should not fear this myth, as Red Hat has more than 3,000 applications that are certified for use on Red Hat Enterprise Linux across bare metal, virtualized, and cloud deployments. MYTH: LINUX IS DIFFICULT aND CaN ONLY BE maNaGED FROm a COmmaND LINE The majority of Linux misconceptions surround the differences between the operating systems. It is understandable that an administrator who has used only Windows would be concerned with a new solution, but the myth that Linux is overly complex, difficult to learn, or can only be administered using the command line are completely untrue. In fact, administrators can quickly master Linux management using Red Hat Network Satellites GUI to quickly and easily select features and options. A typical Windows administrator will find the transition, as well as providing a surprising level of control and power over the complete enterprise environment, extremely simple. With basic training from Red Hat, a novice system administrator will be able to easily manage an enterprise-wide deployment.

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Linux made easy: Migrating from Windows

RED HAT NETWORK SATELLITE USER INTERFACE

MYTH: THE OPEN SOURCE COmmUNITY IS DIFFICULT TO DEaL WITH aND aDmINISTRaTORS WILL HaVE TO BUILD EVERYTHING FROm SCRaTCH Open source is a strange environment for those who have lived only inside the single-vendor bubble. Those unfamiliar with the underpinnings and the community aspects of open source may look at it as a somewhat strange, hobbyist-filled, non-commercial club. However, the open source community is a collection of some of the worlds best developers, who are committed to building and selling powerful and flexible systems for the operating system and applications. The open source community provides a virtually limitless development team that brings swift resolution to bugs and threats. Combined with Red Hats thorough quality control and review process, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is arguably the most secure and reliable enterprise operating system available. Visit redhat.com/about/whyopensource for more information about open source software. Migrating to Red Hat Enterprise Linux is an opportunity for an organization to: Increase systems security Achieve and maintain compliance Implement or expand virtualization Apply best practices for testing, QA, and version control In short, migrating to Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Network Satellite provides enterprises with the tools and support that enable them to securely and affordably scale their systems.

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Linux made easy: Migrating from Windows

RED HAT NETwORk SATEllITETHE kEY TO A SUCCESSfUl TRANSITION fROM WINDOwS TO LINUX
The key to a successful migration and implementation is a tool that allows administrators to configure, provision, update, and monitor all of the enterprises systems. This same tool should also allow administrators to quickly gain a high degree of mastery over these new systems. Red Hat Network Satellite is this tool. Within a Red Hat Enterprise Linux environment, Red Hat Network Satellite provides the tools needed to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux guests and their associated RPM-based applications (RPM is Red Hats package format). With Red Hat Network Satellite, it becomes easy to deploy new software, manage updates and configurations, physically provision new systems, and monitor all systems. In addition, Red Hat Network Satellite can be used to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux, running on both physical and virtual systems, without the cost and overhead of purchasing and learning a different systems management tool for the virtual environment.
RED HAT NETWORK SATELLITE

WORKFLOW

TING AND AUDIT ING POR RE

ALIZED CONSO NTR LE E C

PATCH MANAGEMENT MONITORING

PROVISIONING CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT

AUTOMATION

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Linux made easy: Migrating from Windows

Red Hat Network Satellite: Deploys behind the firewall to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux wherever it resides in the environment (physical, virtual, mainframe, etc) Provides patch management to update hundreds of systems as easily as one Groups systems together for easier, faster, and more administration and automation of manual tasks Manages more systems per single administration Schedules updates for optimal times and efficiently searches for systems and packages Provides custom channels that allow you to manage the complete lifecycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and associated applications Deploys new systems from a consistent standard build, making it easier to ensure compliance with the latest standards

RHN SATEllITE: SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT fOR RED HAT ENTERPRISE lINUX RUNNING ANYwHERE
Physical x86

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on other supported hypervisors

Mainframe

Workstations

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Linux made easy: Migrating from Windows

Using Red Hat Network Satellite, administrators are able to: Install and provision new systems Update systems Manage configuration files Monitor performance on individual servers Redeploy servers for new purposes Manage every copy of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on the organizations systems, regardless of the hardware or virtual system where it resides Using the Red Hat Network Satellite web-based GUI, administrators can quickly and easily configure systems, provision them on physical or virtual hardware, and monitor and keep them updated. System administrators who move from Windows and their familiar graphical interfaces can quickly see the power and control that Red Hat Network Satellite provides over their new Linux environments. Administrators can visually provision and manage new systems with just a few clicksno obscure commands and no command line. In addition to the advanced ease of use that Red Hat Network Satellites GUI provides, users can take advantage of its extensive API for sophisticated automation and integration with other systems and applications. This combination of accessibility for novice administrators with power and control for advanced users makes Red Hat Network Satellite ideal for both the growing, small organization and the large, demanding enterprise. A high degree of integration and automation can be achieved while managing all systems through the simple and visual interface of Red Hat Network Satellite.
RHN SATEllITES SYSTEMS OVERVIEw DISPlAY

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Linux made easy: Migrating from Windows

LIfECYClE MANAGEMENT
Creating and building systems is only part of an organizations lifecycle. Systems are also maintained and updated, moved from testing to production, retired, suspended, and archived. For those without a rigorous testing procedure, these lifecycle steps can be both time consuming and a significant security and compliance risk. However, Red Hat Network Satellite users can view the state of all of their systems instantly and make choices about their statuses from within the Red Hat Network Satellite GUI.

NO MORE CDS
One experience that is virtually universal for Windows administrators is searching for CDs to install or update systems. In a Linux environment, administrators quickly discover that they will never need another installation or update CD again. No copying files, waiting for systems to load, updating, and restarting. New systems can be created using templates, or kickstarts, that are used for creating and provisioning a new system through the Red Hat Network Satellite interface. Kickstart profiles allow the administrator to install a system unattended, freeing them from the time-consuming task of configuring every option at the time of install. With a consistent automated system, human error is greatly reduced if not outright eliminated. And systems provisioned using Red Hat Network Satellite can take place in minutes, rather than the hours it can take to build a new Windows server. Once a system is provisioned, it can be patched and updated with the same degree of ease and simplicity. Red Hat Network Satellite allows administrators to group servers and treat them as a single system, making updates and maintenance virtually automatic. Administrators can also create custom repositories, or channels, which systems can be associated with to provide a stable baseline for development, staging, production, or any other classification of servers. This puts the administrator in control of patches and updates, not the vendor. The administrator can select which systems get new patches, allowing them to test and confirm the impact on the organization before taking new updates into production. One significant difference between Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the handling of updates. For a Windows installation, updates come as large bundles from the vendor. Installation is typically all or nothing, and installing these patches on production servers comes with risk. For Red Hat Network Satellite, the scenario is markedly different. Users simply log into Red Hat Network Satellite and check the Systems Overview screen, which will list all the systems that require package updates, as well as details about feature enhancements, bug fixes, and security vulnerabilities. The system administrator can then select which type of patch to apply to which systems. If the administrator is only concerned with security vulnerabilities, he/she has the ability to only push out security fixes to the vulnerable systems. And again, the administrator is in control, not the vendor. In addition, drawing upon the open source community, Red Hat Enterprise Linux users can take advantage of a virtually unlimited development team, with fixes pushed upstream in days, not months.

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Linux made easy: Migrating from Windows

MONITORING MADE VISUAl AND SIMPlE


Migration is more than the process of moving from one operating system to another. Its the process of managing the new system. When an administrator is unfamiliar with a new operating system, monitoring and managing the new system can add hours to an already full schedule. Red Hat Network Satellite simplifies this by providing a visual monitoring interface and the ability to create probes. Probes can be based on standard monitoring criteria (e.g., memory or disk usage, CPU load, general Linux commands) as well as commands for applications (e.g., Apache web servers, Oracle, SQL, etc.). As an added benefit of Red Hat Network Satellite, probes can be placed in a group called a suite. New systems can then be associated with a monitoring suite with the click of the mouse. Administrators can specify the desired alert and notification methods, including e-mail. This advanced level of monitoring and notification improves system availability and decreases risks.

ADMINISTRATIVE ACCESS
Administering Linux access can be one of biggest concerns of organizations migrating from Windows. Red Hat Network Satellite eliminates this concern by providing extremely granular access control via its web-based GUI. Each administrator can be given the specific level of access they control, providing them with access to the systems that they manage and limiting them from accessing others. This is a far more powerful approach than simply assigning permissions.

SUMMARY
All of the features that Red Hat Network Satellite provides make it possible for an administrator to manage literally hundreds of systems as easily as he/she might have managed one Windows server. Red Hat Network Satellite allows organizations to establish and enforce clear procedures for defining, provisioning, managing, maintaining, and monitoring systems. No migration is simple, but Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Network Satellite provide a set of powerful and easy-to-use tools to help make the transition both successful and manageable for your organization and staff. Migrating from a Windows server environment to Red Hat Enterprise Linux is an opportunity to make substantial gains in capabilities while reducing costs. Red Hat Network Satellite is the key to making this migration smooth and successful for your organization. We invite you to see how Red Hat Network Satellite can help you migrate from your Microsoft Windows environment. For more information on Red Hat Network Satellite, visit redhat.com/red_hat_network or contact your local Red Hat sales representation or reseller.

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BIO
Uzoma Nwosu, Senior Inside Solutions Architect, Red Hat Uzoma Nwosu is the solutions architect responsible for the US Public Sector team at Red Hat. He has been in the information technology industry since 1998 and started at Red Hat as a support engineer in Red Hats Global Support Services division in 2006. Nwosu is a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) and is currently on the security subject matter expert team at Red Hat.

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