Yogesh Devi leads the UNIX-to-Linux-Migration Center of Excellence for Dell Services.

What is driving the migration from UNIX to Linux? Linux platforms allow organizations to simplify their operations, enhance flexibility, and avoid vendor lock-in. They also provide a scalable, cost-effective platform for cloud computing-based environments.  Several compelling reasons point toward the migration from UNIX to Linux, the foremost amongst them being shrinking IT budgets that  have led organizations to examine the cost advantages of an x86-based Linux system over a RISC-based UNIX system.

When is the best time to migrate? For some, it’s no longer a question of whether to migrate—it’s a question of when.  A considerable amount of calculation goes into deciding whether organizations should take the plunge. In the end, it boils down to a reasonable risk-reward ratio. A  good yardstick is the return on investment (ROI) that can be expected from this migration within a fixed time frame. The aim is to realize a positive ROI at or before a reasonable time horizon—say two to three years—from the start of the migration. If a vendor can categorically determine this horizon, then an organization should consider migrating.

Who should a company turn to  for migration? Converting an existing IT infrastructure to the Linux platform can divert IT staff from mission-critical tasks, and unexpected obstacles may hinder the process. Organizations looking to simplify the  migration process can benefit from the assistance of an experienced vendor. Vendors with experience that spans the migration spectrum, from large scale, enterprise-wide migrations involving multiple applications to individual projects for single applications would fit the bill. It is also important to identify a vendor who will provide best-of-breed, standards-based technology and service without lock-in to proprietary hardware,  software, operating systems, or services. Finally, vendors with established migration practices bring to the table consulting methodologies that will help address specific customer pain points and present a comprehensive solution that spans the  systems development life cycle (SDLC).

Click here to discover more on the strategic reasons for migrating to Linux, important considerations include how to determine the best time to move forward and what to look for in a migration vendor.