In my work over the summer, I kept some Linux boxes running smoothly. There were some snags--I had a box to rebuild, and I upgraded the kernel and had a tape drive stop working on me, (I never did get that resolved) but mostly I got some Perl code written and got a useful system up and running, and compiled a bunch of stuff.
My counterpart, who worked on the NT machines, and my boss, who does everything, had to find out why the NT machines would crash, or have the load spike up to 100%. Eventually they tracked it down to Cold Fusion, and tried to get help from Allaire; they were no help, and after months of getting the run-around, they finally managed to get a developer on the phone.
Now, I admit, when I had problems, I didn't get an instant fix from the LKML, but I figured out what it was doing (not writing the last block), found a work-around (explicitly setting the block size), and went on with my life. Even this sort of diagnosis seems almost impossible on NT. However, once you're locked into it, you can be pretty much stuck. Migrating systems is a pain too.
There's nothing wrong with adding new systems; if what you're doing is creating a front-end Linux web interface, then convince them that you'll put together a test box and present it to them; install something stable (and perhaps with support) like Red Hat 6.2; *don't* install anything that's alpha- or beta- level unless (a) You absolutely need it and (b) It's rock solid. This excludes Wine, Linux Kernel 2.4.0-test*, and probably Netscape, too. :)
Also, secure your box. Disable any unnecessary services. Run Bastille. Upgrade anything with a security-related update. Get the Openwall kernel patch, if you're really paranoid. A clueless administrator should *not* install Linux (or Unix, or NT...) at work, because that's just making the entire network less secure; if you don't know what you're doing, or you're first setting up a box, either don't hook it up to a network, or accept connections from no one, or perhaps one other trusted machine. Once you get everything working, feel free to go live with that Linux box.
Don't migrate systems when you don't have to; if you have a perfectly good NT box doing a job well, there's no need to replace it. If it gets slow or starts crashing, and you build a test machine under Linux that does the job better, *then* you can replace it. In fact, that's the point of one of my favorite Linux success stories.
Good luck, locust, and may the best platform win...
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