7 Steps to a Successful Linux and Open Source Migration - Part One of Three

Posted by Mark Teter, Chief Technology Officer
January 13, 2011

Today pretty much every organization has some open source technology in their IT environment, usually in the form of Linux. In fact, Linux provides the much of the underlying structure for the Internet and World Wide Web.

While Linux has become a mainstream business technology, it’s by no means foolproof. For a Linux migration to be successful, it needs to be well planned and deliberately executed. While there’s no real substitute for experienced and qualified Linux professionals—with basic IT competency your organization can follow these 7 steps for a successful Linux migration and adoption.


To start, you should understand your organization’s business strategy. You’ll want to find a sensible balance between the applications that represent parity services for your organization and those applications that serve your business strategy and provide competitive advantage. Armed with that information, you can define your business level objective and align your business needs with your IT capabilities and expected workloads. Doing this work at the outset will help you ensure the flexibility, stability, and sufficient performance to meet your business objectives at the lowest cost of ownership, while also avoiding vendor lock-in.


Next, you should survey your application environment. Not too long ago there were some applications that couldn’t be migrated to Linux so you didn’t have the option to skip this step. Today, however, virtually all applications can run on Linux or have suitable Linux equivalents. Nevertheless, this important step gives you the opportunity to rationalize your application environment and separate those that perform useful work from those that consume resources but are never or rarely used. In addition to eliminating these little used applications – sometimes referred to as “shelfware,” you’ll be able to cull overlapping and redundant applications. Again, they take resources without advancing your business level objectives. This will then give you an opportunity to identify and document the interrelationships between applications and systems so you can understand the dependencies between them—such as applications that require data processed by other applications.


After you examine your current application environment, if you find that you can directly apply Linux and open source to your business and its computing requirements, then you should begin developing an appropriate Linux infrastructure blueprint. Because Linux and open source have spawned new approaches and methods for deploying application infrastructures, you will have a surprising number of choices. So, you’ll want two things from your infrastructure: (1) a solid, reliable base on which to run your applications and—since every business intends to grow—(2) a scalable, flexible, extensible, and dynamic platform that can grow and change with your business.

About Mark Teter Before he retired from ASG in 2013, Mark Teter was Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the author of 'Paradigm Shift: Seven Keys of Highly successful Linux and Open Source Adoptions.' As CTO, Mark regularly advised IT organizations, vendors, and government agencies, and he frequently conducted seminars and training programs.

Filed Under: Linux

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