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bazzer
March 10th, 2008, 05:10 PM
Hi
Don't know if this is a popular idea or not, but it seems to me that the forum doesn't have a section for people to post things about Ubuntu in a corporate environment.

Certain things have interested me in my 'Ubuntu journey', such as converting the management to Ubuntu ideas, mass installs over the network, central management of the clients and so on. All this can be / has been discussed already in various sections and hence it's searchable, but to be brutally honest, the search function sucks! Alas I digress....

Comments?:popcorn:

p_quarles
March 10th, 2008, 05:13 PM
Moved to Feedback & Help.

The kinds of tasks you describe as belonging to the proposed sub-section are better done with paid support.

bazzer
March 10th, 2008, 05:20 PM
Paid support? Hmmm. Sorry I don't get it. The idea that you don't have to pay for knowledge is one of the reasons I'm on the Linux side of the fence now. I appreciate there are paid for support options for Suse and Redhat, but that's not what I'm asking for. Surely there are some people in the same boat as me (working for a smallish company and trying to drag them into using Ubuntu throughout the organisation) who would like to share experiences and methods without resorting to paying.

popch
March 10th, 2008, 05:24 PM
The kinds of tasks you describe as belonging to the proposed sub-section are better done with paid support.

We have staff who perform this kind of tasks for Windows. Surely, staff can be trained or found to do so for Linux?

The question is a bit on the academic side for me, as I do not envision our management switching from Windows to Linux in the foreseeable future. Still, I would be interested to learn about people's experiences with those issues.

p_quarles
March 10th, 2008, 05:40 PM
Paid support? Hmmm. Sorry I don't get it. The idea that you don't have to pay for knowledge is one of the reasons I'm on the Linux side of the fence now. I appreciate there are paid for support options for Suse and Redhat, but that's not what I'm asking for. Surely there are some people in the same boat as me (working for a smallish company and trying to drag them into using Ubuntu throughout the organisation) who would like to share experiences and methods without resorting to paying.
Support is not knowledge -- it is a service. Also, Ubuntu as well offers paid support for both home and corporate users.

I see what you are asking for is actually something more like a "Small Business Users" section. "Corporate Environment" suggests something on a larger scale to my mind. This has actually come up before, and the admins rejected the idea, I believe. The reasoning I recall was that the current topic schema is based around uses (server software, media software, etc.) rather than use cases (business, home, school, etc.).

matthew
March 10th, 2008, 06:35 PM
Hi
Don't know if this is a popular idea or not, but it seems to me that the forum doesn't have a section for people to post things about Ubuntu in a corporate environment.

Certain things have interested me in my 'Ubuntu journey', such as converting the management to Ubuntu ideas, mass installs over the network, central management of the clients and so on. All this can be / has been discussed already in various sections and hence it's searchable, but to be brutally honest, the search function sucks! Alas I digress....

Comments?:popcorn:Actually, this doesn't sound completely like what p_quarles interpreted it to mean. I don't think this is solely a tech support issue as it could include a "hey, how do we use/interact/encourage Ubuntu use in a professional environment." Am I interpreting that correctly?

If so, I think the idea has potential. As Ubuntu expands more into the server market, and is gaining in the corporate desktop market, it might be nice to have a place to direct threads on these topics. Yes, paid support would be something a large corporate environment would want, but for questions like mentioned in the original post, this could be a good addition.

bazzer
March 11th, 2008, 08:54 AM
Bang on the money there Matthew! I seem to manage to find the answers I need eventually in respect to technical support, but as you've said, there's no 'encouragement' for this 'use case' (and obviously I do tip my head to that description).

sloggerkhan
March 11th, 2008, 08:57 AM
Jeez, if business users want a subforum to jabber with each other in, why not?
The whole 'pay for support' thing is kinda dismissive and not very friendly, IMO.
And personally, I like the idea of having 'use case' subforums for small business and education.
IMO, even if they aren't the best place to ask for help, they could be a familiar invitation for those who come here from those backgrounds.

matthew
March 11th, 2008, 09:53 AM
Okay. We have a Forum Council meeting coming up in a couple of days. I'll add this to the agenda (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ForumCouncilAgenda) and discuss it with the other members. :)

Forrest Gumpp
March 11th, 2008, 08:33 PM
There could be a distinct side benefit of such a sub-forum for many members.

When the age distribution of members is taken into account, it is apparent that many are in the age bracket covering the student years. As a consequence, many of these members, although perhaps extremely advanced in their IT skills, may have had little exposure to the commercial or corporate aspects of IT.

Such a sub-forum, on the assumption that there are significant numbers of corporate or small business participants, would provide an excellent real-world training and work-experience opportunity for that part of the demographic shortly to enter the workforce.

Please don't pass it up.

jken146
March 11th, 2008, 08:40 PM
I think it's a not a bad idea. It would be at least as sensible as some of the sub-forums we have.

I also totally disagree with the idea of telling people to go and pay for support. The support that is offered here by volunteers could be bought from trained professionals, but UF exists to provide a volunteer support service to the community. Of course, some businesses might choose to pay for support, but that has nothing to do with UF. Some home desktop users might be willing to pay for support, but we're still here helping those people who want free community support. I see no reason to exclude businesses in any way.

LaRoza
March 11th, 2008, 08:47 PM
I think it's a not a bad idea. It would be at least as sensible as some of the sub-forums we have.

I also totally disagree with the idea of telling people to go and pay for support. The support that is offered here by volunteers could be bought from trained professionals, but UF exists to provide a volunteer support service to the community. Of course, some businesses might choose to pay for support, but that has nothing to do with UF. Some home desktop users might be willing to pay for support, but we're still here helping those people who want free community support. I see no reason to exclude businesses in any way.

I think the references to paid support were a misunderstanding of the question.

jken146
March 11th, 2008, 08:50 PM
I think the references to paid support were a misunderstanding of the question.

So do I, but even if someone posts a question about an issue that is arising in a large corporate environment, I don't think they should be turned away and told to go and pay for support. I for one am here to help people as and when I can.

No biggie.

p_quarles
March 11th, 2008, 09:00 PM
So do I, but even if someone posts a question about an issue that is arising in a large corporate environment, I don't think they should be turned away and told to go and pay for support. I for one am here to help people as and when I can.

No biggie.
I wasn't talking about turning anyone away from the Forums. Large corporations are usually not likely to turn to a public forum for help in the first place. They would be more likely to purchase a support plan from a software vendor and/or employ an IT staff of their own.

My intent wasn't to say that any of the topics the OP mentioned shouldn't be asked here, only to say that a separate section catering specifically to corporations might not get very much traffic.

freebeer
March 12th, 2008, 03:03 AM
+1 on a "Business Experience" section. Time will tell if it has long-term merit. I, for one, would like a section where folks could come together and share/troubleshoot their experiences in deploying Linux in the workplace. (I've certainly started that process so I know I can contribute as well as learn.)

(and it really doesn't have to be "business", per se, as most kinds of organizations share similar challenges)

Wharf Rat
March 12th, 2008, 03:17 AM
I wasn't talking about turning anyone away from the Forums. Large corporations are usually not likely to turn to a public forum for help in the first place. They would be more likely to purchase a support plan from a software vendor and/or employ an IT staff of their own.

My intent wasn't to say that any of the topics the OP mentioned shouldn't be asked here, only to say that a separate section catering specifically to corporations might not get very much traffic.

Big Corporations might not. But, their IT people might.
More likely, SMALL business people really need a place to discuss issues such as:
applications - pros/cons opinions, tips
network management experiences and strategies
Roll Out
Training and support

I have looked strongly at moving to Ubuntu in my business. I have two PCs set up already. They don't really need to integrate - neither machine needs access to accounting. Mostly e-mail and web.
These machines *used* to be filled with virii and spyware. No more.

bazzer
March 14th, 2008, 03:42 PM
Any news then Matthew?

mips
March 14th, 2008, 06:37 PM
I still want to know how you easily maintain, push updates etc to 5000+ linux desktops. I know how it is done easily in windows but to date have not figured out how to do something like this in Linux.

sloggerkhan
March 14th, 2008, 06:44 PM
I heard you set up a local apt server which mirrors the required/selected updates and hosts packages to the computers on your LAN. (Not sure if that's what you refer to.)

how did the council meeting go?

LaRoza
March 14th, 2008, 07:06 PM
how did the council meeting go?

The transcript is in the Forum Council Agenda forum (near the Cafe on the main page)

mips
March 14th, 2008, 07:15 PM
I heard you set up a local apt server which mirrors the required/selected updates and hosts packages to the computers on your LAN. (Not sure if that's what you refer to.)


Something like that. But how do you actually have the packages scheduled for install after hours without any user intervention on a locked down pc. Also how does one assign 'profiles' to pc's like in windows.

scorp123
March 14th, 2008, 07:30 PM
Surely, staff can be trained or found to do so for Linux? Bingo. :)


The question is a bit on the academic side for me, as I do not envision our management switching from Windows to Linux in the foreseeable future. Poor them.


Still, I would be interested to learn about people's experiences with those issues. The department I worked for at HP (http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise/cache/309906-0-0-0-121.html?jumpid=go/linux) 2000 -- 2007 was very much Linux- and Unix-centric and was almost Windows-free, despite HP being pretty much a "Microsoft-friendly" company ... well, not in our department back then. For us and our customers Windows did not exist. For those really big companies who were amongst my customers reliability and stability is *everything* ... It's not just a mantra they keep repeating in front of the mirror. Some companies in the most litteral sense depend on their systems working solid as rocks. Imagine a really big telecom provider whose existence and ability to operate on a world wide scale depends on being able to cash-in on every single second of every voice call that goes over their wires and satellites and every single bit and byte of data transmission that goes over their networks .... What do you think they use for their billing systems?? (yes! That's the systems that actually earn the money for them by transforming hexadecimal log files from telecom switches into human-readable phone bills and thus money $$$ ! ) Definitely not that trash OS made in Redmond! :lolflag:

My current employer is a partner company of SUN Microsystems ... again: everything is very very Linux and Solaris-centric. And I don't work as support technician anymore, now I am "Technical Consultant". I don't fix problems anymore ... I now maybe cause them :lolflag: The point is that for some of my customers Windows not only "does not exist" ... it is simply *banned* from ever being installed anywhere in their networks. You see, some of my customers are absolutely *paranoid* when it comes to security and privacy. Financial institutes (banks, etc.) for example. We got quite a lot of those here in Switzerland :) .... Imagine a Windows worm making its way into a bank's network by infecting a Windows system ... imagine the worm spying on money transfers and leaking highly sensitive details back to its creators ... That's the stuff nightmares are made of here in Switzerland.

The solution is simple: Windows is outright *banned* at some customer sites. No Windows = no worms, no viruses = no nightmares.

I know banks who still insist on using operating systems such as VMS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenVMS) and IBM's OS/2 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OS/2#Security_niche) because they perceive those operating systems as being "very secure" whereas everything else regarded as being "way too unsafe for a banking environment".

But even in those environments UNIX and also Linux (often heavily modified and hardened way beyond paranoia by the admins there! Thanks to the open source code not a problem at all!) is very often used, especially on new server hardware (you can't get OS/2 to work on new shiny servers because there simply aren't any device drivers available for them whereas with Linux this is no problem at all!).

So to answer your question ... Do businesses use Linux? You bet! :)

scorp123
March 14th, 2008, 07:42 PM
I also totally disagree with the idea of telling people to go and pay for support. I guess that depends on the problem and who's asking for help .... Companies tend to have way more complicated problems than home users, and often enough they require 24 x 7 support because they can't afford to wait until someone stumbles over their forum question ... So for this kind of support I think it's absolutely OK to have them pay for this.

OK, being a support guy myself I guess I am biased. :)


UF exists to provide a volunteer support service to the community. For bigger companies such a forum may not be "good enough" and especially not fast enough. That's why very often they have their own highly-trained and well-paid support staff and support contracts.

scorp123
March 14th, 2008, 07:45 PM
Large corporations are usually not likely to turn to a public forum for help in the first place. They would be more likely to purchase a support plan from a software vendor and/or employ an IT staff of their own. Exactly.


... only to say that a separate section catering specifically to corporations might not get very much traffic. They probably will not even notice. :(

mips
March 14th, 2008, 07:51 PM
Bingo. :)
Imagine a really big telecom provider whose existence and ability to operate on a world wide scale depends on being able to cash-in on every single second of every voice call that goes over their wires and satellites and every single bit and byte of data transmission that goes over their networks .... [B]What do you think they use for their billing systems??

I used to work for a big telecoms company and all the network management stuff ran on HP-UX or Solaris, the billing system I'm not sure but I think it was Unix of some sort. File & mail servers for users ran on MS though after they threw Novell Netware out the window, which was a painfull experience I must add for both the users and admins.

scorp123
March 14th, 2008, 08:09 PM
I still want to know how you easily maintain, push updates etc to 5000+ linux desktops. I know how it is done easily in windows but to date have not figured out how to do something like this in Linux. Now that's easy. See this thread:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=671041

Also ... you could create a "cron" job on your master-client (see the thread above) that would check for updates in regular intervals ... Cloning your client image to all other installs would make sure that all other clients do that too. In that cron job you could put a script that auto-executes a certain script if it finds it ....

Let's suppose I wanted to push the installation of the "wterm" (a terminal emulator) package to all clients:

- I put the command "apt-get update && apt-get install wterm" into a script on my master server, e.g. I name it "auto-install.sh"

- I programmed all my clients to check everyday at 12:00 if there is such a file on my master server, and if yes: Download it (ncftp, wget, scp ... whatever) and then execute it via sudo.

==> Result: at 12:00 all my clients would download this package.

That's just one possibility you have "out of the box" (e.g. no need to buy any third-party product). There are commercial solutions too, e.g. Red Hat's "Satellite", Canonical's "Landscape", and Novell's "ZENworks".

scorp123
March 14th, 2008, 08:13 PM
I used to work for a big telecoms company and all the network management stuff ran on HP-UX or Solaris Bingo.


File & mail servers for users ran on MS though after they threw Novell Netware out the window, which was a painfull experience I must add for both the users and admins. Yes, same here. HP had once a mail + collaboration product for HP-UX (the name was "OpenMail" I think?) which was 1:1 compatible with Outlook clients. While we used that everything was OK. But then they signed some stupid agreement with Microsoft and that HP product vanished. All development was stopped and support was ended. And HP moved to Microsoft Exchange servers.... Oh dear! :(

In our department we were independent enough and were able to maintain some stability by using Linux based solutions ... but communicating with the rest of the company was such a pain.

mips
March 14th, 2008, 08:19 PM
Now that's easy. See this thread:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=671041


Thanks for that, bookmarked it and will have a look at it tomorrow.

matthew
March 14th, 2008, 09:28 PM
Sorry it took me a while to report back, I have been hammered with work in the real world today.

We are about to upgrade the forum software to a new release. The 3.7 version has a new feature called tagging, which we are sure will make finding posts specific to this issue easy to find and follow. We will make a tag called "enterprise" just for this, instead of a new forum section, and see how that goes.

We are also hoping this will be a substantial improvement in forum searches.

bazzer
March 17th, 2008, 11:19 AM
So from what I read on the transcript, you discussed it with a few people for a few minutes, from a negative perspective. And you all came to the conclusion you don't need it, right?

TBH what you're offering I can't comment on. I know there were tags in the forum a while back and they sucked then, so maybe my reaction to this 'non-news' isn't based on a previously good experience.

I can't understand why people think this isn't a good idea! With so many people taking the plunge, there are bound to be more and more people 'pitching' Linux at their IT departments and managers...

But, I'll wait and see if the 'Enterprise' tag answers my query, and thanks for that.

Good news about the searches being improved, the search function is so bad I have to use Google site search if I actually want to find something on here. :(

LaRoza
March 17th, 2008, 07:53 PM
So from what I read on the transcript, you discussed it with a few people for a few minutes, from a negative perspective. And you all came to the conclusion you don't need it, right?


Some of those "few people" were the Forum Council whose opinions matter on this matter.

There is an anticipated upgrade, and they are waiting for that to see how it is before making changes.

As far as I can tell, no one from this thread came to the meeting to support the idea.

Forrest Gumpp
March 17th, 2008, 09:04 PM
As far as I can tell, no one from this thread came to the meeting to support the idea.

Didn't know that could be done! I did read the transcript posted in the Ubuntu Forums Council sub-forum, if that's any consolation.:)

bazzer
March 18th, 2008, 08:00 AM
As far as I can tell, no one from this thread came to the meeting to support the idea.

So we're invited then are we? Jeez, this seems like an awfully difficult battle for something so simple.

I give up.

p_quarles
March 18th, 2008, 08:09 AM
So we're invited then are we? Jeez, this seems like an awfully difficult battle for something so simple.

I give up.
Perhaps you're misreading the situation? What I see is that the forum council liked the idea, but wanted to find a solution that avoided the never-ending proliferation of sub-forums. There's a feeling that we have too many already, and that this makes things difficult to find.

matthew
March 18th, 2008, 09:55 AM
Perhaps you're misreading the situation? What I see is that the forum council liked the idea, but wanted to find a solution that avoided the never-ending proliferation of sub-forums. There's a feeling that we have too many already, and that this makes things difficult to find.Yep, that is what we were saying.

LaRoza
March 18th, 2008, 01:54 PM
So we're invited then are we? Jeez, this seems like an awfully difficult battle for something so simple.

I give up.

It isn't so simple...

Look at the transcript again. Iwas there to support my idea, and there was a large thread supporting it. Any we didn't get what we had stated (They are waiting for the upgrades)

Do you expect this idea to get better results than that?!

No one came to support the idea, but they covered it anyway. What did you expect?

Besides, they did listen and take it into consideration.

popch
March 18th, 2008, 01:58 PM
No one came to support the idea

This is the second time that someone mentions this in this thread, I believe. I had no idea that those 'meetings' were public. It's not a big deal since I would not have joined it anyway. I am quite content with the result as well.

LaRoza
March 18th, 2008, 01:59 PM
This is the second time that someone mentions this in this thread, I believe. I had no idea that those 'meetings' were public. It's not a big deal since I would not have joined it anyway. I am quite content with the result as well.

They are, you can get the times and locations in the Forum Council Agenda forum (down by the Cafe on the main page)

The IRC channel is #ubuntu-meeting

popch
March 18th, 2008, 02:07 PM
They are, you can get the times and locations in the Forum Council Agenda forum (down by the Cafe on the main page)

The IRC channel is #ubuntu-meeting

Thank you. Good to know. What do they do if all members join in person?

Er, it's a rhetorical question. I do not expect anyone here to know the answer.

p_quarles
March 18th, 2008, 02:12 PM
Thank you. Good to know. What do they do if all members join in person?

Er, it's a rhetorical question. I do not expect anyone here to know the answer.
All 500,000? I'm fairly certain that, if nothing else, we would all be able to cook breakfast on top of our routers.

LaRoza
March 18th, 2008, 02:15 PM
Thank you. Good to know. What do they do if all members join in person?

Er, it's a rhetorical question. I do not expect anyone here to know the answer.

We take a group photo.

(But given that Matthew couldn't stay logged in, I doubt half a million people would be able to remember to come and not have technical issues along the way)

popch
March 18th, 2008, 02:22 PM
All 500,000? I'm fairly certain that, if nothing else, we would all be able to cook breakfast on top of our routers.

We say 'fry eggs' where I live.



(But given that Matthew couldn't stay logged in, I doubt half a million people would be able to remember to come and not have technical issues along the way)

This somehow reminds me of a thread we were having one of these days about changing a light bulb.

LaRoza
March 18th, 2008, 02:23 PM
We say 'fry eggs' where I live.


We say that in the USA as well.

freebeer
March 18th, 2008, 09:06 PM
I'm cool with the results. Thanks for bringing it up!

I'll look forward to the software upgrade to see how easily it is to track (and it'll be useful for tracking other topics as well).