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04 February 2013, 16:50

City of Munich disagrees with HP's Linux migration study

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Munich's City Council has objected to HP's study in which the company analysed Munich's Linux migration on behalf of Microsoft. According to HP's calculations, the LiMux German language link project, which was launched in 2003, cost €60.6 million (approximately £51 million) compared to a cost of only €17 million (£14.2 million) for a purely Microsoft-based solution. These figures strongly contradict those compiled by Munich's City Council, which had established costs of just under €23 million (£17 million) for Munich's migration to Linux and OpenOffice and estimated that a solution involving Windows and Microsoft Office would have cost €34 million (£27 million).

Talking to The H's associates at heise open, the head of the Press and Information Office at Munich City Hall, Stefan Hauf, said that it was not possible to conduct a thorough analysis of the study based on the published summary and that many of the study's assumptions could not be verified due to the lack of detail. Hauf said that, for example, the study factors in support costs for 12,000 clients from the start of the project, although the number of clients gradually rose to 13,000 over the duration of the project. Additionally, workplace maintenance and support is only a minor work aspect for the 1,000 IT staff that are listed in the study, he added.

HP's calculation completely omits hardware costs as the study assumes that Linux and Windows systems have "roughly the same hardware requirements". Hauf disagrees: this approach ignores "the experience that Linux clients have lower hardware requirements than Windows clients", he said. The official added that the study does not differentiate between migration and regular life cycle management costs, and that regular updates of the same operating system were rated as migrations.

HP said that the LiMux project's biggest budget item was migrating the administration's standard programs, and particularly its specialised applications, to the Linux environment; the study estimates that €38.5 million was required for this task. However, Hauf explained that the assumption that all existing specialised applications had to be ported to Linux is incorrect: "All web-based custom procedures can be used under LiMux without requiring any migration, and most of the procedures that are closely integrated into Microsoft products can be accessed from the Linux clients via alternative standard methods."

When asked whether the City of Munich thought it necessary to re-evaluate its own Linux migration calculations in view of HP's study, Hauf said that Munich's City Council doesn't consider the study to be scientifically sound, and that it therefore sees no reason to adjust its figures.


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