Why Linux? Well, the answer to this question was given in detail by PK Mishra, Senior Consulting Architect, Novell India in his presentation titled ‘Linux for eGovernance solution.’ In this session, he explained where and how Linux can be used and how it is absolutely ready for government as well as enterprises. According to him, cost, choice, security and reliability along with standards, peer review, freedom, flexibility, no lock in, TCO, reuse, and ROI are some of the significant advantages of using Linux. Talking about government, Mishra said, “Government has a complex way of operating and the role of the government is far from profits. Government costs are critical factors and they have to do things at the optimum cost.” Some of the ways to achieve this would be to improve server utilization and decrease the cost of owning and managing the same; deploy solutions on high volume, industry-standard hardware architectures; leverage open source and open standards maximally; use validated solution stacks for optimum performance & reliability; and decouple services from hardware by virtualizing servers, storage and the network.
Further, talking about adaptive data centres, he felt that enterprise-scale IT services must be hosted in a data centre that dynamically reconfigures itself based on policies that adapt to changing conditions like spikes in workloads, unforeseen failures and exigencies. He went on to talk about some of the features of Novell’s Linux with regard to reliability, availability and scalability. Heartbeat 2.x, AppArmor and XEN were some of the technologies discussed by Mishra on the availability, security and virtualization fronts respectively. He gave details of AppArmor which creates a firewall around any Linux program and isolates it from the rest of the system and Novell Identity Manager which automates password management and synchronizes access to all applications. Talking about Linux management, MIshra said, “Linux management is extremely important for the government as they will grow exponentially in about ten years and for that, management in a systematic and policy-based manner is important.”
He elaborated on the issue of interoperability which is a prime concern and the initiative by Novell in this area. He even listed some of the successful Linux implementations in the government sector by many components of citizen services, Indian railways, Indian courts, Indian police system, and some public sector organizations (banks, oil sector, airlines). He cited the case of the Tamil Nadu Government that has adopted SUSE Linux as its platform for all of its Citizen-Centric Service Delivery and thus, Linux, Particularly SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell is absolutely ready for government projects.
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