Linux, the license-free UNIX-like operating
system, which has been the fancy of the educational community for long, is
now being increasingly
seen as a viable alternative to Windows NT and Netware by many
corporate houses in India.
The flagship of the open-source software (OSS) movement that’s
challenging the proprietary paradigms of commercial software
development, Linux has so far largely been the preserve of geekdom.
Now, corporate mandarins are aiming for it.
Reliance Industries, ICICI, UTI-Securities, Indian Rayon, Zodiac are
among some of the Indian corporates that are actively looking at Linux
as an alternative to the well-established Windows NT and Netware.
Many educational institutions like BITS, IITs and research
organizations like BARC, ISRO are already use Linux by tailoring it to
meet their specific needs.
And with the recent announcement of support for Linux by various
global IT majors such as Intel, Oracle, Sybase, Informix, Dell and
Netscape, Linux which was mostly in use in a sporadic fashion so far,
has now caught the whims of Indian corporate houses too.
Operating systems are the invisible but indispensable traffic cops of
a computer — managing all the functions of the hardware and providing
application creators with standard interfaces to which to write their
According to sources, petrochemical giant Reliance Industries is
working on implementing certain mission-critical applications on
Besides web-based applications and intranet,
the company is also planning to install Linux-based networks for its
internal communication and messaging needs.
The company, sources say, is also building a corporate
intranet using wide-area links to connect to their nodal centers,
carrying multimedia data content, using Linux, besides building their
own intranet task force.
Mahindra-British Telecom (MBT) has also jumped on to the Linux
bandwagon. MBT, which became aware of Linux’s capabilities about a
year ago, today, uses Linux-based solution for its mailing system.
company is also working on implementing Linux for other web-based and
The National Stock Exchange (NSE) too is reportedly using Linux-based
solution for its certification program for brokers.
The Indira Gandhi
Institute of Development Research is another institution, where the
entire campus network and Internet link is being set up using
Linux-based servers and other free software available on the Internet.
However, some market observers still feel that the freely distributed
Linux OS is still not ready to handle all the needs of corporations.
Linux has problems with I/O and is rife with Ring 3 scaling problems,
says a Windows NT systems engineer.
Linux also has problems with its
scheduler, and there are not much of user-friendly applications in
Linux, he adds.