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Why Chicago Chose Linux

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As the platform architect for the city of Chicago, Amy Niersbach had a decision to make. The city’s IT infrastructure needed some refreshing. Chicago wanted to rid itself of its vintage mainframes, and its aging Sun Solaris servers were costly to maintain.

The Windy City needed a major migration. But to what?

An obvious choice would have been the Windows server, partially because the city’s infrastructure – which includes “a little bit of everything,” Niersbach says – already uses a major Windows element.

But she opted to avoid Windows. “When you think of Windows server, you think of rebooting the server, of always having to apply security patches. You think of viruses,” she tells Datamation. “Not that it’s not great for some things, but Linux and Solaris prove to be a lot less headaches than any other platform.”

With her preference for Linux, she went shopping. "We evaluated Suse Linux. They were a good runner-up, but at the time they didn’t have the Oracle certification.” Since the city relies so heavily on Oracle, this was a deal breaker.

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