Pros and Cons of Linux and Microsoft?

I'm almost to the stage to where I would need to pick where to head after my N+ and I'm curious if someone can give a quick summary of what kinds of businesses use Linux and how popular it is. I'm really the kind of person that wants to be a little different from all the people that are already MCSE certified yet I don't want to have a hard time getting a good, well paying job.

I'm starting the experimenting part of my education and the branching out in IT industry is just crazy. From the reading I've done, A+ and N+ doesn't even give you a good oversight of everything that goes on. All the different types of hardware/software seem pretty daunting and I can see why employers want someone with in-house experience. A recent application I got for the local water company even wants a tech that has experience dealing with windows mobile and black berry... A+ didn't include that in the training, not to mention I haven't used one of those.

Back on topic, I've used both Linux and Microsoft, and I'm pretty much a beginner with Linux while using XP/Vista as a main computing OS. But I'm looking into diving into Slackware to (hopefully) learn some Unix. Another concern of mine is difficulty, is becoming a Unix admin harder then becoming a Windows admin? Since Windows has a lot familiarity, I would think it would be more natural to get certified administering it.

I'm going to talk to my N+ teacher this Monday and hopefully he can clear some other stuff up for me; until then I hope you guys can help me out here.

One more thing, I live in Las Vegas, theres a lot of Casinos and I'm pretty sure I don't want to be a slots tech... but I haven't ruled out taking care of their networks though.

Comments

  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,347
    Well, just off the top of my head though I'm not a linux expert.

    *Microsoft
    Pros:
    Easy to use and install.
    Updated frequently.
    Runs most software and great for gaming.

    Cons:
    Costly.
    More prone to Malware and BSODs.
    More security issues.
    Product activation.

    *Linux
    Pros:
    Free.
    Runs nicely on new and old hardware, automatically detects drivers pretty well.
    Secure.

    Cons:
    Difficult learning curve.
    Has a lot of open source software, but isn't great for gaming or software you'd purchase at the store.
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    I've been job searching recently and at least in the Phoenix area a lot of the admin jobs I've been seeing have been searching for people with linux/unix experience and several linux/unix only jobs. I think they have almost outnumbered the Window Server jobs, not that I've been keeping track though. But there's nothing wrong with being familiar with both I would say.
    Jumping on the IT blogging band wagon -- http://www.jefferyland.com/
  • sthomassthomas Member Posts: 1,240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    The best thing to do is to go with whatever interests you the most. If you like working with Windows then go for being a Windows Admin and if you like Linux then go with Linux, and of course you could always do both. I think there is less competition in the Linux/Unix world once you gain experience as there are less people going that route than the Cisco and Microsoft route. Also, a Windows Admin with 5 years experience could be making 50k/yr. as opposed to a Linux Admin with the same amount of experience making 70-80k/yr. or more. At least that is what I have seen Linux Admins generally make more than Windows Admins but not always.
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • sir_creamy_sir_creamy_ Inactive Imported Users Posts: 298
    KGhaleon wrote:
    Runs nicely on new and old hardware, automatically detects drivers pretty well.

    Ummmm I don't think you can claim this as true. Getting Linux to play nice with nVidia video cards is like pulling teeth.
    Bachelor of Computer Science

    [Forum moderators are my friends]
  • sir_creamy_sir_creamy_ Inactive Imported Users Posts: 298
    Bachelor of Computer Science

    [Forum moderators are my friends]
  • SchluepSchluep Member Posts: 346
    KGhaleon wrote:
    Runs nicely on new and old hardware, automatically detects drivers pretty well.

    Ummmm I don't think you can claim this as true. Getting Linux to play nice with nVidia video cards is like pulling teeth.

    I'll follow that up with getting Intel wireless cards configured and working even when you have the Linux drivers can often be like taking an industrial sander to your teeth instead of pulling them.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,896 Admin
    Ummmm I don't think you can claim this as true. Getting Linux to play nice with nVidia video cards is like pulling teeth.
    But isn't that more the fault of nVidia than the design or any implementation of the Linux OS?
  • SieSie Member Posts: 1,195
    Schluep wrote:
    I'll follow that up with getting Intel wireless cards configured and working even when you have the Linux drivers can often be like taking an industrial sander to your teeth instead of pulling them.

    Speaking of which do you have any good tutorials on succeeding with this??

    As for the OP as said before go with what takes your interest, at the end of the day if you specialise in it then you'll be doing it for some time to come so you need to find something you enjoy and keeps your interest.
    Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools
  • TalicTalic Member Posts: 423
    I think I'll do a Intro to UNIX class next semester at my school. Maybe I'll give me some insight to the inner workings of Linux. So far I've mostly installed and followed some directions in configuring Ubuntu, mostly copying and pasting some commands in the shell. Its an online only class so I hope it won't be too difficult.

    Is both Unix and Linux nowadays considered the same thing? I know Linux was developed from Unix but there hasn't been much info if they consider them both interchangeable. Since supposedly Solaris is developed straight from Unix. If you've learned the Unix shell then you can pretty much use both? Is it the same with BSD?

    Thanks for the replies guys.
  • chmodchmod Member Posts: 360 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I work as a linux and windows admin, i alway say that is not a ms vs linux fight. IT admins should take the best of both worlds.
    Im in love with asterisk, i like snort, postfix and nagios, but i also like active directory, SQL and sharepoint.

    M$ Cons

    Licences is the main issue.
    Exchange and ISA sucks big time.

    Linux Pros

    -Free

    Why would you make your company, expend big bucks on licences when you can make them use that money on salary raises.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    chmod wrote:
    Why would you make your company, expend big bucks on licences when you can make them use that money on salary raises.

    You can recommend your company use open source, but as soon as it fails and there is no support contract you aren't going to have any salary at all......

    Support from the manufacturer is very important to most organizations.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • TalicTalic Member Posts: 423
    Support from the manufacturer is very important to most organizations.

    Is that the reason Red Hat is business oriented?
  • TryntotechitTryntotechit Member Posts: 108
    From what I have heard, Red Hat isn't selling actual Linux...They are selling the support and the other ammeneties. Linux is free. They can't truely "sell" Linux. Like I said though, this is just what I was told.????
    Taking 70-294 very soon...again
  • dalesdales Member Posts: 225
    I wouldnt really worry too much about the foibles of linux with vga and wifi as you wont generally get that issue. Currently if linux is deployed in a workplace it will be on the servers mostly, we have a number of mixed servers generally the linux OS is SUSE enterprise and a couple of old RH ones, along with netware 6.5 and pretty much all different versions of the windows server oses.


    I know some companies have deployed linux as a desktop but they are in a minority as we all know how much users fear change!
    Kind Regards
    Dale Scriven

    Twitter:dscriven
    Blog: vhorizon.co.uk
  • TeslTesl Member Posts: 87 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Talic wrote:
    I think I'll do a Intro to UNIX class next semester at my school. Maybe I'll give me some insight to the inner workings of Linux. So far I've mostly installed and followed some directions in configuring Ubuntu, mostly copying and pasting some commands in the shell. Its an online only class so I hope it won't be too difficult.

    Is both Unix and Linux nowadays considered the same thing? I know Linux was developed from Unix but there hasn't been much info if they consider them both interchangeable. Since supposedly Solaris is developed straight from Unix. If you've learned the Unix shell then you can pretty much use both? Is it the same with BSD?

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    "Unix" is a lot of things, and there are many versions of "Unix". I believe recently MaxOSX was certified Unix recently, so I guess that would make MacOSX more Unix than Linux is.

    Linux is a Unix clone. Most applications written for Unix can be compiled and deployed on Linux.

    There are different shells in use, most of which will run on either Linux/Solaris/BSD. Learning one should allow you to be fairly comfortable when using any, although there is a lot more to know than just shell commands. I can't find my way around a Solaris box at all.

    I'm lucky that I get to code on Linux all day every day, its beauuuutiful :)
  • SchluepSchluep Member Posts: 346
    dales wrote:
    I wouldnt really worry too much about the foibles of linux with vga and wifi as you wont generally get that issue. Currently if linux is deployed in a workplace it will be on the servers mostly, we have a number of mixed servers generally the linux OS is SUSE enterprise and a couple of old RH ones, along with netware 6.5 and pretty much all different versions of the windows server oses.

    I know some companies have deployed linux as a desktop but they are in a minority as we all know how much users fear change!

    Of course I would never trust users in a corporate environment with Linux on a desktop as almost none of them use it outside of the work place and some send e-mail in all caps for months at a time because they don't know how to turn of caps lock. We have all of our web servers and used to have our mail server running Linux. We have several old database servers running Unix (and even one VERY old one running VOS for legacy support that almost nobody can use). The comments about Wireless and Video cards were both specifically quoting what KGhaleon mentioned "Runs nicely on new and old hardware, automatically detects drivers pretty well" as a benefit for Linux over Microsoft.
    Sie wrote:
    Schluep wrote:
    I'll follow that up with getting Intel wireless cards configured and working even when you have the Linux drivers can often be like taking an industrial sander to your teeth instead of pulling them.

    Speaking of which do you have any good tutorials on succeeding with this??

    Tutorials on taking a sander to your teeth? - Nope

    Tutorials on configuring a wireless card in Linux? - I usually check the documentation for the distribution I am using as well as the documentation from the card manufacturer. In my case I had to get the drivers from Intel and properly configure the package, install the drivers, and configure my wireless network settings on the OS followed by a scream when it didn't work. I then repeated the process making slight modifications and trying different settings until I got it working. Since all cards/drivers are different I don't think there is any specific tutorial you can follow for that aspect of it.
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,347
    The one reason I've held back from using Linux and Unix all these years is because my wireless drivers never work. I really only have access to wireless networks, so it's always proved to be a pothole in my learning experience. So these days you don't generally have to worry about drivers on business networks?
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • SnafuRacerSnafuRacer Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    For those that have linux installed on your work servers, what distro is mainly used and thus good to train and learn about?
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    There are a ton. Redhat and SUSE are common, and you can use CentOS and OpenSUSE as study distros for those.
  • remyforbes777remyforbes777 Member Posts: 499
    I would either go the Debian route or the CentOS route. CentOS is basically RedHat Linux Enterprise edition.
  • sthomassthomas Member Posts: 1,240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    For debian I would recommend using Ubuntu server. Yes I said Ubuntu server edition. It is debian based and there is no GUI by default so you will have to use CLI, plus it is not bloated like CentOS or other distros.
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • Darthn3ssDarthn3ss Member Posts: 1,096
    Linux seems to have drivers for newer sata chipsets that XP doesn't. thats a good advantage if you just bought a laptop with vista don't want vista :)
    Fantastic. The project manager is inspired.

    In Progress: 70-640, 70-685
  • chmodchmod Member Posts: 360 ■■■□□□□□□□
    chmod wrote:
    Why would you make your company, expend big bucks on licences when you can make them use that money on salary raises.

    You can recommend your company use open source, but as soon as it fails and there is no support contract you aren't going to have any salary at all......

    Support from the manufacturer is very important to most organizations.

    I agree, but you must know what to reccomend, i always recommend djbdns,nagios,ffmns,postfix/qmail,ASTERISK, they have a lot of support.

    And microsoft doesn't have any support, so i dont care that much about support. If you know what you are doing you dont have to worry about suport that much.
  • sthomassthomas Member Posts: 1,240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    chmod wrote:
    And microsoft doesn't have any support, so i dont care that much about support. If you know what you are doing you dont have to worry about suport that much.

    This is not always true, there may be times (usually few and far between though) that one may have to call Microsoft support. At least for small and medium sized businesses. Of course it would be a Server related issue as there support is NOT cheap.
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I get two free calls with my $349/year Technet subscription. I've only called once, and I actually got great support. I was pleasantly surprised.
  • cisco_troopercisco_trooper Too many Member Posts: 1,443 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have to agree. The one time I called tech support it was utterly unbelievable service. I've never been happier. Although, the quickness with which the problem was resolved leads me to believe I shouldn't have had to call tech support. It was like the guy knew the answer before I asked the question... icon_confused.gif
  • chmodchmod Member Posts: 360 ■■■□□□□□□□
    sthomas wrote:
    chmod wrote:
    And microsoft doesn't have any support, so i dont care that much about support. If you know what you are doing you dont have to worry about suport that much.

    This is not always true, there may be times (usually few and far between though) that one may have to call Microsoft support. At least for small and medium sized businesses. Of course it would be a Server related issue as there support is NOT cheap.

    Same thing is with linux you can get support if you pay for it.
    But basically if you install an ISA server or an Asterisk you can have several issues. It's up to the IT admin to make any solution to work.
    If you know what you are doing you can make linux/M$/Novell/HPUX/solaris/MAC...etc work as you want.
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