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Skills The Biggest Challenge Where Windows, Linux Coexist

New survey finds other obstacles include incompatible apps, different management tools, and lack of vendor cooperation.
The different skill sets required by system administrators is the top challenge for companies that are deploying both Windows and Linux, according to a new report from InformationWeek Research.

Just over half of respondents whose companies run both Windows and Linux say the different skills required to manage and maintain the operating systems present a challenge to their IT departments, according to InformationWeek Research's Windows Interoperability report. The online survey was completed by 400 business-technology professionals, 99% of whose companies use Windows servers and 50% who use Linux servers.

Other challenges presented by the dual-platform computer environments are, in order, applications that run on one operating system but not the other (46%), the need for different management tools (41%), lack of cooperation between Microsoft and Linux vendors (31%), and Windows-to-Linux interoperability (27%).

Martin Taylor, general manager of platform strategy with Microsoft's Windows server division, points to Services for Unix as the key product from Microsoft to help companies migrate from Linux to Windows or run applications that span both environments. Taylor contends that "for the most part, people feel we do a pretty good job with interoperability." But, he adds, "We can always do better." A upgraded version of Services for Unix is due in January.

A story with more survey findings and analysis will be published by InformationWeek on Oct. 13.