Linux fulfills many roles in the commericlal industries of Ireland.
It is being used to supervise Windows NT boxes and reboot them when
go awry. It is used as an image server for bulk installation of PCs
indeed for multi-platform and compatibility testing where each image
contains a different operating system and configuration).
It is used as a serial port server (by a company developing software
for communicating with data logging devices) as an alternative to
carrying loggers, power supplies, sensors and cabling arund to
individual desks). Network monitoring is also a responsibility that
Linux carries well.
Then there are the more typical uses of Linux: as internet gateways,
firewalls, email servers, ftp servers, file servers, print servers,
(virtual) webservers, Radius, DNS, SMB networking, AFP networking, web
proxies (by using squid) , LDAP directory servers, irc (Intenet Relay
Chat) servers, games servers, news servers, open database
connectivity (client/server database applications with Linux servers
and Windows 95/98 clients) - the list goes on.
A graduate of Trinity recalls:
"NT servers were the bane of
our lives as undergrads trying to use PC's... half the time the
network just wouldn't let you log on, decline to boot because the
images wern't available, etc, etc, ad extreme nauseum".
This is pretty much a good case in point - Linux is much more stable
than Windows NT, it requires less hardware resources, and is much more
versatile and robust. One of the television broadcasters in Ireland
use Linux to reboot their NT boxes when they lock up. Remotely rebooting
an NT box is quite simple - by exploiting a flaw in NT - the NT
server is sent a tcp/ip packet that it just can not cope with.
There are more sides to Linux than just 'server' and 'monitoring'
roles. Linux is also used for developing Linux ports of software