Feeds

Brussels to spend €250k on Linux migration study

Major architectural rethink

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

The European Commission has awarded UK-based consultancy netproject a €250,000 contract to study the issues of migrating government computers in member states to a Linux / Open Source environment.

netproject has been hired by the Commission to draw up guidelines on a move to open source technologies and to help define EU IT strategy on desktop computing. The German state of Mecklenburg-Pomerania
is to be used as a test bed in defining this strategy, which goes beyond the investigation of a switch between Windows and Linux PCs.

netproject plans to put forward an architecture for secure computing based on Linux in its report, which is due to be delivered in five months time, and will detail plans on how to take the project forward.

The consultancy won the contract largely on the basis of European interest in a pilot scheme to roll out Linux desktops with West Yorkshire police force.

The deployment is taking place under a contract awarded to netproject earlier this year by the UK Police IT Organisation, and if successful could cover over 60,000 desktops.

The approach and architecture of the system is what sets it apart, and sparked the interest of Brussels in doing something similar.

Eddie Bleasdale, a director at netproject, calls it the "Secure Open Desktop Architecture." The user-facing part of the West Yorkshire police system consists of an ultra low cost machine being supplied by the Telford office of Taiwanese company GCI, price £299, including a smart card reader.

The system, which can include legacy Windows systems, making it easier for customers to transition to open source. The clients themselves are 'stateless,' so a user can log on with their smartcard from any machine on the network, and get immediate access to their personal desktop, which includes Openoffice.

Bleasdale told us there was "more than just a passing interest" in this work when he met people from seven European countries who are working on how to deploy Linux for public administration.

Countries represented included: Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Spain and a representative from the European Commission.

The majority of delegates said that their main concern was the cost of ownership of their current PCs, Bleasdale told us.

Microsoft's recently introduced licensing changes have added weight to this concern but Bleasdale said an even bigger issue was the rate of change that Microsoft is imposing on customers, and many are struggling to deal with it. This calls for a major rethink in computing architecture, such as West Yorkshire Police have embraced, he added. ®

Related Stories

Secure Linux desktop begins shipping to UK police force
Linux to help police with their enquiries?
UK govt poised to embrace open source for PKI standards
Swedish government mulls Linux
Danish local govt. rebels against MS license terms

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.