Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Ubuntu Businesses Microsoft

AT&T Chooses Ubuntu Linux Instead of Microsoft Windows (betanews.com) 167

An anonymous reader writes: one of the largest cellular providers is the venerable AT&T. While it sells many Linux-powered Android devices, it is now embracing the open source kernel in a new way. You see, the company has partnered with Canonical to utilize Ubuntu for cloud, network, and enterprise applications. That's right, AT&T did not choose Microsoft's Windows when exploring options. Canonical will provide continued engineering support too.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

AT&T Chooses Ubuntu Linux Instead of Microsoft Windows

Comments Filter:
  • Ok? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gcnaddict ( 841664 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @02:52PM (#51318459)
    It's for hosting services, not for client use. In the cloud, the competition is pretty even between everything that isn't based on Mac OS. Why does this decision surprise anyone?

    Heck, it's one of the reasons Azure supports *nix etc. in the first place.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Going back to its roots in Unix,

      • by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @05:37PM (#51319091)
        That's what surprised me as well. Doesn't AT&T have any ownership of Unix anymore, or is it all gone to Lucent/USL/Bell Labs/SCO/Open Group/whatever? Also, GP mentioned that it's for hosting services, but for that, isn't it more of the establishment guys who are the real deal here - be it Red Hat, Suse, Debian, as opposed to Ubuntu? Looking at it any which way, AT&T made a strange decision, and the alternative was not Windows (Server), but something like either one of the old Unixes, like Solaris, or one of the established Linux distros, like Red Hat or Debian.
        • by Teun ( 17872 )
          I supposed the important difference is called 'Support'.

          Linux has for many years proven itself as a great Kernel and with good support of the GNU stuff it makes a great OS.
        • by swalve ( 1980968 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @07:54PM (#51319481)
          I don't think the current AT&T is the same as the former AT&T. The current one is a merger between Cingular and SBC I'm pretty sure.
          • When The Bell System split up in the 1980s, AT&T got to keep Unix and most of the Labs, and the 7 Baby Bells owned most of the Bell telcos.
            When AT&T split up into AT&T, Lucent, and NCR back in the 1990s, Lucent got most of Bell Labs, including ownership of Unix.

            SBC (aka Southwestern Bell, the Texas Baby Bell branch) in the late 2000s and early 2010s bought Pacific Bell, Southern Bell, Ameritech, old-AT&T, and renamed itself AT&T because that had more brand value than SBC. The wireless b

            • I think that the GP is correct.

              About ownership of Unix, that went to the Open Group, while ownership of the code went to Novell, and then there was that lawsuit b/w SCO and everyone else. I don't think that the Baby Bells ever owned Unix. However, the original Unix authors stayed at Lucent, where they worked on Plan 9.

              Unix, as in SVR5, remained w/ SCO, and found its way to the last version of UNIXWARE.

        • Remember that this announcement is about Cloud Stuff - no matter what client operating systems you're using, the host environment is almost certainly either controlled by VMware or OpenStack or Amazon or Azure, and the servers are almost certainly Intel-ish CPUs running VMware ESXi or KVM (on some Linux platform) or maybe Windows Hyper-V. There are some exceptions (Docker's busy disrupting and overlapping with that space, and there's a bit of Xen left, and some switching/routing platforms like ODL or *NFV*

    • by vux984 ( 928602 )

      Yeah, and it's probably not going to be client side anytime soon.

      A lot of the industry stuff isn't Linux. (iTunes is still used sometimes to work with phones; then there are tools like MCE (http://store.mce-sys.com/pages/mce-platform-system-requirements); and tools for the old feature phones the firmware updates etc were all windows applications (this has largely gone away, but not completely).

      Both major networks around me (not AT&T) use iQmetrix for point of sale which is a cloud based database with a

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "In the cloud, the competition is pretty even between everything that isn't based on Mac OS"

      Please show me an example of competition in the cloud with a Windows OS? Even MS Azure is heavily Linux. Other than crufty aging enterprise running AD and Exchange, there is zero presence for Windows based servers. In the "cloud", AWS and the like provide their own directory services not to mention Oauth has become significantly more important than traditional LDAP.

      Been that way for a decade now. What century are you

      • Re:Ok? (Score:5, Informative)

        by gcnaddict ( 841664 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @04:02PM (#51318775)

        Please show me an example of competition in the cloud with a Windows OS?

        Sure. Here's a good reference from the Linux Foundation [linuxfoundation.org] showing the continuing improvement of Linux's foothold in the context of cloud applications. 75% Linux (all flavors), 23% Windows (all flavors), etc.

        but considering that the 75% figure is made of all Linux distributions, the breakdown is likely split between CentOS, Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, et cetera. Everyone's in the double-digits. I'd call that comparable, potentially "even," and I'd certainly call that greater than your "zero presence" figure.

        I'd attack your character much the way you attacked mine with "What century are you in?", but it's easier to just use facts.

        • How is 75/25 even? If you want to compare Linux distros to Windows distros (you have ~3 iterations split into another 3-6 distributions each (from Small Business to Datacenter versions), you would probably still get a 75/25 split. Windows in the cloud is expensive and useless unless you have it subsidized (which is probably the only reason Windows is so high).

          • Are you comparing different versions/SKUs of one OS to different OSes? You're aware that the SKUs only impact feature availability and not functionality differences, right?

            If you want to go granular and compare by kernel version (5.2, 6.1, etc.), then you have to do the same for different versions of Linux OSes too.
    • It's just a plug, an announcement to put on the brochures, not meant to "surprise" anyone. Canonical wants into Fedora's market.

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @03:59PM (#51318755) Journal

      A better headline might have been:
      Canonical lands huge contract with AT&T

      AT&T is a $200 billion organization, Canonical is about $10 billion. This deal might boost Canonical's revenue by 50%.

      Also, it's a major credibility boost on Canonical's corporate resume. AT&T is a major, major company full of network experts, so it's a very significant endorsement of Canonical supporting large-scale applications. Consider Canonical trying to sell a new a customer, maybe Fisher Price or Nabisco:
      Fisher Price: How do we have confidence that your team can support services at the scale Fisher Price needs?
      Canonical rep: We run AT&T's systems, at the much larger scale they require.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        Now if the next step is Ubuntu on AT&T workstations that will be a huge change but hardly surprising should it be that it was the main reason AT&T went with Ubuntu in the first place. Many Internet companies will change as they baulk at the idea of M$ harvesting the networks for information free of charge and there will be more and more pressure to force out M$'s privacy invasion of the entire internet.

    • Re:Ok? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MrKrillls ( 3858631 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @04:44PM (#51318903)

      Seen as "Linux runs a few more servers", not news at all. Seen as "Canonical gets a high profile contract", it is a decent piece of business news.

    • Yes, A linux OS running enterprise applications in the cloud doesn't generate as much revenue as on the desktop.
      • How much is 100% of nothing again?
      • Yes, A linux OS running enterprise applications in the cloud doesn't generate as much revenue as on the desktop.

        The thing is that most companies that decide to deploy linux on their datacenter are most likely prepared to support them inhouse. In my case, only 50% of my linux deployment, which we classify as critical system, are covered with Red Hat services. The rest of them are supported inhouse. And they are inherently stable and rarely break to begin with.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @02:54PM (#51318469)
    With what Microsoft has been doing in the consumer world with the Windows 10 installation nagging (~how many times do I have to tell Microsoft that I do not want to install Windows 10~) and the unwanted Windows 10 downloading, it is no surprise that AT&T is looking elsewhere for solutions.

    .
    To me it appears that Microsoft is no longer a trustworthy partner, in business or in the home.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2016 @03:04PM (#51318525)

      With what Microsoft has been doing in the consumer world with the Windows 10 installation nagging (~how many times do I have to tell Microsoft that I do not want to install Windows 10~) and the unwanted Windows 10 downloading, it is no surprise that AT&T is looking elsewhere for solutions.

      .

      To me it appears that Microsoft is no longer a trustworthy partner, in business or in the home.

      Umm, where have you been the past 30ish years?

      Microsoft has NEVER been a "trusted partner" - "DOS isn't done until Lotus won't run!" and all that.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 17, 2016 @03:35PM (#51318651)

      To me it appears that Microsoft is no longer a trustworthy partner, in business or in the home.

      birds of a feather flock together.. at&t and microsoft should be best buddies. both shit on their customers and customer data.

      • Well get the flock off my lawn... and the customers need to raise a little more hell if they want better treatment.

    • With what Microsoft has been doing in the consumer world with the Windows 10 installation nagging (~how many times do I have to tell Microsoft that I do not want to install Windows 10~) and the unwanted Windows 10 downloading, it is no surprise that AT&T is looking elsewhere for solutions.

      Yeah some consumer OS issue which doesn't affect the scenario is what drove a mega corporation who can't give a shit about consumers to ditch another mega corporation's cloud service.

      More likely scenario: Azure was more expensive. And it IS more expensive.

    • (Disclaimer: I work for AT&T, but this is just my personal opinion, not an official corporate position.)

      This announcement is about infrastructure for some of AT&T's cloud services; it's really separate from anything about laptop or consumer OS's. Basically everything in the world that used to run on servers seems to be migrating to cloud-type architectures, and I couldn't tell from the article which part of the business this was about (AT&T runs a wide range of cloud and hosting services for cu

  • AT&T invented Unix (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dynamoo ( 527749 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @03:16PM (#51318575) Homepage
    AT&T Bell Labs invented Unix [wikipedia.org]. Yeah, I know that's not quite the same AT&T as we see today (Bell Labs is part of Alcatel-Lucent-Nokia) but nonetheless today's AT&T is a direct descendant of the AT&T of the 1970s the developed Unix for it's own use. Heck, so they should be using Unix rather than Linux.. but they don't actually own it any more.
    • by gtall ( 79522 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @04:49PM (#51318941)

      Yes and no. AT&T was split up and Southwestern Bell was one of the baby bells. Then SW Bell bought the shell that AT&T had become. After so much time and so many business school weenies running the companies, AT&T is only the bastard son of MBAs.

    • "AT&T Bell Laboratories" was split into two pieces: "Bell Labs" (no "AT&T," as that part went to Lucent Technologies that later combined with Alcatel and later still with Nokia) and "AT&T Labs" (no "Bell," and that part stayed with AT&T, obviously).
  • Sincerely speaking, when I read the headline, I thought the choice was for the desktop.

    Alas was I wrong!

    Is there anyone else who thought the same?

    Which major enterprise is using Linux on the desktop is I may ask?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      How major is google? and some others... [techrepublic.com]

      • Chrome OS by default is locked down not to run any app other than the Chrome web browser. If you put it in developer mode to install Crouton (a chroot with GNU and X11), it'll beg you every time it starts up to reenable operating system verification, which wipes the entire drive. Most other PC operating systems allow someone with physical access to wipe the drive but don't exactly encourage it. So you'd need to keep reinstallation media handy at all times and never save files to internal storage.

        • by Alsee ( 515537 )

          Sorry for the (partially) offtopic reply, but I just saw your question about Trusted Network Connect here. [slashdot.org]

          I haven't been hearing much new news about Trusted Computing or Trusted Network Connect recently. Ordinarily I'd consider that a good sign that it wasn't moving forwards, however it's looking more like a successful slow-quiet-rollout strategy. Both Microsoft and Google make the Trust chip mandatory on phones, and Microsoft has declared that it's mandatory on all desktops and other devices in a few month

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      Which major enterprise is using Linux on the desktop is I may ask?

      I think that Red Hat uses Linux on some of it's workstations. From what I hear, nobody really likes it, though.
      • SOME? I'd have thought that Red Hat is an all Linux company. Sun was too, when it was around. If they did have PCs, it would have Solaris, rather than Windows
        • Sun was never a Linux company. Linux on Sparc has always and will always be rather weak. You run Sparc hardware, it's Solaris or a BSD.

    • by Art3x ( 973401 )

      Sincerely speaking, when I read the headline, I thought the choice was for the desktop.

      The headline leaves you wondering. It doesn't say where. If a company just uses Linux on some servers, then it's not news. So you wonder if they mean the desktop, at least for some employees. It's clickbait.

      The article itself is poorly written too. It hedges things with virtually and arguably but then exaggerates, with dramatically and runaway. It uses bloated words like utilize, partner, and mutualistic. It's riddled with cliches, like "everyone and their mother," "the venerable," and "some much needed mon

    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )

      Which major enterprise is using Linux on the desktop is I may ask?

      Canonical maybe?

    • by segin ( 883667 )

      I know that Lowe's uses Linux on the desktop. Hell, the computer kiosk in the paint section usually has a not-too-well hidden keyboard nearby - press Ctrl-Alt-Backspace and watch X close up, only to be quickly reopened to relaunch the Adobe Flash-based kiosk animation.

      I've interviewed at Lowe's several times at different stores (for menial retail positions), and each time I made a point of asking the managers how many Windows machines they had on-site. The answer has never been more than "two".

  • by Zalbik ( 308903 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @03:41PM (#51318681)

    Wow! 2016 really is the year of Linux on the server stack!

    Oh wait.....

  • (recently heard at a MS board meeting)

    Allright, spill it, who dropped the ball and didn't invite the AT&T board to the golf resort?

  • Red Hat #2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kardos ( 1348077 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @03:59PM (#51318757)

    > Canonical will provide continued engineering support too.

    Looks like Canonical found its business model.

  • not a real choice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jjeffries ( 17675 ) on Sunday January 17, 2016 @05:49PM (#51319121)

    In telcos, Linux is the successor to Sun/Solaris. It's been happening for a while now, and it really sped up a lot when Oracle bought Sun. Windows was never a real option here.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In telcos, Linux is the successor to Sun/Solaris.

      In universities as well. The S in Sun was originally Stanford, after all.

  • Makes sense really, Even with Enterprise licensing, Microsoft gets expensive quick, $800 for server, etc... With the number of machines they are likely to be deploying its a HUGE savings. And the Linux systems tend to have better uptimes in my experience. I see "some" windows systems that need monthly or quarterly reboots yet have Linux and Solaris systems that have been up for over 400 days, and last reboot was only to update the kernel... Even other Service providers are using *nix on their backend

If in any problem you find yourself doing an immense amount of work, the answer can be obtained by simple inspection.

Working...