[NMLUG] Amazon cuts costs with Linux

Tim Price nmlug@swcp.com
07 Nov 2001 08:09:02 -0700

For everone's information:

11/06/01 - Today's focus: Amazon cuts costs with Linux

By Phil Hochmuth 

If you have ever doubted that Linux could be a money-saving 
force in your enterprise network, check out Amazon.com.
No, there's no new book on Amazon about how to save money with 
Linux, rather the online bookseller was able to cut 25% off its 
IT expenses (from $71 million to $54 million last quarter) by 
swapping its HP Web servers for boxes running Red Hat Linux. 

Amazon now uses Red Hat Linux and a derivative of the Apache 
Web Server to run its popular e-tailing business. 

Thanks in part to the Linux move, the once high-flying, and now 
struggling dot-com trimmed its losses by 30% in the most recent 
quarter, and says it expects to be profitable by the end of the 

Other companies also could see savings by moving to Linux. 
According to research firm IDC, a 1,000-user network based on 
Linux servers would cost between 50% and 80% less to install 
than a similar network using Unix servers.

It's an old story by now: In the days when dot-coms were flush 
with cash, they bought nothing but the best - or at least, the 
most expensive - in terms of network infrastructure. Many dot-
coms bought Cisco hardware and Web servers from the big three -  
Sun, IBM and HP. When the dot-coms crashed, a lot of their 
equipment went up for auction, and the Web businesses that were 
able to stay afloat scrambled to cut costs in order to save 
their businesses. It will be interesting to see what part Linux 
and other open source technologies will play in the move to 
save money.
To contact Phil Hochmuth: 

Phil Hochmuth is a staff writer for Network World, and 
a former systems integrator. You can reach him at 


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