Linux Weekly News
Wednesday's Keynote from Michael Prince, CIO Burlington Coat FactoryNo major problems was the word on Burlington's deployment of Linux servers and workstations in their retail stores. Deployment is complete in 12 stores and 251 more are scheduled for completion by October 1st.
Early this year, Burlington selected Linux as their platform for mission critical use in their retail operations. Although Mike "didn't think it was anything but a conservative choice", the mainstream press hailed Burlington as a "pioneer". With deployment well underway, Michael Prince clearly communicated his continuing delight with that decision in the August 11, 1999 keynote speech at LinuxWorld Expo.
Student interns first brought Linux into Burlington's development group. When new systems for the apparel manufacturer's retail stores were being designed, they proposed inexpensive Intel-based platforms running Linux. After some time, in Mike's words, "The rest of us finally got it." What they got was an excellent solution with an extremely attractive total cost of ownership.
Stability, reliability, ease of networking, easy remote support and a clear migration path from their current Unix systems were all reasons for selecting Linux. Most compelling was an extremely attractive total cost of ownership and excellent supplier relationship with Dell. From Burlington's point of view, "we didn't think it was anything but a conservative choice."
The message to the audience was clear, Linux is gaining wider acceptance each day as "a mission critical OS."
Mike clearly "gets it." He expressed his gratitude to the Linux community for providing technology of real value to his business. He also told us what he'd most like developers to do to help companies like his: "Get behind Mozilla and be sure we have a good browser."
Burlington is still running proprietary Unix systems in their back office operation. Mike was asked from the audience what it would take to get Linux into Burlington's back office. Mike mentioned two kernel features we probably won't see until 3.x: a journaling file system and SMP for 16 and more CPUs. Sounds like next year's project to this reporter.
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