Manufacturer moves to Linux for stability

Australian Arrow, the automotive electronics manufacturer and a supplier to big names like General Motors Holden, has migrated half its servers to Linux in two years to gain greater stability.

Arrow systems administrator William Wheatley brought Linux skills into the company, prompting all systems from SAP to those for manufacturing lines to be run on the open source operating system.

"There is a cost saving with Linux, but that's a bonus because, if (systems) go down it's millions lost every day," Wheatley told Computerworld. "Talk about saving money is a bit pie-in-the-sky, but Linux is definitely (saving) us from buying more software. Next year we will be able to remove or reuse some licences."

Arrow went from all Windows servers in two years and will increase Linux server use to 75 percent over the next 18 months.

"Stability is the number-one concern and our operations span the region, so there is always someone using the systems," Wheatley said. "We've had 100 percent uptime with Linux and management notices the difference."

Arrow is using CentOS, a Red Hat derivative, as its main Linux distribution with "a couple of legit copies of Red Hat where we can't afford the downtime, for example with CRM".