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Re: Benefits of OpenBSD

Well, I am somewhat new to OpenBSD (though I have been using Linux
for awhile).  The OpenBSD web page has nice summaries of the audit
team, built-in crypto, etc.  You might want to look at that and
summarize it.  I have also done alot of work for non-profits and
it seems to me that you could play up the cost and ideological
benefits of OpenBSD.  OpenBSD costs for a 15 user server would be
just $500-$1500 for the machine, or free if you can get a donation.  
There is no way a 15 user network needs or would want an NT
server, you need at *least* 75 people to defray the cost.  Even
if you pirated the licences (which of course I know you would not
;-)  ) the cost per person is astronomical.  I would hope your group
could use that money for something else!  OpenBSD is clearly more
secure than NT (can anyone point me to the possible backdoor MS might 
have left in SP5?!? I read something about it, but lost the reference), 
can provide all your MS/Mac networking needs, and of course you have 
the NAT/IP filter built in (which is what you need).  You have free 
databases, all the admin tools a 15 node network could possibly need.
Finally, you have the ability to set up a really slick VPN if you 
wanted to.  ALL for FREE.  If you are willing to do the install and 
configuration, I can't see there is much of a contest?!?  I do some 
consulting for small businesses in Seattle who are in an NT mindset 
and are stunned to find out they don't need NT and can have a free 
more stable alternative. They are more in sceptical disbelief than 
rational weighing of the alternatives.  As for stability, you can 
show them OpenBSD's and FreeBSD's customer list to show this is high 
availability, enterprise level computing platform.

I also can't belief that an environmental group would not have certain
ideological similarities to an open source, communally developed 
platform, run with the public good at heart in many ways.  I do not
mean to speak for the OpenBSD community by any means, this is just
the approach I would take if I were brought in to consult for this
non-profit (and is *one* of the reasons I use OpenBSD and Linux!). Not
to mention the benefits of open source for honety sake (I cannot even
beging to think about MS and their embedding IDs into Word documents,
the recent passing of the new software laws that will allow MS to put
scanners on your network to monitor for licence compliance, and the 
right to shut down applications if the scanners judge you are not in
compliance!). As far as I can tell the product at MS has always been 
a distant second to return on margins.  That can't be said of the open
source folks (even Red Hat!).

Does that help?


On Sat, Sep 11, 1999 at 10:19:34AM -0700, Victor Richardson wrote:
> I just began helping an international non-profit environmental
> group(Surfrider Foundation) with 15 users users on Mac and Win machines.
> They just changed offices and are looking at moving from a peer-to-peer
> setup with 7 dialups and a cablemodem(why?) to a server for
> file/printer/email/internet access. Their current tech guy, the same one
> who got them into their current money wasting predicament, is pushing NT
> or Novell 5.0 on them. Aside from the primary cost issue( $12K w/
> licenses for NT) I have serious issues with Microsoft's cavelier
> attitude towards security. Surfrider's needs are extremely simple and
> have nothing to steal, except goodwill. But why should they pay to put
> themselves at risk? Could someone please give me a few fundamental
> security advantages, besides cost, of OpenBSD over NT and Novell(I have
> little experience with either) that I can use to convince SF's Executive
> Director not waste the money.
> Also, I just read an article on the Gartner Group's new study that
> show's the true cost of migrating(and everyone will have to, Microsoft
> style) from NT to Win2000 is between $2,500 and $3,100 per machine.
> Obviously, that is how they are going to keep the gravy train rolling
> through the next decade. Here's the link if you have'nt read it yet.
> Thanks, Victor
>  http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1003-200-114579.html

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