Switching to Linux saves Munich over €11 million

The city has now migrated over 80 percent of its 15,500 desktops to LiMux, it's own distribution of Linux.

By Loek Essers, IDG News Service |  Operating Systems, Linux

Oktoberfest Munich

Oktoberfest in Munich, 2008

flickr/digital cat

By switching from Windows to LiMux, its own Linux distribution, the German city of Munich has saved over €11 million ($14.3 million) to date compared to the costs of a similar migration to a more modern Microsoft-based IT infrastructure.

The city government estimated that Migrating from Windows 2000 to a combination of Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 would have cost it a little over €34 million in total. Switching to LiMux and the OpenOffice.org desktop productivity suite has cost it €22.8 million, according to a cost comparison published last week that detailed the cost of migrating 11,000 users to open source applications on Linux.

The city also calculated the costs of a possible migration to Windows 7 and OpenOffice. That step would have amounted to €29.9 million.

These figures include the cost of software licenses, necessary hardware upgrades, training, external migration support and optimization processes, among other things.

Migrating to LiMux allowed the city to save €6.8 million on software licenses compared to migrating to Microsoft Office on Windows 7, and to avoid €4.7 million in hardware upgrade costs because LiMux runs on the city's existing hardware, the city said in the document.

In the OpenOffice-on-Windows scenario, new hardware, licenses and application migration would have cost €7.4 million.

One budget line on which LiMux cost more than Windows was the migration of a development system for database-based web applications. Migrating this to LiMux cost €273,132, around five times what it would have cost under the two Windows options.

Munich started the LiMux project in 2004 and began migrating from Windows NT to a fully open source desktop infrastructure in 2006, but most PCs being migrated to LiMux right now are equipped with Windows 2000, said Joachim Schuler, migration coordinator of the LiMux project.

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