Retrofit or Rebuild - Legacy in the Enterprise.



Aside from the internals of Linux Plumbing, some of the largest and most intricate examples of how Linux is plumbed is the variety of ways in which modern enterprise leverages Linux.

One of the major issues affecting System Administrators and CIOs is how to appropriately manage legacy environments. Often systems reach the point where they have increasing TCO as vendors no longer supply security fixes and it becomes increasingly difficult to use current versions of our management tools. A number of the major linux distributions are now starting to twilight early enterprise distributions which still count for many thousands of Linux installs within businesses of every scale.


Do we currently have sufficient tools to persuade management or business owners to invest in appropriate lifecycle management, or in some cases a major re-architecture of their core infrastructure?

I personally think not.

So what needs to be done about it?

First we need to capture sufficient information about our environment. Often there will be inadequate documentation and we must resort to

  • Custom Scripts
  • Open Source tools
  • Visual inspection

We can then start attributing a cost to maintaining

  • Legacy Operating Systems
  • Old Hardware
  • Unsupported middleware

Should the community be providing better tools to assist this process and quantify the costs? Perhaps the tools can also be used to assist the transition of legacy Unix or Windows systems to Linux, rather than the current ever increasing number of virtualised legacy Windows environments.

The talk will be guided by Steven’s considerable experience in large and small infrastructure environments where he has seldom been lucky enough to approach green fields project. Outcomes should include guidance on appropriate tools and a framework for ongoing lifecycle management.


  • Biography

    • Technical Director OpenMedia Limited, Auckland New Zealand
    • Director Global Engineering, Limited

    Steven’s passion for FOSS comes from both development and operational experience. Within his role as OpenMedia’s Technical Director he provides technical direction and operational guidance for a number of New Zealand companies on the use of Open Source and Linux. For over three years he ran the Linux operations team at IBM NZ, looking after a number of their enterprise customers in the Asia Pacific market, and recently tool a role with managing their infrastructure, operations and support.

    As developer of the MythTV based consumer appliance myPVR for OpenMedia, Steven has leveraged his over 14 years experience with Linux, and nearly 20 years experience of FOSS. OpenMedia was one of the first companies in the world to offer a truly consumer ready appliance based on MythTV.

    Steven gives regular talks on FOSS to the Auckland Linux User Group and Auckland BarCamp, and has given presentations and organised tutorials at IBM NZ and Optimation NZ. He has been an invited speaker at a number of regional and international conferences including OSDC,, Linux World and OSCON.

    This background and experience provides an interesting bridge between two quite contrasting worlds, the consumer versus large scale business.

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