[CentOS] Small Business support for *nix systems in Spain

Sat Jul 24 11:42:25 UTC 2010
ken <gebser at mousecar.com>

On 07/23/2010 03:57 PM John R Pierce wrote:
>   On 07/23/10 12:05 PM, Kurt Hansen wrote:
>> Our company has 30 shops that connect to a central server where the
>> point -of-sale software runs, and is currently operating on Unix (it´s
>> an old system we acquired when we bought another company). It seems
>> obvious we have to replace this Unix architecture with something more
>> modern (and better able to manage our growing needs). 

It's probably not well known, but Sherwin-Williams, a Fortune 100
company with two thousand shops across the country (and in some foreign
countries), uses Linux in all their "shops"... all 2000 of them.  Yep,
walk into any Sherwin-Williams store and what you buy is run up on a
Linux POS system.  The manager who put his neck on the line by proposing
and implementing this system (other (risk averse) managers in the
company weren't supportive and didn't make it easy for him) ended up
with a big bonus and a significant promotion.  After all, he saved the
company 2000 times what the Windows software would have cost... at least
a million bucks, likely more.

Of course at corporate headquarters they have about 250 UNIX servers to
handle the back-end stuff, really not a lot of servers for a company its

> The computer
>> consultants we work with have suggested two options:
>> - Moving to Windows Terminal server (cheaper)
>> - Moving to Citrix with virtualized servers (more expensive but
>> apparently much faster and more powerful).
> before picking an operating system for the central server, its a good 
> idea to pick the Point-of-sale system architecture.
> using terminal server/citrix/nx/etc type connectivity for POS from 
> remote locations means if the network is down, the cash registers are 
> down.  thats not good.     most POS systems have a local onsite store 
> server at each location, the registers are terminals to this server, but 
> usually run the cash register POS software directly, then the store 
> server communicates with the corporate mothership as needed, either live 
> or batching transaction logs as appropriate.
> different sorts of retail businesses have widely varying POS 
> requirements, for instance, the POS system for a restaurant chain is 
> very different than the one for a auto parts chain.
> All these questions should be sorted out long before getting into 
> implementation details like operating systems, hardware platforms.

Wise words.  Planning is always good.  But Linux runs on anything,
making it about as scalable as an OS can be.  If your needs outgrow the
hardware your data's on, you can move the whole system to bigger
hardware, then re-purpose the old hardware for something else.  The only
reason for not having Linux on a box would be because the hardware
support contract ran out.