UK Government Squirming To Escape Being Crushed By Non-FREE Software Licences

“Whitehall bean counters have ordered government departments to find fresh ways to end their reliance on Oracle.

The trigger for the anti-Oracle edict was the end of extended support for Microsoft’s Windows XP back in 2014. The Cabinet Office negotiated a government-wide custom support agreement with Microsoft to continue building security fixes for government users.No. 10 haggled Microsoft down to a price of £5.584m for tens of thousands of PCs. Microsoft’s official price was $200 per desktop for the first year, $400 for the second and $800 for year three.”
 
See UK.gov issues internal ‘ditch Oracle NOW’ edict to end pricey addiction
Finally, bean-counters in the government of the UK have seen the light. Spending by governments on non-Free software licences is obscene, particularly in comparison to the availability of good Free Software like GNU/Linux and Postgresql. It’s not the job of government to route taxpayers’ money towards monopolies. That’s stupid, unwise, wasteful and harmful to the economy.

Millions of users and thousands of organizations happily use FLOSS. Why not the government of the UK? Why not your government? The money saved, an infinite sum going forward, could erase the national debt, fight disease, defend against terrorism, etc.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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18 Responses to UK Government Squirming To Escape Being Crushed By Non-FREE Software Licences

  1. ram wrote, ” China is adopting Linux in a big way, but they also shoot corrupt government officials on public TV. Until governments in the English speaking world develop a similar “policy”, government uptake of open source will be very slow.”

    Well, we don’t shoot inefficient politicians but the rise of idiots like Trump show how irate the voters/taxpayers have become. Even the corrupt politicians, having trouble balancing the budget, will eventually see the light. Europe is huge on FLOSS/GNU/Linux compared to China but everyone can read the bottom line and headlines of yet another rollout of non-Free software failing. It’s pretty obvious that FLOSS wins on price/performance. China is special in that the economy has grown much faster than government and the illegal copies were ubiquitous. India is quite different with GNU/Linux being widely available on retail shelves and is talked about in boardrooms from top to bottom. My only concern is that GNU/Linux is still not universally respected. There are places like Malta with ~5% share on StatCounter yet so many places remain under 1%. The market is becoming more healthy but cure is still a future prospect.

    The good news about FLOSS is spreading but it still lacks salesmen/promoters in many parts. That allows corruption to take root in many regions. In the EU, FLOSS is top of mind and a political item. Even my MP knows about it. He replied to my latest complaint about a website not working with FireFox with a detailed technical suggestion far more detailed than what I was given by the telephone help. He even mentioned that the telephone help would be corrected… I was impressed. Even politicians in Canada have gotten the message. Still, it will take years before the many $millions wasted on non-Free software are throttled.

    If politicians become more considerate of wasting the taxpayers’ money there’s still hope that business who have accepted M$ as a cost of doing business will awaken. That’s the last nail in the coffin of Wintel. On a related note, I see that ARMed motherboards for 64bit servers are widely being produced. Unfortunately they are still pricey and only affordable by businesses with deep pockets but it’s just a matter of time before both prongs of Wintel are brought to bay.

  2. oiaohm says:

    –It used to be simply that Oracle did most work in RAM.–
    Not exactly so. Robert Pogson the issue with Postgresql was at times it would consume massive cpu for no reason. Then it was also consuming ram oddly.

    Sooner or latter these odd performance bugs had to be fixed.

    http://www.enterprisedb.com/postgres-plus-edb-blog/amit-kapila/read-scalability-postgresql-95

    The performance of postgresql basically doubles from 9.4 to 9.5 and particular cases even more.

    https://www.periscope.io/blog/count-distinct-in-mysql-postgres-sql-server-and-oracle.html This is older Postgresql. Native there is insane slow and traces to Postgresql due to the defective locking. This is just the case that the 9.5 set of fixes moves Postgresql from being slow to being Orcale/SQL Server performance.

    Of course there is still a lot of low hanging fruit in mysql.

    Higher performance equals lower power bill running database servers. So larger percentage of the Oracle licensing cost use to be accounted for by the fact its higher performance was less data center costs. Now that Postgresql is as fast as Orcale or faster hello problem.

    UK doing a process of changing to Postgresql makes perfect sense.

    Now if they invest in developers how much more can Postgresql performance be tweaked.

  3. ram says:

    Marky said: “…requires it to purchase from big business which can in turn kick back to the Tory party donations of thanks.”

    He is exactly right. Corrupt governments will avoid open source software until someone pays them bribes to use it, or until the corruption is removed. China is adopting Linux in a big way, but they also shoot corrupt government officials on public TV. Until governments in the English speaking world develop a similar “policy”, government uptake of open source will be very slow.

  4. oiaohm wrote, of PostgreSQL, “Performance has been crap.”

    It used to be simply that Oracle did most work in RAM. That makes a lot of the prestige of Oracle just a misappropriation of the amazing hardware underneath. PostgreSQL as used by big players with deep pockets easily competes with Oracle. Most such outfits would be further ahead to pay some PostgreSQL developers than Oracle. What’s an Oracle licensing fee these days? Yes, a ton of money per core, etc., Oracle getting paid for the hardware they didn’t buy.

  5. oiaohm says:

    https://wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/What%27s_new_in_PostgreSQL_9.5
    There is a major reason for the change now with the upcoming PostgreSQL.

    Lock scalability improvements
    Postgresql has in technical size larger than Oracle for years. Performance has been crap. But the changes in locking in 9.5 bring its performance up to matching and exceeding Oracle db solutions.

    This is what happens from time to time with Open Source solutions. At times they start kicking the closed sources tail.

  6. oiaohm wrote, “I am not paid todo research for you its on the About page for Postgresql and Orcale sizes page and Database compare page.”

    I was curious and checked out PostgreSQL:

    Limit Value
    Maximum Database Size Unlimited
    Maximum Table Size 32 TB
    Maximum Row Size 1.6 TB
    Maximum Rows per Table Unlimited
    Maximum Columns per Table 250 – 1600 depending on column types
    Maximum Indexes per Table Unlimited

    That should scale pretty well. It certainly handled the Canadian Firearms Registry without a hiccough. “Unlimited”. I like that. It’s future-proof and TB sizes are good for the foreseeable future of the hard drive.

  7. oiaohm says:

    DrLoser sorry I am not paid todo research for you its on the About page for Postgresql and Orcale sizes page and Database compare page. You are still forbid for asking links from me because you are a lazy.

    You come back with the Links DrLoser and admit there was no reason at all to question the way you did.

  8. dougman says:

    Typically, when someone calls out someone else for not being something, that person in-fact is jealous and has never held the position that they are speaking about. In Loser’s case, he is a lowly plebian serving time in a cube as a code-monkey.

  9. DrLoser wrote, “Robert, you never once had a real job in the IT industry. I sympathise. There is no reason at all for you to hypothesise this very obvious reality.”

    Au contraire:
    In many of the schools where I worked I was the IT department, fixing things, maintaining things, planning and implementing change.When I worked for a university and a hospital, my expertise with computers was valued highly. I designed control systems and data-collection/analysis systems.I was a member of the IEEE for several years and voted for VMEbus/IEEE 1014.Many folks have read and commented on my blog which is largely about IT.

    I’m retired now, so my role has reduced, but, “never once had a real job in the IT industry” is a lie. My career spanned transistors, mainframes, small to extremely large scale integrated circuitry, microprocessors and small cheap computers.

  10. dougman says:

    “who use Windows for a spectacularly remunerative living”

    http://www.payscale.com/research/UK/Job=System_Administrator,_Windows_Server/Salary

    Seems rather meager if you ask me…meager pay for meager work, such is the life of a Windows IT slave being a wack-a-mole monkey never really solving any problems.

    http://www.itproportal.com/2015/08/08/researchers-warn-of-compromises-to-corporate-networks-via-windows-updates/

    Also, its hilarious that M$ is ramming Windows 10 down everyone’s throat, even if they did not ask for it and in the process DDOS corporations to oblivion by way of WUDO.

    https://redmondmag.com/articles/2015/08/07/windows-10-bits-reportedly-clogging-bandwidths.aspx

  11. DrLoser says:

    The interesting point here is on technical grounds Postgresql supports larger databases than Orcale solutions.

    Linky, Fifi?

  12. DrLoser says:

    Nothing says “Slavery!” like malware or M$ sucking up everyone’s bandwidth.

    Well, here’s an alternative definition of “Slavery,” Robert. And please note that this does not apply to yourself, because you are your own SysAdmin.
    In the real world, the working world, “Slavery” — in so far as it means anything at all — is mandated by your employers, and mediated by SysAdmins.
    This “Slavery” is by no means limited to the unfortunate souls, like me, who use Windows for a spectacularly remunerative living.
    It applies to anybody at all who works on a system with the security aspects of that system (not to say the choices of gcc vs clang, as a different example) locked down by SysAdmins.
    Luckily, Robert, you never once had a real job in the IT industry. I sympathise. There is no reason at all for you to hypothesise this very obvious reality.

  13. dougman wrote, “Admins are complaining about it!”

    Slaves can’t free themselves without having some concept of freedom. Clearly, some admins now see the cost of sticking with M$, providing $free manpower and other resources to support M$’s business-plan rather than working for themselves. Nothing says “Slavery!” like malware or M$ sucking up everyone’s bandwidth. I saw something like this back in the day when M$ forced XP SP2 on folks who didn’t want it, breaking a lot of stuff and requiring bulk re-installations. Who’s in charge of your IT? Malware, intruders, M$ or you?

    M$ has so many committed slaves M$ can continue abusing them for years maintaining profitability even if many are driven to freedom or die. It’s just a cost of doing business for M$. They just keep raising the costs for years to come. Judging from advertising, I’d say M$ expects monopoly/slavery to last at least another generation. Just as governments put the boots to slavery, I think governments owe citizens to put the boots to M$’s version of slavery.

  14. oiaohm says:

    The interesting point here is on technical grounds Postgresql supports larger databases than Orcale solutions.

    So this is not just ideological issue. Forget if it closed or open the reality is Postgresql has caught Orcale in capability. With that being the case why spend extra when you are buying a weaker solution than what is free.

  15. dougman says:

    Also, Wintards love Solitaire so-much, now they must watch 30-second ads between each and every game. Now, for the meager service fee of $9.99/year M$ will make the ads go sleepy-weepy and go-away, see, how kind they are, yes M$ is good to you.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/08/05/windows-10-charging/

  16. dougman says:

    Yep, only idots sign-up and pay for slavery.

    Speaking of which, this is an interesting piece.

    “Firms are complaining that Microsoft is slowing their networks by pushing Windows 10 files to computers they don’t want to upgrade.

    Over the past couple of days various IT admins in the US and the UK have reported slow network speeds as Windows 10 upgrade files were unexpectedly downloaded to Windows 7 and 8.1 machines.

    Windows Update appears to be delivering the files to centrally-managed networked PCs on a Windows Domain.

    IT pros managing these networks had been under the impression that Domain-joined PCs would not receive any downloads without the upgrade being initiated by an administrator – based on guidance issued before last week’s Windows 10 launch.”

    http://www.techrepublic.com/article/admins-rail-against-unwanted-and-unexpected-windows-10-downloads/

    LOL..figures and the Admins are complaining about it!…LOL..Ye suckers!!

  17. Marky says:

    The UK government has trapped itself in an ideological loop. Intent on cutting costs at any length it needs to dump proprietary software, however its ideology of the free market knows best requires it to purchase from big business which can in turn kick back to the Tory party donations of thanks.
    I don’t think we’re going to see a revolution away from closed source and non free software any time soon.

  18. dougman says:

    Dr.Loser should rush in and show them the err of their ways!

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