Munich's $40M Linux Migration Job To Be Opened Up For Bid

The city will officially kick off its much-publicized Linux migration project on July 1.

June 18, 2004

3 Min Read
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The city of Munich in Germany will officially kick off its much-publicized Linux migration project on July 1 but it remains unclear which vendors will nail the $40 million contract, a spokesman said.

Novell-owned and Nuremberg-based SUSE Linux and IBM completed the "conception" phase of the planned migration but the actual work " including the product selection and services contracts " will be officially opened up for bid, said Juergen Buehl, a spokesman for the city of Munich. The so-called LiMux project, worth about 34 million Euros, is being presented to the Munich City Council on Wednesday for approval. Work will commence on October 1 and is expected to be completed by December 2006, the spokesman said in an e-mail to CRN.

The project entails the migration of 14,000 desktop and notebook computers from Microsoft Windows and Office software to Linux and OpenOffice. The deal " announced last May -- was a big embarrassment for Microsoft, coming even after CEO Steve Ballmer flew to Germany in a last-ditch effort to rescue the account. While public sector contracts are required to be open for bid, Buehl would not comment on published reports that the city had run into significant technical troubles during the pilot phase.

The spokesman said vendor selection is still up in the air. "This has not been decided yet. So it is, project will be opened up for bid to all companies," Buehl said in his e-mail.

"Thereafter it will be decided in accordance with the general terms and conditions applicable to contracts."In a press release issued in Germany on June 15, Munich IT executives confirmed that the city ran into some snags moving some specialized desktop applications to Linux, but indicated that the city remains on track for a wholesale switch from Windows to Linux and open source.

The company expects to have all departments migrated to open source by the end of 2009, Buehl said.

In the same press release, the city said it had entered a pilot project with German applications giant SAP to adapt SAP for OpenOffice.

Meanwhile, one SUSE Linux spokeswoman said the project is proceeding in typical fashion for a public sector project.

"The city's LiMux project team has been working on a migration concept, in collaboration with IBM and Novell, comprising costs, suitable products, and a migration timeframe for the city's departments, which is being presented to the city's council today," said Martina Krahmer, a spokeswoman for Novell's SUSE Linux in Nuremberg, Germany. "If the city council approves this concept, next step will be a tender, in which Novell will participate."Meanwhile, Novell announced a major Linux win with another European city even as Munich begins the vendor selection process for its 40,000 seat migration. On Tuesday, Novell's SUSE Linux subsidiary announced it had landed a contract to migrate the server infrastructure of the largest city in Norway " Bergen -- from Unix and Windows servers to a Linux infrastructure based on SUSE Enterprise Server 8 platform. The deal will impact 50,000 users, according to a statement released by SUSE.

In the first phase, for the city's heath and welfare department, 20 existing Oracle databases running on HP-UX will be replaced with SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 8 running on HP Integrity Itanium 64 bit servers, said Krahmer. The second phase will involve the migration and consolidation of 100 Windows application servers to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 on 20 IBM Blade Servers for the city's educational network, the spokeswoman added.

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