The beginning of the journey

I’m just going to crack on with this first post, as if it is planned too much it isnt going to work out.

 After many years of viruses, software problems and perpetual maintenance issues, Mercian Labels had a pretty big outages in late 2006 when some form of virus killed our server.  It cost us a lot, and was a major pain for our sales and production team.  As MD of the company, one of my roles is the IT, and in conjunction with my business partner Hugo, we decided to investigate our options.

 Our hardware is getting old, the software too, and we needed a major replacement of the whole network (costly) in the medium term.  We’d heard about open source software, and it looked interesting.  Principally, we run a database in house based on an ACCESS  front end, and SQL back end, along with the usual email and web browser stuff.  What we wanted was a new hardware infrastructure that would completely replace what we had with open source.

Main reasons:

  • the high cost of a  whole new set of software licenses
  • vulnerability of microsoft systems to viruses and spyware
  • unreliability and speed of the existing software
  • desire to program our own database system front end (essential for our business)

I want this blog to document our journey this year, so that other SMEs can learn from our mistakes on what to do that works.

So here goes….