Continued from : Is your company afraid of Linux? (Part 2 of 3)
Fear #4 (Support!): This is where Linux shines. Because of the open nature of the Linux community it is considered to be the most widely supported platform and the most inexpensive.
To get professional support for your Microsoft server platform, you have to either pay for a professional support plan from a Microsoft Partner or from Microsoft themselves. I’ve never run into an SMB that had purchased a professional support plan from Microsoft. To obtain one-time support for your Windows server operating system you would pay a per incident fee anywhere from $99 (next business day) to $260 (4 to 6 hour response). No support is included with the purchase of the Microsoft operating system itself. So these fees are on top of the licensing fees you pay for the right to install and use the Windows OS. Licensing for Windows Server 2008 ranges anywhere from $500 to $4000 which doesn’t include the client access licenses (CALs) which run around $40 per desktop or per user on your network.
Most Linux distributions are free to download and use, although, there are a few Linux enterprise shops that provide licensing and professional support for their product. SUSE (now a division of Novell) and RedHat are two of the most popular. SUSE’s enterprise server license ranges form $400 to $1500. RedHat is anywhere from $400 to $1,200. These license plans “include” professional support anywhere from email-only support to 24×7 phone support. Each license is renewable yearly because of the licenses focus around their professional support plans.