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|Is the LAMP stack appropriate for Enterprise use?||#1|
Is the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP / Ruby / Python) stack appropriate for Enterprise use?
To be clear, by "Enterprise", I mean a large or very large company, where security, robustness, availability of skill sets, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), scalability, and availability of tools are key considerations. Said another way, a company that looks for external adoption of frameworks / architecture - Something ubiquitous will be seen as more "valid" than something exotic / esoteric in this kind of environment.
I've seen use cases where Oracle, IBM, and Sun have implemented systems on the LAMP stack for various Enterprises. I've also seen examples where websites like yellowpages.com (Ruby on rails) and Facebook (php) are built on it. However, none of these examples are exactly what I'm looking for.
I'm really trying to find examples where it is an Enterprise standard at a very large bank (I.e., Citigroup), Telecom company (I.e., AT&T), or manufacturer (I.e., Proctor and Gamble). Just to be clear, I'm not looking for an example where it's used in a limited sense (Like at JPMorgan Chase), but where it's a core platform for systems like CRM, manufacturing systems, or HR management, as well as for internal and external websites.
The perception I've seen so far is that applications built on the LAMP stack perform slower and are less flexible. Some of the arguments I've heard are:
Linux is seen as not as well supported as Unix, Solaris, or Windows Servers.
Apache is harder to configure and maintain than web servers like BEA WebLogic or IIS.
MySQL is a "not ready for prime time" DB for hobbyists, and not a competitor for SQL Server or Oracle (Although PostgreSQL seems to have a reputation for being more robust).
PHP / Ruby on rails are optimized for CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete operations). Although this is an advantage when building CRUD-intensive web aplications, both perform slower than Java/Java EE or C# (which are both common Enterprise standards). Furthermore, a lot of applications and systems (like manufacturing systems) have a lot of non-CRUD functionality that may be harder to build with PHP or Ruby, or even Python.
Can anyone please provide arguments to support or refute the idea of the LAMP stack being appropriate for the Enterprise?
UPDATE: Some times the LAMP Stack is Appropriate for Enterprise Use: Externally-Facing Blogs
posted date: 2008-12-08 07:51:00
|Re: Is the LAMP stack appropriate for Enterprise use?||#3|
Google, Yahoo, and many other companies think it is a good solution. http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=263611&pageNumber=2
posted date: 2008-12-08 07:55:00
|Re: Is the LAMP stack appropriate for Enterprise use?||#4|
There are two main issues for large enterprises using LAMP stacks:TCO: taking into consideration that LAMP basically comes free, enterprises still achieve a lower total cost of operation with other commercial solutionsSupportability: enterprises have no problem paying the extra buck to get around-the-clock professional support from their commercial vendors
posted date: 2008-12-08 07:57:00
|Re: Is the LAMP stack appropriate for Enterprise use?||#5|
"but where it's a core platform for systems like CRM and HR, as well as for internal and external websites"First, find a LAMP CRM or HR application.Then find a customer for the LAMP CRM or HR application.Sadly, there aren't a lot of examples of item 1. Therefore, your case is proven. It can't be used for enterprise applications because -- currently -- there aren't any of the applications you call "enterprise".Your other points, however, are very interesting.Linux is seen as not as well supported as Unix, Solaris, or Windows Servers. I think Red Hat would object strongly to this. Give them a call. I think they'll make a very persuasive sales pitch. Read their success stories.Apache is harder to configure and maintain than web servers like BEA WebLogic or IIS. By whom? Apache web site managers? Or IIS web site managers? This is entirely subjective.MySQL is a "not ready for prime time" DB. Take it up with Sun Microsystems. I think they'd object strongly to this. Give them a call. I think they'll make a very persuasive sales pitch. Read their success stories.PHP / Ruby on rails are optimized for CRUD, and both are slowly performing. Could be true. Java and Python might be faster. PHP and Ruby aren't the last word in LAMP.
posted date: 2008-12-08 07:59:00
|Re: Is the LAMP stack appropriate for Enterprise use?||#6|
IMO there are no good general arguments against Linux and Apache; You can certainly get enterprise-level support for Linux if you're prepared to pay for it (and a good approximation of it for free if you're willing to play by the community's rules). And Apache is not that hard to configure unless you need its more complex features, which is unlikely in an application server.You can certainly make a case against MySQL since some of the most important features in regard to data safety have been added only recently. If you're concerned about that, use PostgreSQL instead.As for the language you write your app in: PHP has definitely proven to be able to run extremely large and complex systems; I'd be more concerned about maintainability than performance. And Ruby on Rails is "optimized for CRUD" only in asmuch as a simple CRUD webapp can be written in nearly no time (literally minutes), but that does not mean it is somehow less suited to more complex apps, just that it will take much more time (still less than with many other languages)
posted date: 2008-12-08 08:01:00
|Re: Is the LAMP stack appropriate for Enterprise use?||#7|
Redhat and IBM give full support for Linux, Sun bought MySQL, Yahoo uses Php, numerous companies use a LAMP stack, but many use parts.
posted date: 2008-12-08 08:03:00
|Re: Is the LAMP stack appropriate for Enterprise use?||#8|
strictly a subjective opinion but I personally find MySQL and to a lesser extent PHP to be a bit of a weakness, but certainly there's plenty of people who disagree and big companies who went LAMP. I'd prefer to see postgres or even SQLite take chunks out of the MySQL market, and I'd like to see mono or jsp or cocoon based apps more. I guess LAMP is a bit too specific for an umbrella term. :)
posted date: 2008-12-08 08:06:00
|Re: Is the LAMP stack appropriate for Enterprise use?||#9|
Yuval, TCO includes support costs - I've seen studies where the TCO of open source software can be higher than propriatary because the skill sets are less common (and therefore more expensive). Can you please provide support?
posted date: 2008-12-08 08:10:00
|Re: Is the LAMP stack appropriate for Enterprise use?||#10|
I think you will find that many enterprises use Linux servers, often supported by Redhat, Novell or IBM, and that Apache is also commonly used. But many enterprises tend to use databases like Oracle or IBM DB2 instead of open source offerings - although there are many enterprises that don't really need the kind of power those systems provide and could get away with MySQL or PostgreSQL.And for the web-server language, I think you can use just about anything. However, if you use Apache it is probably easier to use PHP, Ruby or Python, whereas if you use IIS or Weblogic or Domino it will be easier to do it in Java / C#.
posted date: 2008-12-08 08:19:00
|Re: Is the LAMP stack appropriate for Enterprise use?||#11|
"Telecom company (I.e., Bell)" What company are you referring to?
posted date: 2008-12-08 08:27:00
|Re: Is the LAMP stack appropriate for Enterprise use?||#12|
I would like to suggest that we identify the scalability requirements of Enterprise systems and how they differ compared to Web Applications. Look at some of the most scalable systems like Wikipedia, Flickr, Wordpress, Facebook, MySpace and a host of others. You will see LAMP stack there. I am more of a Python fan (since I feel that the language has a cleaner feel) but I listen to experts like Cal Henderson (Flickr) who wrote a book on scalability talking about how he scaled a bank of MySQL servers. What are the essential features of an enterprise system?Support, availability of expertise, stability of the platform/language probably count.But LAMP has other features like faster development, easier extensibility, lots of available libraries for reuse, several documented stories of scalability, maturing web frameworks. Here are a couple of pointers to building Scalable systems (I am talking about Web Scale). I always wondered in the light of all this evidence, why the perception of LAMP as not being ready for Enterprise apps keep popping up.As for Apache, every Netcraft study shows a very different adoption story. By the sheer number of servers, there may be more people with knowledge to configure, tune and extend the web server. Scalable Web ArchitecturesPlease Look at Market Share of all Servers Aug 1995 to Jan 2009
posted date: 2008-12-08 08:47:00
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