Linux and the Speed of Innovation

Although I have been a Linux person since 1995, I have come to like FreeBSD a lot. Primarily because two of my major systems are based on it. As my firewall I have been using pfSense for a number of years, and for storage it is FreeNAS. And both have never let me down, neither in terms of stability nor regarding their functionality.

Now the company behind FreeNAS (iXsystems) has announced a while ago, that they will move to Linux as the underlying operating system for their future core product. I am not sure I welcome this change that much. I can understand that simply for available know-how iXsystems want to do this switch. Plus the hardware vendor support is obviously broader and the community also does their part in testing. But, with some level of exaggeration,  Linux (not the kernel but adjacent things like systemd) has become kind-of the JavaScript framework of *nix systems. What I mean by that is that I personally perceive the rate at which things are re-done as too high for my liking. Just like every year multiple JavaScript frameworks appear that do the same thing as twenty others, just differently.

While there is merit to improving things, stability is often more important. And stability not only means that things work as expected. But also the rate of change is a factor. If a new framework saves me 20% development time that sounds great. But in the enterprise evolution, and by that investment protection, is typically what gets you the much better ROI. Because the 20% development improvement are more than eaten up by effort in other areas (esp. operations).

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