September 14, 2007

Linux to get the boot at US Army Corps of Engineers?

Author: Joe Barr

According to an anonymous source working at the Geotechnical & Structures Lab of the US Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg, Miss., a committee of government employees and contractors at Vicksburg is considering a new IT policy which will force everyone to move to Windows XP if they are not already running it, and to port all applications save one currently running on Linux to Windows. The lone exception would be moved to Solaris.

The source, a professional employed at the lab, says, "I have been told that Linux will not be allowed on our installation, which is kind of funny since our supercomputer runs SUSE Linux. There are several different computer configurations that are being discussed for specific types of work after the change. All are WinXP with one having Solaris.

"Many of us that are able to retire or find something better to do with our time are going to be leaving. Too bad since most of the people that accomplish things (e.g. scientists and engineers) will be the ones to go, I expect."

Government Computer News reported in July 2006 on the $400+ million dollar deal under which Lockheed Martin and the Corps of Engineers would share IT management of the Corps of Engineers. GCN quoted Lockheed officials at the time as saying, "The team will serve the corps' civil works, military construction, and R&D missions at more than 50 locations, providing management of infrastructure systems, records and documents; communications; desktop support; service desk; strategic planning; testing and solutions; information security; visual information; and printing and publications."

Joe Wagovich, the director of communications for Lockheed Martin Enterprise Solutions and Services, told us flatly, "Lockheed Martin has given no guidance to our Corps customer restricting the use of Linux, and we are unaware of any restrictions that the Corps made."
The US Army Corps of Engineers Public Relations office in Washington, DC, has not responded to our query about the issue.


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