Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are a popular choice for businesses that need help managing their technology infrastructure. However, despite the many benefits of using MSPs, some businesses that rely on Linux environments have found it difficult to find MSPs that can provide the support they need.
The Challenges of Supporting Linux Environments
When supporting Linux environments, MSPs face a unique set of challenges. One of the biggest challenges MSPs face when supporting Linux environments is the lack of standardization. Unlike other operating systems, there is no single “Linux” platform. Instead, there are many different distributions of Linux, each with unique features and requirements. This makes it difficult for MSPs to develop standardized support procedures for Linux environments.
In addition to the lack of standardization, many MSPs tools, such as their RMM platforms, PSAs, and cybersecurity systems, were only designed to work in a Windows environment. This means these tools can be useless when working outside the Microsoft environment. Ed Anderson with Dyrand Systems in Vancouver notes, “Many MSPs use RMM tools like ConnectWise or Kaseya, which are great for managing Windows environments but don’t work as well in Linux environments.”
The Expertise Required to Support Linux Environments
Another challenge is the expertise required to support Linux environments. While many MSPs have technicians familiar with Windows and Mac OS, finding technicians experienced with Linux can be more difficult. Linux requires different skills and knowledge, and many MSPs do not have the resources to train their technicians on this platform. Jorge Rojas with Tektonic Managed Services in Toronto advises, “Businesses that rely on Linux should look for MSPs that have experience with Linux and have developed their tools and procedures for managing it. Or they may want to consider working with a company specializing in Linux support.”
The Lack of Demand for Linux Support Services
Finally, there is the issue of demand. While Linux is a popular choice among certain businesses, it is still a niche platform compared to Windows or Mac OS. This means there is less demand for Linux support services, and as a result, fewer MSPs specialize in supporting Linux environments. Troy Drever with Pure IT in Calgary (Pureit.ca) explains, “There’s a steep learning curve when managing Linux environments. It requires a completely different skill set from managing Windows or Mac environments. And there’s not as much demand for it, so many MSPs don’t have the resources to devote to it.”
Finding the Support Businesses Need
Despite the challenges of supporting Linux environments, businesses that rely on Linux can still find the support they need by seeking out MSPs specializing in Linux support or considering alternative support options. Anderson advises, “Businesses that rely on Linux should look for MSPs with experience with Linux and have developed their tools and procedures for managing it. Or they may want to consider working with a company specializing in Linux support.”
In addition to working with MSPs, businesses can also consider using open-source tools and community support to manage their Linux environments. Rojas notes, “There are many open-source tools available for managing Linux environments, and active communities of users can provide support and assistance.”