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03/31/2004 - Network Design & Management Is On the Move

Network Design & Management, Inc., (NDM) recently moved from the Pier One building into the Bennett Block on the skywalk at 530 W Main. "We wanted to be downtown," says Butch Stokes, Engineering Services Manager, "because it's vibrant and exciting, and near many of our clients." "Now when someone needs help, we are just a 'skywalk away'."

NDM is a consulting company that provides information technology services including analysis, design, implementation, strategic direction, project management and support. NDM's core competencies are information systems and technology counseling, systems integrations, and system development. They provide IT solutions to business that are not big enough or can't afford to have their own IT people. NDM guides their clients through strategic planning, performs tactical services, and also does project management.

The move increased the size of NDM's headquarters and made it possible for them to add two additional positions. Their new hires include an internal sales representative, Fred Van Guilder, and another systems technician, John Stoker.

NDM is expanding more than locally. They will soon have a branch office in Alaska, where they have been active for most of the ten years they have been in business. They have clients throughout the United States, and are working internationally from Mexico to Venezuela.

Another aspect of the NDM expansion is their move into Linux. Linux --- Open Source --- an operating system that was first posted on the Internet in 1991, has finally grown to reach the enterprise level. There is now a full complement of desktop software available for use with Linux. NDM is a Platinum Novell Partner ---the only one in the state of Washington --- and Novell recently purchased SUSE LINUX. Established in 1992, SUSE LINUX has the world's largest dedicated Linux research and development team, and they deliver enterprise-ready software and services for the open source community. SUSE LINUX is one of the world's leading providers of Linux software and services.

In addition to SUSE, Novell has purchased Ximian, the leading enterprise Linux desktop. With the release of Ximian Desktop 2, Novell now supports SUSE LINUX Desktop, Standard Server, and Enterprise Server, and SUSE LINUX 9.0. The update also includes the Ximian Edition of OpenOffice.org 1.1, GAIM instant messenger client and updated Ximian "Red Carpet" 2.0 configuration management client software. NDM is poised to help their clients change from their old systems to enterprise level Linux systems using their tested Novell/SUSE/Ximian partners.

According to Stokes, Linux has many advantages. First of all, Linux is free. and will lower an organization's total cost of ownership (TCO). As there are really no licensing costs for the Linux operating system (one may choose to get support, which costs), the total cost of ownership to an organization is lowered. The latest version of the operating system is posted on the Internet and is available for download. Linux is a very stable system, up time is measured in years-- not days --.so there is rarely any down time for maintenance. Linux can run on older equipment so there is less pressure for costly hardware upgrades. When there are software upgrades, they are posted on the Internet for free download. As Novell defines the term, Megabyte, "what not having a Linux strategy can take out of your bottom line." Additionally, Linux is less targeted by viruses and Trojans.

Linux has been the operating system of choice for a huge group of the world's programmers who want to have quality communication with their machines. Now, for the rest of us, software and portability have become available. OpenOffice, the Linux answer to Microsoft Office, has been largely perfected and is available. It is said to look and feel very much like using Microsoft Office. In addition, Linux now has ports so that other specialty software like Web developers' tools and graphics programs can be run over Linux. Finally, all the peripherals run easily with Linux.

Clients with large networks may need some help in shifting to Linux, and NDM is there to help. NDM will help with integration, will resolve issues, and put those solutions into place. Then they will manage the network to keep it up and running.

For more information about Network Design and Management, go to: http://www.ndm.net/index.htm.

Billie Moreland
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