[OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

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[OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

Chris-439
I been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to convince various clients and
employers to adopt OpenBSD. Most people, I find, are resistent to
change and would not use anything they are not familiar with. Others
would say that if I leave the job, it would be hard to find people who
can use (or even heard of) OpenBSD and in some places Management never
heard of OpenBSD and have very little clue as to how good or bad it is
compared to Linux/ Solaris and Windows thus they will just knock off
the proposal in 2 seconds.

Is there any way I could convince these people to make the move to
OpenBSD? Suggestions, tips and tricks along with real life examples
would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

bofh-6
If they resist change, you have no hope.  When I have implemented OpenBSD,
it is because I needed to do something quickly, and am supporting it
myself.  I have set up DNS, reverse proxies, web servers, jabber,
application (tomcat) servers, ntp, and others this way.

War stories will never convince them.  If you persist on going down this
route, make sure you have a quote in hand for 24x7 support of OpenBSD as
well.

Also make sure you train the rest of the team.  If they already know unix,
it's easier, but you still need to train them.

--
http://www.glumbert.com/media/shift
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGvHNNOLnCk
"This officer's men seem to follow him merely out of idle curiosity." --
Sandhurst officer cadet evaluation.
"Securing an environment of Windows platforms from abuse - external or
internal - is akin to trying to install sprinklers in a fireworks factory
where smoking on the job is permitted." -- Gene Spafford
learn french: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1G-3laJJP0&feature=related

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

Gerardo Santana Gómez Garrido
In reply to this post by Chris-439
On 3/20/08, Chris <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to convince various clients and
>  employers to adopt OpenBSD. Most people, I find, are resistent to
>  change and would not use anything they are not familiar with. Others
>  would say that if I leave the job, it would be hard to find people who
>  can use (or even heard of) OpenBSD and in some places Management never
>  heard of OpenBSD and have very little clue as to how good or bad it is
>  compared to Linux/ Solaris and Windows thus they will just knock off
>  the proposal in 2 seconds.
>
>  Is there any way I could convince these people to make the move to
>  OpenBSD? Suggestions, tips and tricks along with real life examples
>  would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Managers are all alike. Their priority is to save their asses, to have
someone to blame in case of problems. That's why they spend a lot of
money in big contracts with Big Companies and don't like to take any
risk with software that doesn't have commercial support.

I've been lucky, because wherever I have gone, the network is a mess.
That gives me the justification to "fix the problem" with that
wonderful, security-oriented and free tool called OpenBSD.

After that, I've documented every maintenance task. That way your
manager can be confident that, when a truck hits you, anyone can get
the documentation and keep maintaining the thing.

--
Gerardo Santana

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

Gerardo Santana Gómez Garrido
On 3/20/08, Gerardo Santana Gsmez Garrido <[hidden email]> wrote:
>  After that, I've documented every maintenance task. That way your
>  manager can be confident that, when a truck hits you, anyone can get
>  the documentation and keep maintaining the thing.

Anyone with a Unix/Unix-like background, of course. The documentation
should be dumbed down enough to find it easy to follow for these guys,
which is not very difficult, given OpenBSD ease of use.


--
Gerardo Santana

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

bofh-6
In reply to this post by bofh-6
Oh yeah, I almost implemented nedi at the last place too.  That would
have been sweet.





On 3/20/08, bofh <[hidden email]> wrote:

> If they resist change, you have no hope.  When I have implemented OpenBSD,
> it is because I needed to do something quickly, and am supporting it
> myself.  I have set up DNS, reverse proxies, web servers, jabber,
> application (tomcat) servers, ntp, and others this way.
>
> War stories will never convince them.  If you persist on going down this
> route, make sure you have a quote in hand for 24x7 support of OpenBSD as
> well.
>
> Also make sure you train the rest of the team.  If they already know unix,
> it's easier, but you still need to train them.
>
> --
> http://www.glumbert.com/media/shift
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGvHNNOLnCk
> "This officer's men seem to follow him merely out of idle curiosity." --
> Sandhurst officer cadet evaluation.
> "Securing an environment of Windows platforms from abuse - external or
> internal - is akin to trying to install sprinklers in a fireworks factory
> where smoking on the job is permitted." -- Gene Spafford
> learn french: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1G-3laJJP0&feature=related
>

--
Sent from Gmail for mobile | mobile.google.com

http://www.glumbert.com/media/shift
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGvHNNOLnCk
"This officer's men seem to follow him merely out of idle curiosity."
-- Sandhurst officer cadet evaluation.
"Securing an environment of Windows platforms from abuse - external or
internal - is akin to trying to install sprinklers in a fireworks
factory where smoking on the job is permitted."  -- Gene Spafford
learn french:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1G-3laJJP0&feature=related

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

richard.daemon (Bugzilla)
In reply to this post by Chris-439
On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 5:50 PM, Chris <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to convince various clients and
>  employers to adopt OpenBSD. Most people, I find, are resistent to
>  change and would not use anything they are not familiar with. Others
>  would say that if I leave the job, it would be hard to find people who
>  can use (or even heard of) OpenBSD and in some places Management never
>  heard of OpenBSD and have very little clue as to how good or bad it is
>  compared to Linux/ Solaris and Windows thus they will just knock off
>  the proposal in 2 seconds.
>
>  Is there any way I could convince these people to make the move to
>  OpenBSD? Suggestions, tips and tricks along with real life examples
>  would be much appreciated. Thanks.


I'm in the same boat... Wondering the same things and looking for ways
as well, especially with the clueless IT manager types that have only
heard of Linux or Solaris at most.

Now if only someone could write a book on how to sell "free", OSS
solutions like this (with a lot of focus on OpenBSD) I would be one of
the first to pre-order it!

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

Gary Thornock
On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 5:50 PM, Chris <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to convince various clients
> and employers to adopt OpenBSD. Most people, I find, are resistent
> to change and would not use anything they are not familiar with.
> Others would say that if I leave the job, it would be hard to find
> people who can use (or even heard of) OpenBSD and in some places
> Management never heard of OpenBSD and have very little clue as to
> how good or bad it is compared to Linux/ Solaris and Windows thus
> they will just knock off the proposal in 2 seconds.
>
> Is there any way I could convince these people to make the move to
> OpenBSD? Suggestions, tips and tricks along with real life examples
> would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Introducing a new operating system into an already working
environment
can be a tricky proposition -- politically even more than
technically.
If you want to bring in OpenBSD, look for specific needs that aren't
being met by any existing systems, and show how OpenBSD can meet
those
needs.

It probably won't be the main company server, at least at first.  As
it becomes more familiar, and the benefits become clear, management
will be more open to expanding its role in the company.

A few good resources:
http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/bsd/2001/10/18/Big_Scary_Daemons.html
http://advocacy.daemonnews.org/
http://www.oreillynet.com/sysadmin/blog/2004/11/bsd_success_stories.html

In the PDF linked from that last article, I'd look particularly at
the
success story that Michael Lehey describes with OpenBSD (starting on
page 8), but also to the advocacy advice offered by Joe Warner (page
16):

  "When I first started using FreeBSD, I was so amazed and taken
  with it that I could be heard preaching the BSD gospel almost
  every day. Keep in mind that most people will continue to use
  whichever operating system or application they are comfortable
  with. Don't be such an advocate that people become afraid to even
  mention the words 'FreeBSD','NetBSD', 'OpenBSD' or 'BSD' around
  you. Remember, the louder you are, the harder it can be to hear
  you. The phrase, 'Action speaks louder than words', certainly
  applies here. Quietly learn about the BSDs, how to use them, and
  offer the amazing demonstration when the opportunity presents
  itself."

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

System Administrator-39
In reply to this post by richard.daemon (Bugzilla)
On 20 Mar 2008 at 20:33, Richard Daemon wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 5:50 PM, Chris <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > I been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to convince various clients
> and
> >  employers to adopt OpenBSD. Most people, I find, are resistent to
> >  change and would not use anything they are not familiar with.
> Others
> >  would say that if I leave the job, it would be hard to find people
> who
> >  can use (or even heard of) OpenBSD and in some places Management
> never
> >  heard of OpenBSD and have very little clue as to how good or bad it
> is
> >  compared to Linux/ Solaris and Windows thus they will just knock
> off
> >  the proposal in 2 seconds.
> >
> >  Is there any way I could convince these people to make the move
> to
> >  OpenBSD? Suggestions, tips and tricks along with real life
> examples
> >  would be much appreciated. Thanks.
>
>
> I'm in the same boat... Wondering the same things and looking for
> ways
> as well, especially with the clueless IT manager types that have
> only
> heard of Linux or Solaris at most.
>
> Now if only someone could write a book on how to sell "free", OSS
> solutions like this (with a lot of focus on OpenBSD) I would be one
> of
> the first to pre-order it!
>
>

There is no "magic" to selling OSS or for that matter, any kind of
solution. Only two things ever sell. The first, easiest, "default" sale
is brand name -- can anyone provide a _technical_ reason for any
company to buy the over-priced AND under-powered CISCO iron? (and the
older folks will remember the saying "no-one ever got fired for buying
IBM" which finally died in the eighties.) There is a silver lining here
for the successful consultant (whether outside or in-house expert) --
you make the sale by BECOMING the brand name, i.e. once you are
accepted as THE expert, ANY solution you propose will sail.

The second sale is that of opportunity and was described earlier on
this thread by Gerardo Santana -- in certain engagements there is a
genuine interest in solving a genuine problem, and you are given the
freedom to choose your own tools (or rope to hang yourself if you over-
reach). If you are successful at picking and solving these engagements,
you eventually become a recognized expert -- see previous paragraph.

---------------------------------------------------------
System Administrator                    [hidden email]
Bitwise Internet Technologies, Inc.
22 Drydock Avenue                     tel: (617) 737-1837
Boston, MA 02210                      fax: (617) 439-4941

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

Giancarlo Razzolini
In reply to this post by Chris-439
Chris escreveu:

> I been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to convince various clients and
> employers to adopt OpenBSD. Most people, I find, are resistent to
> change and would not use anything they are not familiar with. Others
> would say that if I leave the job, it would be hard to find people who
> can use (or even heard of) OpenBSD and in some places Management never
> heard of OpenBSD and have very little clue as to how good or bad it is
> compared to Linux/ Solaris and Windows thus they will just knock off
> the proposal in 2 seconds.
>
> Is there any way I could convince these people to make the move to
> OpenBSD? Suggestions, tips and tricks along with real life examples
> would be much appreciated. Thanks.
>
>
The enterprise i work on always made their firewall/proxy solutions
using linux. The responsible was having trouble using the iproute2
voodoo to make 2 isp links to work. I then suggested using openbsd. I
didn't had at the time knowledge to do that, but suggested it anyway,
cause pf looked to me much simpler than iptables. When i learned that a
single route-to statement would throw all the ip route + MARK shit on
linux, i convinced the manager to use it on our clients. Nowadays we
have lots of carp firewalls, and some clients with 2 or 3 isp's. Working
with ifstated and a bunch of scripts to check link availability. This
kind of thing is one way to convince. The other would be the EXPERT
thing mentioned before. Today, i convince much more being an EXPERT than
 telling all the great things open is capable of.

My regards,

--
Giancarlo Razzolini
Linux User 172199
Red Hat Certified Engineer no:804006389722501
Moleque Sem Conteudo Numero #002
Slackware Current
OpenBSD Stable
Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn
Snike Tecnologia em Informatica
4386 2A6F FFD4 4D5F 5842  6EA0 7ABE BBAB 9C0E 6B85

[demime 1.01d removed an attachment of type application/pgp-signature which had a name of signature.asc]

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

Nick Holland
In reply to this post by Chris-439
Chris wrote:

> I been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to convince various clients and
> employers to adopt OpenBSD. Most people, I find, are resistent to
> change and would not use anything they are not familiar with. Others
> would say that if I leave the job, it would be hard to find people who
> can use (or even heard of) OpenBSD and in some places Management never
> heard of OpenBSD and have very little clue as to how good or bad it is
> compared to Linux/ Solaris and Windows thus they will just knock off
> the proposal in 2 seconds.
>
> Is there any way I could convince these people to make the move to
> OpenBSD? Suggestions, tips and tricks along with real life examples
> would be much appreciated. Thanks.

*) Respect the work that has come before you.  No one likes someone
who walks in and says, "Let's change everything, because this is what
I know!".  Wait until you know the real problems...then deliver
solutions based on the problem, not based on your desires.

*) Prove to them that you know what you are doing on OTHER things.
Solve real problems, make things work better, document existing
systems.  Give them reason to trust your judgment and quality of
work.

*) Prove to them that you can (and do) document the systems you are
responsible for.

*) Point out the relative "unknownness" of various products already
in your environment.  I.e., if you have a SAN that only one person
in the office knows how to configure, you have just won the "not
familiar" argument.  Even if it is the Indu$try $andard $olution,
the "How you configured it in your environment" is critical.

*) Point out that people who know OpenBSD may not be falling out of
trees, people who REALLY know Linux, Solaris, Cisco, Juniper, EMC,
Xiotech, Windows, etc. WELL (i.e., not just a hack with a sheet of
paper that would be more useful in the bathroom than on the wall)
are not common, either...and if they are really good at what they
do, they already have jobs, and you will pay THROUGH THE NOSE and
every other orifice you have to get them to come work for you.  The
ones sitting around waiting for the phone to ring aren't that good.
I recently heard a guy enjoying the idea of a $150k/yr job he had
heard about to maintain an "industry standard firewall".  Why so
much?  Because there weren't very many good people available to
maintain this standard device.  AND, the ability to grow-your-own
expert was about zero, because you could not grab an old junk
machine and build a demo or test machine, you had to shell out big
money for their box and their training.  And, if you don't pay
them a lot, your expert will go elsewhere once you make them an
expert.

*) Show how easy it is to BUILD your own experts.  If you want to
learn Solaris, you will be looking at buying some newish computers
to run it on.  If you want to learn OpenBSD, you can do it on old
junk!  You can teach your co-workers, they can work with old
company equipment to learn more.  Try that with the big name
products.  (funny story: former employer, we built a very nice set
of OpenBSD firewalls.  Massive redundancy, DR, etc., ALL out of
spare parts.  An ex-boss got a bug up his butt about having Juniper
on his resume, so he brought in a pair of probably $40k Juniper
firewalls.  But...I don't speak Juniper.  "Fine, we'll have E.
do it!".  E. wasn't quite up to the task, and he got fed up
with the BS and quit.  Now the boss had NO one who could bring up
his babies.  He was later fired, and the new resume-stuffing boss
didn't like Juniper, but liked Cisco, so in come a new pair of
$50k boxes. The never-used Junipers are currently sitting in a
warehouse somewhere, and a consultant made a LOT of money
replacing our OpenBSD firewalls with the Ciscos that accomplished
the EXACT SAME THING).

*) Point out that there are a lot of people LOOKING for
experts in these "industry standard" systems, and they are not
finding good ones.  Lots of people looking is BAD for your
company, not good!  That bids up the prices and that discourages
long-term employment.

*) Demonstrate, don't talk.  Don't say, "it would be nice if you
handed me $4000 for this project", grab an old junk machine and
build a demonstrator.  Do it right -- include the disaster recovery,
the backup, the repair and the documentation in your "demonstrator".
IF it proves that's all you need, you are done!

*) Hook your co-workers.  OpenBSD is fun, and it is very easy to
learn (not just "load").  I managed to get a co-worker interested,
he's now got an OpenBSD machine at home, which has been doing real
work for him and solving problems (and the Windows box puked its
guts, but the data was stored on Samba on the OpenBSD box, and now
his wife is a fan, too! :)  Guess what?  We now have TWO OpenBSD
experts in the office. (which is probably more than we have of the
"official" company solution).

*) Solve real problems with OpenBSD.  On my second day on the job,
the guy I was replacing told me about one problem he had -- a mail
server would collect huge amounts of mailer error messages in the
administrator account...and if it got more than about 50,000 message,
the administrator mailbox would fill, and that would cause MORE error
messages to be sent to administrator, and the machine would quickly
go into a death spiral.  It took only about three days for 50,000
messages to be collected.  He told me that, we went to lunch, and a
couple hours after we got back, I had grabbed some old junk HW and
built an OpenBSD machine which automatically POP3ped mail out of the
mail server every hour.  Problem solved!  The junk machine had only
a 10G HD and 128M RAM, installing the company standard CentOS on it
would have been..a challenge..and the basic OS install would have
taken longer than the entire project took.  Every time they complain,
I ask for hardware which would run CentOS (silence).  "What if it
breaks?"  I point to the rack of old crap hardware (and besides, we
can always do what we did before, manually pulling messages out of
the thing).

*) Document your systems REALLY WELL.  I don't mean write the
ultimate user's guide for OpenBSD, but document what YOUR machine is
doing, how it does it, what tools it uses, how to know it is working
properly, how it could be improved, how to recover from a failure,
etc.  EVERYTHING you would want to know if you suddenly had it thrust
upon you and you had no idea what it did.  Since most people are
horrible at documenting their systems, you have a HUGE leg-up when it
comes to the pissing match.  My documented system will usually win
out over your undocumented system.

*) Your documentation should include the things your boss is afraid
of, such as what happens if you vanish and no one else has the root
password?  I wrote it up (basically an over-detailed version of what
is in the FAQ) and had him go through the process.  He actually was
a bit pissed, as he had an agenda which did not include low-cost
small name solutions, but you could almost see the thrill of his
being able to take control of this locked box (or maybe it was the
idea of me "disappearing" :)

*) Make sure the solution does not tie them to you.  Temping though
it may be to ensure your job security by making something only you
can maintain, if your boss is not a complete idiot that's what they
are afraid of.  SO, make sure someone else can at least keep your
systems running.  Cross train people on your own.  Make sure your
solutions can survive long into the future.  Have an "exit" strategy
for how you can migrate to other solutions with minimal disruption
(even if your solution is the best in the world, someday, something
better may come along...)

*) Design your system right.  I could (and may) write an entire book
on that one sentence, but in short: keep it simple, reliable,
maintainable, documented and make sure it can survive past you.


Nick.

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

Lars D. Noodén
In reply to this post by Chris-439
Chris wrote:
> ...
> Is there any way I could convince these people to make the move to
> OpenBSD? Suggestions, tips and tricks along with real life examples
> would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Be seen using it
...and let them think they figured out on their own that you are.  If
you have to bring attention, do it on the side.  e.g. at the end of a
presentation (where the content was received positively) mention the
name of the OS, DE and application in as few words as possible and then
steer immediately back to the topic of the post-presentation discussion.

Let people use it.
Show them how to make customizations.  Set up workstations or desktops
that people can try.  There should be someone willing to help you draft
a proof of concept prototype.  As you point out, familiarity (or the
perception of familiarity) is a problem.  And if they don't use it, they
can't become familiar.

Familiarity is one of the non-technical factors you must keep in mind.
The damage from marketing is another.  OpenBSD has several competing or
complimentary systems and one opponent.  But also realize that, despite
what that one opponent calls itself or what ever it may file with the
SEC, you are going up against an interest which operates as if it were a
 rather nasty political or religious movement.  The word they use
in-house for their action is 'jihad' see the PDF linked to from the
Groklaw post.
    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20071023002351958
(Note: that the above site is blocked in a number of countries and you
may need a proxy to get at it.)

Regards,
-Lars

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

Matt-189
In reply to this post by Chris-439
Chris schreef:

> I been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to convince various clients and
> employers to adopt OpenBSD. Most people, I find, are resistent to
> change and would not use anything they are not familiar with. Others
> would say that if I leave the job, it would be hard to find people who
> can use (or even heard of) OpenBSD and in some places Management never
> heard of OpenBSD and have very little clue as to how good or bad it is
> compared to Linux/ Solaris and Windows thus they will just knock off
> the proposal in 2 seconds.
>
> Is there any way I could convince these people to make the move to
> OpenBSD? Suggestions, tips and tricks along with real life examples
> would be much appreciated. Thanks.

Many others have given great pro-OpenBSD examples.

I can only give you the "tricks" I have succesfully used in the passed.
These are based on selling solutions - not on convincing people how
great OpenBSD is.
There is a big difference from my perspective,  but our goals are the same.

Meetings work far better than writing to get your points across.
They allow you to change your direction on the fly if needed, while
writing just gets /dev/nulled


TRICK 1:  Expensive beats free

First of all - forget it is free. Forget the whole licencing, forget
anything open source software related.
That sounds weird and perhaps unethical towards those that fight for
this but it helps getting what you want.
OpenBSD will eventually benefit - so we're in the clear here.

Management does not trust anything free. Free implicates 'no guarantees'.
Whenever you say 'free' management pictures a photograph of you and
Richard Stallman, holding hands under a rainbow while a unicorn flies by.

If, and only if, the price question pops up you say 'implementation will
probably cost us around <some figure that will be acceptable and will
give OpenBSD a nice donation>'
(If the guy is wearing a suit worth more than your monthly salary
multiply the amount by 10.)

TRICK 2:  Fear beats comfortable with what we have

Talk about the changing internet/network. How it is increasingly
becoming more and more hostile.
They will be aware of this. through both the press and those Nigerian
relatives that keep mailing them.
Tell them about the recent creditcard thefts, about the impact these
things have on a company.
This can be on a moderate level or on a 'oh my god the plane is crashing
and we are all going to die!' level.
Depends on your party and your ethics.

Mention the amount of attacks on a webserver can go down by 40% just
because the bad guys see it is running OpenBSD,
or that common cracking techniques that work on other systems simply are
impossible on OpenBSD because of it's design.

Show nice little graphs of security exploits on all the systems they
know and place OpenBSDs track record next to it.
Do this only for basic issues and you'll have pretty dramatic stats.
If you can (without loosing your job or crossing your co-workers)
present a list of unpatched / unsolved issues with the current servers.
Don't talk tech. Talk solutions. We have a problem here and I am
offering you the solution.

World leaders have gotten (and are getting) away with incredible stuff,
solely by addressing people's fear.
It is by far the most powerful emotion.

And before you judge me on this - you do have insurance, don't you? Exactly.

TRICK 3: Trustworthy beats unknown

Tell them who else is using it; which big companies (they know) already
have put their trust in it.
Knowing some company they respect is using OpenBSD proves to them it's a
reliable choice.
These companies have understood the need for solutions for the problems
presented earlier in trick 2.

Choose companies that deal with important stuff. Hospitals and banks are
great examples.
Yes, it might just be a single router among the ninety Windows boxes but
who cares?

If they mention seeing Windows in their hospital tell them this is why
you and your family never go to that hospital.

TRICK 4:  Being cool beats missing the boat

Present OpenBSD as 'up and coming', give them the idea they are jumping
in right on time. That it is a fresh, new and hip approach to operating
systems.
OpenBSD is lean, mean - it's sexy. "Actually, you are a pretty lame
bunch considering you're not running it yet."

That approach, no matter how stupid, might work better in some cases
than actual arguments.
Especially if most of the people in the room are carrying an iPhone.


TRICK 5:  Action beats promise

Emphasize on the low costs of running OpenBSD. The low maintenance, the
fact it performs great without non-cutting-edge hardware.
Do not say it runs great on 'old' hardware. Old is bad, old will break.
Low system requirements, now that sounds like we can save some cash.

Convince them of the low learning curve in maintaining, upgrading and
installing systems. Anybody can do it.
Propose to teach Janet, the hot secretary from upstairs, to upgrade a
system within a day - just to prove your point.

This is a proposition I have yet to see be declined.
The idea of Janet being stuck with you in the server room for a full day
is usually hilarious enough to give it a try.

TRICK 6:  Having toys beats 'not interesting'

Give them toys. Management loves toys. So give them plenty. And give
them toys to talk and brag about.
Show them how many spammers/attackers THEY have blocked by presenting
them some nice graphic GUI tool.
Preferably on a webpage behind a login- something where they can mess
about a bit, click some stuff to see dumbed down data.
Not Cacti or the likes, that is way too intimidating and complicated.

We want to show understandable stuff along with pretty colored charts.
If it moves it's even better. Fake it with animated gifs, I don't care.
But make it shine:

Hey Jim, how are things?
Yeah? Good. Listen, we just dropped 500 packets on our firewall - how
many did you drop today?
Aha.. you sucker! You should run what we run, open-whatever... open-
eehhmm..

Hey Janet, what was that thing you can upgrade called again?

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Re: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD

Stuart VanZee
In reply to this post by Chris-439
> From: Chris
> Subject: [OT] Pursuing Management to adopt OpenBSD
>
>
> I been trying (rather unsuccessfully) to convince various clients and
> employers to adopt OpenBSD. Most people, I find, are resistent to
> change and would not use anything they are not familiar with. Others
> would say that if I leave the job, it would be hard to find people who
> can use (or even heard of) OpenBSD and in some places Management never
> heard of OpenBSD and have very little clue as to how good or bad it is
> compared to Linux/ Solaris and Windows thus they will just knock off
> the proposal in 2 seconds.
>
> Is there any way I could convince these people to make the move to
> OpenBSD? Suggestions, tips and tricks along with real life examples
> would be much appreciated. Thanks.
>
>

I have been in this same boat.  The company I work for was a completely
Windows environment when I was hired.  Any suggestions of anything non-
Windows was answered with angry looks and the mantra "We are a Windows
shop!  We are not interested in anything else!"  Then it happened.  One
of the big Win2003 FTP servers went down... hard...  very hard... smoke
rolling out of it hard... and everyone was running around crying "Oh
noes! Oh noes! What'll we do?"  because nobody bothered to come up with
a disaster recovery plan beyond "load up another box and put it out
there" and as many of us unlucky bastards know, It takes all day to get
a Win2003 server ready for deployment, especially if that deployment is
one that connects it to the Wild Wooly Internet.  Now, normally their
plan would have been fine because this particular business (at the time)
could live without their FTP server for that amount of time but fate
stepped in and they really needed their FTP server to be up and running
for a particular reason that evening.  So, I calmly walked in and made
the boast that I could get them an FTP server up and running in a matter
of an hour or two.  They were just desperate enough to call me on it.

We used that first OpenBSD 3.6 based FTP server for a couple years
upgrading as we went.  We are now running OpenBSD 4.2 (soon to be
upgraded to 4.3 YAY!) oddly enough on the same (repaired) box that used
to house the Win2003 FTP server.  The bosses have never looked back,
and never regretted giving a lowly "data processor" a chance to pull
their biscuits out of the fire by building an OpenBSD FTP server.  I have
FINALLY even talked them into supporting the project by pre-ordering 4.3
(and a nice t-shirt for me).

Oh, and that first OpenBSD FTP server has been joined by 8 or 9 other
OpenBSD boxes doing various this-and-thats around the place.  Firewalls,
mail servers, Time server, NIDS, Web Application server, and just about
anything else that I can throw together using spare parts while the
Windows tards are still trying to calculate the Hardware, OS, and
Licensing costs to implement.  I still haven't been able to break the
SQL server or Domain Controller barrier yet, but give me time.  The
boss is finally admitting that maybe we could do a few projects with
something other than Visual Basic...  Change comes slowly sometimes.

s