Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Overstock.com running SUSE

Overstock.com has a saying: "It's All About the O." But for Vice President of Technology Shawn Schwegman and his IT staff, it's all about the SUSE.

After closing last year out at $300 million in sales, the company is shooting for $600 million this year. Schwegman says he is prepping for further anticipated growth. "We just want to keep doubling every year for as long as we can," he said. "With that kind of growth, we're trying to stay as far ahead of the curve as we can."

Obviously, Overstock has huge technology needs. How best to keep the Web site running and running without hang-ups?

The company has used Linux in some form since the beginning. At first, it was Red Hat combined with HP-UX, but Schwegman realized early on that with Overstock.com's forecasted growth it would be advantageous to explore more possibilities with Linux. "We made the jump and commitment to be 100% Linux, as much as possible, especially with our production environment," he said.

Schwegman did a heavy bake-off between the different Linux flavors, putting them through the "wringer," looking at support and pricing, and testing load capacities. "We'd emulate our existing load and check the performance and response times."

That, coupled with a "general feel from the administration standpoint" led to a decision for SUSE -- even before Novell bought it.

Full story here.

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