UNIX Sysadmins Aren’t That Expensive

by Dustin Puryear

I have often heard the argument that UNIX sysadmins are more expensive than their Windows counterparts are, but that UNIX sysadmins could manage more boxes at a time. All, some, or none of this may be true. I have not seen any studies on the latter statement, but the former seems to not be very true.

In his article, Murphy notes that payscale’s numbers show that UNIX sysadmins have a premium, but not a very large one. If you are an employer that uses UNIX, then this is good. If you are a UNIX sysadmin, perhaps not so good.

Murphy also discusses the latter statement to some extent, but instead of approaching it from the “more boxen” angle, he discusses how UNIX sysadmins tend to be a more varied lot and can often do more than sysadmin task (e.g., manage an Oracle database). I’m not so sure I agree with his logic. I know a large number of Windows sysadmins that also manage SQL Server for example.

Anyone know of some good research on how flexible Windows sysadmins are in comparison to UNIX sysadmins?