The DGA is studying the switch of certain workstations from Windows to Linux
Often criticized for its Microsoft allegiance, the Ministry of Armies has carried out a study to migrate certain workstations to Linux Ubuntu.
April (Association for the Promotion and Research in Free Computing) recently obtained communication of a study carried out in 2021 by the Directorate General for Armaments (DGA) on the possible migration of certain workstations from the Ministry of the Armed Forces . The Poste Libre Internet Study is freely accessible on the April website. This study focuses on a limited category of workstations (approximately 15,000 units), in shared mode, used for basic office uses and Internet access. It was a question of verifying the interest of migrating current workstations under Windows 7 or 10 to a version of Linux. This interest is obviously studied from economic, technical, security and sovereignty angles.
Even if the ministry has always refuted the expression “open bar” for its commercial agreements with Microsoft, it is very regularly criticized for its allegiance to an American publisher when it should be the temple of computer sovereignty. Nicolas Fournier, director general of digital at the Ministry of the Armed Forces, of course broached the subject during his recent interview. Although operationally attached to the Ministry of the Interior since 2009, the National Gendarmerie remains an army which, conversely, has massively migrated its workstations to Linux Ubuntu for years. In the introduction to the report, however, the intention is clearly expressed: “the Ministry of the Armed Forces wishes to reduce the footprint of the Microsoft supplier by using free solutions”. Note in passing that, in all state administrations, Microsoft cloud solutions are completely excluded.
The conclusion of the study confirms that the migration is technically possible but that the financial relevance of the operation remains in question, as a lot of data is not available. Change management shouldn’t be a problem, with end-user training to be moderate to non-existent. However, the restricted perimeter studied is noted as being the only one where such a migration seems possible today. However, a heterogeneity of the park could bring an additional workload while the saturation of the teams is real. Despite everything, in the long term, the massive migration in the sovereign cloud of applications should reshuffle the cards and facilitate a switch from Microsoft Windows to Linux Ubuntu.