Linux might be adopted on a large scale by the Russian Post, as the institution has started testing Linux, in the view of using it in normal post offices. The main reason for moving to Linux is to reduce the costs. Although the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Russian Post has not disclosed this directly, the Post might use Red Hat Linux.
The testing started in Pushkin, St. Petersburg Suburb, after a recent visit to Russia from Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat's president and CEO; the tests will take approximately 2-3 months. At the beginning of March this year, the Red Hat CEO signed with the Russian Post management a "protocol of intention to develop information systems on the basis of the free software."
In Feburary, Mr. Aleksey Kuzmin, director general of the Russian Post, announced that the federal state unitary enterprise had net losses of 4.6 billions rubles ($195.088 million) for the precedent year. The possibility of using virtualization solutions on top of Windows machines is not excluded, and this is the model that's being tested now, as Mr. Aleksey Kuzmin recently told CNews.
If the experiment turns out to be a success, then more than 42 thousand post offices with more than 125 thousand computers will switch to the Linux-based software. The installation will be first performed on the workstations of public Internet access points.
The Russian Post is made up of 85 branches with 40,000 post offices and almost 400,000 employees. An incredible amount of letters, periodicals, parcels and money are being transferred annually through it. The main aim of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Russian Post is to provide universal postal services all over the Russian Federation and to create a modern postal infrastructure. Because of its large size, it will take some time before the Russian Post decides if Linux is a viable solution and what Linux distribution to use.