Nice idea, but pretty holely

Categories: Blog Tags: NHS

So the NHS Hack Day retweet this

We're a UK non-profit dedicated to open source in Healthcare. Can anyone help us with some VPS instances? @rackspaceUK @digitalocean @linode

— NHoS (@_nhos_) April 30, 2017

Which made me think why is Ubuntu creating a NHS specific distro (OS) and why are they begging for some VPS instances?

Turns out, it has nothing to do with either Ubuntu or the NHS. Its a group of people building on-top of Ubuntu, aimed at the NHS. The company behind it is OPENHEALTHHUB CIC. A Community Interest Company (CIC) – Private company limited by guarantee without share capital. It’s setup correctly, but it’s not exactly cash positive.

On their homepage, they have a video demo’ing the system. To me, I found this pretty pointless. It’s a basic desktop.

Don’t get me wrong, a Ubuntu desktop would be a great setup, but why not Google Chromebook with Google Apps? Why not Windows 10 with Office 365 online? In fact NHSMail2 IS Office 365. So eh? So what are they actually asking money for to do? I just don’t get the value added.

I just don’t get it. Why not create some packages for Ubuntu which has a large support based, is certified by the UK government as meeting the security requirements. Which leads me to

I wouldn't use an apt based OS with no security staff ! Also research me before starting a discussion

— Dick Morrell (@TheSecurityBod) April 30, 2017

(In a side quest this lead me to).

In terms of the idea, open source is great idea. But it isn’t free. It isn’t free purely to the fact it’s production. If problems occur, we can’t wait for a developer to get home from work. You need to have dedicated developers and developers like most people need to paid with money so they can pay the bills. So if we accept the fact we must spend money we need to agree how to fund development. Is CAL licenses so bad now? Well I guess it depends and I think this my point. Going pure Microsoft is stupid. Going pure Ubuntu is stupid. I think the correct solution is a mix.

Open source is a great way, if you do it correctly, to collaborate, for others to build and improve your system. And remember, Microsoft is the top open source contributor on GitHub.