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Good-bye Windows, Enterprise Linux is Taking Off

Linux Adoption Trends

  • October 12, 2010
  • By Carla Schroder
The Linux Foundation says Linux is poised for significant growth in the enterprise, some of it at the expense of Windows servers. 76.4% of companies surveyed are planning to add more Linux servers in the next twelve months. 41.2% are increasing their Windows servers, while 43.6% will decrease or stay the same. Over the next five years 79.4% of businesses surveyed plan to add more Linux servers compared to other operating systems, while only 21.3% plan to add more Windows servers.

Migrations from Windows to Linux are accelerating, surpassing Unix to Linux migrations, and 66% of Linux deployments are "green field", or brand-new. This is one of the more interesting findings; in the past both Linux and Windows have been replacing Unix servers, and past reports from other sources indicated that Unix to Linux migrations outnumbered Windows to Linux. Over 60% of respondents say they are increasing their use of Linux for mission-critical tasks.

<em>figure 1</em>
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Cloud? What Cloud?

You might think that cloud deployments are everywhere doing everything, but it seems they are fueling tech news more than tech. Only 26% of respondents are planning any cloud deployments in the next twelve months, and 70.3% of those are Linux-powered.

IT Considerations

Finding qualified Linux admins is a problem for some shops, but they feel that providing training is worth it because it is "more cost-effective than purchasing licenses." Over 58% say they have been moving towards Linux for several years, and the recession has not changed that. Some of the reasons cited are technical superiority, reliability, lower hardware requirements, lower software and operating costs, security, escaping vendor lock-in, and openness.

Desktop Linux

Over 36% of respondents say they already have some Linux desktops in their organizations, and are planning more. Developers are the usual early adopters, and push adoption throughout their companies.

Obstacles to Linux Adoption

The two top concerns about Linux adoption are hardware drivers and interoperability. The Linux Foundation believes that driver concerns are more perception than reality, with excellent support for everything from servers to storage arrays. The Linux Driver Project has over 200 developers.

Interop, of course, is almost entirely one-sided, with the bulk of the effort coming from Linux and Free/Open Source software, and little but obstacles from Microsoft, Apple, and other proprietary vendors whose business models are fundamentally dependent on lock-in.

There is a lot more interesting information in the report, and it can be downloaded from Linux Adoption Trends: A Survey of Enterprise End Users. It requires registration, but the report is free of cost. Usually these kinds of reports cost a hefty fee.

Carla Schroder is the author of the Linux Cookbook and the Linux Networking Cookbook (O'Reilly Media), the upcoming "Book of Audacity" (NoStarch Press), a lifelong book lover, and the managing editor of LinuxPlanet and Linux Today.

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