Linux Adoption on the Rise in Enterprise

A recent survey by the Linux Foundation indicates the adoption of Linux is overtaking Windows enterprise level at quite a rapid clip. Indeed, nearly 80% of the 1,948 survey respondants plan to add more Linux to their business' infrastructure within the next five years, while only 21% plan to add additional Microsoft servers.

According to the Foundation's report, "[T]he survey found that Linux is poised for growth in the coming years; 76.4% of companies are planning to add more Linux servers in the next twelve months. In contrast, only 41.2% of respondents are planning to add Windows servers in the next year, while 43.6% say they will be decreasing or maintaining the number of Windows servers in their organizations over the same time period."

According to analyst firm IDC, Linux servers represent 17.5% of total revenue in the server industry. What accounts for the uptick of interest in Linux? Respondents say they believe Linux is continually improving and companies have much more faith in its technical and security abilities than in the past. In fact, a full 60% of those surveyed plan to use Linux for mission-critical deployments and 66% are choosing the platform for brand-new deployments over Windows or Unix.

One of the biggest hurdles IT departments face when attempting to adopt Linux is resistence from management, however this survey shows CIOs now view Linux as "more strategic to the organization as compared to three years ago." Although cloud computing is all the rage right now, a mere 26% showed any interest in moving to the cloud within the next year. Those that did, however, overwhelmingly selected Linux as their cloud platform of choice.

While the report was sponsored by the Linux Foundation itself, there's no reason to make light of the results or consider them as less vaild than if gathered from an independent research firm. As Computerworld columnist and tech blogger Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols notes, "[U]nlike similar surveys, sponsored by proprietary software companies where you have to dig to find out who paid for the research and who's actually being surveyed, the Linux Foundation comes right out and tells you."  To learn more about the important results of this study, download the full report, "Linux Adoption Trends: A Survey of Enterprise End Users[PDF]" from the Linux Foundation's website.

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