Fewer in Asia seek Linux support

A smaller proportion of companies using the open source OS sign up for such services, but that will change, says Novell chief technologist.

A smaller proportion of Linux users in Asia sign up for enterprise support services, but that is "okay" by Novell global strategic partners' chief technologist Marcin Kurc.

According to Kurc, more organizations in Asia--compared to the West--adopt Linux for free and do not sign up for vendor support. However, this is rapidly changing as open source adoption matures to catch up with that in Europe and the United States.

Kurc said, in an interview with ZDNet Asia: "It's great that people are implementing Linux for free. I'm all for gaining mindshare." The Novell executive was in Singapore to speak at an event on Windows and Linux interoperability to employ server virtualization.

With time will come evolution, he said, and users will eventually develop a relationship with their open source vendor and partnered ISVs (independent software vendors).

"A smart CIO needs an agenda and strategy. With the fast-paced markets in Asia, you'll need to plan for bigger and better data centers. You need someone to call when something breaks," Kurc said.

And organizations in the region are fast catching up with peers in the West, as evidenced by the boom in China and India, he noted. "Asia's the fastest adopter because of the knowledge of other markets," he said.

Rival open source vendor Red Hat, recently went on a campaign promoting the use of virtualization in the region because it said the number of adopters is low.

Vijay Sarathy, Sun Microsystems' senior director of marketing for xVM, said in a statement Wednesday: "The virtualization market is still wide open. By many accounts, the number of servers that are virtualized is still in the single digits."

Kurc disagrees with this view. On the contrary, he said virtualization is so commonly deployed that "it is very hard to find someone who doesn't use it".

According to the Novell executive, with many companies already aware of virtualization's benefits, they now need to focus on the "big picture". Kurc explained that these organizations should fit the technology to their company's needs, as opposed to simply implementing it for technology's sake.

He raised the example of employing virtualization to prioritize critical systems over other functions, depending on the business' urgencies. "Using virtualization is all about stretching your resources," he explained.

Microsoft last year released its enterprise virtual server offering to compete with market leader, VMware. The release is supported by Novell Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10 and Sun Solaris 10.

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