Big business buys into big Linux

Big business buys into big Linux

Summary: The Linux Foundation's latest enterprise survey shows Linux is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds.


The Linux Foundation and Yeoman Technology Group surveyed 355 IT staffers who work for enterprises with sales of more than $500 million and/or 500+ employees. Guess what? They found — as the foundation reveals in its 2013 Enterprise End User Report, Linux Adoption: Third Annual Survey of World's Largest Enterprise Linux Users in the most recent quarter (4Q12) — that big business loves big Linux.

In big business, Linux is on the way up. Windows, not so much.

That shouldn't come as any surprise. IDG, for example, found in the last quarter of 2012 that while overall server revenue is only growing at 3.1 percent year over year, Linux experienced 12.7 percent year-over-year growth for the quarter, while Windows only increased 3.2 percent and Unix was down 24.1 percent.

The reasons for this are the same as always. According to the foundation, "The top three drivers for adopting Linux use are its feature set (75 percent), lower TCO (71 percent), and security (69 percent). At the same time, management's view of Linux has remained consistently positive, with a reported 95 percent viewing the platform as equally or more strategic to the organization every year we have conducted the survey."

The top technologists, from companies such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and the NYSE, identify Linux as the dominant platform for cloud computing, with nearly 76 percent using Linux servers for cloud and 74 percent planning to maintain or increase Linux use for future cloud initiatives. In the area of new applications, services, and greenfield deployments, more than 75 percent of organizations report deploying Linux in the last two years.

It's more than just the cloud, though. The report continues:

A dramatic increase in the use of Linux for mission-critical workloads has grown consistently year over year to reach 73 percent in 2013. Reliance on Linux for cloud and big data is a strong contributing factor. And, the future looks bright for the operating system with 80 percent of the world's largest enterprises planning to increase their use of Linux servers over the next five years, while the number who plan to purchase Windows servers is at an all-time low of 20 percent.

With numbers like that, you won't be surprised to know that "management's perception of Linux remains increasingly positive, with 95 percent viewing Linux as equally or more strategic to the organization than in prior years". The FUD about Linux has plummeted over time.

The one real problem is that all this growth has led to real concerns about finding trained Linux talent. As a consequence, the Linux Foundation has seen enrollment in Linux training programs dramatically increase over the last few years and an increase in the number of enterprise users contributing to the Linux community.

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Topics: Linux, IT Employment, IT Policies

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  • Big business buys into big Linux

    Kudos Linux and big business
    • But not the staff.

      I got my first serious position after paying my own way through the RHCE. Sure it was fall 2008, and everyone was cutting back, but moving positions since then it's still been the main thing... Are you RHCE qualified. Indeed in my first job interview I wrongly assumed I'd be working with REHL due to RHCE being essential to the job. It was my first day that I found out I would be working with SLES instead. It was I who educated the employer that SuSE actually issue the CLA and back the LPI training. To the best of my knowledge they still advertise positions as needed RHCE, but their in house training (note when they are paying) is now LPI, and they offer the ability to work up the levels. At least they did when I left in 2011

      Fortunately for myself I do now work exclusively with Red Hat software, so the two years and five grand I spent getting my paperwork after Uni were worth it. For me. However, anyone else looking to follow in my footsteps, if you are paying, I would advise getting LPI certified, once you get level 3, get your SuSE conversion and mention in all applications that it is RHCE equivalent!
      • Linux grows 12.7%

        So Linux grows 12.7%, sounds good ... until you notice Unix is down 24%. Linux is the go-to replacement for Unix and yet for every 2% Unix loss only 1% is picked up by Linux so all-in-all the X-platform just had its butt handed back to them. But don't worry. Let's apply some typical OweBummer-Bernanke spin and then 'PUFF' it's a success story.

        When you see typical Wall St. stats shell game is adopted by the Linux jornalists, you smell desperation in the air.
        • Except... that's measuring "server revenue"

          not "server numbers" or "server workloads".

          So the Linux numbers are actually very, very good.

          (Red Hat calculated that to achieve one billion USD/year in revenues, they displaced five billion in server revenues from Unix and Windows.)
        • Mathematically challenged?

          A 24% drop in Unix can only directly compared to 12.7% Linux growth if the total number of Unix systems is exactly equal to the total number of Linux systems.

          Grade 4 math at best.
          For example:
          24% of 1M Unix systems=240000 Unix Systems lost.
          12.7% of 10M Linux systems=1.27M Linux systems gained.

          I don't have actual total numbers of either Unix or Linux, but the odds of them being equal is astronomically thin.
          • yep

            I was about to say tat, but you beat me to it.
          • Point?

            Well, when IDG gave Microsoft a 74% marketshare somehow those numbers were incorrect as per SJVN. How come the growth numbers are correct? Is it a case of fitting data to suit his agenda? So, if we do the math, the Linux growth & Unix dip comes from the remaining 26%. In which case, this is actually a case of Linux just replacing part of the displaced Unix boxes.
          • The point is the percentages are relative to the given OS only.

            The number of Linux systems has grown by 12.7% compared the number Linux systems at this time last year, not 12.7% of all servers combined.

            While Linux systems do replace most of the going-out-of-service Unix systems, there are a whole lot less Unix systems around than Linux, meaning the 12.7% Linux growth includes all the Unix and Windows systems it replaced, plus a whole lot of new Linux systems.
            (Remember: not all growth comes from replacing old systems)

            The point of the article is that Linux is the fastest growing server OS, and my math is correct.
          • Yeah let the real #s speak

            Unix market share is about 24% by the 4th qtr of 2011 and Linux is about 18%. So a year later the X-family suffered a bigger loss from its bigger market share sector while making less gain from the less market sector, and yet now you are trying to spin this # to make it sound like a positive story?

            One of us is mathematically challenged. It's certainly not me.
    • Congrats to Linux!

      Linux has always been a good quality server OS. It's the desktop where it falls flat. Fortunately, you don't have to use Linux on the desktop in order to use it on your servers.
      • I wouldn't say it falls flat on the desktop. There's just no compelling reason for the average person to go out of their way, wipe out windows and replace with linux (or dual boot). The average person could not care less. They want to run Word or Excel or whatever. Also, the more secure nature of linux gets in the way to where such people would easily get frustrated. Its a "man's OS" so to speak. Linux is another tool that I need for my development work.

        Windows 8 is actually experiencing the same sort of "problem" being something quite different than what people are used to with no good reason to use it and many reasons not to bother.

        My wife still has trouble with simple file management within windows after probably 15 years of use and taking excel classes in college where she became proficient at excel itself. She is totally clueless about anything other than using certain apps.
        • If Vista and Windows ME couldn't push Linux to the top

          I'd say it falls flat.
          • I'd say it falls flat.

            So would you say that OS X falls flat too? because Steve Ballmer estimated that Linux had about the same desktop market share as OS X back in 2009.
          • Apple had Microsoft help

            Apple survived only because they had their own hardware -- they were in the hardware business, not the OS business -- and because they were able to take a very profitable detour into consumer electronics.

            (there was also the significant Microsoft financial assistance at a critical juncture, and other support, for strategic legal reasons).
          • So accurate!

            Let these Linux boys tell the Mac attack fanatics themselves just how Linux is in some way a comparable to using a Mac. The Mac users will rip them to shreads and burn their remains and stomp their ashes into the ground.

            Dont go saying there is some way to look at where Macs are and where Linux is and in the same breath tell a Mac user Linux is in some way similar enough to a Mac so Linux should be heading to where Macs are.

            Not unless you dont like your life much! Ha!
          • Dude, Android must be absolutely fantastic!

            It's a direct copy of iOS, so by copying Apple's interface it's great!

            Linux Desktop on the other hand tried to copy Windows, you know, that OS they all love to hate and it's a lousy copy to boot.

            No wonder it has problems.
          • It's a direct copy of iOS

            How so?

            "Linux Desktop on the other hand tried to copy Windows"

            How so?

            "No wonder it has problems"

            So you admit windows has problems?
          • "It" refers to Linux

            Thanks for asking for clarification!

            Not to say Windows is perfect, but when a group tries to copy an OS they claim to hate, they just make the problems worse.
          • "It" refers to Linux

            I didn't ask what "it" was I asked how so, so please explain how so?
          • Only insofar as there was a competative market

            As the Vista/netbook era demonstrated, the market was certainly not competitive then.

            And if you care to go back even further, the BeOS era demonstrated the same.

            Microsoft may have "won", but they abused their effective monopoly and rigged the game.