Red Hat's $1B milestone notable but chump change vis-a-vis overall Linux industry

Red Hat's $1B milestone notable but chump change vis-a-vis overall Linux industry

Summary: The Linux Foundation's exec director saluted Linux distribution leader Red Hat for reaching $1 billion in revenues but pointed out that the overall Linux industry is worth many, many billions today.In a recent post, LF Director Jim Zemlin said the "collective investment" in Linux, at $10 billion, is freely available and that the resulting "network effect" has generated billions of Linux users and billions of dollars transacted on Linux systems daily.

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The Linux Foundation's exec director saluted Linux distribution leader Red Hat for reaching $1 billion in revenues but pointed out that the overall Linux industry is worth many, many billions today.

In a recent post, LF Director Jim Zemlin said the "collective investment" in Linux, at $10 billion, is freely available and that the resulting "network effect" has generated billions of Linux users and billions of dollars transacted on Linux systems daily.

"This achievement will finally put to bed the argument that "nobody can make money with open source," Zemlin wrote last week, just prior to Red Hat's earnings were announced. "Credit where credit is due: Red Hat has worked extremely hard and extremely smart to leverage open source to make a billion dollars ... but even more significant to Red Hat's future prospects is the virtuous cycle that they now participate in. Platform economics have always been dominated by network effects ...  Red Hat however, benefits from a different kind of network effect. A network effect centered around innovation."

Zemlin also noted that Facebook used Linux to build a company worth $100 billion.

"Since Linux has grown, so have the benefits Red Hat receives (and gives to others)," Zemlin wrote. " When Facebook contributes code to make their data centers more efficient, Red Hat benefits; when Red Hat contributes code to improve file systems, mobile device makers benefit; when mobile device makers contribute code to improve power consumption, super computer cooling costs go down; when super computer users contribute code to make Linux faster, Wall St. benefits with faster trading systems -- and so on and so forth. So you can see that the positive feedback loop that is represented in the billions of figures above shows no signs of slowing down. Congratulations to Red Hat but also to all Linux users and ecosystem members who participate in this virtuous circle."

Exactly how much?

Probably impossible to pinpoint. Still, IDC recently noted that Linux server hardware revenue for the fourth quarter of 2011 alone was $2.6 billion.

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Topics: Software, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

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  • We've put our latest embedded platform into EMC testing

    ARM based data acquisition computer built around a royalty free, in-house rolled Linux & Busybox platform. Much more powerful, yet cheaper than the old design.

    Open source is revolutionising embedded.

    Collected data is sent to our in-house developed Java EE based analytical suite. IDE, Java EE AS, RDMS and OS all open source and available for zero cost (dev and prod).

    Open source is revolutionising servers.

    Add inexpensive, scalable cloud hardware and our capacity planning is taken care of. Today we're only limited by our imagination.
    Richard Flude
    • It is great you found something that worked for you

      Seriously, congratulations.

      You know what would be sad? If someone came here and made fun of technology that worked really well for you, started making fun of Red Hat certified people, and generally tried to make you feel bad because you aren't using the same technology they are using. It would take a small, pathetic kind of person to do that, wouldn't you agree?
      toddbottom3
      • Trolls

        Those people are called Trolls. They tend to be immature and crave attention. Best practice-- ignore them.
        Kantoquad
      • I wouldn't agree at all

        The MCSE certification was a joke. The platform they promoted was expensive and poor. The damage from these two in points in combination resulted in trillions of dollars of failed IT projects over decades. Add to that damage thanks to MS questionable business practices.

        I lived through it, watching good (yet expensive) unix infrastructure being pulled out for windows server projects that were constantly failures. I'd sit in meetings with MS where love struck MCSEs would accept recommendations of beta versions of their "next version will fix your problems with IiS" whilst I struggled to get across the point that using beta software should not be acceptable. I'd attend MS security presentation where the crowd would nod appreciately at bizarre MS security recommendations like gluing up USB ports.

        Today I run the IT department. I no longer have to listen to these clowns, my positions having been vindicated. We again see what's possible with IT, much like it was when I first started over two decades ago. Excitement and creatively has returned, an IT enlightenment.

        However we should not forget this history. MS practices and the technologies they pushed deserve to be held to account, as do the lemmings that bought into it. Today's equivalent is the AGWer, we won't forget them either.

        Bottom, if you feel the same about RHEL or their certification you should say so. We aren't the ones calling for silence, but then we have a solid defence.
        Richard Flude
      • Kantoquad: immature and crave attention

        Clearly. Some of them even claim to run IT departments even though they demonstrate a lack of maturity that makes me very glad I do not work in the IT departments they claim to run.

        Our IT department uses mostly MS technologies and everything runs very well. Other places I've worked used mostly *nix technologies and everything ran very well there too. How does that saying go? Oh yeah: a poor craftsman blames his tools. What amazes me is how poor craftsmen on ZDNet love to brag about just how poor a craftsman they are.
        toddbottom3
  • Red Hat rocks

    I've been fortunate enough to follow a RHEL training at their HQ in Raleigh,VA. Never met smarter people... and I've been working on/with Oracle, Cisco, Microsoft, Citrix, Sun, IBM, SAP etc...
    Only 30% of their employees actually work in the office... talking about trust. I wish I was smart enough to work there ;-)
    pweltz
  • Red Hat's $1B milestone notable but chump change vis-a-vis overall Linux in

    The Linux Foundation still spreading the FUD as usual. Hype up the product before it fades away. Linux itself isn't worth squat. The money is coming from consultants trying to convince people that linux is somehow better than their current solution.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • Poor Loverock

      Been predicting the death of Linux, for what, 5 years now? Wrong.
      Been predicting WP will be market leader, for what, 2 years now? Wrong.
      Predicted Windows Vista would be the best Windows ever. Wrong.
      Predicted Windows 7 would be most secure OS ever. Wrong.
      Seems to be a trend to his predictions,
      anothercanuck
      • Yes, but...

        ... he is quite funny.
        kirovs@...