Dataquest forecasts Linux servers will account for 24 percent of worldwide server appliance revenue by 2003 -- giving the open source operating system a price tag of $3.8bn (£2.3bn) and putting shipments of server appliances at 1.1 million.
Dataquest analysts also believe Linux will fare better in server appliances than in the traditional server market, where figures give Linux only 3.4 percent of global market share by 2003.
Chief Dataquest analyst Kimball Brown said Linux will continue to shine in the server appliance space. "Linux is becoming a credible and favourite operating system used by server appliance vendors," he said. But sounding a note of caution Brown pointed out the Microsoft cloud is never far behind. "Much of the hype surrounding Linux will fade once Microsoft ships and then delivers a service pack for Windows 2000 Server," he added.