Linux Moves Deeper Into the Enterprise

September, 2003

Despite the pending lawsuits between IBM and SCO and the possible repercussions these actions (and others) may have on users in terms of licensing and cost of ownership, Linux continues to move deeper into the enterprise.

Linux has already staked out a solid niche in the corporate computing infrastructure, chiefly through it success supporting Web server appliances. Linux has also made inroads supporting engineering workstations and application development, as well as embedded devices. Linux is also taking on a more prominent role as an application and data server. IBM is leading the charge in this area via its strategy to deploy Linux on the mainframe to support mission critical applications.

To understand the commitment IBM has to this strategy you need only examine its U.S. corporate home page. The most prominent banner on that site proclaims: Linux – The Future Is Open. Clicking to IBM’s Linux page provides an even stronger statement. The lead in paragraph reveals IBM’s position in no uncertain terms: Linux is like nothing else in the history of computing—the most unique innovation operating systems have ever seen.

According to IBM’s statistics, since 2000 Linux growth has been three times faster than any other operating system, enjoying a compound growth rate of 50% over that time frame. A June 2003 survey of 50 IT managers conducted by Computer Economics tends to support those growth claims. Two-thirds of the managers reported that Linux now comprises as much as 10% of their total server infrastructure. Details of the survey are shown in Figure 1.

Linux Deployment as a
Percent of Server Infrastructure

prsept03 graph - Linux Moves Deeper Into the Enterprise

Source: Computer Economics survey of 50 IT managers – 3Q03