Chris J Powell

Enterprise Linux Trends

I woke up this morning to find my new favorite website has had a facelift and also did a substantial upgrade to his CMS…congrats on the migration over at www.itskeptic.org.  But after taking the new site for a spin (and really trying not to get distracted by the great content, I circled back to my other favorite site, http://www.linuxfoundation.org and came across their recently released Linux Adoption Trends 2012: A Survey of Enterprise End Users.

The significance of this report shows and confirms a situation that I have had anecdotal evidence of for some time in my conversation with hundreds of IT Professionals each week.  Linux is making a strong play in the Enterprise Data Center and is being very successful in pushing out or at least staying equal with the other players (Unix and Windows).

There were 5 Key Findings in the report, but the most telling is the reasoning behind the strong growth and that has everything to do with Big Data:

  • More than 75% of respondents expressed concern about “Big Data,” and nearly 72% are choosing Linux to support it. Most enterprises expressed concern with the rapid growth of data, and Linux is clearly the platform of choice to address it. Only 35.9% are planning to use Windows to meet the demands of this new environment.

The report itself takes a unique focus on Large Enterprise clients who work for organizations with annual sales of over $500 Million or 500+ Employees and in the preamble of the report…there was an increase of 10% in the number of respondents who are among the largest global enterprises.  The trends of the big players are usually a good indicator and a barometer of sorts for smaller organizations like the clients I tend to gravitate towards.  This Linux Trend and the focus on Big Data is a big deal and it is no longer just about adding more Disks.

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It is interesting to note that the vast majority of these new Linux Servers being implemented into the Data Center Ecosystem are for brand new services…the challenge that I see for these enterprises is the lack of qualified specialists available to support the additional implementations.  Having come close to  heading off to a Certification Center to finalize my Linux 1 and 2 certs…a few dozen times…I am thinking that it just might be time to do so and transition back into the world of IT.

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Chart 5 from the report illustrates that the Microsoft FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) Engine may have finally run out of steam.  When we look to the top 3 drivers for making the shift it is encouraging that the main targets of the smear campaign, I found a great Chronicle of this over at http://linuxfud.wordpress.com/category/fud-series/.

With two of the biggest trends and drivers for the next 18 months being the reigning in of Big Data and the development of Cloud Services (including strong Internal Cloud Offerings), Linux is a strong contender and driver towards these fundamental shifts in technology dominance.   The report states:

We asked organizations what role they saw Linux playing in managing this rise in data and found that more than two thirds, nearly 72%, plan to use the Linux operating system to support this new enterprise environment. Only 35.9% plan to use Windows to address what will certainly become a bigger and bigger trend.

And when we bring in Cloud Services like the Private Amazon EC2 that comes pre-packaged with Ubuntu Server Edition through Eucalyptus this becomes a real game changer for organizations looking to truly get ahead of the curve and build the future today!

All told, 61% of organizations now cite cloud-based applications, whether public, private, or hybrid. Of those users in the cloud, 66% are using Linux as their primary platform, up 4.7% from last year.  Going forward, 34.9% of organizations are planning to migrate more applications to the cloud, up from 26% last year.

But trends don’t always tell the whole story and while we may be seeing a push towards the advantages of Open Source in General for enterprises…does that really translate to a strong future for the companies building and supporting the applications and services being built on these platforms.  The question that I have to answer all to often still remains “If I get the software for free…how does the company make money?”

The Answer is never easy…but that is a topic for another day as I prepare to go and visit my new Nephew back in my home town.  Should be a fun day…babies are always fun…especially when you can give them back to Mom and Dad and go home.  Well see you soon Jelly Bean and to everyone else…more tomorrow!

Cheers,

Chris J Powell

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