Chris J Powell

Linux Adoption Trends 2012

As I do ever morning I surf the web looking for that nugget of information that I can share with you.  Today I did not have to look far with a featured article over at  Just released from the Free Linux Foundation the Linux Adoption Trends 2012: A Survey of Enterprise End Users is an in depth report on the state of Linux Use in Large Companies.

The report illustrates some interesting Trends in the Enterprise Space…but why is this a push for the largest organizations that has not filtered down to the SMB space?  Some of the key trends illustrated in the report:

  • Even as IT spending forecasts remain soft, enterprise users are adding more Linux. Eight out often respondents say that they have both added Linux servers in the last 12 months and plan to add more in the next 12 months, with the same number planning to add more Linux in the next five years.
  • 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.
  • Linux users see fewer issues impeding the operating system’s success, with technical issues cited among respondents dropping 40% over last year’s report. Technical issues cited by Linux users dropped 40%, from 20.3% in 2010 to 12.2% today.
  • The largest collaborative development project gains more contributions from enterprise users: This year’s survey surfaced a nearly 12-point increase in those participating in Linux Foundation activities.
  • TCO, feature set and overall security top Linux benefits: More than two-thirds of respondents consider Linux to be more secure than other operating systems.

So from these highlights from the report I would see that my beloved little penguin has not only penetrating the enterprise (at least in the server space) but this is really nothing that is too surprising for me at least, I hear the same kinds of concerns from my SMB clients all the time as they make the move from an aging Novell platform over to SUSE Linux or decide that the support costs of Microsoft Licensing are far to extreme so they make the move over to Red Hat or Oracle.

What the report does not look at with its great coverage and insights is what impact is Linux having on the desktops of these Enterprise members of the Linux Foundation End User Council?  Is the move and the investment away from locally installed applications allowing for a more robust offering than Microsoft, Microsoft or Microsoft?

I was surprised in the report though that while there is strong growth in the market there is still some hurdles that have to be addressed so for you Oracle, Red Hat, Novell and Canonical:

  1. 35.3% say that Interoperability with other platforms/applications still a challenge
  2. 32.5% struggles with finding the talent to support Linux
  3. 30.6% are finding drivers difficult for enterprise peripherals
  4. 26.8% claim that fragmentation of the ecosystem is a serious concern
  5. 19.5% state that Legal Concerns and Compliance are an issue
  6. 18.8% say there are no issues
  7. 17.4% find that Tracing Functionality is a problem
  8. 14.6% don’t like Vendor Lock In which tracks back to if you use Red Hat Linux…you use Red Hat Support
  9. 9.9 % are finding a lack of native features an issue
  10. 7.3% state that cost is the major factor

I am really surprised at #10 because of the FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) that has been the chief marketing strategy of Microsoft for years as they pressure and cajole  Linux Vendors and now Android Manufacturers into paying licensing fees to avoid litigation.

Overall the report was refreshing but to the authors over at the Free Linux Foundation…try to include the SMB Market next year…I for one would be interested to see how penetration into the mass market is going.


Chris J Powell

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