Linux has reached unprecedented levels of deployment within enterprise environments, according to a recent study commissioned by enterprise Linux provider SUSE of IT executives at mid- to large-sized businesses. Top reasons given for Linux adoption include its lower total cost of ownership (TCO), the higher performance of Linux and customers' desire to avoid vendor lock-in.
Twenty-one years after its introduction, Linux is now widely accepted and trusted within the vast majority of enterprise server environments. Eighty-three percent of respondents are currently running Linux in their server environments, and more than 40 percent are using Linux as either their primary server operating system or as one of their top server platforms.
In addition, Linux is increasingly the operating system of choice for business-critical applications. Many enterprises either currently or are planning to run database (69 percent), data warehousing (62 percent), business intelligence (62 percent), customer relationship management or CRM (42 percent) and enterprise resource planning or ERP (31 percent) applications on Linux servers during the next 12 months.
Other key findings include:
- Database (17 percent) and business intelligence (17 percent) comprise the most popular apps currently running on Linux, followed by web servers (14 percent), CRM systems (12 percent), data warehousing (12 percent) and custom/vertical applications (8 percent).
- Security, TCO and high-availability features are the most significant factors respondents look at when considering migrating mission-critical applications to Linux.
- When evaluating Linux as an alternative to UNIX, top priorities are support, security and in-house skills.
- Nearly 60 percent of respondents agreed that moving to open source platforms like Linux will ensure their organizations avoid vendor lock-in.
“It is apparent...that Linux has continued to mature nicely as both a foundation for large scale-out clouds as well as a strong contender for the kind of enterprise workloads that previously were only comfortable on either RISC/UNIX systems or large Microsoft Server systems,” said Richard Fichera, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research.1
Michael Miller, vice president of global alliances and marketing for SUSE, said, “We knew Linux had come a long way in the 20 years SUSE has been in business, and we're pleased that the data clearly shows just how far. The relevant question today is not why or when you should be using Linux, it's where you should be using Linux. Enterprises that are not actively considering Linux as the foundation of their data center transformation or modernization initiatives are in danger of being left behind financially and technologically.”
The study surveyed nearly 200 IT executives at businesses with more than 500 employees. Fifty-one percent of respondents were from businesses with more than 5,000 employees. Executives were employed within the financial services, health care, manufacturing, government, retail and education industries. The results were compiled in April and May of 2013.
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