by Lorraine Cosgrove Ware

Get Serious About Linux

Dec 01, 20022 mins

Get Serious About Linux

IDC predicts that the worldwide Linux server installed base will grow 24.7 percent from 2001 to 2006. Linux is carving out a place for itself, according to IDC Research Director Al Gillen (IDC is a sister company to CIO’s publisher). CIO research also shows a growing interest in Linux as a Microsoft operating system alternative.

HP, IBM and Sun have announced plans for Linux offerings?servers running the Linux operating system and support services? nudging the open-source operating system into the mainstream. “These partnerships signal an elevation of Linux to a top-tier platform,” Gillen says. “CIOs will be able to get the same level of support for Linux as they have for other platforms like AS/400 or HP UX.”

Best Practices

Determine if Linux is the right fit for your organization. IT organizations that are already using Unix will adapt to a Linux environment fairly smoothly.

Bundle Linux with other open-source software for maximum value. Linux software is available either free on the network or as a low-cost packaged product that can be deployed on low-cost, high-volume Intel-based systems.

Consider total cost of ownership. While software and server costs for Linux environments are considerably lower than Unix and other operating environments, IDC’s Al Gillen cautions CIOs to factor in staffing costs to their cost of ownership equation.

Linux Installed Base Is Growing

Linux is on the rise. While it will not replace Microsoft as the market leader any time soon, IDC predicts the Linux installed base will grow at a faster rate than both Unix and Windows.

Source: “Worldwide Client and Server Operating Environments Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2006: Microsoft Extends Its Grip on the Market,” IDC, September 2002

Linux as Microsoft Alternative

While the majority of CIOs will continue to use Microsoft, many are considering a Linux OS alternative

Question: Are you considering an alternative OS to Microsoft Windows? If yes, which?

64.5% Not considering alternative desktop OS to Microsoft

28.1% Linux

5% Java

4.9% Unix

4.1% MacOS

3.3% Other

Source: CIO, “The Software Licensing Debate,” January 2002