SUSE Study Shows Linux on the Rise in the Enteprise

by Sam Dean – Aug. 15, 2013

Most people who keep up with Linux know that it has been a giant success at the server level, and powers much of the server infrastucture of the Internet. In fact, many Internet and enterprise users don’t even realize the extent to which they depend on Linux and related platform technology every day. In the enterprise itself, Linux is actually much more entrenched than some people would think. A new study on Linux in the enterprise from SUSE makes this abundantly clear, and shows that 83 percent of responding enterprises run Linux at the server level.

You can find the complete results of the SUSE study here.  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.

More than 40 percent of respondents are using Linux as either their primary server operating system or as one of their top server platforms.  In addition, the study found that 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 are included here:

— 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, in a statement.

Slowly but surely, enterprises are waking up to the negative effects of vendor lock-in, and the strong benefits of open platforms. These findings are good to keep in mind next time somebody says that Linux has failed. It certainly hasn’t.

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About fblauer

Fred Blauer is a senior consultant with more than 20 years of experience providing information systems consulting, ERP implementation, syste
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