Linux Adoption Continues to Grow

by Sean Michael Kerner

Study reports that Windows to Linux migration is growing, particularly when it comes to servers.

Linux adoption for mission-critical deployments and the cloud continues to grow in 2013. That's the top-line finding from a new Enterprise End User Report from the Linux Foundation.

Linux has traditionally faced off against Unix and Windows as its primary competition. The Linux Foundation's study, not surprisingly, sees its progeny dominating.

According to the report, Microsoft's Windows 8 introduction has had a positive effect on Linux. Some 39 percent of the survey respondents indicated that in response to Windows 8, they will now use more Linux.

Overall, the report also found an increasing number of users moving to Linux from Windows. In 2010, the same report found that 31 percent of respondents were migrating to Linux from Windows. In 2013 that number has increased to nearly 40 percent.

In terms of outlook, 80 percent of respondents intend to acquire more Linux servers in the next five years. In contrast, only 20 percent said they intend to increase their Windows server purchases.Linux Kernel

Analyst firm numbers for 3Q12, however, still show larger revenues for Windows Servers than Linux, though Linux growth is faster.

Linux is also increasing its position for delivering mission-critical workloads, according to the Linux Foundation study. In the 2010 survey, 60 percent of respondents were using Linux for mission-critical activities. For 2013 that number has grown to 73 percent.

The cloud also remains a very bright spot for Linux, with 76 percent of enterprises using Linux for their cloud operations.

"The cloud is clearly becoming more important to large enterprises, and they're increasingly adding Linux to support it," Amanda McPherson, vice president of marketing and developer services at The Linux Foundation, told ServerWatch. "This has been increasing year-over-year."

Challenges Remain for Linux Adoption

Though the Linux Foundation report paints a rosy picture for Linux adoption, there are still some challenges. One of them is a talent shortage for skilled Linux professionals.

Understanding the benefits of Linux is also something that can potentially be challenging for some organizations.

"A small number of respondents do report that perceptions by management continue to be a barrier to adoption in their enterprises," McPherson said. "This is surprising to many of us working in the Linux community, but there is clearly more work to do to on training and education about the benefits of Linux."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network,  the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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This article was originally published on Wednesday Mar 27th 2013
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