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19 January 2012, 15:47

Survey: 80% Linux-using enterprises will increase Linux use

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Linux Foundation logo Almost 80% of enterprises that use Linux will be increasing their use of Linux over the next five years, and 84% of them increased their Linux use in the past year, despite the economic climate. More of these companies will be reducing the number of Windows servers they use (25.9%) than increasing them (21.7%) too. These figures are among the results from the Linux Foundation's Linux Adoption Trends 2012 Enterprise End User survey, which measured the responses of 1893 Linux users; the results of the survey focus on the 428 respondents from organisations with over 500 employees or sales greater than half a billion dollars.

71.6% of respondents said that their new Linux deployments over the past two years have been for new applications and services with only 38.5% migrating from Windows and 34.5% migrating from Unix. Mission critical workloads are also being moved to Linux with 69.1% of the respondents saying they'd be using Linux more for those tasks. Lower cost of ownership (70%), features (68.6%) and security (63.6%) were reported to be the drivers behind this Linux adoption.

Linux was also predominant in companies' plans for supporting "Big Data" projects where 71.8% of them aimed to add more Linux systems. Virtualisation has become the norm too, with 72% of companies expecting to have 25% or more of their servers virtualised by the end of 2012 and 46% expecting to have 50% or more virtualised by then.

There are restraints on Linux adoption though: 39.6% of respondents said that perception issues by management played a role in this, 17.6% said it was problems finding trained developers and administrators and 12.2% cited technical issues. Only 3% said they had legal issues using Linux, while 27.6% said they had no issues at all. Enterprises still had concerns though: Interoperability (35.3%), availability of talent (32.5%), availability of drivers (30.6%), fragmentation (26.8%), and legal or compliance issues (19.5%) all played a part. An interesting concern for 17.4% of users was tracing functionality – the desire for deep and effective tracing of performance and problems. One thing most of them were not concerned about was security, with 77.2% rating Linux more secure than other operating systems.

With these enterprises, how they collaborate on Linux is of interest. 42.7% say they test and submit bugs (up 5 percentage points on last year), 38.5% say they are involved in Linux Foundation activities (up 12 points), 28.2% cite working with vendors (down slightly), and 21.8% say they contribute code (up 8 points). 23% still say though that they have "no active participation" with Linux, which is, at least, down from last year.

Linux in the enterprise is sticky – once an organisation has it, it is likely to install more, is the conclusion of the survey and Linux is well positioned to address the current wave of growth in cloud, virtualisation and big data. What companies need more of, though, is for the community to foster more talent to help develop and administer this next phase of Linux growth in the enterprise. The full results of the survey are available from a page on the Foundation's web site.


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