Study Shows Broad Use of Linux

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-06-23 Print this article Print

But only a third of the companies surveyed have adopted the open-source operating system as a corporate standard computing platform.

A recent study of Linux use inside corporations by the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL) and the SDTimes reveals a broad use of Linux, but also shows that just a third of those companies have adopted the open-source operating system as a corporate standard computing platform. The survey was conducted among 8,000 SD Times readers, mostly senior managers at corporations with more than 1,000 employees. Among the surveys findings were that 59 percent of the managers who responded said they had Linux in their IT departments at work. Some 64 percent of respondents said they used Linux for Web servers, while 51 percent used it on application servers and 46 percent ran their database servers with it. Some 44 percent used it for file servers and 43 percent used it to develop custom applications.
Some 65 percent of the managers cited stability as the top reason why they used Linux, 63 percent liked its total cost of ownership, 61 percent were swayed by its deployment cost, 58 percent said its performance and 50 percent said security.
The major obstacles to the use of Linux included the lack of technical support availability (35 percent), application availability (27 percent), quality of technical support (23 percent), training availability (22 percent) and ease to install/deploy (21 percent). Dan Kusnetzky, vice president of system software research at industry research firm International Data Corp., said the survey findings are consistent with those of its Linux studies over the past four years. "We see a trend of corporations considering Linux in more and more areas as a mainstream choice. We also see some obstacles for Linux that the open-source community, vendors and organizations like OSDL are making real progress in addressing," he said. Stuart Cohen, the CEO of the OSDL, said it was interesting that the managers included stability and security among the top five reasons for bringing Linux into their corporate networks. "These are issues where some proprietary operating systems have suffered from well-publicized shortcomings," he said.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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