The foundation’s report, "Linux Adoption: Third Annual Survey of World's Largest Enterprise Linux Users," is based on a study conducted in partnership with Yeoman Technology Group. It tracks the growth of Linux use in large enterprises and identifies key trends that inform enterprise Linux operating system priorities.
Key findings from this year's report show the world's largest enterprises are increasing their investments in Linux for the third consecutive year. Indeed, for the most recent quarter—the fourth quarter of 2012—the foundation said that overall server revenue is only growing at 3.1 percent year-over-year, but Linux experienced 12.7 percent year-over-year growth for the quarter while Windows only increased 3.2 percent and Unix was down 24.1 percent.
"We see the growing success of Linux adoption in the enterprise, especially as it's used for the most important areas of business, leading to the rise of Linux and collaborative development across many industries," said Amanda McPherson, vice president of marketing and developer services at the Linux Foundation, in a statement. "Having a realistic understanding of where Linux is gaining traction in the enterprise helps to inform vendors and users about how they can work together to advance Linux and the technologies it supports."
According to the report, enterprise organizations identify Linux as the dominant platform for cloud computing with nearly 76 percent using Linux servers for cloud and 74 percent planning to maintain or increase Linux use for future cloud initiatives. In the area of new applications, services and greenfield deployments, more than 75 percent of organizations report deploying Linux in the last two years.
In addition, 73 percent of respondents to the survey said they are using Linux for mission-critical workloads such as cloud and big data. And the future looks bright for the operating system with 80 percent of respondents saying they plan to increase their use of Linux servers over the next five years, while the number who said they plan to purchase Windows servers was only 20 percent.
Meanwhile, the foundation said management's perception of Linux is positive with 95 percent viewing Linux as equally or more strategic to the organization when compared with prior years. And specific concerns have plummeted with one exception. Rapid growth is contributing to growing concerns about finding trained Linux talent. As a consequence, The Linux Foundation has seen enrollment in Linux training programs increase over the last few years as has the number of enterprise users contributing to the Linux community.
The Linux Foundation enterprise usage report can be downloaded here.