Enterprise Linux adoption, worldwide and in China, has reached a pivotal time, IBM said.
According to the latest figures from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker (Q4 2012), Linux server demand was positively impacted by high-performance computing (HPC) and cloud infrastructure deployments, as hardware revenue improved 12.7 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2012 to $3 billion. Linux servers now represent 20.4 percent of all server revenue, up 1.7 points from the fourth quarter of 2011. And in China, Linux growth outpaces the worldwide average where, in a growing server market, Linux server share has grown from 9.2 percent to 33.2 percent over the past 10 years.
According to the Linux Foundation's 2013 Enterprise End User Report, enterprises are adopting Linux to run cloud computing and mission-critical workloads such as big data and mobile computing faster than ever. The report shows 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.
The report also shows a dramatic increase in the use of Linux for mission-critical workloads has grown consistently year-over-year to reach 73 percent in 2013. Reliance on Linux for cloud and big data is a strong contributing factor. Moreover, 80 percent of respondents of the world's largest enterprises plan to increase their use of Linux servers in the next five years, compared with just 20 percent for Windows, the report said.
"Linux is at the point where the question for enterprises has shifted from 'if' to 'when' it will be used for key business applications, and 'what' is the best hardware platform to run it on," Andy Jiang, SUSE general manager of Greater China and Korea, said in a statement. "For China, the new IBM Power Systems Linux Center will answer this question by helping to bridge skills gaps and speed up the proliferation of enterprise applications running on Linux, and enable customers and partners to understand the performance benefits of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on Power Systems.
"SUSE and IBM have worked together since the early days of the Linux revolution to integrate SUSE's Enterprise Linux and open-source solutions with enterprise hardware like IBM Power Systems, helping to accelerate this shift in growth markets," Jiang said.
Joining IBM, Red Hat and SUSE at the event were government officials and featured speakers from Teamsun, an IBM partner and independent software vendor, and Silk Road Telecommunications, a Power Systems and Linux client.
China has been a hotbed for Linux, as the Chinese government has pledged to support open-source software as much as possible. Linux is big in China in government, financial services, insurance, telecommunications, education and other industries, according to IDC.
IBM has participated in a broad range of open-source projects since 1999, and today this includes OpenStack, Hadoop and KVM in addition to Linux, Eclipse and Apache. More than 600 IBM programmers and engineers are contributing to open source as part of the community, and this includes several dozen experts in China working on projects such as KVM. In November 2012, IBM opened its first KVM Center of Excellence in Beijing. The center, also located at the IBM China System Center, promotes KVM-based solutions from IBM and its partners. Its goal is to help customers and business partners explore and adopt open-virtualization and open-cloud strategies. The center was established as the first KVM Center worldwide because of the rapid adoption of virtualization and cloud computing in China.