Study Shows Broad Use of Linux

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.