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The Linux Foundation Releases Enterprise Linux User Report

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World’s largest enterprises will add more Linux to support cloud computing and Big Data, all at the expense of Windows and UNIX, report suggests.

The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, has announced the release of its latest report, "Linux Adoption Trends 2012: A Survey of Enterprise End Users," which shares new data representing Linux’s dominant role in supporting cloud computing, "Big Data," and brand new, or "greenfield," deployments.

The data in the report reflects the results of the second invitation-only survey of The Linux Foundation’s Enterprise End User Council as well as other companies and government organizations. The first Enterprise Linux survey and report were released in October 2010.

This year’s survey was conducted in partnership with Yeoman Technology Group late last year and received responses from nearly 1900 individuals. Like the 2010 report, it filters the data to surface trends among the world’s largest enterprise companies and government organizations–identified by 428 respondents at organizations with $500 million or more in annual revenues or greater than 500 employees. The number of respondents from the largest enterprises in the world grew by more than 10 percent this year, providing an even better picture of enterprise Linux adoption trends.

The 2012 Enterprise Linux survey shows that affinity among new and veteran Linux users continues to increase at the expense of Windows and UNIX. Part of this growth is due to Linux’s role in two of today’s biggest IT trends: supporting the increasing level of "Big Data" and achieving productivity and security gains with virtualization and cloud computing. Enterprise Linux users show steady progress on all of these fronts and a clear preference for Linux as the foundation for these trends. Key findings from this year’s report include the following trends:

  • Even as IT spending forecasts remain soft, enterprise users are adding more Linux: Eight out of ten respondents say that they have both added Linux servers in the last 12 months and plan to add more in the next 12 months, with the same number planning to add more Linux in the next five years. Only 21.7 percent of respondents are planning an increase in Windows servers during that same period (next five years).
  • More than 75 percent of respondents expressed concern about supporting "Big Data," and nearly 72 percent are choosing Linux to support it: Most enterprises expressed concern with the rapid growth of data, and Linux is clearly the platform of choice to address it. Only 35.9 percent are planning to use Windows to meet the demands of this new environment.
  • Linux users see fewer issue impeding the operating system's success, with technical issues cited among respondents dropping 40 percent from last year's report: Technical issues cited by Linux users dropped 40 percent, from 20.3 percent in 2010 to 12.2 percent today. Twenty-two percent fewer respondents cite perception by management as an issue, and 10 percent fewer say there are no issues at all impeding the success of Linux.
  • The largest collaborative development project gains more contributions from enterprise users: This year's survey surfaced a nearly 12-point increase in those participating in Linux Foundation activities, an eight-point increase among respondents who are working on code, and a five-point increase in those who are testing submitting bugs.
  • TCO, feature set and overall security top Linux benefits: More than two-thirds of respondents consider Linux to be more secure than other operating systems.

"The Linux Foundation strives to provide unique research that informs the industry and its members on Linux adoption and that can illustrate a more complete picture of the state of Linux," said Amanda McPherson, vice president of marketing and developer services, The Linux Foundation. "This year’s Enterprise End User survey and report does just that, especially in the areas of overall growth and support for cloud computing and big data," she said. "By understanding how the world’s largest and most advanced enterprise managers are using Linux, we can work to advance the operating system in priority areas."

The Enterprise Linux User survey is not intended to be an assessment of the overall penetration of Linux in the market, nor is it designed as a cross-platform study. It’s also important to note that enterprise users who are motivated to take a survey from The Linux Foundation are not an unbiased lot, but the size of these organizations, their buying power and technical prowess–as filtered by The Linux Foundation and Yeoman–can provide important guidance both for Linux vendors and developers, as well as their competitors.

To download the full report, visit The Linux Foundation’s Publications website.

The Linux Foundation End User Council will meet with vendors and the developer community April 30-May 1, 2012 at The Linux Foundation’s Enterprise End User Summit. The event will take place at the New York Stock Exchange in New York City. More information can be found here.

The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux. Founded in 2000, the organization sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and promotes, protects and advances the Linux operating system by marshaling the resources of its members and the open source development community. The Linux Foundation provides a neutral forum for collaboration and education by hosting Linux conferences, including LinuxCon, and generating original Linux research and content that advances the understanding of the Linux platform. Its web properties, including Linux.com, reach approximately two million people per month. The organization also provides extensive Linux training opportunities that feature the Linux kernel community’s leading experts as instructors. Follow The Linux Foundation on Twitter.

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