“Linux is here in the prime time,” according to IDC Australia research director Matt Oostveen. The analyst, speaking at the Sydney leg of SuseConf Australia, said that the operating system is “accelerating in the Australian marketplace”.
“In 2011 I was predicting that one in every five servers shipped in the Australian marketplace would be a Linux server and this was a fairly provocative prediction,” Oostveen said.
“There were some -- I won’t mention names – Seattle-based software companies that were arguing this fact and didn’t believe this was going to be happening. And I will tell you, it happened and it happened much sooner than I expected. It happened in June of 2011. My forecasting said it was going to happen in August or September.
“A really strong amount of Linux uptake occurred in a very short period. So one in four servers shipped in the Aussie marketplace now is a Linux server.”
Oostveen said that by looking at Linux server shipments as a portion of revenue, it was clear that the ASV – average selling value – of Linux servers was above the market average. “And what of course I can extrapolate from that is that Linux is running more enterprise mission-critical and business-critical workloads than [its] Windows counterparts,” the analyst said.
As data centres move towards housing dense racks of servers powered by smartphone-style low-power, low-voltage processors – so-called “skinless servers” -- to run cloud infrastructure, IDC believes that in many cases Linux will be tapped to run them.
“The other thing we’re going to need if we’re going to have skinny servers is have a very skinny, nimble operating system,” Oostveen said. “And we believe at IDC that Linux is going to be the operating system of choice when we start building out these new infrastructures.”
In the more immediate term, Linux is benefitting as IT departments embark on migration efforts in an attempt to be rid of legacy applications and platforms. Linux is the least likely operating system to be migrated away from. By way of contrast, IDC has seen more organisations ditching Unix in favour of Linux.