Study: Australia leads Asia in Linux uptake

By Howard Dahdah, Computerworld Today (Australia) |  Operating Systems

The uptake of Linux in the Australian enterprise continues at pace and is well ahead of Asian nations, according to figures from Gartner Inc.

A recent survey asked IT managers from about 1,000 organizations in the Asia-Pacific region if they have Linux deployed somewhere in their organization. Of those respondents, 52 percent of Australian organizations have, up from the 39 percent figure taken a year ago. Nations such as Singapore show a 31 percent deployment and China had 20 percent.

Going "out on a limb", Gartner servers and storage research director, Phil Sargeant said sometime next year "something like 90 percent of organizations in Australia will knowingly or unknowingly be leveraging open-source products...Invariably Linux will be somewhere in their organization". By the term "unknowingly", Sargeant was referring to when Linux was embedded in devices, such as firewalls and other hardware equipment.

While the figures indicated a strong Linux presence, it did not mean Linux was deployed "wall to wall", Sargeant said. It simply meant Linux was "somewhere" in the enterprise and was being deployed.

Where it is being deployed is largely in the "early edge of the infrastructure". That is, in firewalls, proxy servers, DNS servers, cache servers and Web servers he said. "The total cost of ownership on proxies and firewalls can be compelling. That is why we see so much Linux there."

From a technological point Sargeant said there was "no doubt" Linux is maturing. He particularly singled out Linux's scalability, and compatibility on Intel's chip architectures.

However, he said there was more than simply the technology of Linux that IT managers had to consider. "You have to look at reliability, scalability and security...and Linux has yet to display or demonstrate these areas for organizations to deploy for mission-critical work."

Presently, such mission critical applications were still run on proprietary applications running on Unix or mainframe operating systems, he said.

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