Cashing in on Linux

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Linux

In polite society it is traditionally frowned upon to discuss topics which inspire strongly polarised opinion. This means religion, politics, sex, and Linux, should probably be left out of the conversation if friends and aquaintences want to maintain a civilised veneer.

But lets face it, there's nothing civilised or polite about the business world, and for some very good reasons Linux is the topic de jour.

According to Phil Sargeant, research vice president for servers and storage at IT research group Gartner, most Australia companies have already dipped their toes in open-source waters, and a few are now planning to open the flood gates installing Linux across their server clusters.

"A small percentage are now taking it much more seriously," Sargeant says. "Linux is experiencing a compound growth rate of 13 to 14 percent, and will continue to be the fastest growing server operating system over the next two years."

With tech giants like IBM, HP, and Dell all now supporting Linux-based server offerings in the enterprise, Sargeant believes the open-source operating system has become a much less risky proposition for most companies. As a result, we are likely to see it increasingly installed on mission critical systems over the next 12 to18 months.

"Linux has made its way into some interesting niches like Web services, and big number crunching, but now that the service is there people are starting to look for other places where it might work," Sargeant says.

With interest growing, Anupam Nagar, HP Australia's business manager for open source and Linux, says support is still a fundamental concern for companies considering adopting open-source solutions.

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