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Internaut: Open source’s impact will only grow

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OSS

Government data center managers need to be aware of a set of trends that could soon alter both the systems they select and the way they purchase and manage enterprise software. These trends are directly related to the rise of open-source software, but they’re also indicative of external forces that affect how government does business.

The first trend is an ongoing decline in non-Linux Unix systems. Traditional Unix was once the dominant player in federal data processing. Just eight years ago, more than 70 percent of servers at some federal data centers ran Unix. Now, at least when it comes to new server shipments, Unix controls about 33 percent of the total federal market, and that’s expected to decline to 31 percent by 2009.

Two popular government vendors have borne the brunt of the traditional Unix decline. SGI declared bankruptcy last month, although it will continue to produce machines. Meanwhile, revenue declines at Sun Microsystems Inc. have led to an executive shake-up. There’s a new CEO, and Scott McNealy is now focusing directly on Sun’s top government customers.

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