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The Current Status of Linux Enterprise Deployment

It is well know that linux emerged first as an operating system for computer enthusiasts and then small enterprises and startups. Gradually it found its way to ISPs which until recently were BSD strongholds and now linux runs substantial part of Web hosting.  That means that linux can be reasonably good providing commoditized services. It is now 20 years old OS and with age came decent level of stability.

But only recently (let's say after 2003) linux start winning big financial services and retail accounts, especially as a Web front-end server park OS of choice. So reading subsequent discussion it is important to understand that linux remains pretty much niche OS in enterprise space with total market share probably less then 10% and very limited presence outside Web server farms and infrastructure servers (DNS, SMTP mail, etc).  Still linux server shipments are stagnant and recently a very alarming trend of losing "Web superiority" emerged, the trend that further complicates the picture. As the article Microsoft Still Cleaning Up With Windows stated in 2007:  

Microsoft picked up 2 percentage points, bringing its market share to 67.1% of servers shipped during the second quarter, according to data from Gartner. Of 2.06 million servers shipped overall, nearly 1.4 million came preloaded with proprietary OS. That works out to an extra 77,650 Microsoft-based servers sold during the quarter, year over year.

Linux accounted for 22.8% of server shipments, down from 23.1% the year before. In spite of the lost ground in market share, strong sales of servers created a bigger pie for the slight growth of commercial Linux.

According to IDC, Windows worldwide server revenue grew 18.7% to $5 billion in the second quarter. (Operating systems account for only a portion of that revenue.) The Microsoft OS gained 4 points of market share by revenue. Windows servers accounted for 38.2% of all revenue. Microsoft plans to release its Server 2008 early next year.

That means that large enterprise IT is still uphill battle for linux: in enterprise space it needs to displace well entrenched competitors with higher market share including Windows, AIX, HP-UX and Solaris. The main winning card for linux: tremendous pace of improvement of Intel-based hardware now was neutralized by Sun with its emphasis on AMD platform. As I mentioned before this focus is unlikely to change and Solaris presence in large enterprise alone guarantee that part of linux server shipments now will go to it. We can argue how big this part will be but undeniably emergence of Solaris 10 as a viable competitor on Intel/AMD platform means that linux is no longer the only game in town. That's it itself is a very big, strategic change, the consequences of which will be clear only in five or more years.

From the enterprise standpoint one of the most important advantage of Solaris is scalability. It is probably the most scalable OS on the market with the amazing scalability from one to more then 100 CPUs.  That's why high end Sun boxes are successfully competing with IBM mainframes (and I suspect that one of the main reasons of adoption of linux by IBM was desire to save its mainframe business).

For a free OS Solaris has quite a lot of goodies in it, obviously including implementation of zones, RBAC and great NFS support, but the most important thing is really top of the line, stable and uniquely instrumentable (via DTrace) kernel.  And my point is that it is unwise to ignore the superiority of Solaris kernel over Linux kernel and expect that Linux kernel will match Solaris 10 kernel any time soon.  Userspace and application space is completely another story and linux looks more competitive in his area.

We will discuss all those issues in more detail in subsequent sections of the paper. I briefly mentioned those issues in the introduction just because of their importance as probably not many readers will  read all parts of this paper. 

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Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Haterís Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

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