IDC: Linux spending set to boom by 21 percent in 2009

Matt Asay posts in his blog his analysis of IDC’s latest study on the corporate adoption of Linux. According to the report, the growth in the adoption of Linux and Linux-related software is set to outpace the growth in UNIX and UNIX-related software as well as Windows and Windows-related software in the coming years:

Matt’s other insights from the report:

  • Most of the deployments for Linux is for the free or non-paid/community-supported Linux OS distributions
  • Linux is set to outpace the larger market, with customer spending on Linux expected to grow year over year by 21 percent in 2009. The larger software market, meanwhile, will struggle to deliver 2 percent growth in 2009. And from 2008 to 2013, the Linux market is set to grow $12.3 billion to $35.5 billion, representing a 23.6 percent compound annual growth rate.
  • Even so, it is important to note that the size of Linux versus, for example, Windows, is telling: the Microsoft software ecosystem was $149 billion in 2008. IDC rightly points out that “even with a sub-10 percent growth rate through 2013, (the Microsoft ecosystem) will add $56 billion in spending.
  • Virtualization is expected to be a big driver of Linux. While cloud computing is also expected to drive Linux and open-source adoption, the real money is coming from increases in Linux adoption–from 13 percent to 18.6 percent–for more traditional workloads like ERP, database, etc. Most of this growth in traditional workloads is coming at Unix’s expense.
  • IDC finds that 53 percent of enterprises it has surveyed are planning to increase adoption of Linux on the server and 48 percent expect to increase adoption of Linux on the client (desktop, laptop, etc.) “as a direct result of the economic climate.”
  • Perhaps not surprisingly, while Microsoft has been attempting to make Windows an inviting platform for open-source vendors, IDC expects no movement from Microsoft to make its software available on Linux. This is war, and Microsoft for all its talk about interoperability, apparently sees interoperability as a one-way street on which other vendors interoperate with it, on its terms, to its advantage.

Its a good time for companies to start thinking about moving to Linux, and applications on Linux such as messaging, virtualization, security and enterprise business software. The economic conditions today certainly provide an incentive for many to do so.

While Linux already has some headway in the server market, it remains to be seen if this growing interest in Linux will result in greater share in other markets such as client devices. While the desktop PC and laptop market is already largely dominated by Microsoft and contested really only by Apple, the really interesting thing to look out for in my opinion is the brewing battle for Linux to have a place in new devices such as Netbooks and Mobile phones.


“We’re Linux” video contest finalists announced

The Linux Foundation has just announced the finalists for the video contest they launched several weeks ago and which I blogged about here. The project aims to solicit submissions from the community to promote Linux in response to Apple’s ubiquitous “I’m a Mac” ad and Jerry Seinfeld to Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” campaign.

You can find the list of finalists here:

Announcing the “We’re Linux” video contest finalists | The Linux Foundation

The Future is Open

The Origin…

Linux AD – What does it mean to be free?

Challenges At The Office

Linux pub (one video without subtitles, one with)

IBM Linux ad: Prodigy

This is an advertisement for Linux which IBM released in September 2003 in their “The Future is Open” campaign. I think the idea behind it was brilliant and they had nice cameos as well.

Take a look:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “IBM Linux ad: Prodigy“, posted with vodpod

Top 5 Microsoft Small Business Server Alternatives

With today’s tough economic climate, certain to be on the agenda for many managers today is how to cut costs and save money on capital spending–specially in IT. Certainly a good starting point for many would be to look at possible ways to save on software licenses.

For the next series of blog postings–I decided I will try to enumerate some good alternatives to some popular enterprise software packages–starting with Microsoft’s Small Business Server (or MS SBS) 2003, an all-in-one server solution for small business or remote office/branch office deployments.

Microsoft SBS 2003 is an all-one suite of products specifically tailored for the needs of small organizations. It incorporates Windows Server technologies, group email and collaboration with a bundled Exchange Server and Microsoft Sharepoint services, network-wide patch and update management, and shared fax services. It brings them all together in a tidy, unified administration screen. Accounts for users are set up once, and are simultaneously configured with other related services with the platform. It is available in Standard and Premium edition, with the premium edition adding on database capabilities with SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition and network perimeter defense with Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004. Overall it is a nice package–if it weren’t for its confusing and costly per-user/device CAL:

The SBS 2003 R2 license gives you the right to install and use the server software. The SBS 2003 R2 CAL gives you the right for a device or user to access the server software. You need both types of licenses in order to be in compliance.

Add to that its artificial limit of only allowing up to 75 users to use the server, after which you have to upgrade to Microsoft Windows Server Standard Edition (or the upcoming Windows Server Essentials).

Its a good thing that in the Linux and open source side of things, there are a host of alternatives that companies can choose from to get the same or equivalent functionality and set of services that Microsoft Small Business Server offers:

  1. SME Server. We start off with the open source, and community-supported SME Server from Server v7.4 is the latest version of the award-winning e-smith Server and Gateway. The SME Server is available as a downloadable ISO that can be installed and configured in less than 15 minutes. It is a Linux-based server (based on CentOS) that can provide a full range of services – including e-mail, firewall, file and print-sharing, web hosting, remote access and more. SME Server can integrate with Windows, Macintosh, and Unix/Linux clients, and within a Windows network environment. It’s as simple to use as a server appliance, but unlike a “sealed-box” appliance the entire system is modular and extensible, and an ecosystem of package contributors (called contribs) are available so it can be tailored to the needs of individual businesses. SME is released as GPL and is completely free but is community supported.
  2. Point Clark Networks’ ClarkConnect. ClarkConnect is a powerful server/gateway software solution designed for the small/medium-sized organization. Though ClarkConnect comes with an extensive list of features and integrated services, the solution is easy to configure thanks to the intuitive web-based interface. The platform is also based on CentOS, and what differentiates it from other solutions, including Microsoft’s is its hybrid-hosted approach to managing network services. These services include externally hosted and managed DNS services, Content Filter Updates, Intrusion Detection Updates, Software Updates, Port Monitoring, Resource Monitoring, and ASP Mail Services (antispam and antivirus). Pricing is an annual subscription with no limit on number of users (except in the free Community Edition). It is a complete, robust and low cost solution for small businesses where network security and connectivity is important.
  3. Collax Business Server. Collax provides a comprehensive, all-in-one server for basic network services such as File-/Mail-/Fax-Server, Firewall, DHCP-Server, Proxy, Web-Server and much more. This is the right choice when you want to consolidate all services on one server software and you want something that is simple to set up and administer. It comes in three editions: a standard, multi-functional edition, and an edition optimized for messaging and collaboration which is bundled with Open Xchange (a Microsoft Exchange alernative), and an edition optimized for routing and network security. Pricing is on a subscription basis and is based on a per user or unlimited user basis.
  4. Lotus Foundations Server. Lotus Foundations server used to be called Nitix before the company that developed it–Net Integration Technologies, was acquired by IBM recently. Nitix from the start had been playing up to IBM, touting its autonomic or self-healing features (a term coined by IBM scientists) and its integration with Lotus Notes. It installs easily and quickly, with the system deciding common office network and security settings–which is a boon to non-tech savvy users but is annoying to experienced admins. Like Collax, Clark Connect and SME Server, it too is an all-in-one server solution based on Linux but follows Microsoft’s example when it comes to pricing. Pricing is based on per user CAL’s and an annual maintenance.
  5. edgeBox. edgeBOX is a server appliance (software and hardware solution) which differentiates itself from the others by providing a full business phone system (IP-PBX), plus email, web, fax, security, calendar, contact directory, and much more out of a single appliance that can be managed remotely through an easy-to-use interface. Pricing and is based on company size which it bases on number of connected users. Edgepacks are available to extend the systems functionality for an added price.

Im Linux

The Linux Foundation recently started an online contest to solicit submissions from the community to promote Linux in response to Apple’s ubiquitous “I’m a Mac” ad and Jerry Seinfeld to Microsoft’s “I’m a PC” campaign.

The “I’m Linux” Video Contest | The Linux Foundation Video Site

While the Linux Foundation would love to spend millions promoting Linux on TV, it’s simply not our style (or in our budget). Even more importantly, Linux isn’t a top-down, commercially controlled operating system. It’s a grassroots product of mass collaboration. That’s why we’re sponsoring a community contest to create a Linux video that showcases just what Linux means to those who use it, and hopefully inspires many to try it.

The winner will receive a free trip to Tokyo, Japan to participate in the Linux Foundation Japan Linux Symposium in October 2009. The winning video will also be unveiled at the Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit in San Francisco on April 8, 2009.

Here is one of the interesting videos I’ve found (don’t use a PC, don’t use a MAC, make it LINUX baby!):