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Don't hang back on Linux, users urged

Karl Cushing
Open-source operating system Linux is ready for the enterprise and users should not delay implementations because of the legal wrangling about its status.

That is the advice of a number of analysts as IT directors begin to sketch out next year's budget proposals.

Ted Schadler, Forrester’s group director, this week referred to claims that Linux was too risky for enterprise datacentres as “hogwash”.

“The actual risk is much lower than most users think,” he said. “Linux is more than ready to go, and waiting means only one thing - cheating your company of the savings that come from moving Unix workloads to Linux on Intel.”

Tim Jennings, research director at Butler Group, said switching from Unix to Linux in an enterprise data centre environment was a valid approach, although he cautioned that Linux is not suitable for every occasion.

“Linux is ready for the enterprise, but I don’t agree that if you don’t move to Linux you’re missing out on cost savings. The cost of ripping out and replacing Unix would be substantial,” said Jennings.

Both Schadler and Jennings agreed that the SCO Group’s lawsuit against IBM would not be a serious inhibitor to Linux adoption.

Analyst firm Meta Group also recently advised users not to delay Linux implementations in response to the SCO lawsuit against IBM.  

 Schadler: Five reasons why Linux is more than ready for the enterprise

  • 17% of large North American companies already use Linux
  •  The Linux kernel is “more than ready” for enterprise workloads and will be helped further by the launch of the 2.6 kernel in the autumn
  • Commercial support is readily available from industry heavyweights like HP and IBM as well as Linux specialists like Red Hat and SuSE
  • ISVs such as Oracle are porting their applications to Linux 
  •  Although open-source software faces challenges from intellectual property holders, there is no giant company that might sue to stop the adoption.

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