Pundits predict a good year for Linux

According to two prominent firms in the prognosticating business, Linux will see continued prosperity in enterprises in 2003.

Linux will continue to take market share away from Unix servers, according to IDC. Unix boxes running RISC-based hardware will be the hardest hit by Linux, as enterprises look to reduce costs by replacing proprietary hardware with commodity Intel-based systems. Still, IDC is not bullish about Linux, or any operating system, on Intel's 64-bit Itanium, which the firm says will see slow adoption in enterprises this year.

The Aberdeen Group predicts that Linux growth in the enterprise will be good, but not as good as last year, when revenue from servers shipped with the operating system grew more than 50% in enterprises. Still, the research firm expects a respectable 40% growth rate for Linux on enterprise servers in 2003.

A number of factors are behind these analyst firms' positive Linux server predictions: enterprise advancements, such as improved symmetric multiprocessing and journaling file system support in the kernel; better Intel hardware; and expanded support for Linux among formerly "un-Linux" server vendors, including Sun, Unisys and others. Other projects, such as the Open Source Development Lab's Carrier Grade Linux (for developing Linux as a telecom server platform) and Data Center Linux (aimed at putting Linux on par with the largest Unix boxes) are also among the many factors that could help Linux growth this year.

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