I’ll be honest, when I recently read this piece on Linux server uptake increasing, I was sceptical.

How could you increase the share of an OS that straddles the server space like a colossus?

The answer is quite simple: my assumptions had made an ass of me.

To quote the facts:

In financial year 2012, AU$235.35 million was spent on Linux servers, and in the same year, one in four servers shipped in the Australian market was Linux-based. Approximately 29 percent of all the money spent on server infrastructure in Australia went towards Linux servers.

Flabbergasted, I needed to confirm the figures, and here is what Gartner had to say on the topic.

Clearly, Windows is way out in front based on these numbers. What’s interesting is that shipments increased, but Windows was slightly down, with Linux picking up.

But before the Microsofties get too cocky, IDC now believes that Linux is running more enterprise mission and business critical workloads than other OSes, including Windows Server.

Which leaves the question: what are all those Windows Servers for?

Yes, there are companies out there that are pure Microsoft shops and will run all services on the platform, but even the most Linux-friendly business of a reasonable size is going to need to support Windows desktops at some point in its growth.

And that’s where services such as Active Directory, Sharepoint, and Exchange nuzzle their way into the equation.

Over the next few years, though, we will be able to judge whether the current push from vendors to move everything into the cloud works. If it does, expect the shipment number, as a whole, to decrease.