Open Source

Reliability and cost are top reasons IT pros adopt Linux OS

Is the talk about Linux more than buzz? This survey from TechRepublic Research goes beyond the hype with real-life questions about how Linux is being put to use. This preview has some of the answers and a link to the survey report.

Are you familiar with the IBM television commercial where an IT manager discovers that his organization’s servers are missing? He frantically calls in a special task force to investigate the “theft” of the bank of servers only to be informed that one Linux server had replaced them all.

The advertisement effectively depicts the touted trustworthiness and stability of Linux as a network OS. But is Linux as reliable as the ad suggests?

According to a recent survey conducted by TechRepublic Research, reliability is a key reason to adopt Linux. The comprehensive survey tracked the motivating factors that drive organizations to adopt the Linux OS. The results may help you decide if Linux is the answer for your network.

The full results of the survey have been compiled in Benchmarks, Trends, and Forecasts: Linux Report. (For more information on this report, see the box below.)

One question we asked IT professionals was what they consider to be the most influential factor in migrating to the Linux OS (see Figure A).

Figure A
Cost and reliability score high with IT pros.

IT professionals who responded to the survey said that low cost is the greatest factor for moving to Linux. That response isn’t surprising since the open source OS is either free or may carry a nominal charge. Only slightly behind in the results was reliability, another main reason Linux is being adopted.

For small businesses building e-commerce sites, a Linux solution can be a particularly cost-conscious alternative to Oracle's $5,000 to $10,000 licenses, according to IT consultant John Gowin in a recent TechRepublic article on the advantages of Linux.

The IT staff at would add cost savings as the primary reason for adopting Linux. recently announced that Amazon’s use of the Linux OS has saved the company millions in IT costs.

The ease of training on the Linux OS and ease of Linux implementation were both rated as least influential factors. These results are reflected in a survey finding that organizations migrating to Linux often underestimated the cost of training staff on the new OS.

Read more from our Linux research report
If you’d like to find out what else our research revealed about Linux in the enterprise, read the product listing in our book catalog or read "Linux implementations: Budgeted vs. actual costs," an excerpt from the report. If you’d like to learn more about TechRepublic Research, send us an e-mail.


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