"Linux is a big play for some, and a gamble for others. In
any case, it is sounding a wake-up call, but obstacles
"Independent software vendor (ISV) enthusiasm for Linux is not
uniform (see Note 1). ISVs are warming to the future prospects of
Linux, but many key ISVs still harbor reservations and do not yet
see sufficient enterprise demand (see Note 2). Among nearly 50 ISV
interviews Gartner conducted, the most frequent cause of rejection
was pinned to lack of user demand. While Gartner is observing
increased IS management interest in Linux, most of this interest
has not transcended to mainstream mission-critical environments.
Without a big push to drive users from the curious to the
committed, ISVs will withhold resources. Without greater momentum
among leading ISVs, users may continue to observe from a distance
until more proven deployments, especially in mission-critical
environments, occur. We have loosely categorized the split in ISV
commitment into the "haves" and "have-nots...."
"IS organizations interested in deploying Linux should confine
the deployments to roles in which current ISV support is strongest
(i.e., Web server and network infrastructure services or specific
industry applications that have several ISV choices). Willingness
to deploy Linux in scalable DBMS and mission-critical applications
should be predicated on sincere long-term commitments of hardware
vendors and ISVs that can guarantee enterprise levels of support
provided for their other operating systems. OSS should not be
viewed as a panacea, since these developments tend to be driven by
highly tactical needs at the infrastructure level. New-economy ISVs
should be deployed only after due diligence, and even then must be
considered high-risk propositions unless the source code is
available and well documented."
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