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ZDNet: What's the future of Linux? (Gartner)

Oct 24, 2001, 15:23 (29 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by George Weiss)
What is the acceptance of Linux in the enterprise?
Gartner detects a greater level of comfort in deploying Linux among project development teams. They also detect more willingness to run Linux as front-end application servers, but, in large enterprises, IS directors and CIOs still are concerned about support and tend to use their vendor support on Unix and mainframes as the reference comparison for that expected of Linux.

What is the scalability of Linux, and how far will it go?
Gartner is not aware of Linux systems running well beyond four-way SMPs. Although Linux improvements are ongoing, Gartner believes that more enhancements will be necessary in its ability to deal with high levels of context switching and threading so that shared utilization of multiple CPUs by applications can enable performance to scale efficiently beyond four processors. A reasonable road map would suggest that Linux will scale to eight-way servers by year-end 2002 and further (12- to 16-way) in 2004.

What applications are using Linux and open source?
Certainly, it has proved itself in numerous infrastructure environments, such as caching, VPN networking, DNS and proxy, as well as Web server environments. An up-and-coming deployment is in numerous replicated deployments, such as in-store controllers, kiosks, rentals and reservation systems, and thin-client access to databases. Other applications are in: technical and scientific compute clusters, digital entertainment and special effects, Web sites and portals using e-commerce stacks (e.g., Lutris Enhydra, Red Hat e-commerce, IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic), telecommunications (routers, switches), appliance functions (e.g., firewalls, proxy, VPN, DNS, XML, SSL, e-mail), file-and-print services, some small/medium business applications (e.g., accounting, e-mail and messaging) and other front-end applications (e.g., SAP).

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