"Wall Street's love affair with Linux companies may have ended a
long time ago, but the open source operating system's march into
the enterprise continues unabated, if slowly. Indeed, while Linux
may have lost its lustre for investors, some banks, including CS
First Boston and Merrill Lynch, have given it the thumbs-up and
have begun replacing old trading systems and servers with
"But does Linux really amount to anything more than a low-end OS
for file, print and Web server applications? It's clearly
challenging Windows in such roles - one of the reasons why it
became a household name in the mid- to late 1990s - but can it make
its mark in more critical enterprise-oriented applications?
"In a recent BusinessWeek story, both Dell and HP
claimed around 12 per cent of their server customers (ProLiants in
HP's case) wanted Linux pre-installed. Sun, meanwhile, claims it's
experiencing 25 per cent year-on-year growth in sales of its
Linux-based Cobalt server appliances. Positive stats they may be,
but these numbers centre on low-cost, 32-bit Intel-based hardware:
typical set-ups for office-level file and print servers, not
enterprise iron, in other words..."
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