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VNU Net: Linux is fastest growing server OS

By John Geralds, VNU Net

Linux emerged as the fastest growing entry-level server
operating system during the fourth quarter of 1999, with Compaq
taking the lead in system sales.

Shipments of Linux servers soared to 72,422 units, a 166 per
cent increase over 1998 shipments, according to a new study by
IDC.

Hoang Nguyen, a senior analyst for the researcher, said: “Even
though Linux represents a small portion – about six per cent – of
the entry-level server market in unit shipments, it will become an
important area of growth within the server market as more and more
branded vendors come out with Linux servers.”

A survey of 200 Linux server users also indicated that they
employed their machines mainly for hosting web applications,
proxy/caching services and email. Some 71 per cent said their Linux
servers stayed up and running 99.99 per cent of the time.

Michelle Bailey, research manager for IDC’s commercial systems
and server programme, said that more than 40 per cent of all
expenditure on Linux servers went on internet-related applications.
“Linux servers are now embedded in the internet infrastructure and
are strong competition for Windows NT and Unix entry servers,” she
said.

But surprisingly, speciality Linux shops such as VA Linux and
Penguin Computing did not make the top five list of biggest selling
vendors. Instead Compaq, with a 25 per cent market share, sold
18,000 of the total 72,422 units, generating revenues of $84m. IBM
was second with 7001 units, turning over $33m, while Hewlett
Packard, with seven per cent of the sector, finished in third
place. The company shipped 5429 units and made $23m in
Linux-related sales.

Dell Computer came fourth also with seven per cent of the
market, shipping 5158 units and making $24m. Fujitsu Siemens
claimed three per cent of the sector, shipping 2286 units and
generating $13m in sales.