Linux, according to a new report by Gartner Group analyst George
Weiss, will continue its evolution to eventually become a mainstay
in the enterprise -- but will do so only after some bumps and
chasms, and only through the goodwill of established UNIX vendors
like IBM and Sun.
"Gartner believes Linux is an evolution -- not a revolution
promoting new technology," Weiss writes in a summary of the report.
"Its growing acceptance by enterprises is, ironically, dependent in
large part on the goodwill of Unix platform vendors. Their stake in
the enterprise market is now well-established. Gartner sees
continued, gradual acceptance of Linux, but with bumps and chasms
along the way."
Weiss broke down Linux development in three stages. The first
stage, which ended in 2000, was when early adopters hyped Linux as
a broad deployment platform. The second stage, which should run
through 2003, has Linux becoming an IT infrastructure platform in
specific roles, taking market share from UNIX and Windows NT/2000
as a network or appliance server, and in server farms.
The third stage, which is envisioned from 2003 to 2005, is when
Linux is utilized by a wide variety of independent software vendors
as a platform for e-business. However, Weiss doesn't see Linux
evolving past this point: he says that Linux will not be widely
deployed in high-end database-management systems, and he doesn't
even address the issue of whether Linux will become a player on the
"In Phase 3, ISV enthusiasm for Linux will increase
selectively," Weiss writes. "However, their enthusiasm will be
tempered by the entrenched position of Unix, which has already
achieved mission-critical scalability and availability, by the
strong Windows 2000 upgrades in the pipeline, and by the
potentially heavy cost of migrating to Linux. The ISVs that show
the greatest interest and willingness to port to Linux are those
that tightly integrate applications in e-business frameworks."
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