While Microsoft is comfortable with its Windows 7 OS, even with Server 2008, still there is news that the market for Linux Servers is growing for those enterprises that want to go to the Cloud.
IDC published a report saying that factory revenue in the worldwide server market showed some interesting results. First, the market grew for Linux Servers but that it shrank for Windows and UNIX. Apparently, IDC’s measure is based only servers where Linux is already pre-installed. It didn’t measure when an enterprise installed Linux on a bare-metal straight-up server or a recommissioned server, which is normally how Linux gets into companies.
The foundation of the growth, according to IDC, is that the demand Linux servers is a response to high performance computing (HPC) and cloud infrastructure deployments, as hardware revenue improved 2.2% year over year in 4Q11 to $2.6 billion. Linux servers now represent 18.4% of all server revenue, a factor up by 1.7 points when compared with the fourth quarter of 2010.
Overall, this may not be a big impact on Windows server. Why? Because, while Windows server demand subsided slightly in 4Q11 as overall hardware revenue decreased 1.5% year over year. Yet the quarterly revenue numbers of $6.5 billion for Windows servers represented 45.8% of the overall quarterly factory revenue; this is up 2.6 points over the prior year’s quarter.
The Cloud Impact
What’s interesting about this is that the Cloud impact is driving enterprises to make the decision to use Linux as a server foundation. The irony is that Microsoft has spent billions of dollars in Cloud technology and infrastructure; nothing by Linux. There wouldn’t be the interest in the Cloud without the push coming from Microsoft. Linux certainly didn’t do it.
However, it does say something about what companies expect of their servers, security, availability, and growth potential. These are big issues and Microsoft is not idle. Server 2012 will be out this year. It will have its own impact.