Posted Nov 14, 2009 0:27 UTC (Sat) by drag
In reply to: Unpaid deployments
Parent article: Notes from the LF End User Summit
Nobody keeps track of numbers like that.
It's nearly impossible to tell how many Linux vs Windows vs Unix servers
are sold or being used.
Here is the problem:
Businesses don't advertise their IT infrastructure. They keep it secret
because, frankly, it's nobody else's business.
So the only way you can get a feel of a market wide is through server sales
Why? (you may ask)
Because most OEMs are large publicly held corporations. As being publicly
held corporations they are required to publish a certain amount of
information about revenue and markets to their customers. This information
is publicly available since there is little point to keeping a secret, if
that was possible. So the people that compile statistics can only
extrapolate market shares by revenue shares.
But there are many major problems to this approach, like:
* It does not actually tell you what is being used for what. They may by a
server, but you don't know for a fact that they are even using it for
anything. As far as we know the majority of customers could be piling
servers into a feild and setting them on fire. Now this is unlikely, but it
would be impossible to really know one way or another.
* It does not tell you how long they are being used. People tend to swap
out Windows servers 2-3 years. People tend to use Linux and Unix systems
for much longer. But you can't know to what extent or how often that is the
case with any sort of reasonable accuracy, and it's impossible to know much
more beyond educated guesses.
* It does not reflect numbers of servers from sources other then purposely
sold servers by major OEMs. So-called 'White Box' servers, which are
popular, are sold by generally privately held corporations whose activities
are not being tracked by research groups. Also you don't know about
desktops-turned-servers, or people putting Windows on Linux servers or visa
versa. And all sorts of things like that.
Personally I think that this means that Linux market is heavily
understated. But it's impossible for me to know one way or another.
You may have noticed that Linux server revenue is closer to Unix
revenue. However Linux servers tend to cost less then (guessing..) 5 grand
while Unix systems can cost a half a million dollars sometimes, maybe even
more. So the amount of Linux servers out there probably outnumber Unix
systems 10 or even 100 to one.
When you compare Linux vs Windows server the licensing for Windows is such
that going out and buying a dedicated server from Dell is cheaper the
taking a older machine and upgrading it or buying a desktop and installing
Windows server on it... which is all common things for Linux folks to do.
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