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Economics and virtualization stunt Linux server growth

(Leah Rosin, Site Editor, EnterpriseLinux) As the economy struggled in 2008, some IT pros thought Linux adoption and use would grow in enterprise data centers. After all, Linux is supposed to be the low-cost solution. A year ago, nearly half (47%) of the respondents to a reader survey said they expected to evaluate Linux for data center use, citing lower cost as the primary driver.

But at the end of the third quarter of 2009, things don't appear so rosy for Linux data center evaluation and deployment.

According to this year's "Data Center Decisions 2009: Purchasing Intentions Survey," the number of respondents saying that they use Red Hat Enterprise Linux decreased to 43% in 2009 from 48% in 2008. SUSE Linux Enterprise usage declined slightly as well to 20% from 21%, compared with the previous year. But use of Ubuntu Server Edition increased somewhat, 14% from 9%

With these numbers in mind, consider that 60% of respondents reported that they do not use and are not evaluating Linux on their servers this year, compared with 54% saying the same in 2008. The depressed economy is doubtless a factor, and Enterprise Management Associates analyst Steve Brasen, for one, was not surprised by the results. "In general, every survey I have seen about IT purchases this year shows the numbers are down. Businesses just aren't buying as much equipment as they were last year," he said.

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