For many years, the rise of Linux was thought to be just around the corner, and though it still is a bit player in some markets, there is no denying its overwhelming presence in some key areas. Two of those areas are enterprise server applications and enterprise cloud applications, where it is found in around 75 percent of companies, according to various industry surveys. This firm hold on the market doesn’t figure to go away any time soon, either, as developers are constantly improving its functionality. That may be a surprise to some, as the operating system has long been marketed on its free, open source nature. And while that remains a powerful argument in favor of the OS, business owners that opt for the system cite performance and security about as much as cost when explaining their choice.
How dramatic is the rise of Linux?
There are areas that the operating system has a long way to go, such as desktops, where it has only has about two percent of the market. But in the world of enterprise applications and web servers, it is no bit player. In addition to its major presence in enterprise applications, the operating system is a true powerhouse in the world of web servers. According to Alexa, of the top one million domains, 96.5 percent of them use the operating system. Expand that to the top 10 million domains, and it is still used in about two thirds of all web servers.
It’s also the leader, or close to being the leader, in the mobile market and in film production as well, so it has a foothold in some valuable areas. And these trends only favor the system going forward.
What has inspired the rise of Linux?
Since its initial release in 1991, the system’s kernel has been available under the GNU General Public License, which has allowed thousands and thousands of developers to improve the code. These efforts have led to extremely reliable and functional versions of the system, like Red Hat, or RHL. In 2001, a study on RHL 7.1 found 30 million lines of code. If that code had been developed using typical proprietary means, it would have cost nearly $1.5 billion. In other words, something like RHL was only possible through the combined effort of many developers, which suggests the system will continue adapting and growing at a much faster rate than competing technologies.
The rise of Linux is not a fluke, but due to the system’s across-the-board functionality. From the outset, it was designed to perform in multiuser applications, so it offers unmatched reliability in enterprise environments. In fact, some servers running the system have been up for years without a single error. Enterprise applications running the system also enjoy near impenetrable security, because there are so many developers that can respond to a threat. In fact, most would-be malware creators don’t even bother with the system, knowing that it will be neutralized right away.
So there’s no secret behind the rise of Linux. It’s just proven itself over the years and has cemented itself as the top option for major business applications.