Novell/IDC Survey Reports Interest in Linux Interoperability, Virtualization

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 16, 2009

Fresh on the heels of disappointing quarterly earnings that were largely pinned on underperformance for its Linux business, and a small round of layoffs, Novell and market research firm IDC are out with survey results on Linux interest and adoption. The respondents were executives in the IT industry. There are several notable findings in the survey, including strong interest from respondents in interoperability between Linux and Windows. Here are some of the key results.

According to the Novell/IDC survey:

"67 percent of respondents stated that interoperability and manageability between Linux and Windows is one of the most important factors when choosing an operating system."
"The retail industry showed the greatest potential for acceleration in Linux adoption with 63 percent of respondents planning an increase on the desktop and 69 percent considering the same on the server. The government sector lagged."
"Almost 50 percent of respondents plan to accelerate adoption of Linux on the desktop, especially for basic office functions, technical workstation users, and higher education/K-12."
"Nearly half of respondents stated that moving to virtualization is accelerating their adoption of Linux. Eighty-eight percent of recipients plan to evaluate, deploy or increase their use of virtualization software within Linux operating systems over the next 12-24 months."
"From a regional perspective, Asia/Pacific is the most bullish on increasing Linux adoption, as 73 percent of respondents said they would increase deployments on the server and 70 percent on the desktop. In the Americas, 66 percent of respondents said they are either evaluating or have already decided to increase adoption of Linux on the desktop and 67 percent on the server."
"The economic crisis has had the biggest effect on the Americas, and in financial services and government. More than 62 percent of respondents said that their budget has been cut or that they are only investing where needed."

It's especially notable to see such strong interest in interoperability between Windows and Linux, and citation of virtualization accelerating Linux adoption. Clearly, for many users, Linux alone isn't a complete solution, but as an adjunct to other operating systems, where freedom to use non-Linux applications is preserved, there is still strong interest in Linux.

With many IT executives interested in running both Linux and Windows, Novell has a unique opportunity in its ongoing relationship with Microsoft. Still, it was clear from last quarter's earnings that Novell is overly dependent on Microsoft to foster Linux-related deals that it can benefit from. Perhaps the two companies should rethink how the relationship is structured.

IDC has produced a white paper with the compete results of the survey.