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The Almighty Buck

Gartner Claims Less Linux Than IDC 227

Quite a few readers submitted news about a recent Gartner study which implies a far-lower-than-usually-supposed percentage of servers running GNU/Linux. Reader mfarver, for instance, writes: "Only 8.6 percent of servers shipped in 3rd quarter 2000 were running Linux, claims a recent Gartner Dataquest report. A previous study published by IDC estimated linux held about 24% of the server market share. Unsurprisingly the Gartner study was partially commissioned by Microsoft." Roblimo has penned an interesting piece up at NewsForge about why those numbers might smell a little funny. Hint: how many machines have you bought running any Free operating system from the get-go?
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... And Statistics

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  • The article states that the adminstrators surveyed were asked what OS is currently running on the servers they purchased over the last three months, not just what shipped with pre-installed OS.

    OTOH, much of the numbers rely on their definition of 'server' as hardware that was built as a server-grade system, not just any old PC pressed into service.

    A company that is likely to cut corners and use Linux instead of a commercial OS is also likely to cut corners and use a commodity non-server-specific machine rather than buy a 'server-grade' hardware platform.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    All I do anymore is *replace* NT with BSD or Linux

    Is that why you can't keep a job?

    geekforhire

    Perhaps you should spend less time fucking over some poor company's network and more time with your Playstation.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The fact is that no company I've worked with has purchased their Linux hardware. The whole idea behind using linux was that we could get more bang out of our existing systems. Turning NT 4.0 servers that crashed weekly into systems that never needed to be rebooted. Only one company ever tried to buy a system from ASL and I quickly stopped them. Pointed out that we could simply upgrade some existing rack hardware that was collecting dust in the storage closet. I don't like the idea of some other tech setting up a box I admin. Its a matter of trust, and I trust no one with what could make my job easier or a nightmare. Here I sit in my cube, on my Comcrap workstation that I wiped out W2K on, sitting next to my Ultra 10 running (yes again) Linux. All of our servers run it, other then the ultrasparc server, and that two would be _upgraded_ to Linux if I could take it down. Today the only W2K systems we have are workstations and the lobby portals. Due to the fact that most of our workers had been duped into Windows a long time ago and I swear sometimes it seems it would be easier to get them off crack. That and the portals require it due to a lack of macromedia director compatibility. In short we, the techs who drove the industry now work to drive it elsewhere. We where lied to. This isn't something we can forgive or ever forget. It took many years to build you up Bill, now watch how long its going to take us to tear you back down. Its only a matter of time. So steal that new idea, crush that new competition. "Innovate" as you have always done...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    You have to understand the service that Gartner provides. You tell your manager "We should switch to X for task Y". Your manager tells his boss "We're considering a switch to X". His boss thinks of his own boss and says "Can you justify it?". Well, that sounds like real work, so your boss looks up the Gartner report that indicates that X is a good idea for task Z, selectively quotes it and gets the project approved. You are then happy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I work in a university in the UK. We use linux as our file and print servers. We have 32 servers doing the job in total, and all of it was network installed (ftp and http) through the UK academic mirror site [mirror.ac.uk].

    Some would argue that for such a large scale installation we should have vendor installed servers. But we found that we wanted a very customised solution, and without putting the vendor down, we felt that we had enough expertise within. At the end of the day we were in complete control.

    I shouldn't be too worried about statistics, and I'm sure we weren't counted.

  • This guy [li.org] sure did.
  • IBM had 90% market share, a giant marketing machine, and every PHB in the world. "Nobody gets fired for buying ___________" was first said about IBM. They had FAR more power than Microsoft ever has, and they fell on their heads. They've clawed their way back by giving people what they want.
  • I won't address much of the standard rhetoric in your post, but this really stood out:

    If [Gartner] produces poor quality research on a regular basis, people will stop subscribing or purchasing its reports.

    Logically, in a marketplace of informed, intelligent consumers, this makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, substitute "Microsoft" for "Gartner" and "software" for "research" and suddenly the apparently obvious, rational statement becomes a joke. I'm sure we can all name dozens more examples where obviously inferior products nevertheless generate substantial business.

    I don't know whether Gartner's study or IDG's or Netcraft's or all or none are correct. And I really don't care. I don't choose my products based on market share. After all, isn't the whole point of Gartner that people will choose their research because they're well-known? If you apply the same standard to operating systems, what does that say about you?

    Don't fret the small shit. Focus on quality. Every business that's successful over a long period of time worries about quality first. A company can succeed by raping customers for a limited length of time. Eventually it has to produce a product people actually want, or go away. IBM knows this all too well. Microsoft will learn it too. So move along, please; there's nothing to see here.

  • "Linux ruleZ!" "No way, d00d, Linux suX0rZ!"

    Dear God, man. It's ok to point out that someone's wrong without being such an ass. Sure Apache runs on lots of different platforms - in fact, almost every major platform there is. It's also true that a large proportion of the sites using it are doing so on Linux. You probably figure they've been hyped into obvilion or that the low cost was attractive. The other poster probably just thinks that Linux is 31337.

    So what? Linux is a very nice OS. It's unfortunate that it's mostly used on a decisively inferior hardware platform that effectively limits scalability, performance, and reliability to a few times that of the best Microsoft products. Can you do better than Linux on a peecee? Of course. Can you do better than $FOO on $BAR? Of course. You just have to spend more money. I've used all those "actual enterprise OSs" and I've adminned them, deployed them, and helped people make money with them. Frankly, I'm not real impressed. The only Unix I'd ever recommend over Linux is Irix, simply because nothing else will run on the beautiful purple monsters SGI makes. If you don't need those monsters, you can do just fine with a Sun running Linux. Choose the hardware you'd want if you were to run Solaris, then buy two models down for equal performance.

    But I digress. Use what you like, but don't insult my choice of systems just because it's the same as that of someone who can't justify his.

  • by The Man ( 684 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @08:08PM (#156779) Homepage
    There was no marketing of Free Software, nor Linux, and surely not "Open Source" before 1998 or so. Nada. Zilch. No multibillion-dollar IPOs. No bandwagony press releases from IBM, SGI, HP, or anyone. No bandwagon at all to speak of. And yet in 1997 Free Software was alive and kicking, doing well in spite of adversity and ignorance. Linux-based operating systems were beginning to take off. The FSF was as alive as ever, kicking out great amounts of high-quality software for all to use and enjoy. The various BSD projects were around, too, producing very much the same product they are today, and not of much less quality.

    What's the point? The point is that this community was already a vibrant, rapidly expanding one well before anyone decided it was the Next Big Thing. Long before you could read about it in the New York Times. Long before Slashdot became what is is now. Long, long before would-be nerds pondered the latest market figures for Linux-based systems from the Gartner Group and IDG.

    Let the PHBs be. The community will survive and prosper with or without them. If everyone who only uses Linux or Free Software altogether because of advertising, press releases, support of large corporations, or mainstream media attention stopped using it right now, what would we lose? Well, a few fine folks would lose their jobs. At least one or two more "Linux vendors" would probably close up shop - but that's likely to happen anyway as part of a much broader downturn. Our market, if we cared to measure it, might shrink by 30% or 40% or even 70%. The software would not vanish from FTP sites - at least, not from all of them. The sources would not go away or suddenly become closed. And if I had to wager, I'd suggest many of the people no longer paid to hack this stuff would still spend time on it. In short, things would - and will - go on as they always have. The bubble was just that. You'll see it years from now as a spike in the plot of market share with respect to time. But don't worry the spikes or the valleys, watch the long-term trend. That trend has been toward a very high-quality set of products enjoyed by more people for a long time.

    Forget Gartner, forget IDG, and forget the silly people who think they matter. Step back and look at what you're running today, and enjoy the fact that, all the negative press notwithstanding, you've got Free licenses that never expire for some damn fine software. Relax, and go outside for a breath of fresh air, lest the flames ruin your good mood.

  • by The Man ( 684 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @09:06PM (#156780) Homepage
    Linux usefulness starts to fall off at a certen point on the high end so sales of extreamly high end is likely to be Windows NT only.

    It is true that the usefulness of Linux diminishes at the very high end. But in the realm we're talking about, nobody even thinks about NT. In fact, NT's usefulness is minimal (even by comparison with some NT "base") in midrange servers and nonexistent at the high end. The hardware NT (and x86 Linux) support tops out in the lower midrange of servers. A maximal 8-CPU peecee is a minnow in a school of sharks. At least Linux gives you an option to move beyond the limits of the peecee - an option NT once offered but no longer does.

    No, toward the high end you see things like Irix and AIX and MVS and OS/400. Definitely not NT. But that doesn't mean the numbers aren't meaningless; they most certainly are.

  • by The Man ( 684 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @07:46PM (#156781) Homepage
    Ahh, this old thing... This would be a simple matter if all admins were of equal value. But that one experienced Unix admin can run a large department with nothing but cron and a tape monkey. And when something breaks, he'll solder together a magic doodad to make it all work again. The 5 monkey admins can read Microsoft's web site all day and all night, but there will always be serious limits on what they can really do. Some limits imposed by the OS itself, many more by their own lack of experience.

    I don't know about you, but I would find it very difficult if not impossible to pick up meaningful experience in a world in which there is little relation between action and consequence. Two people can do the same thing on two identical Microsoft systems and get completely different results. More interestingly, you can do the same thing twice on the same box and get different results. Most maddening of all, you can do something, then reverse it, and end up in a different spot than the one at which you started. This kind of environment is not conducive to the type of learning that really good admins go through. There's actually a nicely similar situation discussed in Carl Sagan's Cosmos - he argues that if there were no rules of physics, science would be impossible because we could never learn by experimentation, and no experiment could ever be duplicated.

    This entire idea, in fact, also skirts very closely the Monkey Rule. Specifically, a monkey can never be a good systems administrator. Sure, he can handle the common cases and push the right buttons if he's well enough trained, but the moment something out of the ordinary happens it's all over. At the risk of sounding disrespectful, I'd suggest that your 16-year-old sister most likely suffers from the exact same problem. So, no, I wouldn't likely pay her my salary for doing my job, and I'd hope no manager would either. It's not just that you need more admins to manage a dodgy infrastructure. It's back to Brooks: 5 people are not always better than one. Especially if those 5 people don't or can't contribute anything to the solution. Are there managers who've never read Brooks? Surely. They don't last long.

  • Actually, where I work, we've bought 4 Dell 2450's and 2 2550's preloaded with Linux so far. Granted, I still rebuild it from scratch... Aside from preferring to install it myself, they also won't set it up as a Raid10 from the factory.

    You can't trust Dell to do what you ask in any case. Where I work we're about half-and-half MacOS and Windows with our lone unix server (MacOS X Server) handling most of our intranet server needs (we're not a big shop.) I order all our Windows machines from Dell. When we were using NT, I would always specify "Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 5 on NTFS". What did I always get? A two-partition setup: partition 1, with the OS on it, was always FAT and partition 2, which usually had some apps like office, was NTFS. A lot of good this does me. The first time this happened I actually (naive, oh so naive) called Dell and told them they had obviously done it wrong. I explained that what I expected to get was one partition using NTFS that spanned the entire disk. They responded, of course, that they couldn't do that, as NT 4.0 SP1 (which is what the boot CDROM that came with the computer was) couldn't make NTFS partitions larger than 2GB, you needed to have NT 4.0 SP3 or higher installed to do that. No matter, I always reformat & do it myself anyway.

    Now that I order new Windows machines with Win2000 Pro on them, always specifying "Windows 2000 Pro on NTFS", expecting that we would get a machine with a single NTFS partition, what do we get? FAT32, thank you very much. Oh well, I always reformat anyway, to get rid of the extra cruft Dell installs.

  • by hawk ( 1151 )
    They found that only 8% were using GNU/Linux. question answered. Never mind the 17% that were using Linux . . . .


    :)


    hawk, wondering what good a system with nothing but the linux kernel and ghe GNU utilities would be, anyway . . .

  • It appears from my reading that the Gartner numbers are based upon going out and surveying a variety of IT companies ranging from small to large. They asked them how many servers did they install and what OS are they running. Given the nature of Linux distribution, that is really the only way you'll ever know who is using what.

    Whereas the IDC numbers were "extrapolated" with some pretty wild assumptions. I recall reading that they just automatically made the assumption that every copy being purchased or downloaded was installed to 15 machines. How can you know that?

    There is also an issue of what's the point of these numbers. Looking at marketshare tends to ignore installed base figures so I assume that the point is to show what is growing, where the market is moving... i.e. where the money is.

    As such, I think Gartner raises a very valid point that a Linux install that doesn't have some sort of support contract going along with it, says "what's the point?" Gartner points out that not many companies are going to do something like that anyway.

    But more importantly, if the installs aren't being accompanied by support contracts, then they really don't play a part in accounting for "where the money is".

    If the money isn't there, it's not useful for someone like RedHat to show market share growth. At least not to encourage investment, maybe to get warm fuzzies.

    It's all relative. Honestly, from what I've read the Gartner numbers are much more supportable by facts. The IDC numbers appear to have a tint of "I pulled this out of my ass monday morning because we wanted a headline."
  • Hmm, you must have read a different article than I did. The one I read indicated Gartner surveyed the IT depts to see what they were actually using.

    My boss has a Gartner account, and I'll have to try to get access to the real study.
  • I think that's because IDC made the claim that 25% of servers ship with Linux. Hewitt is questioning that. It's especially difficult because IDC tried to include downloads in it's "ship with" statistics.

  • Claim #1. XP breaks MP3.
    This is pure unadulterated FUD. Beta XP shipped with an MP3 encoder to test the ability to plug other audio encoders into Windows Media Player. The encoder they shipped was limited to 56kbps because that is the limit before you have to license the technology from Fraunhoffer. The latest XP builds do not include an MP3 encoder, and there was never any plans to ship with one. Windows Media has never had this ability, but they wanted to allow for third parties to extend the product in such a way.

    #2. Breaks CD Burner Software.
    I don't know the specifics. But given every Windows upgrade known to man has broken CD Burner software it does not surprise me. This is because CD Burner software still tries to operate at a low-level API. I don't know why they can't standardize on a device driver API, but Roxio, et al does seem to want to do that.

    #3. Prevents you from upgrading your computer.
    It's unclear at this point the details. I'll give you this point.

    #4. Requires activation. Requires giving out info.
    Point #1 is true, Point #2 is FUD. The activation does not require giving out personal information unless you choose to register your product at the same time.

    #5. Is a very MINOR technical upgrade from Win2k.
    Well this is true, but Windows XP is designed as an upgrade from Win95/98/Me, and in that case is a very MAJOR technical upgrade. Again this point is FUD.

    #6. Has a GUI that would make anyone outside Miss Shirley's Romper Room throw up.
    One of the benefits of growing up in Chicago was being able to see Romper Room and Bozo live. So perhaps I've been warped by those shows, but honestly having worked with the WinXP beta I think the GUI is pretty nice. Sorry, I'll have to call this FUD as well since it's obvious you haven't used it.

    Well so far it seems the score for your post is:

    Fear Uncertainty Doubt: 4
    Insightful Opinion: 1
    Pointing out the Obvious: 2

    Not bad for one day of trolling.

  • "Lets face it, my 16 year old sister can learn to be a windows admin from one of those tech schools that'll make you certified in 3 months. "

    Actually that's not true.

    "And you can pay 5 of those newbie admins for the price of one unix admin."

    Either is that.

    ", I think if you want to run a windows server, you'll need the extra admins to take care of the additional crashes and glitches, "

    Is there some sort of three strikes rule?

  • Well actually the IDC figures are also supposed to be 24% of server shipped.

    The 8.6% sounds more likely.
  • Oh pulllllleeeeeeze !!!!!

    Gartner has a long and glorious history of being a shill for MS and for the patently stupid. For chrissakes they invest in the companies they "study" and the managing directors also sit on the board of a VC firm that pours money into IPO companies that have "new and amazing technology on the brink of greatness !!!!"

    And even if they weren't unethical criminals how often have the actually been right? Um....I'd say about a 0.15 probablity so to say or about 1 in 7.
  • I think that this is an important point. The idea of studying what happens when someone "buys a server" tends to push you towards MS.

    I'm sure we beat MS in recycled servers by a wide margin, though. :)

  • Gartner, IDG, et. al.: It doesn't matter how many are shipped with Linux pre-installed. To count market share that way omits all the copies of Red Hat, Suse, etc., that are purchased directly from the distribution manufacturers and then installed on gawd-only-knows how many computers. I know... I purchased one copy of a distribution and installed it on at least ten systems. I don't know on how many computers that copy of the distribution was installed by the people that borrowed the CDs from me. Let's not even get into the number of systems out there running Linux that was installed from a CD burned from a downloaded ISO image.

    Get off the idea that market share is tied to pre-installations. Please. You just look stupid in the eyes of the people who will, someday, be running IT shops. Those people will remember your faulty methodology and look elsewhere when they want to do industry research. Your expensive reports will merely gather dust on the shelf.
    --

  • At Linux Expo Milan last week there was the Linux-Mandrake CEO delivering a keynote speech, and in that he stated that Linux Mandrake is very close to profitability.
    A few weeks ago it was reported here that Red Hat is very close too.
    If that is correct, I don't think either is going belly-up any time soon.
  • Well, la-dee-da! I'm running NO ROM BASIC.

    So there!

    --
  • Forget who paid for the study. It could be Andover.
    The problem is what the study is.

    In effect they are counting the amount of preinstalls. Linux is mostly installed after market. Windows is mostly preinstalled. So Windows is automaticly going to show up the better.

    Also Windows requirements increase over time forcing new machine sales just to use the latest updates. Linux requirements don't incrase so Linux sales only relfect the need for better hardware.

    At most maybe Gartner set a higher standard for "server" than IDG did.. Linux usefulness starts to fall off at a certen point on the high end so sales of extreamly high end is likely to be Windows NT only.

    The reality is however that for Linux a 386 is a server but to Windows nothing less than a Pentium Pro.
    But you can only mesure "server" by CPU power. But what makes it a server is the intended use. That is an unknown.
    A bunch of Win 2K server boxes sold could be for workstations or game machines. A bunch of the Linux servers in the sample could be destend for a Beowolf cluster.

    It's a self poisoning servey...
    I would presume to say that Linux is under represented. But being truthful... Linux could also be over represented.
    It is a random number of no meaning.
  • To a good techie this definetly has a high "duh" factor. Now take your average management type (see Dilbert for explanation) who reads these articles and you will see them taking this very seriously. When the management type talks to his/her techies you can imagine the prevailing argument as the enlightened explain this to the decision maker - you'd be surprised how many unqualified people make decisions in place of the qualifed.
  • Is this report targetted at os/server vendors or os/server purchasers?

    Seeing as the report indicates that PURCHASES of linux are down, that shouldn't affect your decision to BUY, given that you understand that the raw number of purchases in no way indicates a) popularity and b) (by a fairly flawed populist metric) stability/suitability.

    However, if you are a VENDOR, then all you care about is net profit anyway, and you don't care whether Linux or Windows is *installed*. You ONLY care about how much money is *spent* on them. If you are a VENDOR you LIKE large TCO as long as the resources spent on that big TCO are going to you.

    Microsoft commisioned this report as a VENDOR, but released it with the hopes that it will discourage VENDORS as well as BUYERS to avoid Linux.

    Everybody is so busy whining about the Gartner vs IDC numbers that they are failing to see the forest for the trees.
  • > Gartner is very well respected in the industry.

    Respected maybe, but clueless all the same. Gartner has a long track record of "predicting" for next year exactly the stats that others found for last year. I haven't seen their secret business methods, but I rather suspect that they just collect whatever stats they can get (which will in general reflect what was happening a year ago), change "stats" to "predictions", and sell it to gullible managers... like you.

    > To claim this is biased because Microsoft funded it is absolutely ridiculous.

    Or not. MS habitually funds studies with a little string attached, which says "You cannot publish the results of this study without our approval."

    That doesn't result in an accurate view of what's going on in the world. In fact, it's essentially identical to the "science" practiced by dishonest or self-deluded paranormal researchers, who publish their result from trials when they get lucky, and ignore the results of unlucky trials on the grounds that "the force wasn't with me today".

    This kind of thing makes it really easy for people to justify believing whatever they want to believe... whether they be paranormal researchers or corporate managers.

    > When my corporation pays for research, we absolutely do not want them to tell us what we want to hear.

    I've worked for a number of corporations, and never once met a manager who wouldn't tune out what he didn't want to hear. Most would only pay for information that furthers their careers; anyone who staked his career on converting his company's Sun boxes to Windows boxes will be more than happy to pay for this particular report.

    > W2K IS a serious Enterprise-ready scaleable and reliable OS.

    Gosh, I'm down to posting a link to the Hot 100 analysis almost once a week anymore. I'll let you find it yourself this time: go to groups.google.com and search comp.os.linux.advocacy for "hot 100 uptimes", and read what you find. Or do a new analysis yourself, and post your results for us.

    > Just because Microsoft commissioned the research does not render it invalid.

    Repeating it over and over might make you feel better about the money you wasted on the report, but repeating it will not make it come true.


    --
  • point in their defense. I dunno about the rest of the people out here, but the whole "ease of use" of windows is BS. Windows is easy to use once you've used it over and over again. Take three people with no computer experience. Sit one down in front of a Mac, one in front of MS Windows 2k, and the other in front of a linux box with KDE 2 or Gnome or even E. Now, train each of those individuals on how to use the tools in front of them for the next 8 hours. At the end of this you'll find that they are going to have an easier time using what they have the 8 hours of training in than the other OS's. Certain aspects may carry over, but for the most part "ease of use" is nothing more than familiarity. I know people that hate GUI's cause they've been using command line tools for so long, they find the gui's to be harder to use than the command line. Once again, it's all familiarity and not "ease of use".

    Now, not all of MS is evil, a portion of thier business practices are very questionable, and when you are as big as MS is you get generalizations. Look at how many people hated IBM (Big Blue) when they were on top. If you want to break down and find out what's good about MS, go take a look at thier hardware, I'm sititng in front of an original MS Natural keyboard (with the full size keys and the lift in the front, none of that Elite crap) and a MS Intellimouse Pro. It's excellent hardware. Look at the games the MS has published (note published and not developed) such as Age of Empires and Asherons Call. Whoever is running publishing appears to know what they are doing.

    I think I'm just arguing that yes, MS isn't all evil. However your post doesn't point to those things. Ease of use isn't one of them, and even if it was they stole it from Apple which can be considered evil.

  • by bgarcia ( 33222 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2001 @03:06AM (#156821) Homepage Journal
    As has already been stated, Gartner asked end-users what they installed on their computers after they bought them. Not what was pre-installed on their computer. Implication: either Linux doesn't have the marketshare zealots want to belive, or accurately assessing server marketshare is difficult. You decide.
    But then, here's a quote from Gartner's survey:
    The study results indicated that in the traditional server market in the United States during the third quarter of 2000, 8.6 percent of server
    shipments were Linux-based systems.
    So you might want to try reading the survey itself, instead of some marketing guy's <cough> misunderstandings about it.
  • Checkout netcraft, they seem to be doing a good job of tracking that sort of thing:

    http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph/
  • Zdnet, devx, microsoft.com asphole etc are all very heavily pro MS. For every slashdot there are a hundred MSdots.
  • I think you nailed it. Knowing windows is not cool. Linux is cool. Fortunately for us MS actually hypes this aspect of NT. They are always talking about how you can get by with cheap admins on NT vs paying for expensive Unix Admins. I keep a list of these clippings and whenever a high schooler asks me what he or she should learn I tell them that Bill Gates or Steve Balmer says they will make more money by being a Unix Admin. Ain't irony sweet.

    I would suggest this to everybody. Go dig around the net and gather all comments from MS executives about how much Java programmers cost or how much Unix Admins cost and then go visit a high school. You can make a huge difference in someones life.
  • What you'd share your PDC with other apps? Your SQL server? Most NT shops I know keep separate machines to do nothing but PDC and SDC.
  • What Gartner/Dataquest is probably trying to measure here is the marketshare Linux has - in other words, how much money is flowing through each section of the operating system industry.

    Thanks to the wonder of open source software, it doesn't really matter if 75% of the actual machines are running Linux (and most machines running Linux are probably assumed to be servers), if they are all downloads with no support contract then Red Hat, Mandrake and the others are still going to eventually run out of cash and go belly up.

    What these numbers from IDC and Gartner are essentially saying is that Linux itself may be Red Hat's biggest competitor. If RH is only getting 10% to 15% of the money coming back to it then they are most likely being cut off by the very free (beer) nature of the GPL that allows you to install as many times as you like.

    The other interesting thing from the ZDNet article is that no numbers for NT/2000 were mentioned from the Gartner study. I wonder what the split really was among the other operating systems?
  • by cafeman ( 46922 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @03:12PM (#156828) Homepage

    Three points.

    1. As has already been stated, Gartner asked end-users what they installed on their computers after they bought them. Not what was pre-installed on their computer. Implication: either Linux doesn't have the marketshare zealots want to belive, or accurately assessing server marketshare is difficult. You decide.

    2. Garter is a research agency that has its value locked in its reputation. If it produces poor quality research on a regular basis, people will stop subscribing or purchasing its reports. Short term gains (ie fabricating truths in reports for specific companies) will lead to long term losses (ie loss of reputation leading to loss of credibility and revenue). Are you arrogant enough to believe they haven't thought of this? The reality is, they analysed the information available to them and made the best, least biased forecast as they could.

    3. Garter is not in the business of assessing obscure technical facts. They provide a strategic business perspective on technology. Tech-heads are not their market. They don't care about the operational aspects of the technology. The people who run business (which, most commonly, are not tech-heads and have different skills) are their market. They care about the strategic implications of the technology and longer-term market trends.

      You think you could do a better job and produce higher quality research? Don't whinge - go out and do it. If you produce research of such a high calibre, you'll drive Gartner out of business in months. I'm constantly amazed at how many people on Slashdot are willing to spout off on things they know nothing about. I don't tell people how to fly a plane - I realise I don't know how. But, the village idiots on slashdot are always willing to provide legal advice, assume everyone in management is a PHB, that companies never ever know what they're doing, that everything is part of a conspiracy and that anyone who doesn't know how to write a sound compression script using bash is an idiot. On the other hand, some people here have some seriously big clues. You my friend, are not one.

    In summary, read the bloody report and get some perspective before spouting off.

  • $lynx -head -dump http://www.censorware.org/ | grep Server
    Server: Microsoft-IIS/4.0
    $echo your welcome

    means NT as the OS, since win2k runs IIS 5.0 afaik.
  • What a perfect example of a steamy moist pile of bullshit. As rob points out, an overwhelming number of linux boxes are probably installed overtop of the grave of a windows installation. You can't buy a computer *without* windows from many of these places.

    Then there's the homebuilt faction, and I'm sure a hugely disproportionate number of linux servers as opposed to windows boxes are made from mobo's and CPU's.

    This is a textbook example of how not to do statistics.

    Thanks MS.

  • When I got my server at home, I needed something that didn't occupy a lot of space and really didn't need it to be beefy at all. I decided to get a Compaq iPaq [compaq.com] desktop, but Compaq only provided Windows 95/98 or Windows NT with it. I got the one with Windows 95, wiped it, and put FreeBSD on it. You can read the little paper on it here [daemonnews.org].
  • I think the Netcraft Statistics [netcraft.com] put everything in perspective. I don't see Microsoft catching up with Apache et al anytime soon. Especially considering third world countries, who are by definition poor, are still striving to get online.

    The average income for most Mexicans is about $500 US dollars. I only see Apache's hold getting larger, thanks to countries who _have_ to save every dollar.

  • The issue was never about home PCs. The issue is about the overall economy. Poorer countries do not use expensive software. Yes, many pirate the software, but then you run into issues if your business becomes successful. What about government supported Internet access, like in South Africa? Are you telling me the South African government would actively engage in piracy against a US company, despite how much the US gives to them?

    If ISPs used lower cost software, they could theoretically lower their overhead, which would make it easier to lower their price to gain more customers. Sure, there are less consumers in lower income countries, but how many potential customers are there when you add up all those, worldwide, who skirt the income level necessary to pay for Internet access?

  • At least according to Gartner:

    Respondents were screened to ensure they were knowledgeable about server purchases over the quarter, and they were asked what percentage of their server purchases were Linux servers, he said.

    "We went to end users, rather than looking at just sales numbers, and asked them what servers they had bought over the past three months and what operating system they had installed on it over the same period," Hewitt said. "There was no question about whether Linux was preinstalled or not, we simply asked about new shipments and this is what we found."


    Just Microsoft is involved does not necessarily mean the numbers are bad. It is hard to say.
  • I am not sure IDC smells any better.

    Being so involved with high and midrange servers, I was very suprised that IDC claimed 24% of servershare belongs to Linux. With all due respect, and indeed acknovledging that Linux does have it's functions in corporate networks, I believe that Gartner's figure is much closer to reality.

    My 0.02, anyway.

  • More of the same. Anyone with any knowledge on the matter knows that Linux has far more installs than sales figures point out by a wide margin.

    Netcraft is probably the best data we have on this, but even that is lacking.
    Just ignore any information pertaining to the number of Linux installs, it is all just guesstimations, and yes that includes information that makes Linux installs look good.
  • So...basically we're saying that the majority of computers shipped ship with Windows on them?

    Wow, news flash!

    The "duh" factor here is astounding.
  • is that statistics are unreliable at best. We've got conflicting numbers and interests all over the place, with all these surveys. In the end, it doesn't matter becuse Linux is a good server OS and it will continue to gain ground, especially as the younger people come up and start pushing it as an alternative to Windows et al.

    What's really important isn't what numbers linux is doing now, but what it's going to be doing in the future.

    "I may not have morals, but I have standards."
  • Have you registered your linux boxes at Linux Counter [li.org]
  • by zpengo ( 99887 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @02:55PM (#156855) Homepage
    I've noticed a trend with regard to this process. No matter how passionately the stoical marketeers defend Microsoft, nor how predictably Linux' yes-men define the particular news story as the turning point in the eternal battle between the forces of freedom and the forces of evil, the truth will lie somewhere in the middle. What's depressing is that those who take the middle ground are morbidly few. Who would have thought the tech sector would create such starry-eyed romantics (as many online activists seem to be)?

    That's because only extreme viewpoints gain karma. I usually post on both sides of the fence for anything MS/Linux, and then watch them *both* get modded up.

  • It is obvious (to us) that most servers running Linux are not "shipped" with it installed.

    The real danger here is that some corporate manager will see this headline snippet, and react with something like:

    "I knew this was a passing fad. Those geeks in tech don't know what they're talking about," etc.

    Despite the misleading nature of these numbers, too many statistics like this will eventually add up to too many setbacks, and less acceptance. It's amazing the amount of people out there that have not idea when it comes to computers, but they want to believe that they do.

    MotoMannequin
  • I believe they said servers.

    The shit you (and I) glue together from random spare parts aren't servers. The surplus PCs and sparc workstations lying around aren't servers.

    If you're running mission critical apps/services on these machines, you're in trouble. Call me when you go bankrupt.

  • Honestly, the idea that Linux runs 24% of the new servers being sold out there is absolutely silly! 8.6% isn't much better.

    From where I sit, as a professional Unix consultant, I see roughly 1-2% of "servers" being linux boxes, and even that's stretching the truth a bit. What are they calling a server here--any machine that runs DHCP?

    I suspect that their definition of server is just as valid as defining a mainframe as anything that can cranks out "x" MIPS. It just ain't right!

  • You do have a point about slashdot posters being arrogant pricks, in general.

    But this is about the Gartner group. The whole point about this thread is the credibility of this so-called leader in marketting research. You cannot prove a point here by pleading to that credibility. That would be circular reasoning.

    So keep your mind open, and listen to the slashdot crowd for once. They are the ones who have to live with the consequences of purchasing decisions made by management.

  • by StandardDeviant ( 122674 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @04:47PM (#156870) Homepage Journal

    I've administered both NT and Unix platforms (including the pricey proprietary ones). Unix wins on TCO, in my expereience, and it's no contest if it's x86 hardware unix.

    Why? Business requires a certain minimum level of functionality from their servers, some level such that the temptation to go back to paper and pencils isn't a factor, which varies from business to business and from usage to usage. In order to reliably meet a given level of functionality (performance or stability), I have found that pretty much without fail NT required more machines and more powerful machines (== more expensive machines) to meet that limit than Unix did. More machines means more admins. More machines and more admins mean more cost.

    This is not to say that NT goes down every five minutes. But in order to keep one NT server up even approximately as long as a Unix machine, I find that I must restrict it to doing just one service at a time (i.e. just mail, or just file serving, or just web, or just DB, etc.); whereas on a Unix machine I can frequently roll several services onto one machine with no significant drop in performance or reliability.

    I am not an Open Source zealot. I am a pragmatist, and I only evaluate the tools I use based on how well they meet my or my client's needs. Microsoft simply does not provide good tools to run mission-critical services on, however "cost effective" they may be.


    --
    News for geeks in Austin: www.geekaustin.org [geekaustin.org]
  • by big.ears ( 136789 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @04:33PM (#156873) Homepage
    This netcraft survey [netcraft.com] shows that out of the top 50 hosting locations (by uptime), representing 1754 sites, 24 total sites are running Windows derivitives (about 450 are running heavy-duty Unix offerings, and the rest are Linux/BSD.)

    Not that this fact is particularly relevant, because perhaps the hosting locations that use Windows don't make the top 50 uptime slots. Seriously, though, what I'm pointing out is that there are a number of ways to skin this cat: IDG and Gartner have two different assessments, and I have a third. It wouldn't surprise me if we are all correct.

  • Jesus holy shit fuck christ. If a student submitted this study in any undergraduate research class, he'd be laughed right out of the damned building.

    They use the world "methodology", and then have a paragraph that doesn't describe their methodology at all. They neglect to mention what their questions were, or how they selected respondents, or what the completion rate was, or what any of the results might have been. They say "Respondents were asked what percentage of their server purchases consisted of Linux servers." If that's what they asked, then how the hell did they get "percentage of redhat", or the total dollar value of the servers? If it's not what they asked, then why the hell won't they tell us what the did fucking ask?

    The whole thing is a crock of steaming fetid shit, and anyone with an IQ over 95 would know it if they read it. The very best way to live up to the "lies, damned lies, and statistics" bullshit is to publish dick like this, where you refuse to say how the study was conducted (or even what, precisely, you were studying), and then cherry-pick a limited subset of the results. It stinks, and everyone at the Gartner Group knows it stinks, and they'll all go to hell for being such weaselicious fucks.
  • by Skald ( 140034 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @09:21PM (#156877)
    I remember them...
    • 1993: Windows NT (3.5) will have 80% of the desktop market within 2 years of release
    • 1994: Internet will grow to 6 million users by 2005
    • 1995: Cobol is used in over 65% of new application development
    • 1996: Windows NT 4.0 will have 80% of the internet server market by 1998.
    • 1996: Cobol is the world's 'premier language for application deployment' and 'there should be no worries about the viability of COBOL for any project on any platform'
    • 1987: 75 percent of the Internet services for large enterprises will move to usage-based pricing by 2001
    • 1998: '[Y2K] failures in less developed countries, smaller companies, and companies with high global dependencies will cause a negative impact to the world economy'
    • 1999: Linux is 'Hype du Jour'. 'The lack of standards in the Linux community, coupled with a lack of key productivity applications and with Unix complexity, will continue to make Linux a poor choice for the mainstream business productivity user'. It soon appears that Microsoft sponsored the study. Gartner Group denies, but also quickly pulls the page from their site. Here's a biased synopsis [opensource.org]
  • Gosh, I'm down to posting a link to the Hot 100 analysis almost once a week anymore. I'll let you find it yourself this time: go to groups.google.com and search comp.os.linux.advocacy for "hot 100 uptimes", and read what you find. Or do a new analysis yourself, and post your results for us.

    You do realize of course that there is a diffrence between a computer being on for a long time and it's opperating system being "W2K IS a serious Enterprise-ready scaleable and reliable OS." -- I mean, those uptimes are like 5 years. How the hell is a 2 year OS going to be able to beat that?
  • Seems to me that the Gardner Group study may be right on the money. What's interesting about it is that even if it is in fact true, it's a pretty meaningless study for precisely the reasons Roblimo went into.

    And that's the big problem with statistical studies -- surely there are plenty of Linux servers running under the table that no survey is going to find because the techies' boss doesn't even know about it. Web servers? Okay, that's publicly accessible stuff, but only a small fraction of the server market.

    What I find especially interesting, though, is that as slanted and pointless as the survey is, it still works in Tux's favor over the long run, at least a little bit...

    /Brian
  • Damn, and me with no points. Mod that one up please!
  • We've got three linux servers here. They were all shipped with NT Server, but P100-200 machines are a bit slow for that now. They're only doing small stuff, a little webserving, RADIUS, quake serving, some log file processing and a few other automated tasks, but we only ever bought NT Server for them.

    We're vaguely thinking about a support contract to cover the day when the knowledgable person is out the office [me], especially as they don't cost much compared to NT Server.

  • So, in my company, the box[es] that do RADIUS authentication aren't servers then?

    We glued two old desktops together, installed linux + radiusd on both of them and wrote some easy admin tools. Then we deployed them. We're aiming to get automatic failover going between them too. Radius is mission critcal to us.

    Why are these machines not servers, and why would it have been more cost effective for us to have bought two new machines to do this?
  • Blockquoth the poster:
    Who would have thought the tech sector would create such starry-eyed romantics (as many online activists seem to be)?
    Actually, it doesn't surprise me at all. Techies, in my experience, tend to be the hopeful, look-to-the-future types (if only for the gadgets) and that wanders easily into ideological rigidity.
  • I worked for a Banyan reseller. When the sales started to dry up with the onset of NT, Banyan comissions a Gartner Group study that praised Banyan to the skies whilst knocking NT and Netware.

    It was very PHB friendly, full of graphs and tables comparing various aspects of TCO - average number of users per admin, number of users per server and so on. I've no idea where the figures actually came from.

    I've distrusted Gartner ever since.

  • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @02:46PM (#156895) Homepage Journal
    How many UNIX system admins are there in the world? What is their pay range?

    How many Windows system admins are there in the world? What is their pay range?

    Lets face it, my 16 year old sister can learn to be a windows admin from one of those tech schools that'll make you certified in 3 months. And you can pay 5 of those newbie admins for the price of one unix admin.

    Its not that I enjoy these numbers. Honestly, I think if you want to run a windows server, you'll need the extra admins to take care of the additional crashes and glitches, so it isn't cost efficient. But John Q. Manager doesn't know that. Such is life.
  • Best practices and real world practices are two very different things. When running an intranet site the security concern is negligable, and the same security practices apply to running ANY software on any system with anything remotely confidental.

    You've got to be kidding me. What administrator would risk their PDC for the IIS vulnerability of the week/month? I think you're forgetting that something like 70% of cracks/hacks/security breaches are done by current/former employees.


    If everyone followed that WU-FTP, BIND, Apache, etc., would all run on separate servers, so this whole argument would be moot.

    In a previous post, you mentioned that being able to stick all these services on 1 or 2 boxes because the load on them wasn't very high. At the risk of sounding like a zealot, with the money saved on licensing, an Open Source solution would allow you to invest that money in another two or three boxes, which would allow you to spread out the services like you should.

    If you think software/hardware is costly, then run the numbers on stopping the work of an entire company dead in its tracks because a disgruntled employee exploited an unpatched IIS Unicode vulnerability on your PDC/web/ftp/file server (let's go ahead and format the shared drive while we're at it--we've got a remote shell, after all; just to make sure we make the end-user impact measured in days/weeks of lost time)

    Whatever OS/apps you choose, the services *must* be segregated to separate boxes to reduce the risk of harmful 'interactions' and to spread the risk associated with hardware failure. An admin who fails to do so is just being negligent. If an admin is being forced to do so by mgmt, then the admin has failed to properly present the risk/rewards of current scenario to management.

    Stephen
  • As such, I think Gartner raises a very valid point that a Linux install that doesn't have some sort of support contract going along with it, says "what's the point?" Gartner points out that not many companies are going to do something like that anyway.

    But more importantly, if the installs aren't being accompanied by support contracts, then they really don't play a part in accounting for "where the money is".

    On the other hand, a valid issue is "where the money isn't", ie, what money is MS missing out on. In that case the lack of support contracts is unimportant.

    In general Linux gives the user much greater opportunity to do their own support, which is what my company does. This is a problem for RedHat as much as it is for MS but it's not a problem for those of us using Linux as their server platform. We've got the source code!

    TWW

  • I don't really now much about XP, I'm happy using Linux on the desktop BUT I am now curious about these features (#1 & 2). How is M$ going to hurt MP3 in XP, of course its no surprise given their own formats exist. Also why break CD burning software deliberately? What do they gain from that and how are they going about it?

    Could be nice avocacy material.

  • Probably the most damning would be this customer satisfaction statistic:
    Of all servers shipping with Windows software, as many as 50% (whatever the number is) have the Windows software erased and replaced by an alternate system that the owners believe to be simply superior, simple more usable and suitable (insert your favorite adjectives) for their own purposes.
    Someone ought to compile this statistics and issue a white paper on the increasing number of people who erase their windows systems.

    I am sure it would be damning.

    Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

  • by Wavicle ( 181176 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @02:55PM (#156901)
    Well, let's read some of the other paragraphs:

    "While I accept my results may not include some desktop and workstations configured as Linux servers, I simply do not believe that Linux is shipping on 25 percent or more of all new servers and I just cannot believe the IDC figures," Hewitt said. "They are simply pushing the envelope and overstating what the operating system is actually doing."

    If the majority of customers got their Linux via download or some other way, "then the market is in even worse shape than my survey shows," he said. "How many support contracts are vendors going to get from those customers? I have already told Red Hat that they are stretching the numbers they put out to the marketplace, which resulted in a very lively debate."

    These paragraphs seems to imply that he was looking for what OS the machines were shipping with. And accepting that if the 25% of all servers are running Linux (i.e. the IDC study is correct), then those customers aren't buying support contracts.

    The wording of the article is confused. What you quoted makes it sound as if they were looking at what OS servers bought in the past three months are running. What I quoted makes it sound like they wanted to know OS the server shipped with.

    Can anyone make sense of this?

  • If it produces poor quality research on a regular basis, people will stop subscribing or purchasing its reports.

    Which is precisely why I don't subscribe. Crappy research ("Paper airplane portals will be a $2B market by 2004.") Waste of money!

  • Find some predictions Gartner issued a few years back and compare them with the state of the world today. I suspect their accuracy will be demonstrably poor.

    Amen! I bet some investors in a wide range of dot-coms and "enterprise B2B exchange portal" thingies [fuckedcompany.com] would love to find the guy who wrote that these would be multi-billion dollar markets by now...

  • The statistics published on the top of this article arent contradictory. They are just different.

    NOOOOO this isant another instance of making statistics show what you want.. this is another instance of a /. moron posting shit that is wrong.

    For Instance...

    Only 8.6 percent of servers shipped in 3rd quarter 2000 were running Linux, claims a recent Gartner Dataquest report. A previous study published by IDC estimated linux held about 24% of the server market share. Unsurprisingly the Gartner study was partially commissioned by Microsoft


    It says 8.6% of servers SHIPPED... that is wholly different then 24% RUNNING linux, as would be in stated SERVER MARKET SHARE.

    The /. employee that posted this errored just as much.. damn they are just as dumb as the trolls sometimes.
  • by friday2k ( 205692 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @02:40PM (#156916)
    Does anybody have numbers for things that really count? Things like how many of the real heavy traffic sites are run on Win2k vs. Linux vs. *BSD vs. HP vs. IBM? For many of the big companies stability counts more than free. Win2k is maybe not doing good here, but does _free_ Linux do good here (vs. e.g. HP or IBM) or are commercial Linux implementations through IBM (and that can be AIX or Linux or OS/390 for the real insane)? It shouldn't concern the community if more servers are running Linux or Windows or Amiga OS but it should more count what people are doing with it. And I would not bitch too much about Win2K, there _are_ big sites that are running on it. And you _can_ make it secure. And you _can_ make it performant. Not necessarily if the admin is a moron, but ...
  • Either dual boot or have machines of all flavors. Windows ME/2000/98/95/31/CE/Pocket, Mac, OS/2, PC DOS, MS DOS, DR DOS, UNIX, PICK, Netware, ... It's too much to learn all of them well enough to be proficient in them all, so they tend to favor one over the other for whatever reason. Usualy the reasons has to do with compatibility, ease of use, application requirements, and support.
  • Wow, news flash indeed.
    But on the other hand, the real news is that 8.6% of all new servers sold comes with Linux pre-installed.

    This is in fact good news. Its only the spindoctoring in the Gartner study that makes it look either bad or not newsworthy.

  • by kstumpf ( 218897 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @05:35PM (#156920)
    It takes more Windows servers to accomplish the same thing fewer Linux servers can do. So if I only need two Linux machines to do what five Windows servers would handle, does that mean MS has more market share? Well, of course it does! They sell you overpriced, underpowered, unstable bloatware.

    Are corporations buying more Windows servers than Linux servers? Yes. Are corporations buying more Windows licenses than using free software? Yes. Are corporations buying more MS support contracts than Linux support? Yes. Do the majority of corporations operate efficiently? Hell no. Are corporate decision-makers aware of the benefits of open source? Typically not.

    Studies like this do nothing to prove or disprove the value of opensource. What I would like to see are comparisons of similar-sized companies that use either Windows or opensource... how do their server-farms compare? Who's more stable, more secure? Who's budget is lower? How much does each company spend on support, hardware, etc? How about some real side-by-side comparisons of real-life scenarios, rather than a guess of how many servers are out there?

    Another thing - all of my servers were bought without Linux (some with no OS, some came with windows). I download distros and keep them on an FTP on my LAN. I install from that with the bootnet image. Even if Gartner asked the purchaser what the machines were intended to run, they would not have known and said windows since we are main an MS shop, except for my systems.

  • by wrinkledshirt ( 228541 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @02:46PM (#156922) Homepage
    I suppose some would consider Slashdot to be its own library of MS public relations exposure, but I really think we really need to make a chronicle of all the ways that Microsoft has handled the Linux OS.

    Methods they have used so far:

    • Mockery (Ballmer)
    • Misdirection (this study)
    • Defamation (Alchinn)
    • Conspiracy (Hallowe'en papers)
    • Divide and Conquer (recent attack on GPL)
    • Rhetoric (that "truth about linux" article they had at microsoft.com for a while)
    • Hostile advertising (ads over in Europe)
    • Sending subliminal messages to morons who happen to moonlight as ZDNet editors [zdnet.com]
    • Hypocrisy ("How can we be a monopoly with this wonderful Linux thing going on?")

    We should compile all this stuff and put it in a central location so that we can refer to it at a later time. I bet it wouldn't take long for all the inconsistencies in their arguments to fall apart, and it would make for great debate fodder.

  • Just a slight note: I hope that when you send reports to your clients, you say "The other managers and I" rather than "Me and the other managers at the consultancy where I work"...at least when you're starting a sentence.

    Me read reports too, but me try write better.

    Also: "When my corporation pays for research, we absolutely do not want them to tell us what we want to hear. We want to know the FACTS. Bill Gates (the world's most succesful businessman) is no different."

    You're assuming Microsoft wants facts and not marketing crap to try to prop up W2K. You know, stuff marketing can put out alongside statements like "W2K IS a serious Enterprise-ready scaleable and reliable OS." Which might be true in comparison to LAN Manager, but not if it's up against UNIX.

    Finally: "Just because Microsoft commissioned the research does not render it invalid."

    Agreed. It does, however, render it highly suspect. That it's from Gartner renders it likely invalid. They haven't been trusted by any of the techies I know since about 1996 and even the sales types I know don't take them seriously anymore.
  • The Garter group survives by some of the most flagrantly unethical (and in my opinion, criminal) tactics ever displayed even in an industry where such things are common. As for driving Garter out of business if you do better research... what utter nonsense! That is like saying that you will drive MS out of business if you produce a better OS. In an ideal world, maybe. Not in a world driven by greed and corruption where manipulating and managing the public perception of things has been reduced to a science.

    Magnus.
  • Dude, I don't know anyone that "takes that old machine in the corner" and loads Win2K on it ;)

    Actually, I'm having trouble taking "that old machine in the corner" and loading Linux on it. Firsthand experience over the past month of reading, experimenting, and downloading distros has revealed that most 2000 and 2001 Linux distributions really don't work that well for old machines anymore. You can see it with Mandrake and others optimizing for 586 or even 686 processors now. You can see it in Debian 2.1 vs. 2.2 -- the memory requirements for 2.1 (1999) are 4 megs ram minimum (16 recommended), for 2.2 (2001) the minimum is 12 (64 recommended).

    What I've found is for my older machines -- 486s, 586s, moderate amounts of RAM -- that I have to track down pre-2000 distributions, or settle for crippled distributions such as SmallLinux (very cool, can do X-Windows in 4 megs of RAM, but also states very clearly "this is not a complete distribution"). I think our convincing arguements about how good Linux is with old machines are becoming less convincing as older distributions become more obscured or drop off the Web entirely.

  • by V50 ( 248015 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @03:16PM (#156931) Journal

    Here are some relevent links:

    An Opinion from OsOpinion [osopinion.com]
    The Gartner Report Itself [gartner.com]


    --Volrath50

  • Well, actually after economics turmoil corporations are seeking alternatives in the implmentation of enterprise systems.

    E.g. my company listed Linux in the evaluation process when starting new project, which is so amazing - our company never ever spend any resource on R&D and every adoption must be known technology and justified(read: have big corp. behind). The move is like seeing a dinosaur flying to us.

    Our internal papers even positioned Linux as the midway between Win2k and commercial UNIX. It might not due to the increase in awareness of management, it might due to the budget consideration.

    They solved budget problem, we are happy with Linux. It's a win-win situation for us.

    (That's only one specific case for our corp., I didn't mean to generalize - in case you argue)
  • by jsse ( 254124 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @06:55PM (#156934) Homepage Journal
    I'm not the one you bashed, but I was wondering where do you get this information?

    As has already been stated, Gartner asked end-users what they installed on their computers after they bought them.

    As one of a Gartner customers, we failed to get hold of the detail information on how they did the survey, they (inofficially) said it's commercial secret. All we know is the market segment and sample size. So, are you sure they really did?

    Garter is a research agency that has its value locked in its reputation. If it produces poor quality research on a regular basis, people will stop subscribing or purchasing its reports.

    Good point, but in fact customers choose Gartner because they want to get what they want to hear, and Gartner chooses who to list in their report. Once my friend's company complaint Gartner on their unfair comparison to their product. Their response was like "You were lucky we ever listed you" attitude. Gartner offered to come over to evaluate the situation, turn out gave them an opportunity to make business. My friend has then grown up thereafter any never take their study seriously.

    Are you arrogant enough to believe they haven't thought of this?

    Are you naive enough to believe they haven't thought of doing study in favour of big corps. for long term benefit?

    Garter is not in the business of assessing obscure technical facts. They provide a strategic business perspective on technology. Tech-heads are not their market. They don't care about the operational aspects of the technology. The people who run business (which, most commonly, are not tech-heads and have different skills) are their market. They care about the strategic implications of the technology and longer-term market trends.

    Hmm, isn't that exactly the major problem here?.....no wonder why they rated Rambus having brilliant future....

    But, the village idiots on slashdot are always willing to provide legal advice, assume everyone in management is a PHB, that companies never ever know what they're doing, that everything is part of a conspiracy and that anyone who doesn't know how to write a sound compression script using bash is an idiot.

    village idiots on slashdot? Compare to people like you who are so naive to believe that reports from big and rich companies must always be trusted, we are real idiots.

    In summary, read the bloody report and get some perspective before spouting off.

    I read those bloody reports quite frequently for my job. Have you ever wonder how do they come up with those probability factors that predict future trends on something, and how accurate do they turn out to be? I'd be much grateful if you could talk Gartner's to release the details, formula and source data of their research. (No Sir, it's company's secret!)
  • "Lets face it, my 16 year old sister can learn to be a windows admin from one of those tech schools that'll make you certified in 3 months. And you can pay 5 of those newbie admins for the price of one unix admin."

    Yes, but any 16 year old with a cable modem and a CD burner can download a copy of any Linux distro and have a REAL, robust, scalable server OS to play with, free of charge.

    And Linux is getting easier and easier to use all the time.

    Plus, Linux and Unix knowledge is WORTH more in the workplace than `Doze knowledge, which is a dime a dozen. I personally am considered very valueble in my department, in a top company that is investing a BILLION dollars in Linux, simply because I am a competent superuser. I'm not even good enough to be an engineer yet (but I'm working on it, and here in Durham, NC is a great place to do it).

  • "Wow, news flash indeed.
    But on the other hand, the real news is that 8.6% of all new servers sold comes with Linux pre-installed.

    This is in fact good news. Its only the spindoctoring in the Gartner study that makes it look either bad or not newsworthy.
    "

    I think you make a great point there. Pretty much everyone who sells servers these days offers Linux. I work for one of the largest in Q/A testing, right now working on certifying their RAID cards and servers for Red Hat 7.1.

    Linux is the ideal web server, and with SAMBA, an ideal file server for small and medium businesses. After all, connect ALL your users to it, no need to buy connect licenses... EVER!

    Those categories represent, in raw numbers, the LARGEST bulk categories of the server market.

  • " Well thats normal /. dumbfuckness.. everything AOL or MS is evil.. they could donate $1 Billion to linux.com and they would be strewn as evil monopolists. STUPID FUCKING SLASHDOT TROLLS"

    Really? As I recall, most /.'ers like Mozilla, which is a Netscape derivitave, which has developers that AOL pays...

    That is a good thing AOL does, for sure, if for no other reason than to help Mozilla is to hurt M$. Remember, the enemy of your enemy is your friend...

    As for Microsoft, I make no apologies. They ARE evil. Just look at what `Doze XP is going to do to people who think they are buying the greatest thing since MS Sliced Bread(tm).

    XP:

    1. Deliberately hurts Mp3
    2. Breaks CD Burner software
    3. Prevents you from upgrading your computer in an unlimited fashion without calling M$.
    4. REQUIRES activation (and giving out info) to be a legal license.
    5. Is a very MINOR technical upgrade from Windows 2000, which given what XP is DOING to you in #1-4, makes it a negative return. 2000 is by far the better OS.
    6. Has a GUI that would make anyone outside Miss Shirley's Romper Room throw up. I much prefer KDE 2.1.

    Not only that, but MS is sending out goons to call the GPL license "Un American" and to lobby for what cannot be stated as anything but the right to "embrace and extend" ANYONE'S code.

  • "As has already been stated, Gartner asked end-users what they installed on their computers after they bought them. Not what was pre-installed on their computer. Implication: either Linux doesn't have the marketshare zealots want to belive, or accurately assessing server marketshare is difficult. You decide."

    NOT true. Here's a quote:

    ""The study results indicated that in the traditional server market in the United States during the third quarter of 2000, 8.6 percent of server shipments were Linux-based systems."

    So they did base it on SHIPMENTS. I'm willing to bet that most GNU/Linux servers ship with Windows, then are replaced with Linux. Also, this does not count hand built servers, of which I'd bet a large percentage are Linux servers.

    As I said in my previous post, this "method" of determining how popular an OS is used by Gartner isn't any more scientific than determining the most popular video game by what cart/CD came with the system.

  • In my previous job, my company did a lot of contract work for the State of West Virginia, which uses the "Gartner Group's Tier" standards for all their purchases.

    Many things on it were illogical, such as the blatant RAMBUS memory cheerleading, etc, despite benchmarks that proved that PC-133 SDRAM was faster on Pentium 3 systems than RAMBUS (and was cheaper).

    Basically Gartner, like any company of it's type, says what it's paid to say. Why do they do this? Because they wanted to get paid. Remember when Ziff-Davis would only talk about Liuux when parroting Microsoft's "Haloween Documents"? That changed overnight when Linux companies formed and started advertising in ZD magazines.

    The same will happen with Gartner when a Linux company buys their seal of approval.

    As the article stated, this "study" used the flawed model of judging server OS's by what OS shipped with the system, rather than actually surveying what was actually USED on that server sold.

    This is like measuring what radio station is #1 in the market by what station the radio was set to when it was sold. Or how many people buy Ashland Gasoline because that was the fuel in the car when it was sold...

    Unfortunately, Gartner's flaws are not well known by the people who use them as the HOLY WRIT (usually the non-techical people in corporate and government bureaucracy).
  • Heh, support for XML in the kernel.

    Heh. Considering the rest of his post seemed non-trollish and mostly intelligent, I'm guessing that what he meant was support for XML in a standard way. It would be nice if Linux (*NIX in general) had one single standard library based on XML that was used for all *.conf type files. It really can be a pain editing different file types and doing things differently depending upon if the software you are configuring uses ':' to seperate keys from values, or ',' or something even more obscure.

    Why you would want that support in the kernel, though.. well, its a bad idea. Perhaps the original poster assumes this will trojan horse the XML support into all distributions and then software programmers will be more likely to use the library...

  • I agree. Losing SourceForge, in particular, is a big deal. But I don't see how they will manage to survive.

    Hopefully people who host their code at sourceforge will at least start making copious local backups in the event the site just disappears one day, along with VA Linux as a corporate entity.

  • ... at least we don't have to worry about *BSD is dying troll posts in the comments for this story...

  • FreeBSD...

    still runs VERY happy on a little 386/16mhz

    of course *I'm* not happy with it ;)

  • by teambpsi ( 307527 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @02:39PM (#156955) Homepage
    Dude, I don't know anyone that "takes that old machine in the corner" and loads Win2K on it ;)

    Linux/GNU/FREEBSD is doing more to help "reduce/reuse/recycle"

  • by screwballicus ( 313964 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @02:43PM (#156958)
    For every anti-microsoft posting, there will be an equal and opposite pro-microsoft posting.

    No doubt, within minutes, the board will be awash in criticisms of Slashdot's anti-microsoft stance and defences of that stance.

    I've noticed a trend with regard to this process. No matter how passionately the stoical marketeers defend Microsoft, nor how predictably Linux' yes-men define the particular news story as the turning point in the eternal battle between the forces of freedom and the forces of evil, the truth will lie somewhere in the middle. What's depressing is that those who take the middle ground are morbidly few. Who would have thought the tech sector would create such starry-eyed romantics (as many online activists seem to be)?

  • first of all, the fact that Microsoft (partially) sponsored this "study" invalidates it completely. The public loves statistics, they're a neat, simple method of analysing that even the average moron can understand. However, most things are too complex for a simple statistic to explain. There are inevitably other factors that come in to play that can be handily ignored in order to make statistics lie. (ie, most linux machines aren't bought with linux preinstalled) And this is MS's newest weapon in their FUD war against anything that has the potential to hurt their sales. (or as they like to call it "curing the cancer") ;) Good luck MS!
  • IDG's not any better -- there's been complaints over the years about how they tally the sales of Mac software for example. But at least there's not common allegations that IDG is dirty as their are with Gartner (remember when Gartner published two reports at the same time, one reading "Linux is great (0.7 probability)" and the other reading "Linux sucks (0.7 probability)"?)

    I'm sure that the IDG numbers are total fluff -- they probably took total Linux downloads and ass-umed that X% were going to new server installs, and worked backwards from there. The fact that the 24% number is "shipped" is especially bogus because most servers don't ship with an OS at all.
  • It's been my experience that MS servers require more maintenance than Linux/Unix boxes, which means more time and more admins. They also tend to choke more often when under load. Just my experience, mind you, but it's in contradiction to yours.

    There is one thing that MS can never beat Linux at, one thing that really appealed to the bean counter in my employers: Linux costs nothing and has no licensing fees - ever. Even if Linux and MS products run head-to-head in terms of their viability as servers in real-environment conditions, the cost savings tend to stack up over time. Why pay for a product when the alternative is just as good and free?

    And don't go into 'service contracts'. I've never received any remotely useful information from MS for fixing a problem, yet can get extremely knowledgeable assistance for free from Linux fans on the net. And I can rewrite the code to work more efficiently in a specific environment, something you *just can't do* with MS products (this has got to be the most frustrating thing for me - not being able to see the code and change it as I see fit).

    Take those things into consideration and Linux doesn't have to be better than MS where server software is concerned - just as good will do.

    Max
  • Only 8.6 percent of servers shipped in 3rd quarter 2000 were running Linux, claims a recent Gartner Dataquest report. A previous study

    My server, which came with win95 in 1998, was not running anything when it shipped. I had to turn on the power. Then, after a few days, it ran Red Hat, and the last year it's been running debian.

  • by return 42 ( 459012 ) on Tuesday June 12, 2001 @02:41PM (#156987)
    Well, 100% of the machines (1) in my apartment came with no operating system at all. So in this part of the country I guess the dominant OS would be AMIBIOS 95.

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