In the Unix market, the emergence of Linux will drive the operating systems market to consolidate to the three major variants — IBM AIX, Sun Solaris and HP-UX, says Gartner Inc.
Gartner hardware analyst Matthew Boon told an audience of about 80 people in Auckland last week that a “significant proportion” of server revenue will be on Linux by 2006.
“However, it won’t be taking a lot of market share away from Unix. The main threat will be to low-end Windows, particularly edge of the network. By 2006 we’ll start to see some mid-range and even enterprise deployments of Linux.”
Boon thinks Linux will be Unix’s savior; Windows would otherwise take over the market totally.
“Linux will hold Windows at bay and there will be enough room for the other three. Windows will grow but not as significantly as it would have if Linux hadn’t been around.”
Boon says a Gartner survey two years ago asked users if they thought Linux had the same capabilities as other mainstream operating systems. Positive responses were very low. This year 40 percent of responses said Linux has the same capabilities. The downside for Linux is that while it will challenge Windows at the low end, future releases of Windows .Net will start to impede Linux’s gains in the enterprise, says Boon.
On the hardware side, a shift is likely towards a modular component-style architecture for servers. “Look at server blades (a server on a card), which are just at the top of the hype curve now but will become generally accepted over the next 24 months,” says Boon.
The future of servers is as an on-demand virtual resource utility, according to Gartner.
“This will be the next push from vendors; servers will become a utility such as power or water. It’s quite a way to go but it’s technology that vendors are striving to offer moving down the track.”