Linux is moving away from being risk-free as it climbs the enterprise ladder, warns a Gartner report.
Microsoft's Asia-Pacific and greater China public sector general manager Peter Moore quoted the report at a media briefing on open source in Auckland last week.
The report, which came out earlier this month, warns that as Linux marches into the enterprise, organisations must understand all of the open source operating system’s benefits, risks and costs.
It says as Linux climbs the enterprise ladder it inevitably becomes more commercial and is moving away from being cost- and risk-free. Support fees will increase, middleware will be as expensive as that of Unix, dependency is a risk, databases and clusters will get no favoured discounts and the total cost of acquisition may be a misleading indicator for large enterprise deployments.
In terms of business applications, support, management and migration issues remain but are diminishing, says Gartner. While 70% to 80% of typically larger enterprises have deployed Linux, the vast majority of those deployments are in appliance and network functions, file and print services, web front-end apps and computational server farms.
CIOs face political issues particularly in terms of lower-level managers being committed to use Linux and open source. They must shift the discussion to a development-centric issue rather than one based on tactical issues like supporting another OS, says Gartner.