Linux continues to gain popularity amongst organisations in Australia and New Zealand where the number using Linux servers has doubled since 1999, according to an IDC study of end users.
The annual IDC user programs study, based on responses from 330 CIOs and IT managers, found that 32.4% of respondent organisations were using Linux servers.
Only 4.9% of respondents had formally rejected Linux servers after considering its use, the study reported.
Commenting on why users were adopting Linux solutions, IDC user programs director Catherine Bennett says the uptake of Linux could be related to the fact that it's cheaper and provides companies with an alternative to more costly servers.
"Companies are adopting Linux for many different reasons, and its suitability really depends on the organisation," she says.
According to the report's findings, Linux server adoption will grow from 32.4% (as at the end 2002) to 40% by the end of 2003.
Bennett says these figures were derived from combining the 32.4% of organisations currently using Linux with those that expect to start using Linux servers by the end of this year (8.2%). A further 9.6% say they expect to start using Linux servers by the end of 2004.
Figures for those using Linux on the desktop were dramatically less however, with just 0.3% stating that, at the end of 2002, they used Linux as their desktop operating system. A further 0.5% said they expected to use Linux on the desktop by the end of this year, while 2.1% predicted they would have Linux on their desktop at the end of 2004.
The IDC report found real growth in the use of Linux is occurring across most industry sectors with the public sector in the lead. Nearly 38% of survey respondents from this sector claim to have already had experience with Linux. The second-highest users of Linux were the leisure and distribution sectors.
"The finance industry appears to be the most reluctant of any sector, possibly reflecting greater concerns with standards and risk, or less concern with the TCO issues which is motivating many organisations to investigate open source solutions," Bennett says.