Two months ago SCO sent letters to 1500 of the largest companies globally warning them of risks involved in running Linux. Although SCO did not make the identities of these companies public, Chris Sontag described the list as “the Fortune 500 and effectively the global 2000. It ended up being about 1,500 top international companies”. This makes it likely that the list of companies that received letters from SCO will be quite similar to the list of sites we use to study enterprises’ web site technology choices.
At the time many analysts speculated that SCO’s behaviour might deter enterprise companies from using Linux. However, this has not happened to date, at least in respect of their internet visible web sites. In the last two months Linux has made a net gain of over 100 enterprise sites; sites which have migrated to Linux including Royal Sun Alliance, Deutsche Bank, SunGard,T-online and most noteworthy, Schwab.
It may well be that although SCO has generated an enormous amount of attention from the media and the Linux evangelists, it does not presently have the attention of IT practitioners in large companies. Companies may be continuing with Linux migrations because they believe:
- The likelihood of a successful conclusion to SCO’s lawsuit is extremely small;
- The costs of migrating from Linux to FreeBSD at a later date are also small;
- They are committed to a migration strategy and don't intend to change course;
In practice we think that conventional competition from Windows and Solaris currently presents more of a barrier to Linux adoption in the Enterprises than SCO. Although Linux has enjoyed a net gain over the last two months, it is not by any means one way traffic; in the past twelve months over 1600 enterprise sites have changed operating system in one direction or another.
Enterprise sites moving off Linux include Valaro Energy and National Service Industries and Colt which have moved to Windows, while Cadbury Schweppes have appropriately adopted a suck it and see approach, trying all three operating systems on their main site in the space of the last two years, and currently on Windows 2000.
More surprising is the composition of these sites choice of operating systems. One might expect that by far the most common operating system amongst JSP based sites would be Solaris, given JSP's links with application servers such as Weblogic, IBM Websphere, Oracle, and Apache Tomcat. However, Solaris is only placed 3rd with 17% behind Linux with 40% and Windows with 26%.
It’s hard to predict what Sun’s assessment of this might be – would they be delighted at JSP’s increasing adoption, establishing a bridgehead for Sun into Windows and Linux territory, or would they be shocked and appalled at the numbers of JSP sites not choosing Solaris as an operating system platform? Probably, they would verge towards the former interpretation on the basis that use of any of the company’s technologies has to be a good thing.
Netcraft can report deployment of a wide range of technologies on the internet, aggregated by hosting company, or analysing specific choices made by enterprises. Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.
When we first reported on Windows Server 2003 we gave an indication on the numbers of sites that had been put up prior to the official launch. In the three months since the launch the number of active sites has increased by over 300% and now stands at 88,400.
Windows Server 2003 Growth - July 2003
Over the past 3 months many new hosting providers have released Windows Server 2003 hosting packages. Myhosting.com is now the top hoster of active Windows Server 2003 sites, and apparently has stopped offering Windows Server 2000 and Microsoft-IIS/5.0 to new customers, inisisting that they should run Microsoft-IIS/6.0.
Comparing the sites which are now hosted on Windows 2003 with their operating system in December 2002 shows over 42% of these to be new sites, 43% (68K) to be upgrades from other Windows platforms (mainly Windows 2000), 5% (8K) to be migrations from Linux and 1% from other operating systems.
Microsoft will take some considerable encouragement at the number of sites that have switched from Linux.
FreeBSD secured a strong foothold with the hosting and internet services communities at the genesis of the web and has anything but gone away. Indeed it is the only other operating system that is gaining, rather than losing share of the active sites found by the Web Server Survey.
Hostnames and Active Sites running FreeBSD Jan 2002 - July 2003
The reason for this is FreeBSD’s deployment with the operators of shared hosting systems, where tens and even hundreds of thousands of sites are collectively administered as part of a single system. In this respect a relatively small number of people control the technology choices for an enormous number of people, many of whom have no idea what operating system they are using.
Several of the companies that pioneered and succeeded in shared hosting, including best.com, now part of Verio and Pair Networks based their businesses on FreeBSD. These companies have stayed with the operating system while developing hundreds of thousands of customer accounts. However, much of the surge in FreeBSD sites over the last year has been caused by the rampant growth of Yahoo!’s shared hosting offering.
To misquote Churchill, never has an operating system used by so many been administered by so few.