Linux Web Hosting Market Set to Boom

LONDON — According to research conducted by Idaya, the Linux market is set to grow by more than 150 per cent this year.
Brighton-based Idaya, which is the principal sponsor of the freeVSD project — an open-source web-hosting platform — and provides software for ISPs, ASPs and IHPs, conducted the research between January and March this year, and interviewed the global top 1000 ISPs. The responses pointed to an expected growth rate of 154 per cent — matching last year’s growth — in the Linux market during 2001, as well as general agreement that Linux is likely to become the dominant Web server platform by mid-2002.

Other key findings of the research included:

45 per cent of respondents see open-source software as the dominant web hosting technology by 2003, although it should be added that 33 per cent take a contrasting view
Nearly two-thirds of ISPs believe that leading open-source software meets enterprise-level standards comparable to those met by proprietary software.

The main obstacles to increased penetration of Linux are considered to be market distrust and lack of support for distributions.

Austin Delaney, founder of the freeVSD project commented on the research, saying, “The improved ability of the ISP to bring down the cost of web services, yet be able to rely on robust and proven GPL [General Public Licence] applications, is putting web-enablement within the grasp of a far wider global business community (…) we are also seeing the traditional proprietary providers of enterprise systems – IBM, Oracle, Dell, Compaq, HP, etc. – putting billions of dollars into Linux development. This is critically important as it presages the penetration of Linux into corporate back-office processes, immediately opening a far wider market.” Another signal of IBM’s intent in backing Linux is provided by the fact that the OS merits a page in the IBM annual report!

Another area where Linux is making headway is in the embedded devices market. At the beginning of the week, Lineo announced that the latest version of its development platform for Linux-based embedded software is now available. Lineo Embedix Software Development Kit 2.0 supports a wider range of processor families – Motorola PowerPC, AMD x86/IA32, ARM, MIPS, IDT MIPS and Super Hitachi – and offers “snap-in” architecture for adding new hardware and software features, such as GUI, Bluetooth and USB. The development environment runs on all major Linux distributions as well as Windows NT and 2000.

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