Sunday, October 16, 2011

Operating System Market Share

The quantitative future estimates from analysts, which we use as the basis for our discussions, must of course—as with any predictions—be taken carefully. Our main goal is to use them to extract and illustrate significant market trends. To start with, consider Figure 3.6, from Gartner Group data from November 2003 and showing server market trends sorted by the operating system provided with the servers.

The strong increase in sales for Linux and Windows is obvious. It is likely that Windows’s growth will be mostly in the midrange, as the high end is the hunting ground for proprietary systems and UNIX. Netware is expected to undergo a noticeable reduction in market.

Linux’s market share is expected to grow noticeably. This OS seems to have a promising future in the domain of dedicated servers (that is, servers which support a single application).

Among the proprietary versions of UNIX, we see that AIX’s share is expected to grow while those of HP-UX and of Solaris are expected to stay stable at best. For HP-UX, the seamless transition offered to customers between HP’s PA architecture and IA-64 is a factor in reducing the erosion of HP-UX’s market share. Since HP has not announced any intention to give access to HP-UX outside OEM agreements, its market share will be strictly limited to systems developed by HP.

For Solaris, we should note that Sun has an IA-32 port. The battle between the different UNIX vendors will be interesting to watch, not least because it looks as though the players will be fighting over a shrinking field as they lose share to Linux and Windows Server 2003.

This shrink in market share is an effect of the competition that Windows and Linux are offering to UNIX systems in the low-end and midrange. The introduction of systems based on IA-64 (Itanium) is likely to relaunch the sales of UNIX on Intel platforms, in particular in midrange and high-end systems. And we should note that the various UNIX variants have had time and experience enough to reach a level of maturity and reliability that allows them to attack enterprise-critical systems, previously the domain of proprietary mainframe systems.

Windows looks set to dominate the market at the lower-cost domain, with its success in the higher end only coming with maturity. The process of maturing is, of course, much aided by the installation of a very large number of Windows systems—provided its vendor can provide the needed support and maintenance, since this exposes the system to a wide range of different situations.

Our thoughts must also encompass the “free software” phenomenon, as evidenced by Linux. Linux has the advantage of being essentially free at the point of acquisition; any problems it might have, compared to UNIX versions sold by the major manufacturers or by major software publishers will be in the level of support available. This risk is being mitigated however, as the same major manufacturers now include Linux in their catalogs and offer support and services for Linux as they do for their own systems. Independent software houses are also offering Linux support and services.

As we have emphasized before, a key element in choice of an operation system is the richness of the applications catalog associated with it. While the talk is encouraging, it remains to be seen just what the actual long term commitment of software vendors to Linux will be. While such vendors are most likely to be interested in the much larger marketplace offered them by Linux platforms, they are not likely to offer their applications in source form to the community.

For certain embedded and specialized systems, Linux has an undeniable attraction. Because such systems rarely are expected to run any extant application, but to execute some well-defined, application-specific applications, the richness of the application catalog is irrelevant. Qualifying such a system is eased by its natural closed character. The applications for such embedded systems may, themselves, be members of the world of free software— for example, the Apache web server, and the SAMBA PC file sharing package.

Market Evolution
As is often seen in the data-processing industry, a balancing effect had moved us from the centralized approach—terminals connected to mainframes— to a distributed approach, embodying minicomputers and of PCs. Unfortunately, the distributed approach, while providing more flexibility tended to give rise to inconsistencies in the company’s data and was hard to administer effectively. Now the world is swinging back towards a more centralized approach (at least as far as the management of data is concerned). “Upsizing” (or “server consolidation”) has the effect of increasing the average size of a server and concentrating a number of independent servers into a single server, whether it be a single large machine or a cluster.

Economic Considerations in the UNIX World
As in other areas, it is difficult for a systems vendor to bear the cost of development and maintenance for server-class UNIX systems if sales are weak. This leads to consolidations, concentrating the industry around ever-fewer UNIX versions. As the few remaining versions of UNIX differ, their uniqueness gives the UNIX market much of the flavor of the traditional proprietary market for high-end systems. And this, quite likely, will benefit Linux, which is not restricted at all in this manner.

Classes with accredited online colleges are an option, to more effectively deal with business evolution.

Source of Information : Elsevier Server Architectures 2005
Operating System Market ShareSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
Digg Google Bookmarks reddit Mixx StumbleUpon Technorati Yahoo! Buzz DesignFloat Delicious BlinkList Furl

0 comments: on "Operating System Market Share"

Post a Comment