Kumar: Enterprises Shifting Toward Linux

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Computer Associates president and CEO Sanjay Kumar said during his LinuxWorld keynote address Thursday that he's seen a dramatic shift in the number of enterprise customers considering and using Linux in their businesses.

"We've seen a tremendous change in the interest in Linux from our customers in the last 12 months," Kumar said.

He said in 2000, about five out of 100 enterprises customers approached the software vendor about possibly using Linux. Last year, however, Kumar said his conservative estimate was that at least 50 out of 100 customers inquired about Linux. He said major clients, such as Citigroup, have recently invested in Linux systems and solutions through CA.

To that end, Kumar announced CA will be releasing more than 20 Linux-based software solutions in the near future for such areas as security, storage and network management. New Linux solutions for CA's BrightStor storage software, for instance, will be arriving shortly and will build even more momentum for Linux in the corporate market, as well as give businesses better technology.

"It's critical that customers start to embrace storage solutions [for Linux," he said.

Kumar credits IBM as playing a big part in that shift by pushing Linux in its mainframe and eServer business. He said more enterprise customers using large server farms are moving to Linux platforms for better Web server and application server technology. He added that increased support for Linux from Intel-based platforms as well as embedded systems have played a huge role in increasing adoption of the open source operating system.

Kumar encouraged more companies to support Linux.

"We've see a gradual shift in IT companies make much more solid commitments to Linux," he said. "We're encouraging more vendors to build and port software for Linux."

While Linux's growth has been strong, Kumar predicts there will be consolidation in the Linux software market, which will yield positive results overall. Kumar also said he expects more technology companies to commit to Linux this year.

"The more we get the message out, the more viable the [Linux platform will be," he said.

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