Linux on the rise as messaging platform

If its manufacturers can guarantee uninterrupted service, Linux could gain traction in the enterprise as a messaging platform within the next two years, according to a recent survey.

The survey, undertaken by Osterman Research, said that about a quarter of 95 IT executives it interviewed would either "definitely" or "probably" switch to Linux-based messaging servers within two years. But that's more than the 17% who indicated in the same survey that their organizations would either definitely or probably switch within a year.

"While the majority of organizations will likely not migrate to a Linux-based messaging system, there is potentially strong demand for these systems" between 2005 and 2007, the survey concluded.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents cited two chief reasons why their organizations wouldn't switch: an expected disruption to end users from the migration and insufficient in-house Linux messaging expertise.

On the other hand, nearly half of the respondents cited "lower initial cost" as an expected benefit in a Linux migration. Slightly more than 40% cited the "ability to avoid vendor lock-in."

"A key driver for the success of a Linux-based messaging system or any alternative to a mainstream messaging system will be its ability to significantly reduce the labor cost associated with managing the system," the survey concluded.

That's a key driver in the general rise in Linux adoption. IDC, of Framingham, Mass., this week cited a focus in reducing overall IT acquisition costs as a reason behind a continuing surge in Linux server shipments. The analyst firm said shipments increased 40% in the second quarter of this year, more than double the 15% IDC cited in the same quarter in 2001.

"I believe that the growth in Linux-based messaging systems will more or less mirror the growth in Linux," Osterman's founder, Michael Osterman, tells eADT. "Most organizations are unlikely to deploy Linux-based messaging servers while maintaining Windows for other systems, for example. However, Linux will likely gain more traction in perimeter systems, such as gateways."