This is the first post in my new series called Crystal Ball Sunday. These Sunday posts are where I take out my Linux, and related technology, crystal ball and give you my predictions for the coming months. This week I am focusing on corporate conversion to Linux.
I foresee companies starting to take a serious look at Linux for their corporate server and desktop infrastructures. As our economy slides quietly into recession, corporate check writers are going to engage to CIOs and technical managers to find ways to lower costs for power, cooling, software, and hardware. Turning to Linux will be a natural part of that mission.
Linux will gain ground in the File Server, Application Server, and Mail Server spaces as costlier solutions fade in favor of those offering more bang for the buck. In turn, those IT staff members with diverse skills will continue to find gainful employment over those who are Operating System “specialists.”
Virtualization will also play a large role in this cost-lowering shift. VMware, VirtualBox, Xen, KVM, Qemu, and other solutions will lose their niche status to become standard, mainstream staples in server rooms and data centers alike. Linux is the clear choice as a virtual host Operating System—regardless of guest Operating System—due to its stability and low operating cost.
Linux-based thin client and terminal server computing will also be thrust into a new era of interest. Traditional desktop and laptop computers hosting their own ever-bloating, high-maintenance Operating Systems will fall to the more agile remote boot or minimal Operating System desktop and laptop computers that can leverage older and even outdated hardware. Most, if not all, computing and application storage and management will be done on a remote server system.
Necessity breeds innovation and creativity. In stressful economic times, an underdog like Linux will get a second look and perhaps gain the relevance and utility it deserves.