I received a newsletter from rPath concerning Lean IT and it occurred to me that Linux is the keystone in each one of the elements listed in it: Virtualization, Cloud Computing and Cost reduction mandates. As more businesses work toward saving money, they'll look for ways to save on IT infrastructure (Hardware), labor and external services.
All of those cost-cutting changes point suspiciously to Linux.
Virtualization - With the exception of Microsoft's Hyper-V, all virtualization solutions are Linux or Unix-based: KVM, Xen, VMware, Solaris Zones, OpenVZ and QEMU. It's obvious from this list that Linux is the preferred technology for virtualization and saving money. Microsoft's attempt at serving its penny-penching customers is a "too little, too late" scenario, which is one reason they're giving it away with Windows Server 2008 and offering some free licensing along with it. True wallet watchers will deploy Linux-based technologies for real savings over the long haul.
Cloud-Computing - Again, most (>90%) Cloud vendors use Xen as their solution of choice for providing inexpensive, reliable and superb performance for their customers. Amazon's EC2 is one example. Other vendors are making a go of it with KVM--see Elastichosts for a good example of this technology in action.
Cost Reduction - Linux is the clear winner in cost-reduction. A company need not rely on Red Hat or Novell to successfully deploy and use Linux in their environment. Commercial versions and support are the answers for the faint at heart when trying to save a buck or two. The more maverick, and often more successful businesses, will opt for the totally free versions that are well-known and supportable by a wider range of Linux professionals. Examples are CentOS, Debian and the periennially popular, Ubuntu.
In essence: To use and support Linux, big dollars are not required.
Though many companies are looking to save money on labor instead of licensing, hardware and service contracts, you have to remember that Linux is fully supportable from a remote location. In the future, I foresee many companies opting for "work at home" technical support for their systems (Linux and Windows).
These work at home professionals offer less expensive rates for their clients, are quite skilled and are unconventional thinkers (Something you want when things go wrong) and are always available.
Write back and tell me how you're saving money with Linux, virtualization, cloud-computing and a leveraged work force. If I like your story, I'll use it in a future post.