Survey: The Demise Of Unix Is Exaggerated

A new study from the Gabriel Consulting Group shows that use of Unix, particularly high-end systems, is on the rise in the enterprise.

January 30, 2007

2 Min Read
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The demise of Unix in the enterprise has been greatly exaggerated.

A new study from the Gabriel Consulting Group shows that use of Unix, particularly in high-end systems, is on the rise in the enterprise, according to Dan Olds, a principal analyst with the research and analysis firm. More than half of the data center managers surveyed reported that they will be increasing their use of high-end Unix systems, with only 30% saying that's not in their plans.

"These results tell us that the Unix market is healthy and likely to grow in the future," said Olds in his report. "We believe that the much discussed death of Unix, like the death of the mainframe and the mini computer, is more myth than fact and will remain so for at least the next decade. Unix systems and their associated applications fulfill vital functions in many organizations and the costs and risks of switching to a different system architecture are too high to justify benefits that may not be as significant as promised."

In a survey of 277 data center managers -- most working at companies with between 1,000 and 10,000 employees -- nearly 70% reported that their Unix usage is increasing. Only 22% to 26% say it isn't increasing or is actually declining.

When it comes to small Unix servers, the numbers aren't so clear, said Olds. Overall, he pointed out, the survey shows that low-end Unix is holding steady.The big increases seem to be coming from the high end. "This result certainly supports the idea that large-scale Unix systems are still in vogue and will likely be even more popular in the future," wrote Olds. "This isn't to say that x86-based systems aren't making up ground in terms of capabilities, scale and availability. They are. We are saying that these systems still have a way to go to equal or better the overall value of Unix systems -- particularly on the high end."

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