Open-source Linux gaining ground in government, survey says

A growing number of federal IT managers at U.S. civilian and defense agencies are choosing open-source Linux over proprietary Unix operating systems, according to a new survey from Larstan Business Reports, a consulting firm based in Potomac, Md.

More than 60 percent of respondents said they either agreed or strongly agreed that architecture with open-source code is valuable and should be adopted.

And 60 percent of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that Unix and Microsoft environments are based on proprietary technology that can be expensive to deploy and maintain, and can limit overall flexibility.

Yet 75 percent of the respondents reported that their organization has no plans to migrate from Unix to Linux, while 14 percent said they planned to migrate over the next year.

Fifty-three percent of the respondents said they either agreed or strongly agreed that there is an institutional bias within organizations against migrating to Linux because it is perceived as unready for mission-critical applications. Forty seven percent disagreed with that statement.

If contract options were in place to meet all open-source migration needs it would represent a significant savings to organizations: 79 percent of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed with that idea.

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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