Linux database gains show progress in the data center

* Latest database server figures show Linux making inroads into the data center

Some observers attribute the growth of Linux servers to the migration of lower-end platforms, such as old Windows NT or Novell file and print boxes, to Linux. The open source operating system is still at the periphery in enterprises and not in large data centers, they say.

The proof of Linux's gains as a platform for running the most important corporate applications is in the latest database server figures released from Gartner. According to the research firm, the number of relational database management system (RDBMS) licenses for Linux servers grew by 118% last year, over the previous year.

Licenses for such database software as Sybase, IBM DB2, Oracle and others built for the Linux operating system totaled $654.8 million, up from $299.8 million in license sales in 2003. According to the Gartner research, Oracle is the king of Linux databases, accounting for over 80% of the new RDMBS licenses revenue for Linux in 2004. Oracle also boosted its Linux RDBMS sales by over 154% from the previous year.

Although Linux RDBMS licenses represented only 8% of the total $7.7 billion RDBMS market worldwide in 2004, it's hard to say 118% growth is bad.

Additionally, the Gartner figures do not take into account the amount of free open source database servers that are running on Linux, such as MySQL, Firebird and PostgreSQL.

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