A recent report by SG Cowen gives an upbeat glimpse of enterprise Linux spending plans in the New Year.The financial services firm surveyed 500 IT professionals from 527 North American companies and found that 80% of the respondents polled were using Linux in some fashion in their respective networks.The survey also found that two thirds of the users had plans to bring more Linux software into the mix over the next two years.A full 65% of users planned to increase Linux usage next year, while 29% of respondents saying they would be installing Linux for the first time in 2004. More than 70% of the sites that planned to boost their Linux usage were already using Linux.Among enterprise Linux users, server applications were the overwhelming choice for deployment: 72% said they run Linux on servers; 15% ran Linux on desktops, or in non-server deployments. Red Hat was the Linux flavor of choice among the respondents, with 86% saying they had the leading commercial Linux running in their networks.Reasons for deploying Linux cited in the report included reliability, scalability and the lower cost of the operating system compared to other commercial platforms. Among the fears that users have of Linux are that Linux would not support their applications, and that professional-grade support for Linux was scarce. SG Cowen also wrote that a key challenge for Linux going forward is to avoid fragmentation, which happened to Unix.The survey found that Linux is increasingly used to replace what used to be Unix-based workloads and applications, since the Linux and Unix environments are similar. Windows was less likely to be replaced by Linux the survey also discovered.