Linux® has become the de facto standard for highly available, reliable, and critical workloads in datacenters and cloud computing environments. It supports multiple use cases, target systems, and devices, depending on user needs and workloads. According to the Linux Foundation, nine of the top ten public clouds run on Linux. Every major public cloud provider—including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Alibaba Cloud—offers multiple distributions of Linux in their marketplaces. In fact, nearly 30% of virtual machines (VMs) running on Microsoft Azure are Linux-based.
A 2017 study conducted by Management Insight Technologies and sponsored by Red Hat examined the preferences and characteristics in a Linux operating system (OS) distribution for public clouds. This survey included more than 500 cloud IT decision makers across North America and Europe, within organizations with 500 or more employees and across various industries.
According to this study, Linux has grown in importance in the public cloud among respondents, providing many of the same capabilities that have made it so popular in on-premise enterprise IT.
Organizations are turning to Linux to deploy key public cloud workloads.
- Just over half of all respondents’ public cloud applications are running on Linux VMs (Figure 3).
- Most respondents’ enterprises plan to deploy one to two public cloud platforms (Figure 4).
- The most popular public cloud workloads last deployed on Linux by respondents were structured databases and web applications (Figure 5).
Respondents’ requirements for enterprise Linux in public clouds are the same as those for on-premise deployments.
- Reliability, security, ease of deployment, and maintainability are the top rated capabilities for deploying a Linux operating system on public cloud infrastructure (Figure 6).
- 78% of respondents prefer paid, commercially supported Linux for their critical production workloads (Figure 7).
- 65% of respondents’ enterprise Linux deployments in public clouds are paid and commercially supported (Figure 8).
Red Hat® Enterprise Linux continues to be perceived as the Linux market leader, translating to preference, consideration and selection in public cloud deployments.
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the market leader among respondents for current and new organization-wide application deployments, regardless of footprint (Figure 9).
- The #1 commercial Linux distribution in the public cloud is Red Hat Enterprise Linux, according to respondents (Figure 10).
- Red Hat was the most considered and selected Linux vendor among respondents (Figure 11).
- The top three reasons why respondents chose Red Hat Enterprise Linux for their lastest public cloud deployments included (Figure 12):
- Optimized for current workloads.
- Certified and supported for use with enterprise applications.
- Supports the broadest range of applications.
This study surveyed IT professionals in various industries, across North America and Europe, and organizations of various sizes—from upper mid-market companies (500-1,999 employees) to large enterprise (5,000+ employees). This survey was blinded and did not target Red Hat customers.
Figure 2 . Additional study participant information