But is Open Source Linux adequate for mission critical businesses like ERP and financial transactions? I would say yes.
Linux’s strengths are performance and robustness. The video commemorating 20 years of Linux mentions that 75% of the stock exchanges worldwide are Linux users; that’s quite impressive. It’s a similar story at Pronto Software as well with Linux being the most popular Operating System shipped to customers to run our ERP applications.
Linux is a good platform for ERP systems because of enterprise distributions (for example Red Hat Enterprise), with a long release cycle and 18+ months support. While many Linux distributions release a new version every 3 months, the upgrade timeframe of businesses is much longer and often coincides with hardware upgrades. In my experience at Pronto, three years with the same box, database and Operating System is common practice.
End-users also have different metrics than IT vendors. Which infrastructure runs the server might not be a priority as long as they can get the job done efficiently. Do you know what OS^ is running Facebook, Google or Twitter? Most of us don’t and it is not an issue as long as the software works.
Finally it is about trust. Linux is now a mature product that has gone beyond the highs and lows of newly released technology. Enterprises want certainty and visibility, and this extends to the software they use to run their business. In the case of ERP systems, if the server is down, many tasks in the business come to a halt.
You may argue that I didn’t mention cost which is a key advantage of Open Source software! Cost is a deciding factor for companies, but only once the above points are met. Are you running a Linux server in your business?
^ Linux is the OS running Facebook, Google and Twitter servers