对于一个企业来说,新买的几台服务器,原来是打算装M$ server的,现在的经济危机使得放弃M$选择免费版本的linux server 显得很有必要,何乐而不为呢?
A new report from IDC, announced Wednesday, suggested that the global economic malaise has already chipped away at the enterprise IT server market.
The report, "IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker," found that factory revenue for the worldwide server market decreased three percent in 2008 compared with the previous year's result. Vendors such as Dell, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, Sun Microsystems and others took in $53.3 billion in 2008 compared with $55.1 billion in 2007.
Despite the revenue decrease in 2008, demand for servers was actually up. Worldwide server shipments grew year-over-year to reach 8.1 million units, a new high -- even with the increasing use of server virtualization technologies.
A quarterly snapshot of the server market provided a far grimmer picture of the market's health in IDC's report. Server factory revenue in the fourth quarter of 2008 was $13.5 billion, representing a 14 percent decrease over the previous year's 4Q result.
That 4Q decline represents the sharpest decrease yet seen for the server market since the dot-com bust of seven years ago, explained Matthew Eastwood, IDC's group vice president of the Enterprise Platforms Group.
"It now appears the slowdown will worsen before any improvement is seen in late 2009 or early 2010," he said in a prepared statement. He expected IT groups would attempt to stretch their dollars using virtualization and other server consolidation techniques.
The leading server vendor in terms of factory revenue market share in 4Q 2008 was IBM with 36.3 percent, according to the report. Next in line was HP with 29.0 percent factory revenue market share for the quarter, and Dell, which had a 10.6 percent stake.
In terms of software, UNIX brought in $4.9 billion factory revenue for the quarter compared with Windows Server, which brought in $4.8 billion. Linux trailed, bringing in $1.8 billion factory revenue for the quarter, according to the report.
The x86 server market decreased 17 percent in the quarter. Sun was the only server vendor experiencing positive revenue growth for the quarter in the x86 market. However, when users do deploy x86 servers, they appear to favor blades technology. Blades x86 shipments grew 8.8 percent in 4Q 2008 over the previous year's quarter.
I recently learned the news that Lenovo is entering the server market outside China.
As the editor of Free Software Magazine, the first question that came to mind was: “Will they run Linux?”. To my surprise, the answer was nowhere to be found.
Lenovo: hardly a Linux-friendly maker
Back in April 2007, Lenovo announced that it would “offer a wide selection of low- to high-end machines be loaded with Linux software from Novell Inc.”. I won’t comment the odd choice of GNU/LInux distribution, which is besides the point (I am an Ubuntu fan, and am convinced that any new Linux desktop user should be given Ubuntu for a number of reasons). What I do want to point out, is that some ten months later those laptops are nowhere to be seen.
Going back in time a little bit, when IBM still owned their laptop unit, they made a big deal about the fact that they worked with Linux. Back then, when buying a laptop intending to install GNU/Linux on it was a huge gamble, IBM came to the rescue for many GNU/Linux users. Then, Lenovo took over and we heard this:
We will not have models available for Linux, and we do not have custom order, either. What you see is what you get. And at this point, it’s (Microsoft) Windows.
Probably in fear of losing customers, Lenovo was quick to rectify the statement:
There has really been no change in the support and commitment to the Linux community and to our customers and business partners,” Marc Godin, vice president of marketing for Lenovo’s notebooks
The person setting the record straight must have been a politician: there was no change in support—where in fact that support was absolutely minimal. A little later, I bought a Lenovo V100 and failed to have Linux preinstalled in it. “What you see is what you get. And at this point, it’s (Microsoft) Windows”.
Now, on the server side
Now, Lenovo has announced that it will start selling servers. However, there was no mentioning of GNU/Linux—none what so ever. This is in itself a huge problem: a company is about to start selling servers, and doesn’t tell them if those servers will run the operating system chosen by most system administrators and companies?
Supporting a server is a very delicate matter. While it’s much easier to put together a server that is absolutely perfect for the Linux kernel, it’s also important that none of the components have any problems working with the Penguin. If my Lenovo laptop doesn’t wake up once in a while, it’s not (normally) a major problem; if there is a small bug in the SCSI controller’s driver in my Lenovo server, the results could be a major disaster. Linux (the kernel) needs to be carefully tested with the server’s hardware, and—in this case—a Red Hat certification is not just “optional”: it’s crucial.
The final words
I sent an email to Lenovo, but haven’t yet received a response. I somehow doubt I will. While I do hope that Lenovo will provide and support Linux and GNU/Linux on their server, for some reason I doubt it.
What I think it will happen, is that they will sell the servers either with no OS, or with Windows Vista. Then, people will start writing reports about their servers working fine with Linux, which hacks might be needed, etc.
That might work for end user laptops used by GNU/Linux enthusiasts; however, I doubt it will really work with servers.
I wonder if Lenovo’s management realises it. We shall see.