Servers running x86 chips from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices may be the fastest-selling in the market, but Unix systems continue to play a key role in enterprise data centers, according to a survey by market research firm Gabriel Consulting Group.
Among the 306 enterprise data center managers surveyed in the annual report, more than 80 percent said that half of their Unix workloads are mission-critical, half said that three-quarters of the applications on their Unix systems are mission-critical and almost 90 percent said their Unix servers were strategic to their organizations, according to Dan Olds, principal analyst at Gabriel Consulting.
"I think most people underestimate the importance of Unix-based systems in enterprise IT because Windows and Linux server sales are much higher and are growing faster," Olds said in a June 20 statement. "But these Unix systems fulfill a different role in most enterprises: They run mission-critical applications that are vital to the functioning of the business. Just because the sales of small, fuel-efficient cars are skyrocketing worldwide doesn t mean that the need for dump trucks has gone away."
The results from Gabriel Consulting echo what other analysts are finding: That many enterprises are continuing to look at Unix systems as key technologies to handle many of their critical workloads in the data center, despite soaring sales of x86-based servers.
IDC analysts in May said that revenue from Unix servers sales in the first quarter jumped 12.5 percent -- to $2.6 billion -- over the same period last year, the first time in 11 quarters that revenues grew year over year. The top three Unix server vendors -- Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Oracle -- all saw revenue increases during the quarter, and Unix server revenue accounted for 21.8 percent all server revenue worldwide during those three months.
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