Institute for Advanced Professional Studies

2007 Server Hardware and OS Deployment and Usage Survey*

The latest joint Sunbelt Software Yankee Group Global Server Hardware and Server OS Deployment and usage survey offered up both surprising and status quo results. The Web-based survey conducted in February 2007 polled approximately 1,000 IT administrators and C-level executives on a variety of server and operating system issues including:

  • Primary server hardware vendors
  • Server spending trends
  • Server deployment timetables
  • Server configurations and the average length of server life cycles classified by server type (i.e., file and print, e-mail/messaging and Web server)
  • Operating system type (i.e., Linux or Windows)

The respondents were culled from Yankee Group's own client list and Sunbelt's IT System Administrators list. Over half - 51% of respondents have one to five IT managers; 14% had between five and 20 IT administrators; 10% had between 20 and 50 IT managers and 16% of companies had 50 to 100 administrators.

Server Hardware Vendor Market Share:

On the hardware side, the survey data showed that Dell Computer and Hewlett-Packard hardware are nearly neck and neck vying for the top server hardware honors. Dell is the primary server hardware vendor for just over one-third or 34% of the respondents, while HP is a close second with 30%. HP however, has a lot of momentum. In the last Sunbelt/Yankee Group July/August 2005 poll, HP had 27% market share; so the company has gained three percentage points in the last 18 months.

Server Operating System Life Cycles:

On the software side, protracted server operating system life cycles are still the norm and based on comparisons to the 2005 survey, companies are holding onto their server hardware and OS software for even longer periods. This latest poll indicates that nearly three out of five businesses --59% -- keep their mainstream Windows file, print and application servers in use for four-to-six years. By comparison 48% of Linux users said they retain their Linux OS distribution for four-to-six years. The 2007 statistics represent a significant increase in server OS retention rates from just 18 months ago in the prior poll. Now 11% more Windows users and 17% of Linux businesses are holding onto their operating systems for four-to-six years. Back in 2005 just under half - or 48% of companies kept their Windows file and print servers for four to six years compared with 31% of respondents who retained their Linux file and print servers for the same period.

The lengthening server life cycles are possible because of performance, reliability, scalability and security advances in server hardware and software technology. But it also indicates that corporations are still cautious and cash constrained. Businesses should however, closely monitor performance, reliability and security of aged servers and should not hesitate to replace them at the first signs of performance degradation.

The protracted life cycles were particularly apparent in file and print servers. Corporate customers upgrade their database, Web, e-mail and messaging servers a bit more frequently than baseline file and print servers -- although not by much.

Among the other survey highlights:

  • Users are gradually moving to more powerful processors. In the 2005 survey an overwhelming 93% majority of businesses' servers was either a single CPU or two processor machine. The use of four-processor machines has more than doubled in the past 18 months, from six percent in the summer of 2005 to 13% today run four processors. However, users are still slow to migrate to the more powerful eight- and 16-processor machines. Only one percent of respondents said they currently use eight- and 16-way servers.
  • Application server configurations are a bit more powerful: 56% of companies have two processors compared with only 26% that have a single CPU application server; 15% have four-processor machines; two percent have eight-processors and one percent have a 16-processor CPU application server.
  • Web server configurations are equally split with 45% of firms having a server with a single CPU and 46% who have two-processor CPU configurations.
  • Windows usage remains high: 55% of the respondents noted that 80% to 100% of their servers are running Windows. Only three percent of respondents said they had no Windows installed.
  • Linux deployments also remain healthy: 38% of the respondents reported that up to 20% of their servers were running Linux, while only 28% said they did not have any Linux installed.
  • Finally, and this is no surprise, the use of mobile devices (PDAs, cell phones, laptops, tablet PCs and cell phones) has soared in the last 18 months. An overwhelming 89% majority of businesses users employs one or more of these devices. And as their usage grows, so do concerns about problems. Topping the list is security, data protection for business continuity, accessibility of applications, remote management and integration and interoperability with various applications and heterogeneous platforms.

By Laura DiDio
Research Fellow, Enabling Technologies Enterprise, Software Economics and Infrastructure,
Yankee Group
Boston, MA

Posted: February 26, 2007

*Excerpts from a copyrighted newsletter prepared by the staff of WServerNews and distributed by IAPS with their permission. The views expressed in the above excerpts were drawn solely by WServerNews or Yankee Group and do not necessarily reflect the views of IAPS.

Founded in 1977, IAPS is a leading international training and consulting firm that designs and presents educational programs for technical professionals and managers. It provides technical experts to assist organizations with assessment, design and implementation of leading edge software for electronic products and complex IT systems. IAPS also provides technical litigation support services on intellectual property matters in addition to technical training support services and education consulting.

Multithreaded Programming and Server Development
IAPS is known for its consulting work on multithreaded programming for the development of high-performance, reliable servers and applications. We offer multithreaded programming training, presented by Dr. Thomas W. Doeppner for Windows (Win32), Solaris, Linux and UNIX (POSIX). Our on-site courses are customized for groups developing and supporting embedded real-time systems, as well as desktop, client and server applications on uniprocessor and multiprocessor platforms.

© Copyright 1983-2015 Institute for Advanced Professional Studies (IAPS)