Institute for Advanced Professional Studies

Linux Training Survey Results* - August 2004

  • The demand for Linux training remains strong, but the momentum has unexpectedly shifted toward Novell Certified Linux Professional (NCLP). Contacts have seen a sudden drop in enrollment for Red Hat Certified Professional (RHCP).

  • Activity in Novell Certified Linux Professional (NCLP) is driven by professionals who are already trained on Red Hat Platforms, Microsoft Windows Platforms and Novell Netware Platforms, thereby indicating that migrations from Red Hat Linux, Microsoft Windows and Novell Netware onto SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (SLES9) may start to occur over next 6-9 months.

  • Despite the slowdown in Red Hat training activity, Linux remains vibrant since classes are larger and more frequent than they were a year ago. However, in Enterprise and Desktops, Red Hat is losing its grip. According to one contact, "We plan to ignore Red Hat and suggest others like SuSE and Mandrake....I and many others are moving away from Red Hat as fast as possible in the desktop and network areas".

  • Within Red Hat, contacts noted substantial weakness and share loss in desktop and moderate weakness in Networked systems. According to contacts, Red Hat is seeing share loss in certain areas of the Linux market but feel Red Hat has breadth of ISV/IHV certifications, depth of support, and overall mind share which may prevent market share erosion to Novell/SuSE.

  • Among verticals, financial services, manufacturing, and energy experienced the most demand for Linux training. Financial companies are looking to gain performance advantage using Linux-Intel ("Lintel") architecture while keeping down costs, whereas manufacturing and energy companies are looking to gain from the increasing computational power of Linux. Government remains a mixed bag, with some contacts indicating weakness, while others have booked several classes over the past few months.

  • Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (SLES9) is winning share in mission-critical business applications, such as ERP, CRM, and legacy, along with application servers as it moves toward the center of the enterprise. The price and technology seems to be the deciding factor for Novell to show strength over Red Hat.

  • Recent Linux wins have been a multinational logistics company that shifted their operations to a Linux-based system, and Peoplesoft, which is now certifying their products for use on Linux servers.

  • The lack of confidence in Red Hat's capabilities in desktop and Networked Systems implies that Red Hat may have dropped the ball over the past few months and allowed SuSE, Lindows, and Mandrake to make serious inroads into that space. Contacts now believe that SuSE, along with Mandrake and Lindows, are competitive threats to Red Hat and are beginning to steal share away, especially in Europe.

  • According to contacts, SuSE and Lindows were "far superior" in certain instances. For example, setup and implementation was seamless using Lindows, loading from a CD in minutes; while Red Hat sometimes took hours to fully install and set up.

  • Contacts are hearing that IBM and Oracle are pushing Novell/SuSE more as of late. In IBM's case, it is "probably because IBM owns a substantial percentage of Novell" according to one contact. But Oracle has shifted from almost exclusively using Red Hat to a closer relationship with Novell. Oracle's datacenter displaced Red Hat Linux and now uses 30% Novell SuSE Linux.

  • Contacts view Red Hat as behind the curve in the Linux desktop market due to their exit and subsequent re-entrance into the market. Confidence has been lost and experienced training staffs are increasingly recommending SuSE because of its stability and user-friendliness.

*Excerpts from a copyrighted report prepared by FTN Midwest Research and distributed by IAPS with their permission. The views expressed in the above excerpts were drawn solely by FTN Midwest Research and do not necessarily reflect the views of IAPS.

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