A growing number of small and medium-sized enterprises could be looking towards Linux solutions to manage their data centers, web servers and even user PCs in the coming year as recognition grows about the potential benefits of the system.
In the past, many companies might have been wary about this - particularly if they are small businesses without the resources to allocate to dedicated IT professionals. Many businesses are also nervous about change, as any modifications to the way they operate can be disruptive and people often feel uncomfortable about abandoning familiar solutions.
So why the sudden interest in Linux platforms? Specialist online publication Small Business Computing observed there's a growing understanding that it's not necessarily a choice between either Linux or Windows solutions.
Linux distributions offer great interoperability tools, meaning businesses can mix Linux and Windows-based servers and PCs across their network should they require, making them more convenient for certain uses.
Linux-based operating systems are also extremely stable, secure and highly efficient - meaning a Linux solution won't clog up valuable server resources just to run itself. Because it's open source, there are also a wide variety of features, add-ons and software available to customise the experience to a firm's exact needs. And as many of these are free, you'll feel the benefits on your bottom line as well.
There are a wide range of Linux distributions you can use as a base for your web server, including paid-for professional enterprise solutions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, as well as free offerings like CentOS that could provide all the essentials you need to get your business up and running.
Range of options
Whether you opt for a commercial solution or a free alternative with community support, the chances are there will be an operating system to suit your exact requirements.
Small Business Computing noted 2013 is a great time to think about moving operations to Linux-based tools. Many distributions are bringing out new versions all the time to improve performance and, if you want to implement Linux throughout your business, the amount of applications available for the platform is also growing.