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HP: Linux ready for most applications

Although still making progress, Linux is already secure and reliable enough to be used in mission-critical apps, HP executive says.

    Linux is ready to take on a more serious role in enterprises, a senior Hewlett-Packard executive has said.

    Randy Hergett, HP's director of engineering for open-source and Linux organization, said at the Gelato Itanium Conference & Expo in Singapore on Monday that Linux is ready to be used in some mission-critical applications, despite a perception that there are gaps in areas such as manageability.

    Linux is "ready for most applications," he said, noting that there are telecommunications companies running mission-critical databases on Linux, and overall adoption levels are ramping up.

    Citing an HP-commissioned global study conducted by market-research company GCR earlier this year, Hergett said that three out of five decision makers were ready to deploy Linux for mission-critical applications within the next two years, while one in five saw that happening in five years' time.

    According to the study, which surveyed more than 600 decision makers who were using some flavor of Unix, security and reliability were the top two concerns in a mission-critical environment.

    On whether Linux can satisfy these two requirements of security and reliability, Hergett said: "It does...From a security standpoint, we think Linux is actually very secure."

    "With reliability, I think it's not as robust yet (as HP's own iteration) or some of the other proprietary Unix systems, but it's making great progress," Hergett added.

    On whether the availability of different flavors of Linux will affect its adoption for mission-critical applications, Hergett said he did not think so.

    "In some ways it actually gives those decision makers more flexibility and more choices to choose from," Hergett explained, adding that Unix has several iterations too, and decision makers are "used to having that choice."

    Lynn Tan of ZDNet Asia reported from Singapore.