SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - Jun 25, 2012) - In the ongoing battle of the Linux distributions, new survey findings show that businesses favor Debian and Ubuntu over Red Hat distributions for file servers, including RHEL and CentOS. Among those using Linux on file servers, 67% of respondents use Debian distributions, while 54% use Red Hat. The survey of 100 small and medium business users, sponsored by Symform, was designed to identify the most common distributions among Linux users interested in additional data backup, particularly cloud-based solutions. While this survey focused on file servers, it aligns with other research that indicated Debian is also the most popular Linux distribution on web servers.
"When it comes to Linux market share information, there is good data about web server deployments from organizations such as W3Techs, but we wanted to shed light on SMBs' use of Linux for file servers, such as what Linux chains organizations use to store their data," said Margaret Dawson, vice president of product management and marketing at Symform. "As an added benefit, we are also getting this information directly from the businesses, since they typically manage their own file servers, whereas with web servers, the Linux decision is often made by the hosting companies SMBs leverage for web servers."
Most file server deployments signal a high degree of co-existence of Linux chains, with a clear majority of those who are using Red Hat/CentOS also utilizing Debian/Ubuntu. However, when it comes to data volume, the Symform survey revealed differences in the chains, with Debian/Ubuntu users storing more data on those file servers. In fact, 63% of Debian/Ubuntu users have one terabyte or more of data stored on the file servers, compared to only 46% utilizing Red Hat/CentOS for similar data volumes.
When it comes to data backup, nearly 20% of respondents are doing nothing for local, or on-premise, backup. Among those that are doing local backup, 37% rely on Rsync, an application and protocol used for data sync and mirroring. This is not surprising since Rsync is free software favored by the open source community and is frequently used over SSH for encryption. Among the remaining, 13% are backing up to another Linux server, a network attach storage (NAS) device or Storage Attach networking (SAN) appliance, and the remainder use a wide variety of commercial solutions.
For secondary or remote data backup, nearly 20% of respondents again are doing nothing. The majority of those that are doing remote backup use physical tape rotation to another location or a custom application. Few are using cloud backup, which is indicative of the limited availability of affordable cloud backup solutions for Linux servers on the market today. The survey results separately indicate that a large percentage would use a cloud backup solution if it supported the right Linux distribution and security requirements, with 68% saying they would be likely to use the Symform Global Cloud Storage Network to back up their Linux file servers.
Data protection and backup have become hot trends for small and medium enterprises, as companies of all sizes are struggling to manage fast growing volumes of digital data that is stored in a wide range of devices. Just under 50% of respondents are storing one to five terabytes of data on their Linux servers, while another 10% were storing between five and 20 terabytes.
Symform is using the data from this survey to prioritize Linux distributions to support in upcoming product releases. Its first Linux client supports an embedded Debian distribution in QNAP NAS devices. Symform currently has thousands of QNAP users on its peer-to-peer cloud network backing data up from NAS devices to the cloud, and contributing excess drive space to the network in exchange for free cloud storage.
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