GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – Operating Systems in the Cloud (Part 6)

August 1st, 2011 by - 8,360 views

When most people hear the phrase “operating system in the cloud” they usually think of a really cool client-side, Web-based desktop like EyeOS or CloudMe or even Chromium OS. Perhaps that is the future of client operating systems, but when cloud infrastructure providers talk about operating systems, they are making reference to which OS your cloud infrastructure will run on. And, it’s not always limited to just one in many cases.


At GoGrid, we provide a variety of operating systems including:

  • Windows Server
  • Ubuntu
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Debian
  • CentOS

Operating systems in the cloud are very important because they are what your applications and infrastructure are built upon. Whether you’re using the cloud to deploy test & development environments, act as your data center or run your company’s business critical applications, the operating system plays a vital role in cloud infrastructure.

Most IT professionals are pretty passionate about what operating system they prefer. For instance, search for “Windows vs. Linux” on Google – over 109 million results have some sort of opinion on the topic. But, since actions speak louder than words, we wanted to determine which operating system was used more by the IT industry.

In early 2011, as part of the GoGrid Cloud Survey Report, we polled over 500 CTOs, developers and IT professionals and asked them a variety of questions regarding cloud computing trends, best practices and use cases. Because there is such a wide variety of operating systems that serve different use cases, we decided to ask: Which OS do you use for your critical business applications?


The numbers exceed 100% because most businesses use several different server operating systems to run their critical applications (businesses either run several physical, virtual or mixed environments to accomplish this). When we look at the results, it isn’t terribly shocking that Windows Server is used by 80% of the sample – they’ve been dominating the server scene since Windows Server 2003 or earlier. However, the amount of Linux and Solaris servers is much higher than anticipated. In fact, if you do a search of various Linux distros, you can see how Ubuntu, for example, is making huge advances in the space.


Just last year, ZDNet shared stats from the International Data Corp. (IDC) that found 73.9% of servers were Windows and only 21.2% of servers were Linux based. Perhaps our 2011 survey data is showing Linux use in the cloud is on the rise.

Do you have any strong thoughts or opinions about operating systems in the cloud? Which server operating system do you use? How do you think cloud computing will affect server operating systems? Does the Operating System even matter? We look forward to your responses.

With only one more blog post left in the series, the GoGrid Cloud Survey Report is coming to a close. Our next post will also be our last survey results article, but it covers the most interesting cloud computing question thus far: Why aren’t you using cloud computing? Stay tuned…

For more information on our survey methodology or to see all of our results, please download the Cloud Survey Report.


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Michael Sheehan

Michael Sheehan, formerly the Technology Evangelist for GoGrid, is a recognized technology, social media, and cloud computing pundit and blogger who writes regularly about technology news and trends.

One Response to “GoGrid Cloud Survey Report – Operating Systems in the Cloud (Part 6)”

  1. Thomas says:

    I use Linux. Security is the main priority for me.

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