Figure 12 demonstrates the key places where Linux is being used and how usage is expanding over time. In the server realm, Linux is strongest at the edge of the network. This is largely due to the powerful combination created by the Linux operating system and Apache Web Server. These appliance-like devices draw on the strength of Linux as a network operating system.
Figure 12 Linux workloads growing over time.
As Linux matures, it will gradually see its application workloads evolve to the infrastructure and application server tiers. The great debate is how long this evolution will take and how far Linux will push into the enterprise data center. On the client side, Linux, with its heritage of being a UNIX-like operating system, has naturally gained popularity with engineering workstations and application development systems. Linux has also started to penetrate the embedded device arena. The great debate here is whether or not Linux will become a viable operating system for the general office desktop. While these are general adoption trends, there are pockets of adoption already scattered in virtually all areas of the computing spectrum.