Infrastructure modernization remains the biggest use case for enterprise open source

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A new Red Hat report also finds that app development and digital transformation are important to users and that security perceptions have improved.

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Infrastructure modernization remains the most important use case for enterprise open source for the third consecutive year, according to Red Hat’s newly released State of Enterprise Open Source Report. Some 64% of respondents cited it as a top use, up from 53% two years ago, the report said.

The second most cited use for EOS is application development (54%), followed closely by digital transformation, among 53% of respondents. Enterprise open source usage for both application development and digital transformation has increased by 11 percentage points in two years, Red Hat noted.

“The two are closely related because new applications are a big part of digital transformation. Taken together, they clearly demonstrate that organizations are using enterprise open source for strategic purposes, not just for infrastructure ‘plumbing,'” the report said.

SEE: This new open source tool could improve data quality within the enterprise (TechRepublic)

Innovation is a big driver. The No. 1 benefit of using EOS is that it is higher quality software, followed by access to the latest innovation and then security, the report said. Two years ago, cost was seen as the top benefit, but that dropped to the No. 6 slot in this latest survey, the report noted.

Nearly 70% of IT leaders said COVID-19 has accelerated investment in public cloud infrastructure, and 90% of IT leaders now use EOS, the report said.

More growth is expected—almost 80% of respondents expect to increase use of EOS for emerging technologies over the next two years.

Networking (54%), database (53%) and security (52%) are the top places EOS is being used, the report said.

The skinny on security

Perceptions of enterprise open source software security and its role in risk mitigation continue to improve, Red Hat said. In addition to the 30% who cited better security as a top three benefit, 87% of respondents said they see enterprise open source as “more secure” or “as secure” as proprietary software.

In terms of risk management, 84% indicated that enterprise open source “is a key part of my organization’s security strategy,” the report said. Additionally, 75% said they trust enterprise open source because it undergoes “…a stringent vetting process and commercial testing to ensure quality code.”

The processes associated with enterprise open source specifically are also reflected in the 55% majority who said that EOS is more secure than community-based open source. But respondents seem to place trust in the security of open source software to help handle these threats, with 83% using enterprise open source in production, the report said.

Containers and Kubernetes are key

In terms of container adoption, just under 50% of respondents said they worldwide use containers in production at least to some degree. An additional 37% use containers for development only, while 16% of respondents are still only evaluating or researching container adoption, according to the report.

Further, 69% of respondents said they prefer to use multiple vendors for their cloud infrastructure needs.

“This result suggests a general preference for infrastructure that can span multiple providers rather than being limited to a single one,” the report said. “Use of containers and Kubernetes is likely to continue growing.”

In the next 12 months, 30% said they will increase their usage of containers significantly, while 42% said they will increase usage slightly and 24% said it will stay the same.

Kubernetes is overwhelmingly seen as important to cloud-native application strategies for its container orchestration: 66% of respondents view it as “very” or “extremely important,” and another 19% consider it “important,” according to the report.

There are still some barriers to usage of EOS, the report said. Specifically, respondents cited level of support (42%), followed by compatibility (38%), security of the code (35%) and lack of internal skills (35%).

The report was based on interviews with 1,250 IT leaders worldwide, not all of whom were Red Hat customers, the company said.

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