There have been some disruptions in the Linux community that may have IT administrators a bit nervous. So nervous, in fact, that they might consider moving to a server OS like Windows Server 2012 that has a far more predictable future.
Even though Linux has struggled to make it to the desktop, it has been hugely successful in the server arena. Linux is known for being a flexible and highly stable operating system, and it's almost a certainty that you have a few instances of a Linux OS somewhere within your infrastructure.
One of the main selling points of Linux is the fact that it's open-sourced. There are plenty of benefits when using open-sourced operating systems as it creates an environment of flexibility and customizability that closed operating systems simply cannot match. Additionally, open-source software has the reputation of quality and security because bugs are identified and fixed by the much larger open-source developer community.
But all this freedom and code-sharing comes at a price. Because there is so much freedom, it has fostered a huge number of Linux distributions that cause a great deal of confusion when trying to standardize and support only a few flavors.
It used to be that enterprise customers gravitated to a handful of Linux distributions that were deemed to be the most stable and provided a sense of stability in regard to a roadmap into the future. But open-source software can get a bit dicy when lead developers begin to disagree in public.
For example, when a lead developer for Red Hat ups and quits while bashing the quality of the latest Fedora release, it doesn't exactly give IT managers a warm fuzzy. After all, the direction and success of open-source software is largely dependent on the community of developers. If the most qualified developers lose interest or dislike the direction a Linux distribution is headed, the quality of code begins to suffer. That leaves you with the choice of either switching to a different open-source OS, or to move back to a closed solution.
Contrast the issues of Linux with the latest closed-sourced server OS, Windows Server 2012. For one, much of the confusion of choosing the right server version is eliminated with Microsoft. There are only a handful of Server 2012 license options and there are easy upgrade paths. Security has also been greatly improved, and Microsoft is getting much better in terms of being faster to patch holes and does so on a consistent schedule. Lastly, the roadmap for Windows server 2012 is clear and it's safe to say that Microsoft is committed to delivering a solid platform with which to run your applications on and to store your data.
I fully believe that there is a place for Linux and open-source software in the datacenter. But there are times when one has to evaluate how much trust can be placed on the open-source community. Today the community for your variant of Linux might be full of the best talent creating exciting new features to patch the latest security holes. But you never know if that enthusiasm will eventually dry up for one reason or another. If this is something that bothers you, then open-source may not be your cup of tea, and you may feel far more comfortable running your applications on a closed operating system.