Click here to close now.


Linux Containers Authors: Ian Khan, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, AppDynamics Blog, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Linux Advancing Worldwide in the $6 Trillion Annual Retail Sector, Says OSDL Report

Increasing Availability of Linux-based Solutions from Major Vendors and ISVs is Accelerating the Trend

"We are seeing significant Linux adoption in the retail sector as companies look for flexibility, reliability and low cost as their legacy IT systems near end of life," said Stuart Cohen, CEO of the Open Source Development Labs - home to Linus Torvalds (pictured), the creator of Linux - as OSDL today announced highlights from recent gains reported by its members on the advance of Linux worldwide in the more than $6 trillion annual retail industry.

"The increasing availability of Linux-based solutions from both major vendors and ISVs is accelerating the trend. In retail, it's all about lowering costs, streamlining supply chains, and improving margins," Cohen added.

According to retail analyst firm IHL Consulting Group, Linux deployments in retail increased 34 percent in 2004 over 2003. Driven by new market entrants and the rising popularity of Linux, the average cost of a point of sale system has fallen dramatically over the past two years, from more than $4,000 in 2002 to under $1,000 in 2004, according to IHL.

Overall retail market spending on IT for 2005 is estimated to exceed $21 billion, according to market research firm IDC (July 2005).

According to OSDL members who are working with customers in the retail sector, the industry is under pressure in certain key areas that are helping to drive them towards the value, performance and uptime offered by Linux-based solutions:

  • Multiple stores in distributed locations without local IT staff;
  • Significant installed base of old technology that is being refreshed;
  • Rapid move to reach new customers through the Internet;
  • New technologies (such as RFID) that create opportunities and disruptive changes;
  • Competition from very large global companies (with huge economies of scale) and smaller companies (nimbler, faster to react to market changes);
  • Increasing integration of companies with suppliers and partners.

Tens of thousands of retail companies are investing in Linux-based solutions worldwide. Six major retail firms working closely with OSDL members BakBone, HP, IBM, Novell and Red Hat reported significant recent advances in Linux deployments, including:

  • Anaconda Sports, largest U.S. retailer of amateur league sports and school district equipment;
  • Boscov's Department Store, largest family-owned retailer in the U.S;
  • Burlington Coat Factory, 340 stores in 42 states;
  • GLOBUS, 90 retail locations in Europe with more than 20,000
  • Mercadona, Spain's largest supermarket chain with more than 900 stores;
  • Retail Ventures, Inc., a holding company for DSW, Filene's Basement and Value City Department Stores, has more than 325 retail outlets nationwide.

The benefits of consolidation on Linux can be a critical factor for some customers. "Our Linux on the mainframe solution has enabled Boscov's to drastically reduce software and systems administration costs, saving nearly $1 million over a three-year period," said Harry Roberts, CIO of Boscov's. "As we complete our transformation into an on demand business, we look forward to improving our service and introducing many innovative solutions that make shopping in our stores a unique experience."

For other customers, price and low total cost of ownership are the key decision criteria. "In the highly competitive retail industry, technology implementation choices are driven by the need for reliable and robust solutions at the best possible price," said Dennis Moore, director of enterprise architecture for Retail Ventures, Inc. "We leveraged a secure, high-performance Linux foundation and BakBone's first-to-market support for the latest enterprise Linux versions to achieve enterprise-class data protection at an open systems price point."

And Linux offers performance, critical to meeting the demands for speed and convenience that customers expect in a retail experience. "We were looking to improve the performance of our computing systems and the implementation of Red Hat technology simplifies and speeds up core processes at Mercadona," said a spokesman for the supermarket. "Our use of Red Hat will eventually lead to the optimisation of our customers' time in supermarkets, making the checkout process easier and helping cashier staff to process payments."

Linux offers retail customers a wide range of benefits to meet their industry-specific requirements. Among the most often cited are:

  • Reliability - delivering the uptime needed for stores, back offices and Websites;
  • Remote management - enabling distributed store locations to be easily managed by central IT staff;
  • Flexibility - avoiding vendor lock-in without compromising the security and reliability of legacy technology as well as ease of quickly porting to new processors (handhelds to supercomputers);
  • Middleware for Linux - enabling application, process and business integration throughout the supply chain;
  • Applications on Linux - increasing availability of key applications for e-commerce, store operations, back office processing and business intelligence;
  • Low cost - reducing systems administration, management and client license operating costs as well as lowering capital expense for hardware.

More Stories By Linux News Desk

SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
SlowlyButSurely 08/06/05 09:02:43 AM EDT

This is why OSDL's Bill Weinberg says that the Linux 'revolution,' while it is real and on-going, is an incremental 'velvet' revolution.

@ThingsExpo Stories
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk was on IBM Cloudant, Apache CouchDB, and ...
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.