Companies should use Linux as a replacement for high-end Unix systems, and move towards standards-based computing, according to Dell chief executive Michael Dell.
In a keynote question and answer session at the Gartner Symposium in Cannes, Dell maintained that companies should think seriously about standards-based computing and investigate the opportunities offered by replacing Unix with Linux.
"Companies must think very seriously about the opportunity to move to standards-based computing," he said.
"This is something that saves customers money and provides simplification and drives costs out. This can happen up and down the enterprise, from servers and storage all the way up to high performance clusters."
But he added that the move from Unix to Linux would not be at the expense of Windows, which still accounted for about 85 per cent of Dell's business.
"We have a number of customers still deploying Windows and I don't expect that to change," he explained.
"Windows remains 85 per cent of enterprise deployments. Among high performance customers it's more like 50:50, but more in favour of Linux."
Dell insisted that, despite the tough economic climate, his company is experiencing double digit growth.
The vendor is about to post healthy third-quarter figures and Dell said that, at 22 per cent revenue growth, the company is outperforming its competitors. Operating income is up 36 per cent.
He reiterated Dell's aggressive plan to grab a greater share of the services market. While it accounts for 10 per cent of the company's revenues today, Dell wants this to become a $6bn market within the next three years.
"A few years ago only 17 per cent of our services revenues were from managed services," he said. "Now it's 50 per cent. Professional services are the fastest growing portion of our business."
The storage partnership with EMC is reaping dividends, he claimed, and the company has attracted 1,500 new customers over the past year.
Dell also indicated that the company is trying to drive down storage area network (San) prices.
"Seventy per cent of our revenue growth was in storage in the past quarter, but we only have six per cent of that market," he said.
"In Sans we have driven costs down by 40 to 50 per cent. Sometimes this is the profit haven for competitors. Our job is to deliver great value to customers. If we enter a market and don't bring the cost down then we have failed."
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