The booming popularity of Linux happened around the same time as the rise of the web. The server world, once proprietary, eventually fell in love with Linux just the same way networking did. But for years after it began growing in popularity, it remained in the background. It powered some of the largest servers, but couldn’t find success on personal devices. That all changed with Google’s release of Android in 2008, and just like that, Linux found its way not only onto phones but onto other consumer devices.
The same shift from proprietary to open is happening in networking. Specialized hardware that came from one of the “big 3” networking vendors isn’t so necessary anymore. What used to require this specialized hardware can now be done (with horsepower to spare) using off-the-shelf hardware, with Intel CPUs, and with the Linux operating system. Linux unifies the stack, and knowing it is useful for both the network and the rest of the rack. With Linux, networking is far more affordable, more scalable, easier to learn, and more adaptable to the needs of the business.
Read more at Network World