Linux is 20 years old this year, and Linuxcon was in Vancouver, so I had to sign up. The conference ended yesterday. There were a lot of good speakers. As a bonus, we also got to hear some poor guy from HP give a keynote about HP's great WebOS play, at almost exactly the same time as his company was killing the product line.
What I was looking for, frankly, was a business opportunity for a small consultant/system integrator like Jade Systems to use Linux to help businesses with 1,000 servers, give or take a zero at the end. The most obvious opportunity I came away with is storage.
I've written before about the cost of enterprise storage. There are tremendous opportunities with hardware solutions like Backblaze's storage bricks, and the software that will make it all work is Gluster. Install Gluster on a couple of boxes with storage, and you have synchronous replication (locally) or asynchronous replication (over the WAN). It provides what you need to store your virtual machines and move them around your data centre as load or availability needs dictate. It can be your large, reliable, network attached storage device for all your spreadsheets and documents.
Gluster grew out of the needs of a supercomputing project at Lawrence Livermore Labs in 2004 and have an impressive list of users today. They're working to integrate with the OpenStack cloud computing stack to provide a complete cloud storage solution for OpenStack.
This is certainly a solution that could support a business case.