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Red Hat Software Businesses Linux Business

Red Hat Announces Enterprise Linux 440

Posted by michael
from the aka-expensive-linux dept.
OldBen writes "RedHat has announced the product stable to replace the mainstream releases for enterprise use. RedHat Enterprise Linux AS replaces Advanced Server (with quite a price hike to go along), ES is targeted at "entry-level" servers, and WS is for workstations. See the details at RedHat's website."
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Red Hat Announces Enterprise Linux

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  • Neato (Score:4, Interesting)

    by blitzoid (618964) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:12PM (#5505298) Homepage
    Perhaps all these fancy titles with words like "Enterprise" in them will make large corporations see Linux as a solution for their projects. That's the main thing stopping linux... recognition.
  • Corporate (Score:1, Interesting)

    by jmays (450770) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:13PM (#5505318)
    Maybe THIS will convince my boss to move to Linux (RHWS) on our desktop systems.
  • Re:Neato (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:15PM (#5505333) Homepage
    I've usually found the word 'Enterprise' in the title to be a sure indication of a crap product. It sounds so 1999.
  • Enterprise AS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Visaris (553352) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:15PM (#5505337) Journal
    The price hike sounds entirely reasonable because of the increased support responsibilities involved. I'm actually kind of supprised they didn't raise the prices more.. Just my 2 cents.
  • by m_evanchik (398143) <ten.kihcnaveTAkihcnave_lehcim> on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:18PM (#5505373) Homepage
    Are Red Hat Enterprise Edition versions protected by any licensing requirements?

    What parts are not open-source?

    What's to stop someone from just posting ISO images online?

    I'm just a little fuzzy on what's being paid for.

    Thanks in advance for the answers
  • Re:Price Hike? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by -Surak- (31268) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:20PM (#5505387)
    Large companies buy it - it helps them get past the idea of using "free software". Other users buy it to get installation support, which is worth it if you've never touched *nix before.

    Personally, I download the free version and subscribe systems I manage to the RHN service, which makes updates simple, and is well worth the $60/year.
  • Re:Neato (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Telastyn (206146) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:21PM (#5505408)
    Wait, I thought what was stopping Linux was the lack of a proper email/calendaring/contacts solution (server and client side, nicely integrated) that actually works. Every IT director and their dog knows about Linux given all the business magazine press it's gotten over the past few years.

  • Re:Neato (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:22PM (#5505418)
    Silly me. I thought the main thing stopping Linux is the fact that is simply isn't as good as other operating systems. If you want a desktop OS, run Windows XP or Mac OS X because that's where the applications are. If you want a small server, run Windows 2000 Server or Mac OS X Server because it's easy to use. If you want a big server, run Solaris or AIX because Sun's and IBM's hardware is reliable.

    There's simply no place in the mainstream for Linux.
  • You're paying for.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dentar (6540) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:24PM (#5505442) Homepage Journal
    ...that one hour response time and unlimited number of incidents and 24x7. For an enterprise level corporation, that's cheap. HP charges a lot more than that for their contracts.
  • by Lank (19922) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:25PM (#5505451)
    Personally, I think charging more is a good move on Red Hat's part. When you give things away, people typically associate that with poor quality. When you charge $800, people start thinking about it in a different way, and probably start associating it with quality.
  • by ralphus (577885) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:28PM (#5505489)
    Can someone please explain to me why it makes sense to buy specific versions of redhat? What makes them different from just downloading the ISO's yourself and customizing via the install program?

    Do they do heavy system modification to change how Advanced server handles memory or threads or something? Sorry, I'm ignorant here, I have always used redhat from the ISOs and pay for entitlement.

  • Cheating? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by buddha42 (539539) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:29PM (#5505504)
    What's going to stop me from buying "WS" for $300 and using it as a server? Will WS refuse to download certian RPMs from up2date or something?
  • by XaXXon (202882) <xaxxon@gmail . c om> on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:30PM (#5505512) Homepage
    I'm just a little fuzzy on what's being paid for.

    Support.

    Slightly on another topic -- you could be really rude in something like this and intermix different pieces and parts that are GPL and are not GPL (at the package level) to make it virtually impossible to figure out how to redistribute only the GPL parts. In fact, you could even group the packages so each package has both GPL and non-GPL pieces, so you couldn't break it up by packages and distribute some of them.

    That would be really rude.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:43PM (#5505627)
    In our case, we bought AS because of its alleged ties with Oracle. The idea they are trying to sell is that Oracle and RedHat made countless modifications to standard Linux kernel (memory, threads) to make it more sutable for enterprise Oracle installations.

    The reality is that it really sux - very unstable and moody. We have another Oracle box running on stock redhat 7.3 - no problems. The AS box has to be rebooted about as often as Exchange server does ;-)
  • Per machine? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gamartin (145290) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:48PM (#5505672)

    Can anyone clarify for me whether these "subscriptions" are explicitly licensed for exactly one machine? Am I allowed to download the workstation product for $179, create CD's, and then install it on 100 machines? I understand the problem of only having purchased 1 entitlement for the Red Hat Network; the question is am I permitted to install it on N machines for $179, or am I required to pay N times $179?

    The Red Hat WWW site is surprisingly uninformative about this question.

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:53PM (#5505722) Journal
    But one of the big advantages of Windows is support.

    Adding to your comment, another factor is that Linux can GENERALLY run a bit faster on the same hardware, assuming you run a server at init 3 (who wouldnt?) This gives you a little more horsepower per server.

    Also, a company MAY pay the $800 for a few boxes, but install a free version of Linux for other boxes. Maybe their dedicated DNS boxes don't need the support, or their POP boxes. As you stated, they don't have this option with windows. They can PAY for support on the ones they need, get the other free, and run the same basic OS on all of them.

    Personally, I have a few servers, all running Linux, and I pay $60 from Redhat for up2date priority access (a freaking bargain). It also keeps with with ALL my servers, telling me what servers need what patches, i just have to download and install the other servers manually, which is no biggie. I gladly have the $60 annual on autorenew, because I have the choice to run one for pay, the others for free. From my experience, RedHat offers good value.
  • by spookymonster (238226) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:04PM (#5505819)
    My company won't go to Linux until they find a vendor willing to offer indemnity protection against lawsuits claiming we're using copyrighted software. To date, Red Hat has refused to do so. Our opinion is that it's the distro's responsibility, not the end-user. Does the Enterprise edition offer anything like this?
  • by Tack (4642) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:16PM (#5505927) Homepage
    From RedHat's licence agreement [redhat.com]:

    • 4. REPORTING AND AUDIT. If Customer wishes to increase the number of Installed System, then Customer will purchase from Red Hat additional Services for each additional Installed System. During the term of this Agreement and for one (1) year thereafter, Customer expressly grants to Red Hat the right to audit Customer's facilities and records from time to time in order to verify Customer's compliance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement.

    Can RedHat enforce this considering the software they're selling me is under open source licenses?

    If so, then it seems that the costs are per year, per server. For RHL ES, at $350/year/server, my modest 4 server shop would cost me $1400 USD/year, or over $2200 CAD/year. I just don't have the budget for this.

    Really, all I want is access to errata. I don't need phone support, or email support, or any fancy RHN monitoring. Just let me download errata binaries so I can upgrade my servers and I'm happy. I'm willing to pay for that, but not to the tune of $2200 a year. There doesn't seem to be such a solution offered by RedHat.

    Jason.

  • by negyvenot (582011) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:28PM (#5506072)
    If I pay for the support only, why aren't the ISO images publicly available? Why do I have to obtain a "warez" copy of it and not download it directly from RedHat, if it contains GPLed software anyway? Or did I miss something?
  • by LinuxParanoid (64467) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:28PM (#5506073) Homepage Journal
    Or in short, all those things that make an enterprise server an enterprise server.

    Well, I sort of agree with you. However, Sun/HP/IBM were calling their Unix offerings five years ago 'enterprise' without having any of those features (even though the mainframe mostly did). I've never seen a really firm definition, although I certainly have my own views about what the phrase should mean. While I agree a bit with your point, it's also not quite fair for the 'enterprise' guys to constantly redefine the enterprise feature set to include whatever the low-end guys don't have.

    You may of course disagree. The important thing is recognizing what Red Hat's enterprise solution does and does not provide.

    The real question to me is, do Red Hat's 'enterprise' enhancements effectively help Linux extend dominance beyond the web-server niche which Microsoft can, should, and will try to position it into. (Promptly before Microsoft offers a low-cost version of NT server with IIS-only.)

    --LP
  • Mindshare (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Larry_Dillon (20347) <dillon DOT larry AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:28PM (#5506077) Homepage
    I think this is going to cost Redhat mindshare as newbies (and perhaps CS departments) shy away from their expensive distros. I'm not sure how many they actually sold, but it was nice to see a boxed Redhat at BestBuy for around $50. If you don't have broadband, it's probably worth $50 for the CD's and the printed install guide.

    If the free download and the "Enterprise" what-ever are too different, it will have an impact.

    I wonder what situation this leaves Cheap Bytes and other CD copiers in?
  • Re:Enterprise AS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by verch (12834) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:32PM (#5506111)
    Actually I see this announcement as a huge price drop. We've been paying $1200 per machine for 2 CPU machines. Now that goes down to $350 or $800. I suspect 99% of the licenses they sell in the near future will be for the lower end line. Most of the linux in corporate america right now is on 2 CPU pizza boxes. Anyone using these is getting a discount from the original (ridiculous.. $1200 os license for a $2000 machine) Advanced Server pricing.
  • by Tack (4642) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:33PM (#5506118) Homepage
    You'll just have to update every year instead of every five unless you are going to get updated rpms from somwhere else.

    So let me recap what you're saying:

    1. Pay $350 per year per server, which for my 4 RH server setup (and we're a small, poor university) will cost me $1400 USD or $2200 CAD per year. This is so that I can patch my servers with security and major bug fixes.
    2. Reinstall RHL's mainline distro every year on four servers.

    Are you serious? Is RedHat serious? I've got to be missing something.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:50PM (#5506256)
    We have several AS seats in house, and I basically agree with you. I should point out a couple of things:

    1) ES will work for most people (those who do not need extra large memory, cpu, or clustering support). In fact, most of our servers do not use OS clustering and have 4 or less cpus, so ES would seem to work. But, we do run a fair number of 6gb ram Oracle boxes. And we would have to pay the AS prices for these boxes, even though we really do not need the greater support/features. We could build our own kernels with the necessary mods, but that gets troublesome with any large number of boxes, and we want them to take care of revisioning after all.

    2) For those of you saying you can use apt-get, or freshmeat or whatever else, remember that the binaries for AS 2.1, for example, are not available via these means. If you do not want to compile yourself, you have to have the correct entitlement (and RH seems to have prevented advanced users from switch machine to machin at rhn.redhat.com, like you can do with workstations or demos). All is fair in love and war, and since I have been playing in the UNIX world for quite a while now, I am not too surprised. I would like the "download binaries/updates for $60 a year with no other support for the AS versions" option, though. Many of the 7.3 packages work for AC 2.1, but enough of them do not to make it a pain.
  • by attobyte (20206) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @07:54PM (#5507791)
    I bet you could pay Linus or Alan Cox or who ever the same amount of money and get them to come out and fix your problems too. ( I don't think Alan will come to the US thou :) )

    Mike

Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward.

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