1a) up2date - by aldousd666
Is the up2date service going to continue to work for us end users who still use RH9, or are we going to have to go Fedora treating our existing installations as defunct? I've spent quite a lot of hours configuring my systems, and I think you're going to make a lot of angry users if things change too drastically. I know a number of people who are already shunning the name red hat in favor of the other flavors.
up2date as shipped with Red Hat Linux 9 will continue to function against the RHN servers for up to six months after RHL9 goes out of maintenance on April 30, 2004. Fedora includes an up2date that can speak with Yum and Apt repositories and can work completely without using the RHN servers. From a sysadmin's perspective, the tool is nearly identical to what was used before; it simply pulls the packages and data from a different location. It also lets you pull both official Fedora packages as well as third party packages created by other Fedora users and developers as well as create your own repository for packages you want to distribute among your own systems.
Users continuing with RHL9 past the end of its maintenance window will be interested in the Fedora Legacy Project, a community-driven continuation of updates for RHL9 and RHL7.3.
1b) Return on RHN Entitlements? - by Anonymous Coward
I would like to consider myself a red hat advocate. It was largely based on my recommendation that 50 RHN Entitlements for updating non-enterprise version of red hat GNU/Linux. My boss has since been rubbed the wrong way when RHN failed to "work as advertised" on August 29th. The best explanation that I have gotten from red hat is that it is "the nature of SSL" that forced manual upgrades of up2date & up2date-gnome for each system. In October, red hat charged a renew fee on the 50 RHN Entitlements for another year of service. So, now that my boss has gotten the bill, he is asking what type of return on investment he should expect from May 2004 to October 2004. To make a long story short, the question is, are we being charged a full year for only 7 months of updates? If non-enterprise contracts aren't fully honored as advertised (automated updates require manual updates after Aug 28th and a full year charge only provide 7 months of updates) then how does red hat expect advocates of red hat to successfully encourage the companies that have gotten burned to pay out even more for enterprise contracts?
The SSL issue in August was an unfortunate result of transition inside of RHN. Although it was a significant inconvenience to our users, it was actually the result of our own tight security policies, and at no time was the security of our service at risk. Numerous steps have been taken to ensure this does not reoccur.
The entitlement renewals that occurred shortly before our recent announcements were limited and stopped when the changes were announced. Although the end of life for RHL9 was announced when RHL9 was first released, many users are in a situation with entitlements going past the end of life for Red Hat Linux. For those in this position, entitlements to both Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES and WS will be made available for the remainder of the subscriptions. in addition, discounts are available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux to any RHN customer.
2) Opportunity for small business - by salesgeek
Matthew - If you were looking for an opportunity to start a small business (size at peak $25 Million revenue, perhaps 250 employees) in the Linux world, where would you go?
$25M is not a small business. It's about the size when someone crazy in your organization suggests that you go public. I believe that the IT industry has increasingly adopted a transactional and services model. Differentiated service skills around Open Source software will be in demand based upon the large transition which will occur over the next 10 years as businesses transition from proprietary to commodity hardware and open source software.
3) What's next? - by Mr. Sketch
For the average person, RedHat _is_ Linux. Who do you believe will replace you as being the defacto Linux distribution for the average person?
The definition of average should be clear. For the 'average' reader of Slashdot, the Fedora Project is the ideal Linux distribution. For the average knowledge worker in an office setting, we believe Red Hat Enterprise Linux v.3 WS is appropriate. For the average person that needs to be able to plug in their digital camera without going into the terminal window, we think that the user's experience with any brand of Linux will be sub-par. We hope that consumer-focused technologies will thrive and mature in the Fedora Project setting. When the code is production quality, Red Hat will make them available as part of a supported distribution.
4) Server without Desktop? - by drinkypoo
One of the (many) factors leading to Microsoft dominance was that they had, from the user's perspective, essentially the same operating system on the desktop and the server, in that they ran the same software; And recently, Microsoft has provided literally the same software on desktop and server. red hat began with a general-purpose product, and then moved to an artificial separation between desktop and server as Microsoft now has, and has since moved to providing only the Server. Do you feel that this is a necessary product of the differences between open and closed source models, or is it simply the right position for red hat to take, and not the rest of the Open Source Unix community?
Recently we launched a statement of direction - Open Source Architecture for the enterprise. As more large customers move to distributed computing architectures, firms will want to leverage the flexibility and independence a integrated stack can create for a business. Our product line is being built through the delivery of software sold modularly. For example, our cluster suite.
5) If you could go back in time - by AftanGustur
If you could go back in time with the knowledge you have to day, and live the dot-com years for a second time. What would you change in Red Hat's business model?
Nothing. Three critical events occured during 1997-2000. Red Hat was able to capitalize itself for the long term. The Linux kernel continued to scale in performance and application availability with each increase in performance which helped to drive the enterprise adoption of Red Hat. These were matters of when and not if.
6) Will Red Hat become more proprietary? - by divec
One of the strengths of Red Hat has always been its emphasis on Free software. Unlike, say, SuSE, which contains significant pieces of SuSE-only infrastructure (such as YaST), Red Hat has always been more careful not to "Weld The Hood Shut". This is one reason we recommend Red Hat to customers at work.
Will we continue to see this, or will Red Hat start trying to beat the competition with proprietary add-ons?
No. For over 10 years Red Hat has built relationships with developers, ISVs and customers on the brand promise of delivering software based upon the GPL license in collaboration with the Open Source community. If you look back over the past 5 years, you will see the failure of companies that were building hybrid models which could not deliver the consistent value of open source code over time.
7) Diverse Hardware Support - by capt.Hij
One of the biggest issues for putting gnu/linux on the desktop is more support for hardware. I understand why Red Hat is supporting Fedora and focusing more on industrial clients, but I am concerned about the long term implications. What will Red Hat be doing to increase hardware compatibility and support? Without an official Red Hat "civilian" distribution do you feel that you will have the ability to sway hardware manufacturers to support gnu/linux?
3 important activites will have to take place before we see a significant increase in GPL'd hardware driver support. A large marketplace develops, customer demand and a viable supplier exists to deliver and service the integration. I'd say we are at the early stages worldwide to respond to these requirements. Increasingly we are receiving more support as compared to 24 months ago. I believe the civilian version will be filled by Fedora which will develop into a solution for many.
8) Did The Consumer Stream Make A Profit? - by reallocate
Has Red Hat's shrinkwrapped consumer-level product stream ever made a profit? To your knowledge, has SUSE or anyone else over made a profit from consumer sales?
Profitable yes. Was a shrink wrapped version sold at retail an economic model to grow a company? No. discounts leave a small amount of available profit. I can not speak for SuSE economics as until recently they were private.
9) personal OS choice? - by BigGerman
Which OS and desktop environments you, your colleagues and friends use every day?
thanks in advance for your honest and direct answer.
I have not used proprietary software for many years. I run a 5 node Linux cluster at home. I use Gnome.
10a) Education and Research Markets - by Frater
I work for a world-renowned research institution. We have ~500 Red Hat Linux systems in labs and on desktops, mostly administered by scientists and technicians rather than central IT staff -- so keeping them up to date is a challenge.
We have twice, over the past few years, attempted to contact Red Hat regarding site licensing or educational volume licensing for access to Red Hat Network. Both times the answer has been that -- unlike Sun, Microsoft, Apple, and our other OS suppliers -- Red Hat has no licensing programs for the education and science markets. For this reason, we have turned our Red Hat Linux users away from Red Hat Network and towards FreshRPMs APT [freshrpms.net] as a source of regular software updates.
With the discontinuation of the Red Hat Linux product line, we are now at an impasse. We do not expect FreshRPMs to conjure up security and bug-fix updates for a system that will no longer be supported upstream. My clients would prefer a more guaranteed solution than FreshRPMs. However, Red Hat still shows no signs of interest in the education and research market. Fedora is not an option, as we can't expect our science staff to accept major upgrades every 2-3 months -- they are science nerds, not Linux nerds.
Is there any chance that your plans for Red Hat Enterprise Linux include site- and volume-licensing oriented at the educational and research community? For if not, my colleagues and I will have a hard row to hoe -- migrating existing Red Hat Linux users to supportable distributions such as SuSE or Mandrake.
10b) Academics... - by PseudononymousCoward
As a professor at a Big-10 University, I now find myself in the curious situation that RedHat, for either server or workstation usage, is more expensive than Windows, owing to the terms that MS offers academia and the new licensing of RH products. Most Universities can _purchase_ Win2k3 Server for the price of one year of RHEL WS support.
Does academia constitute one more market segment that RH is no longer contesting?
We have rolled out an education plan which was priced between $25 and $50 for client and server quantity one for an annual subscription. I believe the pricing and service relationship will begin to address a void filled by the Red Hat Linux transition at an affordable price.
10c) licensing issues - by painehope
when will RedHat have a more reasonable licensing scheme? Your licensing is excellent for corporate enterprise workstations, and I realize that you are moving away from home users, but what about clusters and universities?
For example, I run Redhat across a rather large (> 4000 CPUs) cluster, and have never bothered doing more than buying a few boxed sets due to the fact that I have never been able to get a reasonable price from your sales team. Cluster support tends to be more like dealing w/ a single machine, since the hardware is generational (if you add 512 CPUs to the system, their hardware is going to be exactly the same if you ordered it that way). Why should I pay a license for each machine, when I can just get a license for one that is having the same problem as the others (for example, a bizarre problem we had w/ the eepro100 driver + PVM - and yes, I know PVM is generally used for > 1 machine, but technically I probably could have addressed the support problem w/ 1 license). I wouldn't have a problem buying cluster support if you had a decent sliding scale (ex. : 512 nodes @ $50/node, 1024 nodes @ $35/node, etc.). And of course, have a caching update server for the site.
And for universities: if you want brand recognition, try offering site licenses or educational discounts. Don't count on all CS/EE students to be clued in enough to install Fedora on their laptop and then debug any problems that come up. Offer a site-wide license to all students for $50k, or a department for $10k, or something like that. That would probably give you a lot of name recognition in the future. You already offer site licenses for corporations, right?
So when will RedHat come up w/ some decent licensing schemes for those environments?
Painhope, my view of reasonable and your view of reasonable might be different. And I would like to take you up on your offer. Send me an e-mail and we will take you up on your offer. Keep in mind that we do not sell licenses. We sell subscriptions where the value of the bits are integrated with service levels. I believe our educational subscription plan will be seen as a good solution to opportunities like yours. And you are correct, most student computing activities must be supported by campus IT to get plugged into the campus network. Site license for $50k. For many public schools and university, this is a large sum.