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Red Hat Software Businesses Software Linux

Red Hat Listed Among 50 Top Tech Companies 169

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the fashionable-headware-is-critical-at-parties dept.
Kelvin Ekston writes " Red Hat is listed among ZDNet Asia's 50 Top Tech companies 2006. It is also one of the fastest growing companies with 210.4% year on year income growth over 4 years. While almost all Linux companies grapple with the perennial question of how they can make money through software subscriptions and services rather than selling packaged boxes, Red Hat finally managed to improve credibly and match the hype with substance and show the way to do business with Linux. That's the way to go!"
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Red Hat Listed Among 50 Top Tech Companies

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  • What a suprise..... (Score:5, Informative)

    by wpiman (739077) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @02:33PM (#14036592)
    The ad sponsors for the link are IBM, EMC and Redhat. Can you guess which three companies are on the list?
    • by FortKnox (169099) * on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @02:34PM (#14036606) Homepage Journal
      Beat me to the punch.
      Its the same as when people complain that surveys done that show Windows is better than Linux is funded by Microsoft. This should be taken with a large grain (hell, a pinch) of salt.
      • by DikSeaCup (767041) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @02:47PM (#14036705) Homepage
        It seems to me that, as far as Linux distros are concerned, Redhat tends to be the whipping boy of the Linux enthusiasts on Slashdot.

        Some days it seems like some folks put them just a step above Microsoft.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          It seems to me that, as far as Linux distros are concerned, Redhat tends to be the whipping boy of the Linux enthusiasts on Slashdot.

          Some days it seems like some folks put them just a step above Microsoft.


          A lot of people on Slashdot are very anti-corporatist by nature. They'll be suspicious of any company that seems to be making a buck, even if they're selling Linux. To these people the only good Linux distro is a not-for-profit one that's run by a band of diehard enthusiast hackers.
        • by talksinmaths (199235) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @03:21PM (#14036996) Homepage
          Redhat tends to be the whipping boy of the Linux enthusiasts on Slashdot

          I agree, but one must keep in mind that this says far more about the character and maturity of Linux enthusiasts on Slashdot than it does about the RedHat distro.

        • redhats an awkward one.

          on the one hand they do contribute a lot of code to the opensource movement and they should be applauded for doing so!

          on the other hand they released rh9 which was known to be a pita to get a lot of software to work on. then they scrapped rhl altogther and moved to fedora with its insanely fast release schedule and which afaict wasn't properly stabalised before rh9 was eoled.

          i really got the impression that they wanted to force people to switch to rhel.

          sure there is the rhel rebuilds
        • Redhat has one fundamental technical flaw, and its name is RPM. Unfortunately, it's even been adopted by such otherwise-beautiful distros as SuSE.
        • It seems to me that, as far as Linux distros are concerned, Redhat tends to be the whipping boy of the Linux enthusiasts on Slashdot.

          This is because Redhat are trying to run a business, not a charity.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        But it was not funded by a lot of those companies.

        I for one am going to work for Tata Consultancy Services. You cannot go wrong when your services are consulted by Tata's. When you go through one of their consultations, you too will like their services. Maybe one of their services is to help the porn industry decide whether to use HD-DVD or Blu-Ray!

      • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @03:08PM (#14036889)
        Microsft is on the list too.

        Besides, RedHat's 36% annual revenue growth for 4 years is impressive. Sure it's easier for smaller company to score big growth numbers, but $200M in revenue and 36% annual growth seems like a pretty nice place to be.

        The nice thing is RedHat's success actually means something to Linux users, even if they're not RedHat customers, because RedHat is quite active in developing OSS.

      • ...requires vast quantities of sodium flouride. That is the primary market for salt mines, now that people are wary of it in food.
        • That should be sodium chloride. Though if you want to use sodium fluoride on bullshit (or indeed food), I won't stop you. I'll just not eat in the same restraunts.
        • This is not a study of anything, it is just an edititorial fill in piece giving the opinion of cnet as to who the top 50 tech companies in Asia are. Odd that most of the notebook ODMs are missing, they obviously don't spend enough marketing dollars (Dell is on the list and Compal is not? Compal make most of the Dell notebooks as well as notebooks for most of other companies on the list). Perhaps they just should have rated it as the top 50 cnet advertisers in Asia, then at least it would have made more senc
      • It's not quite the same. Had it been Microsoft, the story would have been loudly trumpeting the fact that MS was an advertiser, and there would have been 250+ posts by now decrying them as Evil.

        Ah, yes, the good old /. double standard. Gotta love it...
    • Ad man on phone:- Hey IBM/Redhat/EMC, you're featured as a top player. How's about a bit of sponsorship?
      IBM/Redhat/EMC Publicity guy:- Hmm, a survey that makes us look good - yes, we'll put out names along side that.

      Cause and effect are not always straightforward.
    • The ad sponsors for the link are IBM, EMC and Redhat.

      Ads? You need http://adblock.mozdev.org/ [mozdev.org] my friend.
  • by TheLevelHeadedOne (700023) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @02:34PM (#14036596) Homepage
    check out http://www.centos.org/ [centos.org]
  • No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AceyMan (199978) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @02:35PM (#14036610)
    Redhat, everyone should agree, is one of the biggest players in a space we all know is growing nicely, and already has a pretty solid presence in the business space.

    Cracking the top 50 isn't surprising, or terribly newsworthy.

    That said, it's more proof that Linux® is on the radar screen, which is nice.
    • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

      by DogDude (805747) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @02:42PM (#14036662) Homepage
      and already has a pretty solid presence in the business space.

      Yeah. 2 years of profits. [yahoo.com] That's solid.

      That might be considered "solid" in the Open Source industry, but as a business in general, they're still considered a relatively unproven start-up. I want to see at least a solid 5-10 years of profitability before I'd consider investing a dime, personally.
      • by Vengeance (46019) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @03:09PM (#14036894)
        I personally put some money into RedHat last summer. Not enough to bankrupt me or to get rich, you understand, but I'm currently sitting on about 41% equity growth.

        • And you'll probably see that kind of growth for a while longer, too. What you're talking about (the span of a year or so) isn't investing... it's speculation. And while I don't deny that Red Hat has had decent returns recently, and may continue to in the near future, the parent said that Red Hat is a "solid" company. My main point of contention is that two years of profit doesn't define a "solid" company in the financial sense, regardless of industry. The dot-coms all had tremendous growth as far as mar
          • I didn't go into this looking for 6 hour or 6 month gains, and I won't be selling my shares any time soon, barring some downturn in business that causes me to reevaluate. I'm not much of a speculator or trader. I tend to buy and hold long-term. That's why I specifically worded my post to indicate a growth in equity, and not in dollars.
      • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Informative)

        by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @03:09PM (#14036897)

        I want to see at least a solid 5-10 years of profitability before I'd consider investing a dime, personally.

        Redhat merged with Cygnus, didn't they? Cygnus have been profitable using an open-source business model since the late 80s/early 90s. And Redhat as a whole have been doing business for 12 years too - although they haven't always been in the black, they have still managed to pay the bills, pay wages, and put out products that people buy for well over a decade. Redhat aren't as unproven as you make out.

        • Cygnus have been profitable using an open-source business model since the late 80s/early 90s.

          How do you know that? I mean, Cygnus was never publicly traded, so you must have some kind of source for the information?
          • Redhat is publicly traded. After the purchase of Cygnus they had to release their financials.
            • That means all their financials from their entire history became public? If the OP was referring to that I'm sure they can provide a link.

              I tend to think the OP was just talking out of his ass.
      • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Glock27 (446276) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @03:10PM (#14036901)
        I want to see at least a solid 5-10 years of profitability before I'd consider investing a dime, personally.

        At which point you'll be investing in a mature, proven company...with a lot less growth potential, and hence much lower stock appreciation prospects.

        The way to make big money in the stock market is to find small, great companies and ride their coattails to wealth. More risk, but far greater rewards.

      • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 31415926535897 (702314) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @03:15PM (#14036946) Journal
        I want to see at least a solid 5-10 years of profitability before I'd consider investing a dime, personally.

        It all depends on your investment goals, naturally, but doing this as you say is a great way to see your money stagnate. You need to find a company that has a great idea that is undervalued in your opinion. For instance, Microsoft has had many, many years of profitability, but their stock has done nothing interesting in the last year+. I would bet there are a lot of geeks on this board who feel that RedHat is undervalued because the business market doesn't yet understand the power of Linux (especially as a server), and RedHat stands to profit a lot from any growth in that segment. If you were to buy RedHat now, and they became that solid, proven profit-making machine you're looking for in the next 5-10 years, you'll easily double your money. The only way to make money is if you take some risk.

        Again, I want to stress that all of this is based on personal opinion (as you said at the end of your post, 'personally'), and I have no idea if RedHat's stock is going to go up or down. To everybody that reads this--do not make any investment or trading decisions based on this post; if you do you're foolish. This is not an offer to buy or sell any security, and you should obviously talk to any investment professional before you make any trading decisions (yada, yada).
      • And your returns will be lower. Your threshold of risk is lower than others and that's fine, but the risktakers are the ones who will reap the big rewards (and the cripling defeats)

        Redhat's not just an unproven start-up. It's an unproven start-up with a developing track record and posting real profits. Which is a huge improvement over the scam^h^h^h^hcompanies of the dot-com bubble.
      • Re:No surprise (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nine-times (778537)
        I want to see at least a solid 5-10 years of profitability before I'd consider investing a dime, personally.

        Except that a tech company with 10 years of profitability could just as easily be on their way out. There are no guarantees either way, but some people might rather invest in an up-and-commer then a tech company gone stale.

  • Easy task (Score:2, Funny)

    by DogDude (805747)
    It's a relatively easy feat to increase profits from Zero [yahoo.com] just two years ago.
  • redhat schmedhat (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xargle (165143) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @02:46PM (#14036694)
    Sure they grow their income, but by that's flogging training, support and having an underpaid skeletal staff and not actually doing that much?

    Ever *used* RH support in a corporate environment? If your query is beyond RTFM it's a constant battle to get anywhere. Plus their QA is terrible given they're competing on the corporate level - we've had hanging kernels (on pretty stock hardware) and endless dodgy packages we've had to replace.

    There's this endless love in on messageboards because they're FOSS promoters and actually comply to the GPL, but when it comes to working with them if you're corporate and you don't have a sizeable contract with them (ie. govt or multinational) their product in terms of service is no where near close to what you'd expect from other vendors in the market.
    • Yeah well....

      I think that Red Hat is overhyped today.

      If I had to look at companies poised to do well in the near future, I would sook to Novell.
    • Ever *used* RH support in a corporate environment? If your query is beyond RTFM it's a constant battle to get anywhere. Plus their QA is terrible given they're competing on the corporate level - we've had hanging kernels (on pretty stock hardware) and endless dodgy packages we've had to replace.

      and this is different form Microsoft or Sun how??? Right now I am fighting the same fight with Windows 2003 advanced server and SQL2000 enterprise on an 8way server that is giving me fits that just happen to coincid
    • Not to mention that RedHat is more of an investment banking company than a software company. The software is already written, they just butcher it and backport incompatible patches to the kernel and break their ABI every time they update something. It's a miracle that anyone actually gets anything to work that hasn't been specifically written for RedHat. (Mind you that RHEL AS 2.1 binaries don't work on RHEL 3 or RHEL 4 in most cases)
    • Red Hat's support wins awards year over year. I'm not sure what you're talking about. The only other company I've ever seen have as good support as Red Hat, is Veritas.
      Regards,
      Steve
      • The only other company I've ever seen have as good support as Red Hat, is Veritas.

        Is that superior level of support the reason why the "subscription number" I got for RH support of my new Dell server keeps coming back "invalid", and the only thing RH can say is "maybe it will work tomorrow?"

        Or was your comment sarcastic? I don't know, I don't know if Veritas is known for good or bad support. I only know what I'm thinking of RH right now. (Oh, they also shut support down at 3PM PST, as if nobody might ha

    • Every dealing I have with them is a strange mixture of trying to be too cutting edge at times, and at others so terrified of even straightforward patches required to avoid panics. In general when I deal with them, I invariably get someone who has a huge ego that exceeds their ability. The fact I've had so many dealings with them speaks volumes on the QA issues. Once I did deal with some RedHat folks in the UK, and they seemed more level headed than the US RedHat folks, admittedly.

      By far, I have had immen
  • Is Red Hat Linux? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FishandChips (695645) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @02:47PM (#14036713) Journal
    It's interesting to see that they've managed this with less than 1000 employees. Only two others in the list are comparable in this respect. Plenty of other companies on the list have thousands or tens or thousands of employees.

    Red Hat's stock is on an astronomical PE ratio, higher even than Google's. It's pretty instructive comparing the PE ratio to, say, Novell's which is about a tenth as high.

    So, I guess it's clear the financial market is very much buying the line that "Red Hat is Linux", perhaps much more than was the case a year or two ago. Nice news if you're Red Hat. Not so nice for anyone else.
    • Re:Is Red Hat Linux? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Otter (3800)
      It's interesting to see that they've managed this with less than 1000 employees. Only two others in the list are comparable in this respect. Plenty of other companies on the list have thousands or tens or thousands of employees.

      OK, but only two others in the list have lower revenues! If you look at revenues/employee, Red Hat is ...lessee... 30th of 50, with Hitachi so far in number 1 (36 times that of #2 Dell) I'm thinking there must be a mistake.

      Who was it who was linked here last week saying that table

      • Yes, that's a darn good way of looking at it. Red Hat don't do so badly in terms of net income per employee, though, coming around 16th in the field. I agree that the Hitachi figure looks duff, too.
    • Re:Is Red Hat Linux? (Score:4, Informative)

      by GigsVT (208848) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @03:03PM (#14036847) Journal
      One thing that killed their PE was constant dilution via secondary offerings, convertible debentures, and compensation stock options.

      If you invested in Red Hat, you really invested in them.. Your money went straight into the companies asset sheet through their extreme dilution.

      Red Hat is making good on it now for us long-term investors finally at least. They are buying back the convertible debentures and some of the stock. This should bring their PE down even if the P part stays constant.

      It's going to take a while though, Red Hat effectively borrowed billions of dollars from their stockholders and they aren't going to pay it back overnight.
    • Re:Is Red Hat Linux? (Score:2, Informative)

      by step.ee (220594)
      ... and as you can read form Red Hat Shares Fall on Analyst Downgrade [yahoo.com]

      Red Hat Shares Fall on Analyst Downgrade
      Tuesday November 15, 12:01 pm ET
      Red Hat Shares Fall 5.5 Percent After Analyst Downgrades Stock on Lacking Near-Term Upside

      NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Red Hat Inc. dropped 5.5 percent trading Tuesday after an analyst cut his rating on the stock, citing concern that he doesn't anticipate any events that can move the stock price up in the near future.

      Shares were down $1.34, to $23.02 in midday trading on
  • The article says RedHat had 36% revenue growth over 4 years. How does that equal 210% year-over-year growth? Am I missing something?
    • Ok, nevermind. The article with tons of text is confusing. The top-50 chart is where they got the big numbers from.
    • Re:er, 36% growth? (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This is very possible - just spend some time at a financial site. Growth does not always refer to revenue. For example, revenue and profit are completely different numbers.
  • Maybe my RHCE certification will land me a job now! *gets hopes up*

    Question is, with all of this emerging interest in Red Hat, why hasn't it already gotten me a job? I haven't seen (around here, in Ottawa, anyway) any sharp rise in the number of Linux-related jobs available. So, who's buying all of this support?
    • Proven skill a demonstrable ability get you a job, not certifications.
      • Re:Good stuff -- (Score:3, Interesting)

        by meisenst (104896)
        Oh, I have nearly 15 years of proven skill. I think what I'm getting at here is, there is a sizeable amount of demand for RH services and/or support -- yet people who are certified with their products seem to find less demand than, say, MCSE.
        • Re:Good stuff -- (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mottie (807927)
          Every tech I've ever met that has moved to Vancouver from Ottawa has talked about how far behind in technology the average infrastructure in Ottawa is. They blame it on the fact that Ottawa has a lot of goverment jobs. Based on that (and only that, I've never worked or been to Ottawa) I'd guess that an RHCE wouldn't be as valuable as an MCSE, as the Canadian Gov't hasn't embraced linux yet.
    • Maybe you should start bathing before interviews?
    • Maybe my RHCE certification will land me a job now!

      That's how they make their money, selling certifications to guys like you for jobs that don't exist.
  • Ethics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NumberOneFan (811608)
    Good on Red Hat. How many times has this "business model" failed, continues to fail, or barely makes it? This way of doing business really relies on the scruples of the company. Financially, it isn't in their best interest to keep packages up to date. The longer they drag their feet, the more money they keep making in their subscriptions. It's like Code Sourcery. They port the GNU tool-chain for use on embedded platforms like ARM. They also give out their changes and such like they have to. What's t
    • Re:Ethics (Score:3, Insightful)

      If you pay them for support maybe you get a less buggy version

      Red Hat releases .rpms and .srpms for all their software. So they can't hide "special fixes". But sometimes mainstream developers doesn't want those fixes (and there's no reason why a OSS developer shouldn't be looking at the .srpms and check the patches to see if there's something interesting), or the fixes are not ready to be upstream. For example, redhat backported lots of 2.6 things to 2.4. 2.4 was not going to include those never, the same g
  • Red Hat who? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Just out of curiousity, why does anyone care about Red Hat? Their product isn't free. You can't go out and download a copy of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

    I'm going to get modded flamebait, but their business model is identical to Microsoft's. The only way to get Red Hat Linux is to buy it from them. If you aren't a paying customer, you mean zero to them.

    Sure it's possible to build a system that is mostly the same at no cost, but you aren't running Red Hat and they won't give you any support if you run into pro
    • Re:Red Hat who? (Score:3, Informative)

      by robpoe (578975)
      That's a "Microsoft Answer"(TM).

      Sure, you *can* download a RHEL. It's just called Centos. Or WhiteBox.

      But you're right .. RedHat won't recognize you then.
      • Scientific Linux is another. They're good for stability, but I wouldn't rate them much for performance (the builds are all pretty safe and have no obvious speedups anywhere), extensibility (very few RPM sites provide RHEL RPMs) or progressiveness (you can't update Enterprise-level software that rapidly, but RHEL is getting positively ancient in places).

        I'm hoping someone'll put together a "best of" compilation, using what's stable (and what can be made stable) from the RPM repositories - including Fedora -

    • I'm going to get modded flamebait, but their business model is identical to Microsoft's. The only way to get Red Hat Linux is to buy it from them. If you aren't a paying customer, you mean zero to them.

      Hmm... Microsoft's apparent business model: sell subscriptions that give you the license to use (not modify, not own) software, then fail to deliver any new versions of the subscribed software for years; charge extra for support; buy or bury competition; flex monopoly power as much as possible. Red Hat'

  • So why stock down (Score:2, Interesting)

    by yapplejax (931268)
    If that's the case, then why is RedHat dipping following analyst downgrades [marketwatch.com]?
  • by carlcmc (322350) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @03:05PM (#14036866)
    ... of salt.

    going from barely making anything to making just a bit more can be a dramatic % growth but still not necessarily reflect a thriving business model which will generate year over year growth.
  • by CptTripps (196901) on Tuesday November 15, 2005 @03:11PM (#14036914) Homepage
    I thought it odd that F5 Networks was there, but Google wasn't...

    I DID like that RH made the list with 800 employees...compared to 11,000 for Apple, or 56,000 for M$.
  • That's the way to go!

    Yes, but unfortunately, Red Hat was there first. Similar models will get the proverbial "but how are you any different than Red Hat?". So just because it worked for them doesn't mean someone can start now to try to copy the same model for open source. Red Hat is so comprehensive with their services that to try to compete now, especially since it would be *against* them, is an effort in futility.

    Not that this is a bad thing, I'm glad for them, but to say that there is a model that works
    • Yeah you know, once McDonalds did that fast food thing, the market was all but closed off to new players...

      You have made, quite possibly, the worst argument for anything I have ever seen.

      Nicely done.
  • http://www.fool.com/news/mft/2005/mft05100301.htm ? source=eptyholnk303100&logvisit=y&npu=y&bounce=y&b ounce2=y [fool.com]

    "Shares surged nearly 30% higher on the news -- and with good reason. The company is experiencing sequential improvement in the current quarter as more corporate customers take a shine to open-source solutions."

    RHAT is now at $23.13 a share.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=RHAT&t=5y [yahoo.com]
  • So what? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by flyinwhitey (928430)
    Mod me down if you want, but a few years ago, pets.com could have been listed there too.

    This may be an indication of great things to come, or it could be the start of the much speculated upon Linux bubble.

    Don't jump to conclusions.
  • Just curious... at first glance they all look to be publicly held.
  • Its not suprising. I use Ret Hat Enterprise Server 3 all the time at work, and it beats the hell outa any other distro in the business field IMO.
  • I a unix/linux systems engineer. I can tell you Redhat Linux AS 2.1 was anything but advanced. Sure EMC and Oracle supported it. But there was NO LVM! No Support for Extended ACLS! And the infamous low EMEM bug when you are under heavy I/O. If I compiled a fix in Oracle wasn't going to support it. The servers are Dell PowerEdge 6650's with 8GB RAM connected to an EMC SAN via Qlogic HBAs. I managed to tame the beast, but managing the filesystems without an LVM is a pain.

    The ERP project has grown, so w
    • LMFAO Of course RHEL 2.1 AS has no LVM support, it was created four friggin years ago! And lets face it LVM on Linux back then was not what you would call, um, stable or reliable. But lets also look at what Red Hat has done with RHEL 2.1 AS. They've published updated and bug fixes over the last four years, and another 3 years into the future. It's still a reliable platform, even if it is no longer a modern one. And seriously, holding Red Hat accountable for what Oracle or some SAN provider is doing is
    • LVM existed 4 years ago. I used it. Remember the IBM/SUSE relationship in 2001??? Well IBM ported
      LVM to Linux and it was included in SUSE since version 6.3! That's over 4 years ago. Technically
      SUSE was more advanced than RedHat. The only thing Redhat was good generating money from the blood and sweat of open source developers. SUSE innovated.

      The Logical Volume Manager (LVM) - Part 1

      Michael Hasenstein

      This document describes the LVM in SUSE LINUX. It is freely distributable as long as it remains unchanged
  • ...my USD 200 worth of shares in 2001, when they were worth about 6 USD each. I bought through http://www.sharepeople.co.uk/ [sharepeople.co.uk] but sold because they shares were not going anywhere and the Sharepeople fees were chewing the money at an alarming rate.

    Now I wonder if I should've been bolder. I could have spent USD 5,000 on RHAT shares instead of leaving the money in my savings account in the bank. Now the shares are worth USD 22 the result would be USD 18,000! Even if Sharepeople had taken 1,000 dollars in fees i

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