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Red Hat Software Businesses Linux Business Open Source

Why Should Red Hat Support Competitors' Software? 111

Posted by timothy
from the just-for-fun-vs-bottom-line-reality dept.
colinneagle (2544914) writes "The Wall Street Journal recently reported that, based on documents it reviewed, Red Hat "has chosen not to provide support to its commercial Linux customers if they use rival versions of OpenStack." But the big question is: Why would customers have expected that in the first place? Gartner analyst Lydia Leong told Network World that Red Hat isn't really doing anything wrong here. Customers shouldn't have an expectation that Red Hat would support competitors' software. "The norm would be to expect that non-Red Hat software is treated like any other third-party software," Leong says. If Red Hat has done anything wrong, it's that it has not clearly articulated its positioning and support for non-Red Hat OpenStack distros. Red Hat did not immediately respond to a question asking for a clarification on its support policy. The complication in all this comes from the fact that OpenStack is an open source project and there are misconceived notions that all OpenStack clouds are interoperable with one another. But Leong says just because OpenStack is open source doesn't change the expectations around vendors supporting competitors' products."
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Why Should Red Hat Support Competitors' Software?

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  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2014 @11:53AM (#47009561)

    Why should the Wall Street Journal assume that any company would support anything, of any sort, provided by a competitor? How is any company expected to know the details about someone else's product, and why should should they have any responsibility, at all, to help people fix problems with some one else's product?

    I think the problem, here, is with the Wall Street Journal. Not Red Hat.

  • Re:It's a business (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @11:56AM (#47009587) Homepage Journal
    This is like dinging RedHat for not supporting Ubuntu or SuSE. More specifically, for not supporting Apache on each of these distros.
  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @11:57AM (#47009595) Homepage
    Because Redhat is a platinum level director of the OpenStack project and have a vested interest in its general success as an open source project.
    on an offtopic note: the WallStreet Journal has gone seriously downhill since Murdoch took it over.
  • Re:Matters not... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2014 @12:00PM (#47009621)

    systemd is an answer to supply and demand. Windows Server 2012 can go from UEFI screen to a login screen in 3-5 seconds. rc.d has had a very good run, but there is a demand for faster, asynchronous booting, so systemd can get a system from the kernel to services started in just a few seconds, as well as down the machine in the same time.

    No, it isn't perfect, but it is compatible with legacy init.d scripts.

    All and all, of all the big companies, RedHat seems to do very little evil. No, they won't support other vendors, but that only makes sense. One doesn't expect Sears to support an alto chainsaw bought from Harbor Freight, even if the Sears model comes from the same OEM/ODM.

    RedHat even supports their main competition, CentOS. No, RedHat isn't perfect, but they tend to do the right thing.

  • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @12:14PM (#47009735) Homepage

    or are they refusing to support Red Hat Linux when it is used to run a third party application?

    Well, it sounds like:

    that, based on documents it reviewed, Red Hat "has chosen not to provide support to its commercial Linux customers if they use rival versions of OpenStack."

    My guess would be "since you're not running our version of OpenStack, we can't support you if you have issues with that version of OpenStack.

    I suspect RH is still giving you support for core functionality they know about.

    This sounds more like you've bought a car, replaced the transmission with a 3rd party one, and are coming back to the car maker for warranty on your transmission.

    They can't deny you coverage on your engine (unless they can show your transmission broke it), but you're completely on your own with the transmission.

    In other words, Red Hat will support the pieces they gave you, but if you swap out pieces, you are entirely on your own for the care and feeding of those.

    And, really, that sounds entirely reasonable to me.

    We once had a piece of software which shipped as being tested against a specific set of Java/application server combinations. We made it clear there were some combinations we had never tried, tested, certified, or even seen and definitely would not support. The client spent several weeks jamming it into IBMs Websphere, against our advice and warnings we couldn't (and wouldn't) support it. They made all sorts of config changes, shoe horned in settings in the IBM stuff, and generally bashed it into place.

    When they had issues and we said "you need to reproduce this using the stuff we support", they started to get irate and threaten legal action. When our team of lawyers spelled out that they'd essentially Frankensteined together something which we told them we can't support, and that we had explicitly told them this before they started having problems someone higher up their food chain swatted down their own people.

    If you insist on changing some of the parts, don't expect your vendor to support the parts you have now taken ownership of. That is your damned problem.

    Why anybody would expect Red Hat to support components they didn't ship is beyond me.

  • Re:Matters not... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by iggymanz (596061) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @12:23PM (#47009805)

    because Linux servers need to be rebooted so often? systemd serves no purpose for any sys admin with a brain. trying to make windows "admins" happy is just pandering to idiots.

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