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Red Hat Software Businesses Linux Business

Red Hat Announces Enterprise Linux 440

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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  • by B3ryllium ( 571199 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:11PM (#5505292) Homepage
    The linux distro they run on Star Trek?

    Does it include Majel Barrett-Rodenbery's voice?
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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:5, Informative)

        by belloc ( 37430 ) <belloc@NOSPAm.latinmail.com> on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:55PM (#5506293) Homepage
        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.

        Samsung Contact [samsungcontact.com]. It works. Server runs on Unix variants or Linux (currently RH and SuSE). You can use their PC client, their Linux client, their web client, or Outlook 98/2k/XP (with the Samsung MAPI drivers). I've been using it on linux since it was HP Openmail. Back then, there were some issues with MAPI driver functionality, but it worked pretty well. Since Samsung has gotten their hands on it, it is fantastic, no reservations whatsoever.

        No, it's not free (beer/speech). Until someone is able to do this under some sort of OSS license, I'll gladly pay for Samsung Contact.
    • Re:Neato (Score:4, Funny)

      by j_kenpo ( 571930 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:15PM (#5505910)
      Sure, and with my handy-dandy corporate buzz word generater, I came up with this description for it.
      After all, if you cant dazzle them with briliance, baffle them with bullshit.

      "Red Hat Enterprise Server

      Through a top-down, proactive approach we can remain customer focused and goal-directed, innovate and be an inside-out organization which facilitates sticky web-readiness transforming turnkey eyeballs to brand 24/365 paradigms with benchmark turnkey channels implementing viral e-services and dot-com action-items while we take that action item off-line and raise a red flag and remember touch base as you think about the red tape outside of the box and seize B2B e-tailers and re-envisioneer innovative partnerships that evolve dot-com initiatives delivering synergistic earballs."
    • Re:Neato (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hackstraw ( 262471 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:59PM (#5506322)
      Nah, thats not what is stopping Linux. What is stopping Linux is: "It will just fucking work". Only now are companies like IBM, HP, Oracle, and RedHat are putting their rep where their mouth is. One would have to live in the middle of the desert not to recognise Linux now.

      An example of "It will just fucking work" in action. I just paid NetApp something like $1,300 dollars for a GigE card in a NAS box, and then paid some guy $375 to put the card in the box. Now the NetApp is going fine at GigE. (Btw, the $1,300 card is an Intel e1000 card that you can get for under $200). Where did all that $$ go to? In making sure that "It will just fucking work". That is where, although it could have been much cheaper IMHO.

      An example of "It will eventually work after I dink around with it Linux style". I bought a Linux server for $5,000. I specified that I wanted a GigE card, RedHat 7.1, and the hardisk partitioned according to a dump of fdisk -l on another machine. The machine did not come with a power cord. The machine came with RH 7.2, and partitioned incorrectly. The machine also came with the wrong GigE card. I contacted the company, and for $145 they sent me the "right" GigE card. The only problem, is that the driver for the card is only ported to kernel 2.4.20 and I have to run 2.4.9, so I must now contact either the people that sold me the card and/or the card people for some kind of backport of the driver to kernel 2.4.9. The machine is still not in production because of the GigE card.

      Announcements like RH's Enterprise Linux and the previous Advanced Server are welcome to me. I hope that soon I can pay someone for a real Linux solution, not parts of one. One that will "just fucking work!"
      • Re:Neato (Score:3, Insightful)

        by attobyte ( 20206 )
        Well I have a MS "It will just fucking work", NOT. We hired a developer to write a web page for us and he happened to write it in .net. Well now our company has to upgrade to IE 6 to get it to work. So needing a newer version of software for something to "just fucking work" is no different in Linux, MS, Sun, HP.

        Also I had to buy a V480 for work. They don't sell the E450 anymore :) buy any ways I have to run at least Solaris 8 02/02. I was on 8 10/00 well I had to test 02/02 to see if it "just fucking worke
  • 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.
    • Re:Enterprise AS (Score:3, Interesting)

      by verch ( 12834 )
      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 afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:18PM (#5505367)
    ES server is $800 ???? I know that most of that is for the support, but on the face of it that is a lot more expensive then MS server would be for a similar sized box (2000 server with 5 CAL's is considerably less). Of course once CAL's are calculated in it might be slightly cheaper, but large server software costs + large workstation costs($300) = too expensive. One of the big advantages of linux is the cost, if it is only going to save you a small % vs. windows I doubt many organizations will bother to switch.
    • by dissy ( 172727 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:23PM (#5505428)
      > One of the big advantages of linux is the cost

      But one of the big advantages of Windows is support.

      Now in the linux camp you can get free and supportless, or pricy and supported.
      In the windows camp you only have pricy and supported.

      Two vs One is still a win for linux over windows at that game.
      • But one of the big advantages of Windows is support.

        Where? The only good thing about MS' support is the knowledge base. And ever since google has newsgroup support, I find it just as easy to find answers for my Linux/FreeBSD problems.

        Windowsupdate? "apt-get dist-upgrade"

        I *do* like Windows, but support is definitely not Microsoft's forte.

      • free and supportless? not with Red Hat Advanced Server. It's apparently not available free and supportless. That's my big problem with it. It's no better than windows in that aspect...the only reason I like it better than a windows server is that it is more stable by being built upon linux.
      • 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 $60 annual on autorenew, because I have the choice to run one for pay, the others for free. From my experience, RedHat offers good value.
    • The 800$ is only for the product, If you want support, that is 1500US/year for a 'silver' contract.

      The product placement for AS is for Enterprise applications i.e. Oracle. For those of us considering moving Oracle from Sun to Redhat, this is a sweet deal.

      Your comments about Microsoft pricing are valid, and I believe RedHat thinks so too. The new offering of ES, is I think 800$/yr for support.

      And I don't work for RedHat. ;)
    • Remember too that with Linux you're not just getting the OS. You'll also get all of your office tools and apps you'll ever need for $800 too.
    • by Chewie ( 24912 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:32PM (#5505530)
      Um, last I checked, Win2K server (with 5 CALs) lists for $999, and you're not going to find it for $800 or less from many people (I am talking retail version, not academic or OEM, and this is the price point that RH's website is addressing: retail). Another poster has noted that there are also many server programs and utilities included that you would have to pay extra for with Windows. Finally, CIOs who don't know much don't like stuff that's dirt cheap. They seem to associate it with bad or unprofessional. Dumb, but true.
      • by Tony-A ( 29931 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:31PM (#5506109)
        Finally, CIOs who don't know much don't like stuff that's dirt cheap. They seem to associate it with bad or unprofessional. Dumb, but true.
        Not that dumb.
        They have a problem. They want it fixed. Fast. They want it fixed because they have a problem and do not want to have to research it themselves.
        This takes resources, and the resources take money. To be able to supply the required support, Red Hat needs to be profitable, even lucratively profitable.

        What Red Hat is doing is offering a wide array of different price points from very cheap to very expensive. (I suppose you could get IBM to support it for even more;)

        The "dumb" CIO can target the price, and the support will fall nicely into line with what is reasonable at that price level.
  • by m_evanchik ( 398143 ) <michel_evanchikATevanchik...net> 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
    • mostly it's the 5 years service and support that is being paid for from what I can figure out. Also the vendor certification program for hardware is probably part of why enterprises would pay in.
    • I'm just a little fuzzy on what's being paid for.


      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.
    • Support. Don't pay, you don't get it. As simple as that.
    • 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.


  • by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:20PM (#5505389) Homepage Journal
    Red Hat is attempting to both leverage the cost-advantage of Linux, but also offer enterprise-class service and support. This is an essential step for Linux to take off in the business arena, since no CIO is going to stake his career on a grassroots OS. He/She has to have a financially stable vendor that can be relied on to handle the R&D to provide regular upgrades, as well as provide emergency support as needed.
  • What price hike ?? (Score:5, Informative)

    by dr-suess-fan ( 210327 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:20PM (#5505391)
    Sorry, But....

    Our shop has been evaluating the purchase of AS for some time now. It's been 1500US/yr and 2500US/yr
    for a few months at least.

    This latest offering is only adding ES and WS for
    those who still need/want support but don't want the
    full enterprise price.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      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
  • Nice support options (Score:5, Informative)

    by jarrod.smith ( 580058 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:22PM (#5505414)
    The top tier costs $2500 and you get one year of 24x7 support with a one-hour response time and unlimited incedents.

    For a mission-critical business system (like one that MAKES REAL MONEY for a company) this is not a bad price to pay to keep running.

    ALso, if you've only got one or two boxes like this, paying RedHat $2500 a year would be a lot cheaper than keeping a really good UNIX sysadmin around.

    I think if you look at the competition (Microsoft and Commercial UNIX vendors), this would be pretty good deal.

  • by FatherOfONe ( 515801 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:23PM (#5505424)
    I am glad that they have made this change. We were kinda screwed when Oracle said that they would ONLY support the "Advanced Server" version of RedHat and RedHat said that they were only going to support 7.1 until the end of the year.

    However, I cannot believe that they don't offer some type of per incident support basis. There are a number of places here in Indiana that want to add RedHat instead of NT and or NetWare, for say 20-30 servers, but they don't want to pay $2,500.00 a server for 7X24 support! Both Novell and Microsoft offer a per incident support, and when I called to complain about this I was told that RedHat isn't competing with Novell or Microsoft, but Sun. I don't see it that way.

    • by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:52PM (#5505705) Homepage
      So why not go with the Standard service for $1500?

      I'm guessing you're wanting 24x7 support, but not with 1 hour turn around or unlimited incidents. And if web support isn't sufficient (and, in general, I can't imagine a 4 business day turnaround being sufficient) then, yeah, I guess you're out of options.

      But just how many calls would you need to put into MS or Novell before Redhat becomes cheaper? What about turnaround time? How long do your servers need to be down before that 1 hour turnaround starts paying back?

      The second question is really the key one -- I suspect most shops could get along just fine with the Standard option, which is pretty dang cheap. And if you're just replacing a file server or the like then go with ES - which is $350 or $800 depending on your support needs.

      As for who they're targeting - I'm not a sysadmin, but it would seem to me that ES is targeted more toward the Novell/MS and AS more toward Solaris/AIX/HP-UX. It's certainly not a hard line though. But, in general, it's a lot easier to port an application from another Unix to Linux than it is from Windows/Novell to Linux.
  • Why it costs so much (Score:3, Informative)

    by Hellraisr ( 305322 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:23PM (#5505427)
    It's because they're offering 5 years of service with the software, which is pretty good if you ask me.
  • by vondo ( 303621 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:23PM (#5505433)
    I understand why Redhat wants to try to collect money from its vast user base that uses RH to get actual work done, but there doesn't seem to be a reasonably priced option for non-power users.

    For home/hobbiest users, there is the free downloadable Standard Linux. But, with at most 12 months of security updates, this isn't really a viable option for use in any environment outside the home (and not even for a lot of them). Personally, I want to use my computer, not be updating it all the time.

    My situation at work is this: I'm a researcher. Since I'm one of just a few with any expertise, I'm the de facto sysadm for about 25-30 machines running RH 7.2 which we installed just about a year ago. We use the machines mostly as desktops. Lots of people don't run anything besides ssh, mozilla, and OpenOffice plus the usual suite of calculators, CD players, etc.

    Since my real job isn't taking care of these machines, and since I don't want to interupt people's work, upgrading every 12 months is out of the question. But, spending $180/yr/machine on support I really don't need is also not a great option. All we need is security updates for these systems so we don't get hacked. That's it. I don't need Oracle certification, etc.

    But, I don't see any way in RedHat's plan to give me minimal support for a long period of time (2-3 years) for a reasonable cost. Of course maybe their update RPMs will be available somewhere since, after all, this is free (open source) software. Barring that, it looks like RedHat will cost us a lot more than MS would.

    I'm also of the opinion that this model of release every 4 months is not viable anymore. Things just aren't progressing that quickly any more. IMO, RedHat should be making a new release of their standard product every 18-24 months and releasing service packs that update critical packages like the kernel and X (to deal with hardware compatibility), security updates, and maybe essential applications like KDE, GNOME, mozilla. I'd be more than happy to pay a reasonable amount ($50/yr/machine) for something like this.

    • But, I don't see any way in RedHat's plan to give me minimal support for a long period of time (2-3 years) for a reasonable cost.

      Ah, but that's the beauty of Open Source - you don't *need* RedHat to give you 2-3 years of support for reasonable cost. You can get that from someone else. If there are enough people like you out there to support a business model that satisfies your needs, then someone will probably start one (if there isn't one already).

    • I would suggest installing apt for rpm. See http://freshrpms.net/apt for details. Once that is installed and configured, updating to the latest redhat patches is as simple as:

      apt-get update; apt-get dist-upgrade
      • Yes, but someone has to produce the patches. I don't use up-to-date currently, I do wget of a mirror and then do rpm -Fvh commands to upgrade what I want. That's not the problem, it's the existence of updates in the first place.

        And as I understand it, won't one of those commands update me to the latest distribution of RH not just fixing the software I have, but replacing a bunch of things that don't necessarily have problems? That means new things break, people come asking "How do I do this now? It used to

    • by Turadg ( 13362 ) <[ ] ['' in gap]> on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:52PM (#5505707)
      I'd be more than happy to pay a reasonable amount ($50/yr/machine) for something like this.

      How about $60?
      Red Hat Network Purchase Information [redhat.com]

      Red Hat Network Basic service level: $60/year per system subscription

      Red Hat Network Basic service provides software management, priority service, and access to Instant ISOs (full versions of Red Hat Linux) for individuals with one or more systems. A Basic subscription is required for each system supported on Red Hat Network. A Basic subscription to Red Hat Network provides:

      • Email notifications of available updates (errata)
      • Flexible scheduling of updates
      • Delivery of the actual updated files (packages)
      • Summaries of update results
      • How about $60?

        Thank you. I was just saying this to someone else. I have been on this plan for two years now. worth every damn penny and then some. it works, everytime, very fast. AND (as i stated elsewhere) they let you register your UNPAID systems and get info/emails about them, free. You don't get to use up2date with them, but you at least KNOW when they are out of date.

        IMHO, Redhat has a great thing with this program.

      • by vondo ( 303621 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:00PM (#5505786)
        I don't think so, because as I understand it, that's for the Standard version of linux which has a 12-month lifetime (which means 9 or less by the time we get it rolled out). I'd love to be wrong and that one could get errata for several years for standard Linux or Enterprise that way.
    • It certainly looks to me like the basic Red Hat Network for $60 per year provides everything you want.
  • 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.
  • I would rather just install a downloaded free (free as in everything, essentially) images on workstations and just purchase a support contract. That beats paying $179 for a limited version of Redhat (what if you want Apache or some other "server software" on workstation for testing?).
    • (what if you want Apache or some other "server software" on workstation for testing?)

      Well, I might be playing devil's advocate, but what's stopping you from pulling the Apache (or other software) rpms from apache.org (or appropriate site) and including the rpm in your install script? I'm not trying to be a jerk, just legitimately wondering. A simple "rpm -iv apache*.rpm" (or similar command depending on your needs) would seem to do it and not violate anything.

  • by lal ( 29527 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:28PM (#5505481)
    I'm happy to pay for errata. $349 per server is too much for errata. I don't want any kind of support from RH other than errata.

    I use RH now, and have for years. But I'm actively looking for another distro. Plus, I'm tired of the marketing b.s. that accompanies their segmentation of the market.
    • I'm happy to pay for errata. $349 per server is too much for errata. I don't want any kind of support from RH other than errata.

      Maybe you should take a look at Redhat Linux (according to Redhat this is suitable for those who want minimal support). Redhat Enterprise Linux is probably not the Linux you are looking for. Redhat Linux (no Enterprise) can still be had for as little as US$39.95.
  • 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.

    • 1.It's the support.

      2. There are no binary ISOs

      Red Hat does to lots of customizations, and if download the source rpms, you can look at the changelogs to see what they've done.

      If you download the source rpms and build a system yourself, you'll have trouble getting patches for that system - in fact, they're not available at all via RHN unless you pay the subscription fee to the right channel.

  • TWENTY-NINE (Score:3, Funny)

    by jms258 ( 569015 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:29PM (#5505490)
    the number of RHCEs at the red hat operations building pouring buckets of water over their web server to keep it from exploding from the brutal, merciless slashdotting it is now receiving. -jms258
  • Cheating? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by buddha42 ( 539539 )
    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 somethingwicked ( 260651 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:31PM (#5505518)
    You can't put RedHat in the Enterprise, but you can put Enterprise in the RedHat.

    No, wait, you CAN put RedHat in the Enterprise, but you-no wait...crap...nevermind
  • This isnt bad (Score:3, Informative)

    by bludstone ( 103539 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:39PM (#5505587)
    I work for a company (that will go nameless) that offers 24/7, 1 hour callback tech support on the product.

    No, its not redhat.

    We charge over $20,000 for A SINGLE USER.

    This is very _very_ competatively priced.
  • by karearea ( 234997 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:40PM (#5505603)
    We hear/see a lot of comments about not wanting to pay the M$ tax when buying workstations.

    I think the simple solution to people not wanting to pay the Redhat (damn where can I put the $) tax, is to not pay it - use another distro.

    That's what's so great about linux, you don't like redhat don't use it, you don't like Slackware don't use it, you don't like Debian don't use it etc etc etc.

    I thought the whole thing about OSS was choice, we just need to convince those brainwashed by Redhat (such as Oracle) that they should aim to support other distros, come up with a certification program so that people can build their own that is supported by Oracle.

    Just my humble opinion.
  • All this buzz is only for the "Enterprise" products, right? I mean, won't RedHat continue to release its usual RedHat 8.1 type product (although perhaps not quite as often?). I would think this would still be a viable option for many of those folks for whom the Enterprise Server is overkill.

    For many companies, tho, the certification for standard vendors like Oracle are extremely important. If you don't have these, it doesn't matter how free your operating system is.

  • Per machine? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gamartin ( 145290 )

    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.

    • Re:Per machine? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Tack ( 4642 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:28PM (#5506080) Homepage
      Can anyone clarify for me whether these "subscriptions" are explicitly licensed for exactly one machine?

      From RedHat's License Page [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.
      (Emphasis mine.)

      So the answer is, it is X dollars ($1500, $800, 350, $180, whichever product / service level you want) per year, per system. That may be competitive if you want or need business hours or 24-hour phone support, all the fancy certifications and other features you get with RHEL, but if you just want access to binary erratas for a 3-5 year product life span, that's not realistic pricing, IMHO.


  • by LinuxParanoid ( 64467 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:49PM (#5505679) Homepage Journal
    Red Hat has definitely been inching up the scale.

    Journal filesystems hitting maturity, logical volume management, asynchronous I/O for the database guys, TPC-C benchmarks (unaudited though?), improved clustering

    There are still things Linux lacks (last I checked) that the conventional UNIX vendors have added to their systems over the last five years: things like hot-swap memory, hot-swap CPUs, memory failure resiliency (OS quits using memory if recoverable but warning-sign single-bit ECC memory errors get too great), kernel hot-patching, multipath IO, workload management stuff, and ever-more SMP/NUMA scalability.

    Still, seems like Red Hat is making great strides. Hat's off! (ugh, sorry about that, couldn't resist. ;-)

    • hot-swap memory, hot-swap CPUs, memory failure resiliency (OS quits using memory if recoverable but warning-sign single-bit ECC memory errors get too great), [...] multipath IO...

      Aren't these commodity PC hardware shortcomings?
  • by double_h ( 21284 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:53PM (#5505719) Homepage

    I once thought of Red Hat as a geuninely good thing, and I do have to give them a lot of credit for helping make Linux more widely accepted in the workplace.

    But over the past year or two, based on their activities as a company and the merits of their distribution, I've been trying to convert all of the Red Hat servers at my workplace to Debian as time permits.

    I simply cannot bring myself to pay the up2date tax when apt-get is free and just plain works better. So instead I waste a lot of time tracking down and trying to install release-specific RPMs, which is a huge pain. Even Microsoft provides free updates for their operating systems (which, in many cases, cost less than an equivilant Red Hat license).

    I'd still rather administer a Red Hat server than a Windows server because it IS still Linux after all. But as a company, I really can't see much difference these days between RH and any of their enterprise-level competitors.

  • by tarkin ( 34045 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:55PM (#5505733) Homepage
    There's a nice page here [redhat.com] explaining the differences between normal and Enterprise versions.

    Very useful for the suit to choose which Redhat is suited for him ;-)
  • The real story underneath this all seems to be that if you want stable, long-term support for your RedHat installations, you will be forced to purchase their new Enterprise products. Support for their SOHO/Community products will be more limited, and versions will be only supported for 12 months or so.

    If you *need* the support for your servers, this might not be the worst deal.

    But for workstations, this seems to be terrible. $299 for a basic workstation? I can get Win2k Pro for $150 or so with limited
  • Paying for Linux (Score:2, Informative)

    by towaz ( 445789 )
    Your not paying for Linux your paying for the support. Also companies have someone other then microsoft to point the blame at when something goes wrong... :)

  • 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?
  • confusing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by asv108 ( 141455 ) <.asv. .at. .ivoss.com.> on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:05PM (#5505827) Homepage Journal
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS provides support for workstation/desktop systems with up to two CPUs and 4GB of main memory. Designed with the desktop environment in mind, Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS does not include many server applications found in Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES.

    So does this mean if I want to run a test server on my Redhat WS system, I won't find server packages on the CD? So how many flavors of Redhat are their going to be now, five? 3 Enterprise flavors, desktop, and download edition? Are they all going to use different packages? Will 8.1 download packages work on WS? So far the press releases have been really confusing, RH might want to think about clarifying what will be changed/allowed/restricted.

    The big advantage of Linux is that is supposed to be cheaper and less restrictive! I realize that Redhat comes with lots of software besides the OS, but lets face it, it is free software, so your not going to convince many hobbyists that paying $250 for Redhat WS is a bargain. I realize on the enterprise level $250/machine isn't bad, but it sure as hell isn't a bargain.

  • Mindshare (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Larry_Dillon ( 20347 ) <dillon,larry&gmail,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?
  • by gamartin ( 145290 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @05:50PM (#5506827)

    I predict Red Hat will round out it's product line with a Small Business Edition with the following features:

    1. Slow releases -- small businesses don't care about bleeding edge features
    2. Security/errata updates -- small businesses need someone else to monitor these complex issues
    3. Support available for at least 3 years -- small businesses do care about stability
    4. No per-machine licensing restrictions -- small businesses look to linux for cost savings and will not tolerate per-machine licensing; product must be installable on multiple machines to realize cost savings
    5. Metered support options -- small businesses are willing to pay for actual support services used
    6. No compliance audits -- small businesses do not have time for that type of crap

    Why will Red Hat do this?

    1. Already producing slow releases for Enterprise Editions
    2. Already producing security/errata updates for other products
    3. Already doing long-lived support for Enterprise Editions
    4. No per-machine licensing because small businesses absolutely demand it
    5. Metered support is a compromise on support costs acceptable to small business
    6. Small businesses will not tolerate compliance audits

    This is a warning to Red Hat: you are alienating your small business customers! Give me a product that meets my business needs as outlined above, or I am going to take my business elsewhere.

    You have been warned.

  • by Quixadhal ( 45024 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @06:23PM (#5507116) Homepage Journal
    $2500 USD a year for 24/7 tech support with a 1 hour response time is well worth it IF you're a business that is making lots of money, and thus has lots of customers, and cannot afford downtime.

    $800 USD a year is worth it IFF you're a medium to large company which is doing well and has a good established client base. A little downtime is acceptable, but tech support is still vital so it's as minimal as possible.

    $60 USD a year is the price they should sell Red Hat Linux at with up2date support, and perhaps a month of phone support to let new sysadmins call in with setup questions. This, almost anyone can afford, and it's a good bargin *IF* you get permenant access to errata.

    I work for a startup company, we cannot afford the $800 price point for Enterprise Server, and we have competant people here who don't need phone support (well, once in a blue moon for things like PERCRAID3 controllers...), but without the up2date access... it's not worth $5.

    Red Hat.... you are in a position that Bill Gates wishes he was in. You can afford to charge big money for all the support that costs you money to maintain, AND you can still collect peanuts from individuals who would like an easy-to-maintain system that isn't windows. Wise up!

    Windows XP is something like $300 retail, and it will have a good 5 years of free online updates. That works out to about $50 a year plus $50 for the box. Multiply that by a few million home users, and that's the market you're ignoring.

    Think about it... you already do the work to generate the errata, all you need to do is keep mirror sites up to date (most mirrors do this automatically), and keep your up2date network functioning.
  • by Karn ( 172441 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @06:29PM (#5507156)
    I saw it mentioned briefly before, but I think most people have missed it. I saw it mentioned some time ago on Linux.com:

    Current [tigris.org] is an open-source implementation of an up2date server.

    I've used it, and it does work, however I'm waiting for multple channel functionality and some other features before I switch to using it instead of apt.

All laws are simulations of reality. -- John C. Lilly