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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 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 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.
  • 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 dr-suess-fan ( 210327 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:23PM (#5505429)
    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. ;)
  • 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.

  • by Telastyn ( 206146 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:24PM (#5505438)
    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.
  • Re:Why the cost? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 1984 ( 56406 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:27PM (#5505474)
    The last 5%. Hell, perhaps even the last 1%.

    Ever notice the difference in working with software that nearly works, and software that does work? It's a lot easier if you buy something that end-to-end works out of the box. Not remembering a lot of custom compile options, specific setup preferences. Pissing about in meetings deciding whether to use /usr/local/etc/ssh or /etc/ssh for SSH configs? And then making all those little tweaks work together. All that stuff costs staff time, which is really, really expensive, requires more knowledge management in house, and means you may or may not be in the mainstream -- and the closer you are to the mainstream, the easier it is to find cheap support.

    And it's a familiar Linux environment for your admins.

    (Of course, this all assumes that the new Red Hat stuff actually satisfies all that.)
  • OK, I'll bite. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dthoma ( 593797 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:30PM (#5505507) Journal

    As far as I can tell, Red Hat does not have "files in the wrong place" any more than any other Linux distro - instructions for a lot of things intended for other distros are still very useful guidance for RH users like myself.

    The packaging system may not automatically resolve dependencies, but it's bloody good as it is. I download an RPM, and use 'rpm -ivh' and I'm up and running 99.9% of the time. If I need some other RPMs, it'll tell me. If I need to su to root to install, it'll tell me. If it can't or shouldn't uninstall a package it'll tell me. Plus I can override it's warnings if I like.

    If by stock kernel you mean the kernel that comes with the OS, then you are completely and utterly incorrect. If the kernel didn't work then why the heck would they ship this system? You can even download 'pure' kernels from if you like []. No one's stopping you, but the stock kernel is perfectly fine and recompilable as is!

    And I'm not paying massive amounts of "$$$$$" for Red Hat either. RH 8.0 cost me only £35 (about $55), which is a whole heck of a lot cheaper than Windows 2000/XP. Heck, if you like, you can download the entire thing for very little or nothing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:33PM (#5505533)
    Not to mention you can take that $800 CD and install it on as many computers as you'd like.
  • by dentar ( 6540 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:40PM (#5505598) Homepage Journal
    The trick:

    Pay for ONE SYSTEM to be on the red hat network. Tell up2date to keep the files it downloads. Write a script to grab all of those and install them on the rest of the machines too. (Assumes default install etc...)

    Better yet, be a real geek and type ftp and then use get.
  • by Yort ( 555166 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:40PM (#5505601)
    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).

  • 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.
  • by Yort ( 555166 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:46PM (#5505659)
    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.

  • by vondo ( 303621 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:49PM (#5505686)
    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 work." etc.

  • by secolactico ( 519805 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:50PM (#5505689) Journal
    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.

  • 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.

  • Re:Tell me how... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 42forty-two42 ( 532340 ) <`bdonlan' `at' `'> on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:54PM (#5505728) Homepage Journal
    I just hope they'll continue to release community editions ala Redhat8...
    If they stop, just switch to another, like Debian [], Mandrake [], or (my personal favorite) Gentoo []. That's one of the strengths of Linux. If Microsoft discontinued XP Home, you'd have no choice but to but XP Pro. Not so here.
  • by mattb47 ( 85083 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @03:58PM (#5505766)
    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 support, or I can get Debian (or other various Linux distros) for free. Yes I would get good added support for that $299, but how often do you need that level of support for workstations? Buy an alternative with a longer life cycle (Win2k/XP, Linux, whatever) and buy per-incident support. Workstations are usually not monolithic -- you have a whole forest of them (tens, hundreds, thousands, depending on the size of the organization). The more workstations supported by that orginization, the less monetary sense this seems to make.
  • confusing (Score:3, Insightful)

    by asv108 ( 141455 ) <asv@ivoss. c o m> 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.

  • Re:Tell me how... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:13PM (#5505901) Homepage
    I personally think that people will install one version of this per server farm and call RH when any of the boxes has a problem

    I suggest reading the license - it states that the licensing is one copy of software per system (search for "Installed Systems"). Underreporting of systems can lead to a 20% fine.

    Your licensing prices exclude support costs. That's all well and good for home users, but businesses generally want support. Bundle in support costs on that Win2k Server and you're well over $800.

    If you're building a file server, then the client access libraries are going to kill you fast... even at $180 per WS license you'll end up ahead with RH.

    As far as going with another distro - you're simply missing the point. What's costing money here isn't the software - it's the support. Most of the other distros don't offer support to the level that RH does, and that's why businesses gravitate toward RH if they're going to do Linux at all.
  • 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.
  • Re:Why the cost? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tekBuddha ( 546826 ) <jem@unixmercenar[ ]om ['y.c' in gap]> on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:33PM (#5506119) Homepage
    As more and more vendors begin to port their applications to Linux, there's more interest from the shirt and tie folks in our companies that say, "Well, maybe we can give Linux a try. But, how do I know it will work?"

    The way the vendors of these large products (let's use Oracle as an example) cover their asses in "product reliability" is to "certify" specific versions of Linux that they've tested and feel pretty confident about saying, "Yes, this will run stable and we believe we can recommend it."

    So we end up with products like RHAS (and now RHES) and SLES 7/8 from the major Linux players. This helps make sure that -everyone- has covered their asses.

    See, you and I know that we can take a copy of Oracle 9i and put it on a copy of RedHat 7.3 and expect it to perform rather reliably, right? We've worked with both the products enough to understand their quirks and how to support them. But if something does go wrong along the way your boss wants to hear something more than, "I've done this before and it worked! I have faith in the setup I've recommended." Your boss wants someone he can point a finger at and expect that they're going to provide a solution.

    I've had a very hard time in the past few months bowing down to the concept of paying $799 for a copy of something I can pretty much download and patch-up myself. But the guys with the shirts and ties still think it's cheaper than a Sun/Veritas licensing solution, and it definately is cheaper than a Win32 alternative, so they're willing to shell out the cash. Why should I argue with them when after it's all paid for, it's still Linux. ;)

    Bottom line? All of these certifications and extra costs for support we'll probably never use is a way to generate revenue while everyone is covering their ass and their product.

    My $.02 anyway...

  • by spookymonster ( 238226 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @04:37PM (#5506149)
    At least with RedHat you have the ability to produce the source to prove it's not the suing party's software.

    But that still means I'm the one wasting time and resources to defend someone else's code. If I'm using an M$ product, I may not have access to the source code, but then again, I don't need it - M$ is going to court, not me.

  • 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:Unbelievable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bogie ( 31020 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @05:09PM (#5506410) Journal
    "Monopolistic practices that push other competitors out of the server business"

    Don't be a liar/drama queen that doesn't even happen.. Red Hat does not have nor will they ever have a monopoly on linux. They sure as shit don't have a desktop monopoly like MS does. So what was your point again?

    Oh but I forget your own of the resident Microsofties who regularly trolls Slashdot defending MS and spreading semi-FUD about linux in every post.
  • Re:Why the cost? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2003 @05:15PM (#5506485)
    well i guess that one thing in the price tag is for all the support red hat is providing. for the most expensive enterprise edition you get support 24/7.
    and the the litel cheaper edition you get support 12 hours a day evry buissnis day. i think that no oficiall support is somthing that scares peopel.
    BIG boss: why isnt the server working
    tech : ehh we dont know we are loking in to some mailinglists asking quiestions on irc hopfoly wil get it working in a coupel of days
    BIG boss : i told u not to buy crap you are fired
    BIG boss : why is our server down
    tech : we ar talking with redhats support we should get it working real soon
    BIG boss : great

    ok pherhaps you wont get the answer faster from tehier support but you have someone to blame except your self when somthing goes wrong.
    and that seems important
  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Thursday March 13, 2003 @05:27PM (#5506578) Homepage Journal
    I can migrate to Slackware or Mandrake or Debian silently and avoid the redhat screwing.

    How, exactly are you screwed? What did you lose?

    You still get source with Red Hat.

    You can still download and burn ISOs of their software.

    When I got started in the biz, I would have given an eye-tooth for a company that would provide an OS on just the above 2 terms, but there's more!

    You can still get access to security and bug-fix updates for free.

    You can pay a small fee to get automated access to the above updates, but there are also equivalent free services from third parties (see freshrpms' apt-rpm service). This is essentially a free service, which RH is covering network costs on. Everyone knows you don't *need* to sign up for RHN, it's basically there as a way to say thanks.

    You can pay increasingly larger fees to get increasingly larger services. This is a no brainer. Any company that doesn't give their customers the option of paying as much as they like should be taken out to the street and fed to the pigeons.

    This is a sound and reasonable model, and it does not take your shiny toys away or cause you to lose access to something you once had.

    Why is everyone flipping out because Red Hat has added a pricing structure for upper-teir enterprises that is on-par with every other vendor? Should we all act shocked that a company doing business in the U.S. is actually trying to make money? Should we run around pretending that they're now somehow "evil" because they are making money?

    At a higher level, why is there this slashdot knee-jerk reaction to any announcement concerning Red Hat? They come out with bluecurve and they're bad guys. They charge for automated access to RHN and they're bad guys. They announce an expensive product and they're bad guys. I swear sometimes I honestly think that if Red Hat donated a million dollars to fund cancer research the Slashdot headline would be "Red Hat Snubs Diabetes Research"!
  • 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.

  • Re:Unbelievable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shdragon ( 1797 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @06:01PM (#5506915) Homepage Journal
    While I appreciate your glancing similarities between Red Hat and Microsoft, a closer examination of the facts reveals some questions which need answering.

    Price Hikes?

    What do you believe would be a fair price for what Red Hat is offering?

    Draconian licenses

    First, nobody's forcing you to. Second, seeing how they must give you 10 days written notice, it must take place during the business's normal business hours, this is not the only license offered for their product line, and the maximum penalty is 20% for taking advantage of them. I hardly view this as Draconian given that Red Hat's total market share of their target market is still smaller than most of their competitors. Red Hat is putting a lot behind their product, and I personally would be more shocked if there wasn't some enforceability clause in there. The honors-system & capitalism just don't mix. Again, I would like to reinfoce the fact that this offering is geared specifically towards businesses, not individuals.

    "Enterprise"?? What's that, a buzzword to sell more licenses?

    Absolutely. And probably a very smart move. Adopting your product to your customers habits is almost always a good idea.

    And the licensing, oh boy. What do you mean I can't install my copy everywhere??? I already paid for it, damn it!!

    This version of redhat is targeted at businesses, not home/power users, hobbyists, and all others who would get no added benefit from their offering. In most people's view, businesses should play by different rules than neighbors. A quick analogy: Neighbor Bob asks me if I will teach him to use widget X. I gladly show Bob free of charge. I am always glad to help out a neighbor. Next, Business Bill's shop comes to me and asks that I teach them to use widget X. Now, I would be glad to. For a price.

    Monopolistic practices that push other competitors out of the server business

    Would you care to elaborate on this point? For generalization purposes, the 3 main branches of GNU/Linux stem from redhat, slackware, and debian. All of these are alive and kicking. Let's not forget SuSE. Though not as popuplar in the U.S., SuSE has garnered a substantial portion of the international market. IMHO, suse is redhat's nearest "enterprise-level" linux competitor.

    And yes, if you don't like it, your can run Debian. Or SuSE, or slackware, or any of the other 150+ distributions. Oh, you want an engineer to go along with all that piece of software? I'm sure the company that sold you your hardware will be glad to help you out. Redhat is just another choice.

    And for the record, I am a jaded linux/slashdot user. >:b

  • by cranos ( 592602 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @06:22PM (#5507104) Homepage Journal
    Ummm no the cheapest Web Server package you can get from RedHat? Free. Just download the ISO's and burn away.
  • 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 HuguesT ( 84078 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @07:29PM (#5507609)
    No they would still be unhappy, complaining that they didn't have the balls to stand up to Microsoft.
  • Re:Neato (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @07:41PM (#5507698)
    "I thought the main thing stopping Linux is the fact that is simply isn't as good as other operating systems."

    It's fabulously superior in some aspects, and wholly inadequate in others. There's no "simply" to it. It depends on your application.

  • Re:Neato (Score:3, Insightful)

    by attobyte ( 20206 ) on Thursday March 13, 2003 @07:48PM (#5507752)
    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 worked"

    You have to do homework up front if you dont then you are just fucked when it doesn't work. But this is not a problem of Linux it is a industry problem its your fucking job to make sure it __will__ work.
  • by christophersaul ( 127003 ) on Friday March 14, 2003 @03:08AM (#5509705)
    True, but for the vast majority of IT managers and staff too, the source code being available to them is utterly irrelevant. The fact it is avaialble is good for Red Hat, who will be supporting these 'products', but most sys admins/IT guys have no interest whatsoever in ploughing through source code to fix something they paid money for in the first place.

Some people carve careers, others chisel them.