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Red Hat Software Businesses Linux Business

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Released 330

OrenWolf writes "CNET is running an article on the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, which is Red Hat's shiny new 'enterprise' version of Linux. Major changes include more IBM Mainframe support, support for AMD64 (x86_64) processors (aka Opteron, Athlon64 and AthlonFX), changes to support options, integration of Stronghold Apache, and much more."
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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 Released

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  • by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @12:24AM (#7287752) Journal
    I don't mean to sound like some astroturfer, but RedHat has definitely brought Linux to the fore of server operating systems.

    With the rapid decline of AIX and Solaris, Win2K and RedHat Linux are making steady gains in the server market.

    What's more, with Linux you don't need to have a server farm like NT requires, so in the long run you save your company money by choosing to go with RedHat.
  • by nzkoz ( 139612 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @12:30AM (#7287783) Homepage
    They'll give you the CDs if you buy the software. Judging by your response I'm guessing you're not their target market?

    How many MIPs do you have on your zSeries?

  • by Dancin_Santa ( 265275 ) <> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @12:32AM (#7287791) Journal
    Linux is and has always been a server OS. Why? Because it is patterned around UNIX which is designed as a scaled down version of Multics which is a server OS.

    You can train the OS all you like with fancy window managers and scalable fonts and all the rest of the eye candy that desktop users want, but at its heart the OS is still yearning to be driven by the commandline. That's why most GUI programs are usually thin wrappers around sophisticated commandline applications.

    This isn't to say that Linux couldn't be ready to overtake Windows on the desktop one day. Take a look at where Linux is today. It is the fastest growing server operating system out there. Windows couldn't hope to beat it there.
  • Gee... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by buddha42 ( 539539 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @12:34AM (#7287798)
    I didn't realize how cheap WS is. I was all set to give up on my RH after my trusty 7.3 w/up2date was end-of-lifed. But for $179 to get a distro with that much spit and polish.. I might just get it for my home gateway/webserver/etc box.
  • Re:CheapBytes (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:15AM (#7288002)
    I bet Red Hat could put the whole thing on their web site on the front page with complete detailed instructions on how to install it, and most big co's would still pay the full price.

    I admin some big red hat systems and trust me the folks who specified it could care less if it is open source, open season, or open sesame. They just know linux will save them money, beyond that they pay willingly to keep things up and running.
  • by iabervon ( 1971 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:34AM (#7288069) Homepage Journal
    Why not sell 2.1 instead of 3? If you buy 2.1, there's a chance you'll upgrade to 3 later. Furthermore, 2.1 has been tested and used more (since it's been around longer). If the primary source of purchases is new systems or conversions from other OSes, there's no reason to try to get people to leave the older version, unless it's hard to support.
  • by b17bmbr ( 608864 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:34AM (#7288071)
    By bundling RHEL with a support contract that restricts redistribution, RHEL itself violates the GPL.

    if RHEL is 100% GPL, then it would be, but, if RH is selling non-GPL stuff in there as well, then no it isn't. this would be configf tool that write the /etc/... files, or it could be monitoring software, or even there freakin graphics. i might be wrong here, but part of the deal is their red carpet service, for each server. thus, you are limited to how many servers can be updated. it's not just making the source available, it's the method of content delivery as well.
  • by abulafia ( 7826 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:44AM (#7288107)
    Who cares what a company runs? Redhat could compile under MSVC++*, and they'd be different than Yahoo. Either you're a troll or you simply don't get the difference between companies who build software and companies that offer services. Given your last sentence, I think you're a troll, but I'm trying to be nice.

    *That would be a problem in a different sort of way (and of course would not work), but doesn't detract to the point I'm making, which is that there is a difference between offering software which is licensed under terms considered free, and offering services using free software, which can be licesnsed any which way, modulo some restrictions with some licenses.

    More crack, anyone? I've got a great patent-vs-trademark discussion over here...

  • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:47AM (#7288117) Homepage Journal
    Why dont we turn our attention to beating the enemy first and then sort out our differences later.

    Why trade one for another? In all seriousness. If Apple was in Microsoft's position, do you honestly think that they'd act any differently? Do you think that Red Hat would behave much differently?

    Business is always that, business. Businesses are out to make money. You don't maximize your profits by sharing your market. You do every legal thing within your power to dominate it.

    If Pepsi could figure out a way to take 50% of Coke's sales in the next 5 years do you doubt that they would do it? If McDonalds could woo a substantial portion of Burger King's customers, do you think that they would hesitate even for a second?

    There is no question that Apple is more innovative than Microsoft. There is no doubt that Apple is more willing to cooperate with others than Microsoft is. That is what they have to do because of the position that they're in. There is also no doubt that Apple is a business. When you have shareholders to answer to, being a nice guy isn't always the top priority.

  • by jifl ( 471653 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @01:52AM (#7288132)
    Red Hat posted a profit of 240,000 for the last quarter, the first profit EVER for a company mainly based on open-source software.

    Nope, Cygnus Support (later Cygnus Solutions) was the first, albeit briefly, profitable open source company, or so I was told when I worked there. Red Hat later bought Cygnus and incompetently destroyed most of it, but that's a different story. But few people know that Cygnus was profitable on its balance sheet because it was a private, not public, company.

    As for Apple, key parts of OS X (nothing earlier) are based on OSS, but that's not the same as the company being mainly based on OSS.
  • by pimpinmonk ( 238443 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:11AM (#7288188)
    Excellent point. On the other hand, many people have problems with Red Hat dropping their support for older versions of their desktop OS quickly (such as, soon the 7.x series will no longer be supported, and I believe 6.x was dropped recently).

    Obviously, it's a balancing act, however, and I think Red Hat is playing it right. They support what is reasonable and feasable for them. No one wants to be forced to upgrade every year, and that is a major counterpoint to M$'s model. Still, Red Hat can't afford to spend money supporting every version ever, and 6.x harkens back to approximately 1998. That is like 50 years in the computer world. Can you take your 1958 Chevy to a Chevy dealer?

    Bravo, Red Hat. You're making money in an honest, ethical way and pursuing the goal of making open source software mainstream (they care about that much more than profit, from what I hear).
  • Re:Benchmarks? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Groo Wanderer ( 180806 ) <> on Thursday October 23, 2003 @05:02AM (#7288681) Homepage
    As an homage to an old physics teacher:

    Sure, they are 12.73, 19.81, and 22.03 respectively. The hard part is figuring out the system specs I am quoting, and that will take a lot of testing, something I just don't have time for :(. If you do manage to figure it out, please post a reply though.

  • by zerocool^ ( 112121 ) on Thursday October 23, 2003 @09:05AM (#7289519) Homepage Journal
    I don't mean to sound like some astroturfer, but RedHat has definitely brought Linux to the fore of server operating systems.

    I'm with you as far as this goes.

    With the rapid decline of AIX and Solaris, Win2K and RedHat Linux are making steady gains in the server market.

    Ok, I can still agree with that. When most people think linux, they think redhat linux.

    What's more, with Linux you don't need to have a server farm like NT requires, so in the long run you save your company money by choosing to go with RedHat.

    This is where your post breaks down. Redhat is DAMNED EXPENSIVE. The server stuff is like $699 for even the cheapest variety, and that's with limited support (which is what I thought you were paying for).
    Of course, this was no big deal when you were content to do your own tech support. HOWEVER, now, they're not even supporting their own stuff!

    I remember, does anyone else remember, when Microsoft stopped supporting windows 95 in 2000? That caused a big stir in the slashdot community about all those millions of computers out there still running windows 95 who are going to have no support! Well, I advise you to take a look at the end-of-the-line dates [] for RedHat. Redhat 8 was release, what, about a year ago? Mabey 14 months? And it's end of the line is December 31st of this year?

    See, another problem that's going to hit redhat is that, until now, they had planned on releasing a free product called redhat and a pay-for-support-in-order-to-get-the-CD's product, also called redhat (enterprise). But, the way I understand it now, it's looking like the enterprise product is going to be called redhat and the free one is going to be called something else (fedora?). Well, that's just great for redhat, but what about me? I'm in the webhosting business. What do I say when customers call and ask about the $119/month dedicated server? Does it come with redhat? And I have to tell them No, becuase it quite simply costs too much. In fact, sir, it's more expensive that windows server 2003, if all you want to do is webhosting.

    Redhat is the sleaze of the Linux community. They are the windows of linux. They have come into the business and made a name for themselves by making a great product, regardless of it's cost. But, then, they got greedy. It's been a while since they put out a good version of RedHat (7.3 being the last useable one for a server platform), and now, in order to get the stuff that actually works, they expect you to pay not $100, but $1499 []??

    But, we can't jump ship from redhat because that's what everyone wants. When you think linux, you think redhat. So, they'll manage to squeek by for another few years selling a product that they used to give away, because they've got people hooked on the name.

    Just because it brought linux into the public eye doesn't mean it's out to pet your dog and buy you christmas presents.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 23, 2003 @02:38PM (#7293265)
    RedHat is counting on getting rich from your ignorance of their EULA. This is not free software. In fact, it's arguably less-free than Microsoft Windows.

    If you install the software from CD or their binary packages, you agree to pay for one year of support - period. This is *NOT* free software. It is GPL binaries that are contractualy encumbered with a support agreement.

    RedHat is a disaster for us - our own legal department wont accept the EULA. RedHat can come audit you, punish you, find any running systems, and charge for support contracts you don't need or want. You allow them to do this the instant you do an installation. Each subsequent installation extends your "agreement" for another year, for your entire company, and all your systems.

    Avoid it at all cost - get your hardware vendors to support free software again. If they think RHEL is sufficient - they're wrong, and they're out of the free software business. Going from zero to one dollar per system is a massive burden if you're stamping out labs full of desktops, or 1000's of servers for a global enterprise.

    The Market will decide against RedHat, if and only if we all read the draconian EULA. Either read it now, or read it when it's attached to a subpoena.


  • Redhat (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 23, 2003 @04:09PM (#7294361)
    I guess I'm slow but it's just become clear to me that the Redhat I've used and evangelised since 4.1 is dead. I find this surprising. I am an IT manager at a large telco and have fought (and won) the battle to get Linux accepted into the datacentre. When the discussion came to flavour I chose RedHat, not because it is better but because I used and understood it.

    If the same question comes up, and it will because other companies in the group favour Suse, I will not fight the corner. Linux is still important but not RedHat. They have walked away from the things that got them where they are today - not a good idea.

    I run a business too on Linux and I have now gone off to look at Suse, Mandrake and Debian to move my services onto. I'd be interested in opinions on the best general purpose server variant to run apache, mysql, mail etc on out of those 3.

  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Friday October 24, 2003 @02:13AM (#7297937) Journal
    Look, mate.

    There are a couple of different sorts of people that might use Linux. The first are the developers, the techies. They're the ones that built GNU/Linux. A Linux company that offends these as a group does so at their own peril. A couple of companies tried cashing in on these. No good. Not enough money here, too much resistance, and it's like biting the hand that feeds you. Red Hat hasn't irritated these at all. As a matter of fact, it tends to coddle them. RH expanded the range of packages they offer by adding Fedora to their lineup (hopefully adopting yum as well) with frequent updates. RH has traditionally been extremely pro-open source, and anal about getting rid of non-free source packages in their distribution. Xv went away, xanim went away, netscape navigator went away (probably before it was a good idea to do so, as a matter of fact). They're less so than Debian, but more so than almost any of the other "corporatish" types. RH donates lots of money and developer time into core Linux products, so that all the hackers benefit. Gcc owes a lot to RH.

    The second group are the mom-and-pop types. Joe Sixpack. Ordinary old home users. These generally haven't had much interest in Linux so far. RH has put a lot of money into developing GNOME to make things more palatable, but there's a long ways to go. RH hasn't really hurt this group at all.

    The third group are business desktop users. This is a potentially growing market. I don't know exactly why Red Hat isn't as interested as they could be -- presumably because users tend to resist change a bit, and because businesses have balked at retrainting costs. However, RH (and Mandrake and SuSE) have all put a lot of resources into projects that will benefit these folks. They're slowly but steadily trickling into the fold -- there are migrations to Linux, but not away.

    Last of all, there are the server folks. These are the ones that want Red Hat Enterprise Server. All they care about is supported servers. They want support contracts and someone to call if things break. They want very occasional updates, and don't care about the latest-and-greatest browser plugin. They want very heavy QA. For them, $699 is very attractive, especially if it lets them migrate from Solaris and AIX and the associated (expensive) hardware. If you don't fall into this group, you don't want RH Enterprise. Incidently, Debian Stable is probably a good alternative for techie admins that don't want support contracts. There are IT managers that just aren't *comfortable* dealing with most Linux companies, and want a familiar old contract and guarantees -- just with less vendor lock-in and cheaper prices.

    The problem is that you're thinking that RH is trying to get you on RHE. Nope. RH doesn't market RHE to you and doesn't have an interest in doing so. Maybe one day, when they absorb enough generic suits and drop enough of the Linux folks, they'll do something unutterably stupid like trying to sock techies up for cash, but not today. About the only way they get money from you is if you want pressed CDs (worth it if you're installing on a bunch of machines at work and don't want to worry about a burned CD going bad) or if you want to buy their up2date service (frankly, not worth it -- even aside from being free, yum blows up2date out of the water).

    So don't bash RH. This isn't a case of Red Hat going evil. They aren't transitioning you to give you a worse deal. They're just expanding into the server market as fast as possible.

    You're talking about RH not including a web server. Ridiculous. RH still has a boxed version that it sells. It still has a web server. It comes with *installation support*, same as it always has. You can buy a support contract if you want for usage support.

    Fedora is a group of developers that got together and packaged a lot more software for Red Hat than Red Hat did themselves. Red Hat realized that a lot of RH users really liked Fedora. Now, Fedora is becoming an officia

I've got a bad feeling about this.