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Linux Business Operating Systems Red Hat Software Linux

Red Hat CEO: Bring On the Clones 182

An anonymous reader writes "Best Buy and Barnes and Noble have a problem with showrooming — shoppers checking out the merchandise in their stores and then proceeding to order the goods at a discounted prices online. And Red Hat might have a similar problem with people (not just college kids and software professionals boning up on their skills at home, either) using the free-as-in-beer CentOS rather than licensing Red Hat Enterprise Linux and paying support fees. But according to CEO Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat's competitive position may actually be helped by CentOS in the same way that counterfeit Windows products sold on the streets in the Far East may have helped Microsoft — by cementing their position as the technology standard, in a marketplace that also includes entrants from SuSE, Debian, Oracle, and Ubuntu, just among Linux-based entrants. Who does Whitehurst consider to be Red Hat's most direct threat? VMWare."
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Red Hat CEO: Bring On the Clones

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  • Pirating Windows? (Score:5, Informative)

    by barlevg ( 2111272 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @04:24PM (#44577193)
    Downloading CentOS isn't at all like pirating a copy of Windows--Red Hat consists almost entirely of open source code. People pay for Red Hat for the support. I've actually worked on a cluster where we paid for one copy of Red Hat for the head node, then loaded 15 copies of CentOS onto the remaining nodes. Nothing wrong with that at all.
  • Re:That's funny (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 15, 2013 @04:24PM (#44577197)

    Silly CEOs always running around being threatened by people paying them.

    Protip: RedHat is heavily involved in competing virtualization technologies.

  • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @04:35PM (#44577305)

    CentOS, which is COMPLETELY legal and above board, has absolutely nothing whatsoever in common with counterfeit Windows products.

    1) Violates NO copyrights
    2) Is not passing itself off as something else
    3) Has never been treated by Redhat as anything but completely welcome.
    4) Is produced by completely building from (libre!) source, not disk copying the install media.
    5) Is careful to remove Redhat branding where trademarks are involved.

    Jim Whitehurst never uttered the silly parallel as far as I can see, nor implied it. He just made the obvious point that CentOS does not hurt Redhat but may well help it.

  • by kthreadd ( 1558445 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @04:47PM (#44577451)

    Which packages would that be? Since CentOS is a clone of RHEL you would get the same packages as in RHEL by doing that.

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @04:54PM (#44577501)

    something comes up, you don't know how to solve it off the top of your head. quick research yields nothing. your company is losing revenue. you don't have time to post a question on a forum and wait a day or so for a solution. for that system you pay the 4 hour or less support costs so that if you need it, you call the vendor and get someone on the phone NOW.

    where i work we pay Cisco and other vendors for support for this reason and the fact that with a lot of vendors you need to pay to get patches and updates

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:01PM (#44577565) Homepage Journal

    There are audit and compliance issues, that will prevent some workloads from EVER going into production, without support for accredited or validated configurations.

    Just PCI-DSS is tough enough - if you need to walk a QSA through your homebrew hosts.

  • Re:Pirating Windows? (Score:5, Informative)

    by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:35PM (#44577833) Journal

    Why wouldn't you buy their unlimited guests license at $2k/yr, for your nodes?

    http://www.redhat.com/resourcelibrary/articles/articles-red-hat-enterprise-linux-purchasing-guide [redhat.com]

  • by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:36PM (#44577837)

    Why do you assume Microsoft represents the industry?

    From my understanding Redhat Support buys you direct access to not only kernel programmers but the distribution people. I've heard of situations where high dollar customers got Redhat to troubleshoot a problem and provide them a custom kernel to fix the problem and then rolled the changes into the main kernel.

    Microsoft's business is selling licenses. RedHats business is selling support.

  • Re:That's funny (Score:4, Informative)

    by 1s44c ( 552956 ) on Thursday August 15, 2013 @05:41PM (#44577881)

    That's silly, all open source visualization is shit. no need to be threatened when you already suck.

    No it isn't. Xen and KVM are both at least as capable as anything vmware has.

    Amazon web services is based on xen.
    Rackspace cloud uses xen too.
    Linode uses xen.
    Digital Ocean uses kvm.

    Any of them could have used vmware if they thought it was better.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 16, 2013 @12:01PM (#44584325)

    I've heard of situations where high dollar customers got Redhat to troubleshoot a problem and provide them a custom kernel to fix the problem and then rolled the changes into the main kernel.

    Doesn't have to be high dollar for the general response, actually, just the time. I had a not terribly critical RHEL 5 box with bare minimum support level (and we had maybe two RHEL licences in the office, both low level). Filled out the web ticket, got a call back in half a business day or so (i.e. within the SLA for my support level), sent the guy what he wanted, he got back to me in a few hours that it was a kernel bug and he offered to send me a patched kernel RPM or it'd be in the repos in a few days. Uptime didn't matter on that system at that time since the project that used it was over and no one else had started using it yet, so I told him I was ok waiting and I pulled an updated kernel to fix my problem from yum next time I checked a week later.

    Also, on the previous topic of why any good admin would bother with RHEL, if you are in a situation where you need a C&A (such as a company that deals with US Federal gov data, not just DoD, as the requirement comes from OPM), I've found that some DAA's are much happier to approve software where there's a company behind it that could be sued and not just a random group of people who would be a pain to track down and are likely in multiple countries. In those sorts of environments you're wasting a lot more dollars in man hours dealing with C&A garbage to justify CentOS or Scientific Linux than the cost of RHEL support (not to mention the irritation). I've also had DAA's that are fine with FOSS (and I didn't bother with RHEL for those, though I'd consider RHEL for production servers in those environments).

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein