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Red Hat CEO: Bring On the Clones

timothy posted 1 year,6 days | from the canonical-source-of-red-hat dept.

Linux Business 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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182 comments

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Doesn't make sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577151)

Red Hat's business model depends on them being the go-to people to support Linux installations. So they are happy about other Linux distros making better Linux admins who won't need their services?

Re: Doesn't make sense (5, Insightful)

turbidostato (878842) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577195)

Admins never needed vendor support, managers do. That means that CentOS trains the admins on Red Hat and then managers pay for the supported thingie.

Re: Doesn't make sense (4, Insightful)

alen (225700) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577293)

When you have servers labeled production, that generate revenue and downtime means lost revenue, then you pay for support since its cheaper than losing revenue and customers

Re: Doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577419)

Why would support cause less downtime? Maybe I am just not familiar enough with Red Hat support, but I am not sure what it would do to prevent downtime.

Re: Doesn't make sense (5, Informative)

alen (225700) | 1 year,6 days | (#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

Re: Doesn't make sense (3, Informative)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577565)

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: Doesn't make sense (1)

alen (225700) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577651)

and lots of support software, like say backup software is only supported on official software like red hat or windows

if something doesn't work and you call them for support and you're running an unsupported config, they will tell you to get lost and solve it yourself

Re: Doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577699)

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

Baaahhhh, PCI-DSS isn't tough at all. It only gets tough with credit card data, and even then the requirements aren't all that difficult.
The biggest butthurt we had was the DMZ communication requirements. We were doing software pulls from the webservers, and had to move to pushing software to them - but that is neither here not there for PCI-DSS, it's just the issue that impacted our existing setup.

Re: Doesn't make sense (2)

1s44c (552956) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577753)

I worked at a company that had that level of support from Microsoft. It cost millions. When things crashed it still took days to weeks to fix the root cause, by that time it had been worked around somehow. You can spend a fortune on support to buy nothing but a good feeling and when things fall apart and you need a fix fast you are often on your own.

Re: Doesn't make sense (5, Informative)

rahvin112 (446269) | 1 year,6 days | (#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: Doesn't make sense (1)

1s44c (552956) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578111)

Why do you assume Microsoft represents the industry?

Oh I don't. I think I gave you the wrong impression there, but the top tier of Microsoft support does get you fast access to their programmers too.

Just support often doesn't work fast enough for serious situations. I've dealt with Red Hat support and they put your ticket in a queue and if it's really serious get back to you within an hour. By that time I've normally fixed or know how to fix or at least work around the problem.

Re: Doesn't make sense (2)

amorsen (7485) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577805)

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

Paying the vendors for that reason is all well and good, but when did you actually get a solution from a major vendor for a critical problem within a day or so?

I have been in the IT business for a while, and I have never seen it happen. Yes, failed hardware can be replaced within 4 hours (although even that can be problematic enough to achieve in practice) but anything that is not just a case of escaping blue smoke?

The rolling support system where they shift the case around time zones to keep working on it 24 hours a day gets tedious as well, when you have to explain everything all over again every 7-8 hours.

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

turbidostato (878842) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578065)

"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."

Having someone on the phone by itself only gives you two things: somebody on the phone and the ability to deflect blame to the one on the phone.

But then, your "troubleshooting techniques" shows the kind of professional you are: in your book the answer has to come from somebody else.

Protip: you go to the sources and you debug the problem yourself (I've done it: I've debugged Adaptec's SCSI kernel drivers, for instance). What else do you think your payed support is going to do? One thing is certain: the one on the phone is not going to go to the source to debug the problem... because he's on the phone, not triggering his editor pointing to the sources.

But there's another certain thing: Red Hat is very clever and perfectly knows the managerial mentality and so, they know they are risking nothing "allowing" others access to their sources; no manager will take support for Red Hat from anyone else but Red Hat, no matter what the third party credentials might be.

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577537)

The support helps you fix whatever is causing the downtime faster, and patch the problem so it doesn't cause downtime in the future. They can also help with configuration, installs, etc. that all help you get a system online faster in the first place.

Re: Doesn't make sense (2)

bobbied (2522392) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577679)

It doesn't prevent down time.. It prevents unemployment time.

Situation: Server down due to OS security hole - revenue being lost .... Cut to executive management office

CTO: What's up with the server!? We can't sell our widgets and the CFO is saying we are in danger of not making our numbers now. We got to fix this NOW or we are all toast!

Middle Manager: Well, sir, we've contacted our OS vendor who is looking into the problem and as soon as they have a fix, we will get it installed.

OR would you rather say...

MM: Well sir, we've been on Google all day looking for the kernel developer who inserted the security bug to no avail.

I'm guessing the first one is better.. Lets you blame somebody else and keep your job. Actual down time is not prevented, in fact it's likely longer using Red Hat over competent local admins.

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

plover (150551) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577925)

I saw a trouble ticket last year that had this line in it (I think it was after Sandy):

[date/time] Site router still down. Technician not en route, no ETA. Escalated to GiantTelCo 8th level support.

I don't care how stupid a manager is, at some point even the dumbest is going to recognize "8th level support" is bullshit. Then they finally might start asking "what are we paying for, exactly?"

Re: Doesn't make sense (2)

Zak3056 (69287) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578217)

I saw a trouble ticket last year that had this line in it (I think it was after Sandy):

[date/time] Site router still down. Technician not en route, no ETA. Escalated to GiantTelCo 8th level support.

I don't care how stupid a manager is, at some point even the dumbest is going to recognize "8th level support" is bullshit. Then they finally might start asking "what are we paying for, exactly?"

I don't see a problem with the above. Obviously, the operations managers over at GientTelCo were fervently praying to whatever supreme being they believed in--because that was the only way the situation was going to get resolved in a timely manner. Given that level 1 is front line, level 2 is escalated support, level 3 is your subject matter expert, and level 4 is usually the engineer who designed the thing to begin with, level 8 is obviously almighty god. Had the guy working the ticket provided more complete information, you would not now be thinking that he was a dumb ass. :)

Re: Doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577787)

You don't do actual server support in a place that relies on those servers running for revenue, do you?

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577569)

Another item are FIPS, Common Criteria, EAL, and other certifications. Yes, CentOS and RedHat are functionally identical, but the FIPS certification on RedHat makes the auditors happy that the IT staff is doing "due diligence" with regards to various regulations.

Without it, auditors start asking very pointed questions looking for someone that they can fire.

I'm glad RedHat has these certs on their OS. In the past, businesses were forced to go with MS products exclusively because of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

1s44c (552956) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577709)

Unless you have the very top level of support it's really rare to find a problem that support can fix faster than one smart dedicated admin who is working on it as top priority.

Support is mostly useful if you don't have good admins, if they are overloaded to the point they can't help, or to reassure PHB types. Plus if you have the budget spare you might want to support open source with it by supporting Red Hat.

Re: Doesn't make sense (2)

turbidostato (878842) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577947)

"When you have servers labeled production, that generate revenue and downtime means lost revenue, then you pay for support since its cheaper than losing revenue and customers"

MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ainnns...

Are you kidding, ain't you?

When downtime means revenue and you really want to do the proper thing you architect your systems so there's no downtime and you don't hire bottom-of-the-barrel technical staff for peanuts. No, sir, vendor support is not to avoid downtime but for the manager's CYA policy.

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

mbkennel (97636) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578225)


"you architect your systems so there's no downtime"

I think you have TomorrowLand mixed up with FantasyLand and NeverNeverLand.

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578227)

Ok...

So how many people on your staff understand the complete source to your linux distribution?

Kernel Developers?
RAID adapter or HBA driver developers?
Filesystem developers?
database developers (if you use an open source db)
Network driver developers?

If your company does, then you must have quite a few of these people in case you have a problem and the one developer on your staff that understands the FCoE driver stack is on vacation...

Unless your core business is developing OSes, you'll save yourself quite a bit of money and time paying for support rather than hiring your own linux distribution development staff.

Re: Doesn't make sense (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577323)

This.
I have never used their support, but we pay for it on any server running commercial software since their license always requires it.

Re: Doesn't make sense (0)

operagost (62405) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577379)

WOW... Linux has no bugs? The documentation-- haha, man pages-- is 100% correct?

Re: Doesn't make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577771)

This is Slashdot! What the fuck are you? A fucking troll?!?! Linux is perfect. Anyone who says otherwise is a troll and will lose their mod points for being honest about it.

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

1s44c (552956) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577819)

WOW... Linux has no bugs? The documentation-- haha, man pages-- is 100% correct?

Not everyone needs to pay for support to fix things. All the Red Hat fixes end up in CentOS anyway.

Plus the people Red Hat get the software from are normally receptive to sensible suggestions and patches.

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

eric_herm (1231134) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577403)

Sure, and admins do not need to make sure the OS is properly funded, cause everything come for free and most of them have so much time to contribute.

And of course, admins do not need any training, do not need to have certified hardware cause they can perfectly guess what is working just by looking on specifications. And of course, none of them never read the documentation, nor call the support for complex problems, because all admins are experts in every possible domain.

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

unixisc (2429386) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577639)

Admins never needed vendor support, managers do. That means that CentOS trains the admins on Red Hat and then managers pay for the supported thingie.

Does CentOS actually do that? I thought that the only thing they did was provide - for no cost - the CDs or downloads of RHEL rebranded, and then let the 'customer' handle it on his own. Which would imply that the Admins presumably already had whatever expertise is needed.

Re: Doesn't make sense (2)

gbjbaanb (229885) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577751)

I think he meant that anyone can get a copy of CentOS and train themselves to acquire the necessary skills, so when they need a paid-for, licensed and supported linux, they go with RHEL.

Its a bit like how Microsoft sells technet subscriptions for next to nothing, so people can play with all the toys like active directory and exchange and learn how they work with some hands-on experience. Oh wait... like how Microsoft *used* to do that [enterpriseefficiency.com] , dumbasses.

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

unrtst (777550) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577807)

Admins never needed vendor support, managers do. That means that CentOS trains the admins on Red Hat and then managers pay for the supported thingie.

Does CentOS actually do that? I thought that the only thing they did was provide - for no cost - the CDs or downloads of RHEL rebranded, and then let the 'customer' handle it on his own. Which would imply that the Admins presumably already had whatever expertise is needed.

You're simply not ready the GP correctly (and/or he wrote it ambiguously). The comparison is right in TFS.

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...

IE. admins cut their teeth on CentOS, or get introduced to it in various environments where they're not paying for Redhat support... effectively, they train themselves on it simply due to exposure. It gets it into places where it wouldn't otherwise be feasible, might eat some profit in the grey areas (dev boxes and cheap clusters), but allows for a migration path to RHEL. To be honest, I don't know why Redhat ever split fedora off on its own. They had a large install base of desktops and such, and that free distro fed right into their bread and butter RHEL. Now it's a bit backwards.

Re: Doesn't make sense (1)

turbidostato (878842) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578169)

"To be honest, I don't know why Redhat ever split fedora off on its own."

For the very same reason Linus abandoned the odd/even versioning for the kernel: to gain exposure for their "beta code".

Re:Doesn't make sense (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577215)

They are happy that a lot of people learn how their system work so that they are more likely to choose Red Hat once they're in a position where they want to pay for Red Hat's services.

Re:Doesn't make sense (4, Insightful)

cbhacking (979169) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577383)

Also, if people (not managers, but hobbyists, students, and bored IT folks on their own time) learn RHEL-like distros, then that means there are more people who are familiar with the environment. That in turn means more software targeting that environment, a bigger talent pool for companies to hire from, and greater mindshare.

Better for RedHat to 50% of enterprise Linux and 40% of those users paying than 100% of the users of a distro with only 10% of the enterprise Linux market. More marketshare is pretty much always good.

One can easily imagine a scenario where some startup hires a bunch of guys who "know RedHat" and set up servers using Cent. As they grow and start needing additional support and enterprise-targeted features, though, who are they going to turn to? Switching to RHEL is going to be less disruptive than pretty much any other option at that point, right?

Re:Doesn't make sense (1)

erroneus (253617) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577543)

Yes it does. Because this approach is an open and inclusive approach as opposed to one which is exclusive. Microsoft's market share stats once included "pirated copies" and still might as far as I know.

Re:Doesn't make sense (1)

1s44c (552956) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577675)

The only people who pay significant money for linux support are multinationals, they buy RHEL licenses by the thousand. If everyone else uses CentOS instead of Debian or Ubuntu it's just more people who could use RHEL if they ever got a job at a multinational.

My company uses CentOS. There is no way I'm paying for something that I can get for free when I barely have enough budget to keep the hardware running.

That's funny (1)

CrazySpence (609418) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577163)

VMware for some of its major products like vCloud only support Redhat and not the clones as the installed OS for the cell, so they're putting Money in your pocket not taking it. Silly CEOs always running around being threatened by people paying them.

Re:That's funny (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577197)

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

Protip: RedHat is heavily involved in competing virtualization technologies.

Re:That's funny (0)

CrazySpence (609418) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577313)

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

Re:That's funny (3, Interesting)

DuckDodgers (541817) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577371)

The virtualization itself is awesome - to my knowledge nothing proprietary beats the stability and performance of KVM. The weakness is the fancy tools around managing your virtual infrastructure. But Red Hat, OpenSUSE, and others are working very hard to make the tools built around KVM, VirtualBox, Xen, etc... better so they can compete with the best VMWare has to offer head-on.

Re:That's funny (1)

unixisc (2429386) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577889)

But VMware's USP is that they support Windows VMs as well - something that's not true about KVM or Xen (not sure about VirtualBox). VMware is not a threat to Red Hat - they own the market, while Red Hat is trying to challenge them. But the biggest obstacle for Red Hat is that VMware supports Windows - another competitor to Red Hat, but in the OS space. If the only VMs that were needed were Linux VMs, Red Hat would probably have had the edge, but that's not the case. Therefore, it's indeed silly of Whitehurst to consider them his biggest threat.

If one asked me, I'd say his biggest threat was not CentOS, but Oracle ! They take RHEL, rebrand it and work out any chinks in the support of Oracle software on OEL, and then offer it, and RHEL's customers who use Oracle abandon them so that there is 'one throat to strangle' if things go wrong. That's a far greater threat to Red Hat than VMware owning its own market, or even CentOS giving away rebranded RHEL packages.

Re:That's funny (2)

Ubi_NL (313657) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578133)

You can run windows inside kvm just fine

Re:That's funny (3, Informative)

1s44c (552956) | 1 year,6 days | (#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.

Re:That's funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577249)

VMware for some of its major products like vCloud only support Redhat and not the clones as the installed OS for the cell, so they're putting Money in your pocket not taking it.

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

.... http://www.redhat.com/products/cloud-computing/virtualization/ ....

Why pay Red Hat (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577177)

Linux dudes,

With all the Linux geeks running around, why does anyone pay for RedHat's service?

Aren't there plenty of Linux folks around the World where you can get anything RedHat provides cheaper?

Re:Why pay Red Hat (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577203)

How many of these "Linux geeks" can support an entire OS stack for the same money?

Re: Why pay Red Hat (1)

turbidostato (878842) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577251)

A lot. I've seen enough "enterprise-grade" services contracts from RedHat to know it.

Re: Why pay Red Hat (2)

turbidostato (878842) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577221)

Because it is not geeks that pay for Red Hat but their bosses.

Re:Why pay Red Hat (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577321)

It's hard to go wrong with RedHat. From a management perspective, it's a lower risk to just shell out for RHEL vice even thinking about something like CentOS. It's the "no one ever got fired for..." thing at work.

And as far as a company to give money too, you could do a lot worse than RedHat. They contribute a lot of stuff we don't think about.

Also support is one of those things that's undervalued by the technically minded. Yes, there is a great community around linux, and yes, a technical guy can probably find enough resources for free to solve just about any problem.. but there is something to be said about having a phone number you can call and someone is literally being paid to give you an answer.

Re:Why pay Red Hat (2)

DuckDodgers (541817) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577439)

If I had dozens or hundreds of servers and every minute of downtime could cost the company thousands or millions of dollars, I would want support professionals I trusted available at a moment's notice to fix things when they break.

My first inclination would just be to hire competent people on my own - if I'm the one paying their paycheck directly, and I treat them with respect, I would hope that a sense of loyalty and a desire to keep from collapsing the company that issues their paycheck.

But if I truly believed Red Hat, Microsoft, Canonical, HP, Dell, Oracle, or anybody else had genuinely first class support staff, I would consider having a smaller number of my own staff and relying upon the vendor as needed. My own inclination is to support Red Hat, because just about everything they do is open source. Canonical would come second, with the rest following behind and Oracle last. But that's my personal favoritism towards open source, if I was running a business it would just be a cost-benefit analysis including heavy research into the support experiences other companies have had with each vendor.

Re:Why pay Red Hat (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577809)

not just favouritism towards open source. If you, as a company, made your money doing nothing except support... your support will be damn good.

Microsoft, Oracle etc, might (do) have some great 3rd line support engineers... but you have to get past the army of call centre drones and basically beg for help.

So it shouldn't be just because you like the idea. RH, Canonical will just be significantly better.

Re:Why pay Red Hat (1)

unixisc (2429386) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578113)

There is also the reason that the bulk of the reason that Linux is where it is today is b'cos of Red Hat. Oracle never got into maintaining their own fork - they just take every RHEL version, rebrand it and then tweak it to work w/ their software. CentOS wouldn't exist w/o Red Hat. Also, applications that previously used to run on Sun or HP workstations - the CAD packages, for instance - have all migrated to Lintel, and they're not there on all distros like Firefox is. They are supported on only one - Red Hat. I wonder whether they'd even entertain people wanting support on a variant such as CentOS, OEL, Scientific Linux or Mageia.

Re:Why pay Red Hat (2)

eric_herm (1231134) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577441)

I guess there is not enough Linux geeks for every company, I guess even experts do not know everything, and as long as you can do everything, we just ask you to do more for the same price.

Re:Why pay Red Hat (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577683)

Geeks are very hard for non-geeks to hire and manage. They don't really understand us.

Companies often hire incompetents. Usually it goes something along the lines of: 'I'll hire just 1 HR drone, to handle only paperwork etc. I'll stay in charge of all hiring decisions'. 2 years later...air thieves are everywhere and dice has a new, regular customer.

For almost all cases getting you to hire an incompetent is a double win for HR/staffing companies. They get paid and you'll be back...

Re:Why pay Red Hat (2)

robmv (855035) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577515)

Why a company outsource security (watchmen) to a 3rd party, or office cleaning services?. Because they don't want the overhead of having to schedule people times, vacations, salary payments, hardware they need, training. Instead of tha,t they contract some service that do that for them. You take care of the people you need for your core service or product, let the rest to others

Re:Why pay Red Hat (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577761)

No. Not unless you like locking up everything in every office, every night.

You hire a competent office manager, he manages all the cleaning and support staff.

The cleaning services are _all_ bottom feeders. At what they pay and who they hire, supplementing income with anything not tied down is 100% expected and tolerated. Once the cops arrest the cleaner, the service might accept they _had_ a problem. Not having thieves in your offices nightly is part of taking care of your people. It sucks to have personal things stolen from your office/cube.

Security is tougher to bring in house, unless you're big enough to fill a whole building. Network security is another question completely.

Re:Why pay Red Hat (1)

bobbied (2522392) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577779)

With all the Linux geeks running around, why does anyone pay for RedHat's service?

Because Red Hat keeps a stable of well equipped Linux Geeks on staff to answer the questions from Linux Newbies (and geeks) might ask. They also have SLA's so you have assurances that an answer will come in a known time. It is also WAY cheaper to pay Red Hat for a year's worth of support for those 10 servers than to have a 24x7x365 staff of Linux Geeks of your own.

Cheaper, plus the added benefit of having somebody else to blame when the CTO comes gunning for blood because the CEO is on his case for the server being down... There are reasons to pay Red Hat. Personally, I don't, but I can see reasons.

In that case, why would devs support Linux? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578017)

Linux dudes,

With all the Linux geeks running around, why does anyone pay for RedHat's service?

Aren't there plenty of Linux folks around the World where you can get anything RedHat provides cheaper?

With that attitude, it's no wonder that plenty of people would be disincentivized to write Linux applications, or package Linux distros. Why do it, when the bulk of the people interested in it are freeloaders not willing to finance their work? And please don't give us the service aspect - not every developer wants a career in supporting services - they'd rather either market or build product.

The reason Linux is seriously considered at all in business is Red Hat - if a company wants to base either its products or IT infrastructure on Linux, the only reason for them to seriously do it is Red Hat. Do you seriously think anybody would build their IT infrastructure on Knoppix, Fedora, Sabayon, Manjaro, Salix, gNewSense or the hundreds of other distros out there? While some might consider things like Debian or Gentoo or the BSDs, the only other distros that businesses would seriously consider are those that have corporate backing out there - Red Hat, OEL, SUSE, Mandriva, FreeBSD (iXsystems) and so on.

Pirating Windows? (5, Informative)

barlevg (2111272) | 1 year,6 days | (#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:Pirating Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577297)

Nobody was claiming that CentOS isn't legit.

The point is that MS did pretty well out of windows piracy, because it got lots of people used to windows before they could afford it. Most people stick with what they know, so when they are in a position where they are actually wanting support & buying software that's what they get.

Same with CentOS. If you work for a company who want linux, and want to pay for support then all the people who are already used to the RH way are going to pick something close to the distro they already use.

Re:Pirating Windows? (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577653)

THIS!!
The company I worked for a few years ago had a compute cluster for engineering/modeling with over 100 nodes. They were originally running RHEL3, which of course was coming up to EOL in a few months. The suits wanted to buy licenses for RHEL to upgrade the nodes, the IT staff wanted to use CentOS. Research was done on pricing for over 100 RHEL licenses, and after a while, the suits decided to go with IT's choice of CentOS for the compute nodes and use *one* RHEL install for the master node. I wasn't involved with the pricing discussions, but I heard that RH sales were stuck on nearly full pricing for all 100+ licenses.

Re:Pirating Windows? (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577707)

The suits wanted to buy licenses for RHEL to upgrade the nodes, the IT staff wanted to use CentOS

so the IT staff didn't want to use RHEL, they wanted something identical to RHEL instead.... stupid.

If it was just down to some anti-corporate kind of dumb thinking, then surely said IT staff should be handing back their salaries.. or do you think that by not paying RedHat did anything other than give your CEO a bigger bonus?

(but sure, RH should offer some bulk discounts, idiot salespeople)

Uh... lacking data (1)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577857)

The suits wanted to buy licenses for RHEL to upgrade the nodes, the IT staff wanted to use CentOS

so the IT staff didn't want to use RHEL, they wanted something identical to RHEL instead.... stupid.

If it was just down to some anti-corporate kind of dumb thinking, then surely said IT staff should be handing back their salaries..

Or.... It could be that the IT budget was fixed, so they had to make a choice between spending on line-of-business issues vs. (what is in effect) an expensive support contract so the FEA guy can run his simulations faster. Frankly, we just don't know all the facts to second guess their decision.

Re:Pirating Windows? (2)

DF5JT (589002) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578255)

That is actually incorrect. The CentOS part of your installation invalidates your support contract/subscription for the RHEL part of the cluster.

Red Hat does not offer you the option of a mixed anvironment. It's either all Red Hat, supported, or mixed and completely unsupported.

I am with Red Hat on this one, actually.

MS (1)

dnadoc (3013299) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577245)

counterfeit Windows products sold on the streets in the Far East may have helped Microsoft â" by cementing their position as the technology standard

This is highly debateable. Why not use Photoshop as an example.

Re:MS (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577577)

Up to Win 7, adding a SLIC table to BIOS with a corresponding key and cert got you PERMANENT (OEM) offline activation. Many Asian markets used the method. They'd build a machine with whatever parts were on hand and sell it for cheap. As for the copies on the street they likely used a pre loaded enterprise key.

Photoshop for years has required online activation which doesn't result in permanent activation. BIG DIFFERENCE.

Windows 8 brought online activation for OEM. It's not talked about much but I believe it's part of the reason WIn 8 worldwide adoption is so low. Bill Gates said something to the affect of "I'd rather people pirate Windows than use an alternative". Apparently, Ballmer disagrees.

Given that offline SLIC activation still works with Win Server 2012, the latest trend is to convert it to a workstation [win2012workstation.com]

Do people still show room? (1)

alen (225700) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577263)

Other than blu rays, most things seem to be the same price at best buy and amazon or newegg

Re:Do people still show room? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577319)

I've tried to shop at Barnes and Noble... Can't compete with $40-60 books at B&N that are $25-35 on Amazon...

Re:Do people still show room? (1)

alen (225700) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577527)

yeah, but who show rooms at B&N? you always go to amazon first.

lately i've noticed electronics are about the same price at best buy as amazon. blu ray's generally cost $5 more. and some itunes movies are now cheaper than the blu ray

Re: Do people still show room? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577613)

I like to flip through books at brick and mortar stores; I know Amazon is cheaper but with a "real" store I can hold the book, read a bit, then decide if I want to buy it from Amazon right there with my handy app.

It's kind of dirty I guess...

Re:Do people still show room? (1)

timeOday (582209) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577531)

Wow, even little stuff like cables and toner? Last time I bought a cable at a store the price was shocking.

Redhat needs packages (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577281)

The only way I can get by using my IT mandated RedHat box is by installing CentOS packages on it. RedHat simply doesn't keep the packages I need up to date. If CentOS didn't exist, I wouldn't use RedHat at all, which would entail a huge fight with IT. Thanks CentOS!

Re:Redhat needs packages (5, Informative)

kthreadd (1558445) | 1 year,6 days | (#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.

Re:Redhat needs packages (2)

Hatta (162192) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577661)

Freenx and R & Bioconductor. I eventually found that R and Bioconductor still lagged on centos, so I compile them myself now.

Re:Redhat needs packages (1)

idontgno (624372) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578021)

It's one of the dirty little secrets: RH lags the various products by a bit, at least on a release-by-release basis. And then CentOS lags RH, sometimes famously.

Stupidest damn parallel ever drawn (2, Informative)

fnj (64210) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577305)

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

CentOS:
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.

Re:Stupidest damn parallel ever drawn (5, Insightful)

geoffrobinson (109879) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577425)

You are focusing on the differences but ignoring the similarities which Whitehurst was concerned about.

CentOS doesn't put money in Red Hat's pocket directly, but it helps cement Red Hat as a standard for enterprise Linux distributions.

Re:Stupidest damn parallel ever drawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577493)

As several commenters have already pointed out - legality is not the point. The point is that Red Hat gains popularity through the popularity of similar CentOS, just as genuine MSWindows gains popularity through the popularity of similar pirated Windows.

I don't see how the comparison isn't valid.

Re:Stupidest damn parallel ever drawn (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577529)

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

Exactly

CentOS) Costs Nothing
Counterfeit Windows) Costs Nothing.

Exactly nothing in common.

Re:Stupidest damn parallel ever drawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577595)

I think RedHat's current position is probably correct - there are people for whom RedHat support is not necessary. Those people will go get a free Linux distro. It is to RedHat's benefit if those people go get CentOS because it increases the installed base of Linux systems that conform to RedHat's distro, which encourages development of RedHat-specific applications over other for-pay distros. As MSDOS and Windows have demonstrated, the O/S that has the largest number of apps, wins.

What is amusing is that this is a reversal of RedHat's prior position. RedHat actually went to a great deal of effort with RedHat 6 to make it hard for CentOS to emulate it.

And yes, the article's comment that implicitly compared CentOS to pirated copies of Windows is simply ignorant. Deploy the common-sense filters and ignore it.

Re:Stupidest damn parallel ever drawn (1)

bobbied (2522392) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577873)

3) Has never been treated by Redhat as anything but completely welcome.

Well, not really. Red Hat obviously cannot stop CentOs but it seems clear that Red Hat does guard their copyrighted material. They have made it clear that CentOS cannot refer to Red Hat in any part of their distribution that is not covered by GPL. CentOs *always* refers to the "up-line Linux vendor" (or some other vague reference) for a reason.

No Cent OS is tolerated by Red Hat as long as they don't step on copyrights or trademarks. They are not welcomed with open arms, but there is nothing they can do to stop Cent OS.

best buy high presser sales made it to showrooming (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577409)

best buy high presser sales made it to showrooming place

Re:best buy high presser sales made it to showroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577853)

best buy high presser sales made it to showrooming place

Oh Joe, you were doing so well for a while there!

Now you're back to your same old habit of putting your text in the subject field.

Such a shame that I'm going to have to go back to berating you endlessly again isn't it?

Re:best buy high presser sales made it to showroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44578073)

Most of those words are English, but I have no fucking idea what you just said.

If you're trying out for Slashdot editor, I think you just nailed it.

When no one copies your software you're in trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577431)

No one copying it - legally or illegally - means no one wants it.

Bring on the clones? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577455)

Another hang-on douche trying to take all the credit for Linus' work ? Typical.. especially coming from redhat.

Bring on the clones? Sir, you are the epitome of a clone.. You did nothing in the sense of inventing ANYTHING original , at all.

Yeah.. bring on the clones ..

Great company - crappy product (3, Interesting)

OneAhead (1495535) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577549)

I can't say I enjoy working with RHEL (or its derivatives); I'm known for making a sour face whenever RHEL or CentOS are even mentioned. I can see why it's so popular (extensively validated rock-stable code), but these very same attributes make it very poorly suited for our needs (scientific computing - often using bleeding-edge software features and needing to squeeze the last bit of power out of bleeding-edge hardware).

But ask me about the company Red Hat? I'm a big fan of them. They have a relatively pure Open Source business model, and are showing the world that good money can be made out of it too. Not to mention their attitude. "Wanna clone our operating system? Be our guest, you'll only make us stronger."

On a more serious note, they're probably right about CentOS cementing their position. See also this very insightful post [slashdot.org] .

Re:Great company - crappy product (2)

kthreadd (1558445) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577677)

Nothing says that you can't use RHEL as a stable core OS and install any additional software that you need outside of that. It's very simple to do nowdays with Software Collections.

Re:Great company - crappy product (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577937)

At some point, we got a ~20% speedup on one of our clusters by installing new compilers and recompiling key libraries and software. And another ~15% speedup by upgrading our kernel to a new version. (Before you start calling me a ricer, on the scale of a medium-size computing cluster, these speedups represent 10000s USD worth of hardware each.) While I'm sure all this can also be done under RHEL/CentOS, it's much easier on many levels to install a distro that keeps things more up-to-date in the first place.

Plus switching distro got us an rsync version with which one can pull data from multiple source directories on a remote machine, a tar version with baked-in xz support,... Life's to short to bother installing all these things, but they're really nice to have, so there are definite advantages to the less conservative distros.

Re:Great company - crappy product (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577995)

I'm no disagreeing. If you want newer and/or more optimized software then stock RHEL is not really for you. The key point with RHEL is that it provides a stable ABI, and that makes it more conservative on certain things.

Re:Great company - crappy product (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577765)

---- quote ----
scientific computing - often using bleeding-edge software features and needing to squeeze the last bit of power out of bleeding-edge hardware
---- end quote ---

I would have to disagree with that .
I would NEVER run ISIS 3 ( http://isis.astrogeology.usgs.gov/ ) nor ASP ( http://ti.arc.nasa.gov/tech/asr/intelligent-robotics/ngt/stereo/ )
on Fedora 19
fedora is just WAY too new and has WAY too short a lifespan 13 months VS 7 to 10 YEARS

RHEL 6.4 ( i use ScientificLinux 6.4 ) is the best OS to run this on

Re:Great company - crappy product (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578117)

If you think RHEL and Fedora are the only distros in the universe, then this [distrowatch.com] will blow your mind. I happened to be talking something *gasp* debian-based that happens to have a life span of many years. Also, if you're OK with less-that-optimal performance, good for you. We aren't.

Re:Great company - crappy product (2)

Ubi_NL (313657) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577885)

What bullshit, its not a crappy product, its just aproduct not suited for your specific needs.

Re:Great company - crappy product (1)

OneAhead (1495535) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578001)

Just exercising my journalism skills by putting an eye-catching headline on top of a moderate post to lure people into reading it. These days, everyone seems to do it (especially the Slashdot editors/submitters). It seemed to work, too. Though I was kinda wondering if someone would call me out on it ;)

Re:Great company - crappy product (2)

unixisc (2429386) | 1 year,6 days | (#44578203)

Scientific computing? Have you found a better alternative to RHEL based Scientific Linux?

mod uP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577687)

ProblemS with

internet (-1, Flamebait)

GladysWKent (3018651) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577717)

my classmate's step-aunt makes $64 an hour on the internet. She has been fired from work for 8 months but last month her paycheck was $18845 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site- http://xurl.es/cxa8i [xurl.es]

Entrant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,6 days | (#44577865)

So Oracle, Debian and Ubuntu are entrants? According to who? These all seem like mature products to me? Not to mention the fact the Oracle Enterprise Linux has been cross compatible with Red Hat for years.

Its The Enterprise (Stupid) (1)

its a trappist! (2787963) | 1 year,6 days | (#44577903)

RedHat's success is based on knowing who their real customers are: enterprise and government. Enterprise users can't take the risk of using an unsupported solution, so they are ALWAYS willing to pay the relatively reasonable subscription fees. Same applies to government. CentOS plays well with the rest of the world - those willing to risk running an unsupported operating system. RedHat don't care: those guys are not their customer. CentOS and Fedora both are great training grounds and test beds, but it will be cold day in hell before a Fortune 500 CIO bets the farm on either.
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