On Sat, 2009-09-05 at 17:46 +0000, smpoole7 wrote:
> However, I think Novell is missing a big opportunity here. Red Hat is
> the proof. There are three tiers (if you want to call them that) of
> their product available:
> Fedora – community, completely free distro targeted to desktops
> (serves as a test-bed for the enterprise stuff, too)
> Clones of RHEL such as CentOS and Scientific Linux – which fill a
> unique need that I’ll mention below.
> The Enterprise, pay-for-support product, RHEL.
> When distros like CentOS appeared, some in the community said, “wow,
> that’s going to hurt Red Hat. Who will pay for their Enterprise product
> when you can get basically the same thing from Cent for free?” In fact,
> Red Hat’s sales to enterprises are doing just great.
Are you SURE about that? I mean, that’s certainly the P.C. thing to say
and certainly what Red Hat wants everyone to say, but is it true?
Also, CentOS has become a stumbling block for many because of its
inconsistencies with RHEL proper. Especially over the past year.
CentOS is no longer a trustworthy “free” RHEL clone (mostly due to some
stagnation… supposedly resolved now).
Is SLES free? Yes. Anyone can download and install SLES today. What
you do not have is a free updater service that tries to mimic what
Novell provides. But if you simply want to test against SLES10 SP2 (for
example), anyone can download that today. And it’s not the abitrarily
restricted thing that Red Hat provides.
> How can this be? Because yes, those of us in smaller enterprises often
> download and use these “free” variants. With our budgets, we don’t have
> a choice. BUT … and this is key! … when we reach a position where we
> DO want support, let’s take a look at this:
> 1. I have a server farm filled with CentOS. I’ve gotten used to its
> crotchets, I’ve learned how to make it work, and I am loathe to change
> now – regardless of how good the alternative might be.
Then don’t change.
> 2. SO … I opt for RHEL. I’m getting exactly what I’m familiar with,
> all of the widgets and apps and configurators that I’ve built over the
> years work exactly as expected, and I get the best of both worlds.
Very true. You opted for CentOS instead of a freely available
enterprise distro for eval. And yes, ideally, it’s not supposed to be
hard to upgrade. However, if you had, for example, installed SLES 10
SP2 (for free), getting on support (you have to admit) would be even
easier than blowing everything away and installing RHEL. True?
You can always to the eval which has 60 days of update support. update
and you’ll have at least for 60 days, EXACTLY what you get with an
enterprise subscription. Should is be longer than 60 days? Maybe that
would be something that Novell should consider. 60 days isn’t all that
long. I’d opt for 90 days and provide a mechanism for a longer eval…
but you know, I BET the Novell guys would renew the eval if you asked
them based on your need for your own evaluation time period.
> Again, this is not speculation. The fact that Red Hat’s sales of their
> enterprise products continue to lead the whole industry is all you need
> to look at.
??? I guess, I’m just not politically correct… Red Hat’s “enterprise
sales” got quite a boost from their JBoss deals. Again, are you sure
that Red Hat’s RHEL growth is still keeping pace? What is Red Hat’s
quarter to quarter RHEL growth like (percentage wise) vs. Novell SLES?
Just something to think about…
Is Red Hat the (or at least perceived as the) market leader for
enterprise Linux? Yes. Is RHEL adoption growing faster than SLES?
> Here’s a perfect example: we have a firewall machine in Denver that’s
> running Opensuse 10.3, which is getting ready to EOL. I have to remotely
A CONSUMER distro like Fedora. Suffers from the EXACT same issues as
> administer this machine from Birmingham, so I can’t install or upgrade
> myself. I like (love!!) Yast, but in this case, I’m going to build the
> replacement server with CentOS and ship it out there, ready to
> plug-and-play. I’ll just put up with Webmin for configuration.
> Why? Because with Suse, I have two choices:
> 1. Pay up front for the Enterprise product, but as I said above, that’s
> not an option for us – NOW. It will be in the future.
Ditto for Red Hat.
> 2. Use OpenSuse, but I’ll be forced to upgrade the thing about every 18
> months. That’s unacceptable. The life of the hardware is 4-5 years, I
> need a server operating system that will be supported with updates for
> at least that long. I don’t want to go through this again in 2011.
I agree. If you want long term support but are UNSURE if you want to
commit, you could always try out SLES 10 SP2 and then later purchase
support when satisified that it works well. I’m pretty sure there may
be ways to get at the patches in a less than convenient way for SLES 10
also… but it’s probably wise to pay the one that owns the hand that
> In sum, and to repeat: I think Novell is really, really missing an
> opportunity here. They should make ALL source (including updates) for
> Suse Enterprise freely available. Yes, this means that CentOS-like
> “clones” of their enterprise edition will appear, but they’ll still end
> up ahead, because more businesses like ours will use the clone, then
> move up to the enterprise-supported product.
NOTHING is preventing YOU from starting up a CentOS like clone of SLES.
You do understand that it requires work though? What happens when the
SlentOS maintainer gets tired, gets sick or just decides to give up??
CentOS use the Red Hat support team to provide them their work which
they compile and package in a Red Hat-like way. Similar to Red Hat,
they need funding to do what they do. The rely on companies for support
in the way of funding (instead of that funding going to the the ones
that made the changes to base they use) and donations of servers and
Think of CentOS as one of the many Debian forks… with one exception,
their goal to is to NOT greatly deviate from the base.
So whereas Ubuntu (for example) mainly uses Debian as their base…
unlike CentOS, Ubuntu does more config and application development that
deviates from the base. Also, unlike CentOS+Red Hat, it’s a bit easier
for Debian to utilize/change their base based on things they like from
Ubuntu (you could think of Ubuntu as a poorly done Fedora, poorly only
because Ubuntu doesn’t contribute across all areas well yet).
Red Hat’s quandry is that it’s primary “change” feed is supposed to be
Fedora, much like openSUSE serves as a playground for interesting change
possibilities for future SLES. So, does Red Hat recieve changes from
CentOS?.. maybe, but unlikely since their goal is to utilize Red Hat’s
base and changes and not really give back the other direction. Ubuntu
at one time was accused to doing similar things, but the difference was
that Ubuntu did actually make some app and config changes.
To quote CentOS, “CentOS mainly changes packages to remove upstream
vendor branding and artwork”. And certainly the same COULD be done with
SLES… the question is… will YOU be willing to do/start this?
> Just my opinion, but I really believe this.
If you believe in it… consider being the one to create SlentOS
But creating, maintaining, supporting and sustaining a CentOS-like
project is DIFFICULT and expensive… takes a lot of dedication and
Really, I’m not totally against the idea… just not sure if it’s really
necessary, and I’m not totally convinced that converting from CentOS to
RHEL is the best way vs just installing RHEL and moving to a supported
path later on.