Red Hat's product line will be dropped by ending support for its products - what will you do as a webhost and what are other options?
Red Hat's product line will be dropped by ending support for its products - what will you do as a webhost and what are other options? Well they don't look that bright if you're using a control panel that relies heavily on the Red Hat OS as many web hosts do.
End of Life for Older Releases
From Red Hat's website:
Red Hat's policy for Red Hat Linux distributions is to provide maintenance for at least 12 months. At certain times, Red Hat may extend errata maintenance for certain popular releases of the operating system. End of Life dates for errata maintenance for currently supported products are listed below:
Basically all support and maintenance for these products will end on the following dates.
Red Hat Linux 9 (Shrike) April 30, 2004
Red Hat Linux 8.0 (Psyche) December 31, 2003
Red Hat Linux 7.3 (Valhalla) December 31, 2003
Red Hat Linux 7.2 (Enigma) December 31, 2003
Red Hat Linux 7.1 (Seawolf) December 31, 2003
What we have now are two lines, which you can term commercial (Enterprise) and developer (Fedora). The strategy for the Enterprise line has been pretty clear for some time now; it's the paid-for line that started with high end products but which has expanded downwards to smaller servers and workstation. It makes money, and 'buy workstation' is what Szulik tells us the people who'd been previously buying RHL should do in the future (although as we suggested earlier on, he didn't make it entirely clear how close that future actually was).
Fedora - What is That?
While Fedora remains a nice option for you desktop, what about servers? I don't see to many Control Panel companies rushing out to support Fedora... I guess that's why they release the Enterprise edition but there's a big catch and it has to do with your wallet. Fedora is pulling out of RHL Red Hat has given Fedora a major credibility hill to climb.
Fedora is the free, development strand of the Red Hat offering, "sponsored" by Red Hat but intended to be out there in the community with support almost entirely from the community. It will have a release cycle of two to three a year, and Szulik puts it more bracingly than that still. "Anyone can put a package in so long as they maintain it," and fixes will "just roll forward to the next version," so it'll ship when it's done and keep shipping. It is therefore being pitched as a fast-moving, cutting edge line that's in continued development, and in that sense could be seen as a possible techie heaven.
Fedora's development and release cycles and its support mechanisms clearly aren't going to be any kind of answer for people who want to run a business on Linux, whereas Enterprise's more sedate cycles, support model and product lifespan are. This is certainly a convenient piece of ringfencing for Red Hat, but you can't really count it as entirely deliberate. Businesses want long, defined lifecycles, clear roadmaps, support, while enthusiasts want fast development, so the convenience factor is built into the two logical answers Red Hat has come up with.
The Enterprise Product Line
The Enterprise line is sold by annual subscription in 3 flavours, Enterprise WS ($179), Linux ES ($349) and Enterprise AS ($1499). The Enterprise AS edition also has 2 choices, Standard or Premium where the Premium comes with more technical support from Red Hat and you'll definately pay for it at $2499.
Let's go into detail about each of the Enterprise Editions and see what they have under the hood.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS
This version is basically useless to anyone other than desktop users. It doesn't have any server applications and highlights the following:
This pretty much makes the WS version useless for anyone trying to run a server, it's geared more towards workstations.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES
Now this flavour is actually geared more towards a server OS whereas the WS version is just a low end desktop system and shouldn't even be part of the "Enterprise" product line. "Core operating system and networking infrastructure for a wide range of entry-level and departmental server applications. It is ideally suited for network, file, print, mail, Web, and custom or packaged business applications."
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