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ECT News Community   »   LinuxInsider Talkback   »   Re: Red Hat: Time for the Tar and Feathers?

Re: Red Hat: Time for the Tar and Feathers?
Posted by: Paul Murphy 2004-10-07 05:58:24
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As con men the two pitiful rascals in "Huckleberry Finn" made their living by pretending to be what they were not, and then charging the gullible to share the illusion. A cynic might see parallels to Red Hat here: pretending to open source ideals while actually charging the MSCE community for the privilege of sharing the illusion. The current management team at Red Hat has consistently been vocal about its agenda. The road to Microsoft, Open Source Affairs Vice President Michael Tieman has said many times, goes through Mountain View first.

Re: Red Hat: Time for the Tar and Feathers?
Posted by: dukeinlondon 2004-10-08 06:21:49 In reply to: Paul Murphy
The more I read this column, the more I am awaiting the next one.
But one thing about RedHat and the others linux vendors : They can't recommend what Paul advises. They need to grow and failing that they will be blown out the water if not by SUN, by somebody else.
The gullible ones are the only culprit. It's your job in IT to test and experiment, especially when you can do that at little cost. If you go with Linux without knowing why, then you are a potential client the smartest suit. People in the business of improving your bottom line are consultants, not vendors and RedHat is a vendor.
SUN has been selling the same lie. I work in organisation that typically buy big SUN iron and associated maintenance without knowing for sure why. Where I work now, UNIX machines are up for so long that they decided to reboot them regularly, just to make sure that no settings modification made recovery a problem !
There is a systemic failire in IT to look at what organisations pay for and for how much. That's how NT made its way in the server room, replacing VAX and other machines, just because the email client was graphical ....
I don't see why RedHat should refrain

Re: Red Hat: Time for the Tar and Feathers?
Posted by: BenRussoUSA 2004-10-07 17:51:43 In reply to: Paul Murphy
Your article is misinformed and misleading on almost every single point. It is hard to choose where to start picking it apart.
RedHat has an ongoing tradition of generous contributions to the Open Source community. *Every* software product that is owned and distributed by RedHat is GPL'd! This continues, they haven't privatized anything. RedHat has developed or purchased many of these distributed products, such as anaconda, rpm, GFS, cygwin, eCos and the Netscape Directory Services. Those things wouldn't exist without RedHat.
RedHat has over the years paid the salaries of hundreds of devlopers and every line of code that those developers have distributed has been GPL'd. This continues, it hasn't stopped. Alan Cox was employed by RedHat for years and allowed to work on the Linux Kernel and Havoc Pennington was (is?) also. You say that Redhat is a "pretender" in the Open Source world?
But then you go on to say that people should use SUN software, none of which is 'truly' OpenSource, (in the spirit of the GPL) even when they do show you the some of the source code. Solaris is not free to modify and redistribute, port to other architectures, bind into my own applications. I am not freely licensed to use Solaris with anything other than the hardware I buy from SUN or the license grant (if I buy a Solaris License sans hardware).
RedHat is not charging anyone for having, installing or using RedHat Enterprise Linux.
(see http://www.redhat.com/advice/ask_shadowman_may02.h tml )
Have you read the license that comes with RedHat enterprise Linux CD's? (it is published on their website) The License says that the content of all the packages on the CD (and the CD compilations themselves) are GPL'd except for a few 3rd party packages (such as IBM's JDK). These 3rd party packagas are not critical or even important to the system at all. Of course "RedHat" and the logos are trademarks. If you remove the trademarks there is nothing stoping you from creating your own distribution that is the same as RHEL and giving it away for free or using it as much as you want.
See http://whiteboxlinux.org/
This group is doing exactly as I have described.
What RedHat charges for is 'support & services' such as their RHN network. They provide all the same packages (source RPMS) on their public FTP site for free, they just don't provide free access to their enterprise system patch management system and phone/e-mail support. Their documentation, knowledge bases and such are all available for free on the web as well.
RedHat has filled a necessary market niche. I agree with you that it may be misguided, but there are many IS/IT managements who won't support installation of a OS/apps that aren't backed by an expensive/pretentious/professional appearing organization. RedHat fills that niche. RedHat has a fixed release and support cycle for versions of their Enterprise Linux product. This allows 3rd party software vendors to gather around a stable platform and do development/documentation/QA on a stable platform target. Oracle, Veritas, BEA's Weblogic, Remedy, Netcool, Lotus Notes, DB2, SAP etc... are large enterprise software suites that can be "certified" for a stable (non-moving) well documented OS platform.
RedHat has provided their certification labs. And I can now get hardware/OS/software stack that is all certified by their respected vendors so that I know I have a supported platform.
Then you compare one of the highest prices for RedHat Enterprise Linux with the cost of Microsoft licenses. You completely ignore the fact that on a Microsoft OS I will need to buy a volume manager/enterprise file system (if I have large storage requirements), I will have to buy a backup solution (like veritas netback or legato). I will have to buy a Virus Scanner license/subscription. I will likely need a firewall product as well. I may need client licenses for my Exchange mail service or IIS application service. I might need a Microsoft Office license or a photoshop license. If I need terminal services the license costs go up fast. SQL licenses...
With Redhat Enterprise Linux I have all of these types of things either built in (one cost) or I don't need them (such as the virus issue).
Plus you pick $2,499/year as your cost to compare with. You can buy Redhat Edge Server Basic subscription for only $349 per year (and remember you don't *have* to pay this to use, modify, redistribute the software as long as you want) you just can't redistribute the content of the services/support. (i.e. redistribute or multiplex the RHN service or use one support contract for a whole data center of systems)
The $2,499/year subscription cost is for PREMIUM ADVANCED SERVER which is for 24/7 phone support on hardware including IBM Power Architecture servers (up to 32 processors and 64GB RAM.)
I don't think I have ever heard of a support contract for 24x7 phone support for an OS/firewall/web/application/DNS/directory/mail/news/file server with 32 processors for $2,499 from Microsoft or SUN? Am I wrong? Please show me! I have 8x5 support from SUN for a 4 CPU system at my office and it costs me more than that per year, and I am not entitled to see the source code, modify it, update it myself, incorporate it and build upon it into my own projects... My application stack and in-house developed/integrated system is locked into a product lifecycle that is driven by SUN and Oracle and Veritas.
With the RedHat product I could choose to buy the Redhat support if I wanted to use their very nice web services to manage my software patches and server inventory.
Or I could pay the basic rate for the minimum license necessary to support my hardware (as low as $179) and then not renew my subscription to support and RHN. I would still have unlimited access to the public ftp site where all the security/updates are released. I would just have to manage their building and installation myself. Or I could go really cheap and just use whitebox linux (or build it myself).
These are all legal and open, RedHat couldn't stop me even if they wanted too.
I totally don't understand your article. Your argument seems flat on every charge.

Re: Red Hat: Time for the Tar and Feathers?
Posted by: Paul_Murphy 2004-10-08 04:37:47 In reply to: BenRussoUSA
Perhaps if you read the article all the way through?

Canadian players in the CFL
Posted by: cypherpunk 2004-10-07 06:01:04 In reply to: Paul Murphy
Last time I checked, the rules of the CFL dictated that at least 16 of the 36 players on any team must be Canadians.
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