Linked by Johnny Hughes on Tue 6th Apr 2004 02:26 UTC
Linux What is Enterprise Linux? Who has it? What does it cost? Are there any viable free alternatives? These are all questions that this article will address and try to answer.
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Good article
by rain on Tue 6th Apr 2004 02:50 UTC

I actually learned a few things from this one. Not that I'm really interested in enterprise solutions, but it's good to know.
Nice work.

Slackware?
by Jason on Tue 6th Apr 2004 03:28 UTC

From slackware.com:

-begin-

The Slackware Philosophy

Since its first release in April of 1993, the Slackware Linux Project has aimed at producing the most "UNIX-like" Linux distribution out there. Slackware complies with the published Linux standards, such as the Linux File System Standard. We have always considered simplicity and stability paramount, and as a result Slackware has become one of the most popular, stable, and friendly distributions available.

-end-

Slackware has a reputation for stability. It's remote administration and package management has the system administrator in mind.

I am betting my business on it.

Cheers

Debian is Enterprise Linux
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Apr 2004 03:53 UTC

http://www.debian.org/releases/

Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 (a.k.a. Potato) was released on August 14th, 2000

Debian GNU/Linux 3.0 (a.k.a. woody) was released on 19th of July, 2002

release cycle of 23 months

Potato Security updates are discontinued as of June 30th, 2003

3 year support cycle

Huge Academic Discount for Red Hat
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Apr 2004 04:42 UTC

RHEL:
$1499 – OS Updates, phone support 9-9 ET M-F(within 4 hours), 24/7 web support (within 2 days)
$2499 – OS Updates, 24/7 Phone Support (1 hour), 24/7 web support (within 1 day).

-------------------------------------------------

Don't forget the HUGE academic discount.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS Academic Edition: $25.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS Academic Edition: $50.

For more information:
<a href=http://www.redhat.com/about/presscenter/2003/press_education.html&g...

Debian is missing!
by Daniel van Eeden on Tue 6th Apr 2004 05:45 UTC

Debian Stable's security and release cycles are typically enterprise grade so Debian sould be listed here.

Beam me up Scotty!
by PAX-UX on Tue 6th Apr 2004 05:56 UTC

Why not compare what each Enterprise Linux distro is giving you? Or is it just some one to call when sh1t its the fan. What’s so special about each software bundle that is different from the standard? When people talk about Enterprise I think fault tolerant or clusters as the main benefit of "Enterprise" distos, or is it just a marketing scam as I think Linux needs one of them right now.

Support
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Apr 2004 06:17 UTC

It seems to me that attempting to find a "free" (as in beer) Enterprise Linux is kind of silly. What makes it "enterprise" is more the support contracts and bug fix agreements than the actual product. Sure there are admin tools and the like, but it comes down to who is going to come and fix your server when it goes down at 2am, and that is a person you have to pay for, not a bit of code.

I would go for Debian
by Michael on Tue 6th Apr 2004 07:19 UTC

Long release cycles.

Backport of security fixes to the current stable branch.

Easy upgrading when you stick to the package system. What more could one want?

Re: support
by Lyn Rees on Tue 6th Apr 2004 09:27 UTC

"It seems to me that attempting to find a "free" (as in beer) Enterprise Linux is kind of silly. What makes it "enterprise" is more the support contracts and bug fix agreements than the actual product. Sure there are admin tools and the like, but it comes down to who is going to come and fix your server when it goes down at 2am, and that is a person you have to pay for, not a bit of code."

I must disagree. If I required a server for a small business I would NOT be interested in paying for support when I could look after the server myself, using my existing skills and the support of some of the excellent on-line forums.

I would however want a stable release, with a long release cycle and a long support period. This means that I dont't have to upgrade the server to new releases regurlarly (every 6-12 months), and I can depend on security updates for 2-3 years.

I would use Debian Stable or posibly one of the Redhat based distros listed, I'm not sure why Debian Stable why it isn't included in this article?

RE: I would go for Debian
by Thomas on Tue 6th Apr 2004 09:35 UTC

What more could one want?

An Oracle certification perhaps. If you need support from those guys you have to go with SLES or RHEL. Apart from the 3rd party support problem, I think that Debian is at least as stable and reliable as the other enterprise distributions.

FreeBSD?
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Apr 2004 09:42 UTC

What about FreeBSD? I know it isn't a Linux distro. It's stable and speedy. Many enterprises are using it and getting uptime records. Just visit www.netcraft.com

I also think Slackware is a good choice; It's probably the fastest and most secure Linux distro. Funnly enough, it has less bugs and more up-to-date packages than Debian. apt-get is a nice tool but Debian is a sort of nightmare. dselect, many questions when updating packages, etc. Debian stable could be OK for servers. But I think there are better choices. If you want less bugs and more speed, try FreeBSD. ;)

@Anonymous
by Bas on Tue 6th Apr 2004 10:15 UTC


>What about FreeBSD?
What about it?

>Many enterprises are using it and getting uptime records. Just
>visit www.netcraft.com

Those companies are running a webserver on FreeBSD mostly not even there database/transactions servers. Problem with BSD is that there aren't a lot of companies that support it. Like Oracle, CA, IBM or SUN. Linux is much more spread and has the benefit of corporate backup.

>If you want less bugs and more speed, try FreeBSD. ;)

I think you miss the whole point of doing business.
Linux kernel 2.6 is a quantum leap from 2.4 it out preforms the current FreeBSD kernel on almost every task, esp. database and connectivity. I run FreeBSD (4.8) and OpenBSD (3.3) and always BUY them to support the community but
as Linux is progressing and being backuped by LARGE companies its a much more better choice for businesses or a least those companies think so.

RE: I would go for Debian
by Tarmo Hyvärinen on Tue 6th Apr 2004 10:25 UTC

Easy upgrading when you stick to the package system. What more could one want?

Up to date packages. Debian is just too obsolate.

For server environment, three key products are too obsolate to run anything in production: PHP, Apache and MySQL.

Just my opinion. If we'd move to debian to run our 100 000 lined PHP software - it would be a disaster. i386 "optimized" slow packages and totally obsolate software. Solaris + Self-built server software + high-end Sparc machines are the way to go ;)

As an IT manager, I am pleased to say that Open Source software resides on more and more of our servers as time goes by, particularly in LAMP applications. I must say, though, that anyone in a position of responsibility in an enterprise environment should be fired for lack of judgment if they choose a "whitebox" solution over a paid, contract-backed product. Departmental staffing can be volatile - - the people here today can be gone tomorrow for any number of reasons. Support agreements with strong partners like RedHat or Novell provide some assurance that when your top Linux engineer leaves you, you aren't left dangling in the breeze with the "distro of the week." The support angle is a key component of Microsoft's success thus far. Almost any tech can solve Windows problems if he/she can dial the MS support number (and has $250).

CentOS & Support
by Magnus on Tue 6th Apr 2004 11:00 UTC

Nice high level overview of what is out there. We decided to use CentOS because what happens if the maintainer of the various solo projects out there gets hit by a bus?

Also, if we decide later that we want paid support, there are at least 2 or 3 companies that offer direct support for CentOS. I have also had no problems getting my vendors to support their products with CentOS. It was a little dicey with Rational at first but once they "got it" and understood that it was just RHEL without the trademarked artwork, they helped me. Special mention for OpenNMS who is actually spinning RPM's built on a CentOS box now.

Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.0 contains all freely distributable packages from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0 Advanced Server ($1499), Red Hat Cluster Suite ($499), and Red Hat Developer Suite (free as an introductory offer for RHEL subscribers). Lineox Enterprise Linux 3.0 does not contain any support. Lineox is however offering program package updates for free for a limited time and later as a paid subscription. Subscription prices will be made public this month. For more info, see http://www.lineox.com/

You forgot to mention that Tao/ Whitebox and Centos distro's are just rebuilds on the Redhat source platform. So they will install and feel like the real thing.

Also, there is no x86_64 for Whitebox. Can you post a link as to where you found that one at ?

RE:RE: I would go for Debian
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Apr 2004 13:36 UTC

Up to date packages. Debian is just too obsolate.


People quit spreading that myth around. Debian is very up2date. Just take a look at testing/unstable.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=debian


RE:RE: I would go for Debian
by the_trapper on Tue 6th Apr 2004 13:44 UTC

People quit spreading that myth around. Debian is very up2date. Just take a look at testing/unstable.

Ummm, you did read the article, or at least the title of the article?

Debian testing/unstable is DEFINITELY not enterprise grade. That would be like me suggesting someone run Fedora Core on their critical Oracle database server.

Don't give me the BS that Debian testing/unstable is more stable than other distros, because it's called what it is for a reason.

RE:RE:RE: I would go for Debian
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Apr 2004 14:06 UTC

Well I dont mean to use sarge or sid. Just using apt to upgrade a few packages to testing/unstable. Ive been running Debian 3.0r2("woody") with the lastest apache(1.x) and have had no problems for its entire lifespan.

how soon we forget
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Apr 2004 15:19 UTC

On march 11th OSnews had this story:
http://www.linuxjournal.com/article.php?sid=7288
There was only 2 comments, it seems nobody read it and every one thinks enterprise == phone calls and 5 years support. Anyone who thinks debian, or slackware are enterprise needs to take a good hard look at what goes into these.

Spelling/Grammar checkers
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Apr 2004 15:29 UTC

(nitpick mode on...)

Come on, people. It's just silly to be reading a professional publication and see something like this:

"Here is what each says the purpose of it's enterprise product is."
"RedHat says it's enterprise offering..."
"SUSE touts it's enterprise product..."
"Mandrake bills it's enterprise edition..."
"...it was slower to release it's first set of ISO's."

At least your spelling of "it's" is consistent. CONSISTENTLY WRONG!

Oh, if only this were an isolated event. Here, we see one of the readers replying to the article:

"Slackware has a reputation for stability. It's remote administration and package management..."

Maybe I'm expecting too much when I assume that a professional, technical article will be run through a spelling/grammar checker before it's submitted. But I don't think so. Attention to detail is, in my opinion, a mandatory part of professional publication. If proper spelling and grammar are used, it doesn't necessarily lend credibility to the author's points. On the other hand, their absence makes me wonder how seriously the author can be taken.

> People quit spreading that myth around. Debian is very
> up2date. Just take a look at testing/unstable.

But testing/unstable do not have security patches (See below), so there's no way it's going to be used in an enterprise. So it's Debian stable or nothing at all.

-----------------------------
The Debian Security Team, at http://www.debian.org/security/faq#testing, says:

Q: How is security handled for testing and unstable?

A: The short answer is: it's not. Testing and unstable are rapidly moving targets and the security team does not have the resources needed to properly support those. If you want to have a secure (and stable) server you are strongly encouraged to stay with stable. However, the security secretaries will try to fix problems in testing and unstable after they are fixed in the stable release.

re: Spelling/Grammar checkers
by TVRG on Tue 6th Apr 2004 20:19 UTC

hmm, the its it's thing is something i will offend quite often too, but maybe not everybody's a native english speaker on international boards.
prick

RE: RE: I would go for Debian
by Edward on Tue 6th Apr 2004 21:27 UTC


Up to date packages. Debian is just too obsolate.

For server environment, three key products are too obsolate to run anything in production: PHP, Apache and MySQL.


While I can appreciate that you want newer vresions of software, it is fairly difficult to insist on a long release cycle and newer packages. You can't have it both ways.

That said, most of the issues I've heard on this is because Debian stable installs php3 by default. However, it does fully support php4, which I use on my debian/stable server.

(apt-get install php4)

Also, on the x86 platform, especially on server apps, I suspect i386 compilied akes very little difference on speed.

Not that that really matters, because you are running on Sparc anyway...

Hey, wait a minute...

Re: Spelling/Grammar checkers
by Jason on Tue 6th Apr 2004 21:51 UTC

"On the other hand, their absence makes me wonder how seriously the author can be taken."

"their" [sic] should be "there"

So get off your soap box and please f##k off.

Cheers

correction of the correction
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Apr 2004 22:33 UTC

Sorry, the use of "their" is correct.

RE: Spelling/Grammar checkers
by hughesjr on Wed 7th Apr 2004 00:35 UTC

Sorry about my WILD apostrophes ;)

Re: Debian
by hughesjr on Wed 7th Apr 2004 00:37 UTC

Debian is stable ... but it doesn't have support for Oracle and other enterprise programs.

If UserLinux does well, it will in the future.

re:Support
by hughesjr on Wed 7th Apr 2004 00:46 UTC

"It seems to me that attempting to find a "free" (as in beer) Enterprise Linux is kind of silly. What makes it "enterprise" is more the support contracts and bug fix agreements than the actual product. Sure there are admin tools and the like, but it comes down to who is going to come and fix your server when it goes down at 2am, and that is a person you have to pay for, not a bit of code."

Maybe for the server you run your business on ... but do you also want to pay $2500 a year for your developement server too?

Why not use a CentOS or WhiteBox Linux machine for testing code and in predeployement scenarios?

For people deploying 1000 seats of RHEL 3 WS or 50 RHEL ES boxes, the cost savings is substantial.

re:Support
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 02:05 UTC

Why not use a CentOS or WhiteBox Linux machine for testing code and in predeployement scenarios?

For people deploying 1000 seats of RHEL 3 WS or 50 RHEL ES boxes, the cost savings is substantial.


I agree with that line of thinking.

I'm wondering what the lag-time is between RHEL release and Whitebox release. (Delay between RHEL release and RH release of source, + time for WB to package and distribute.)

Also, how strong is the guarantee that RHEL sources will always be made available under terms that allow WB and others to distribute a near-exact copy of RHEL?

Hardware certification?
by ranger on Wed 7th Apr 2004 07:49 UTC

In some environments, there is only one option: RHEL.

For example, if you want to cluster anything besides Oracle on EMC storage solutions, the only option is RHEL2.1 (at present). If you *are* doing Oracle clustering, then you can use SLES8 too if you want. (And, no, Debian is not listed, the only two Linux distributions listed at all are RHEL2.1 - x86 and ia64 - and SLES8 x86).

(see http://www.emc.com/interoperability/matrices/EMCSupportMatrix.pdf)

Once you've paid the money for the EMC box, the cost of RHEL licenses is peanuts.

If you don't have certification reqruirements, I don't see why you would want the pain of RHEL ... and all the RHEL clones give you just that, the pain of RHEL without any of the advantages.

i think, you have to to look at your business case and you have to categorize it :
- nice too have, but not realy needed (0)
- can be offline upto 2 days or more (1)
- can be offline for 1 day, but not longer (2)
- must run all the time. (3)
So its spread between business support (0) and mission critical (3).
as long as you can get the support as you need, fine.
if you have cat 2 requirements, you must take care about the resource avaible to help if you snap into trouble with the box(es), you then will have an contract to fit this, on cat 3 you definitly will have a propper contract with instantly support/response in the next 10 min every time.
So, come on, these are the reasons to choose Novel SuSE linux Enterprise Edtion or RedHat.
The next point : time to "trouble". if a senior sw expert must be go out off bed ringed by a phone ( cat 2 or cat 3) because this guy is working in the us, and you are in europe at normal office times, its better to have the support settled where you have your offices. Yes, we are global, but you got your trouble localy.
So a distro supported by 1, or 5, or 10, or 30 employees is, thats my opionion, not able to fit the requirements for cat 2 or/and cat 3. forget it.
if you have a cat 0 or cat 1 systen, ok, why not, if it comes to trouble, install a new, you have time to buy a new hardware, you can recover with some backups. Thats not stress. with this minimum of requirments you can easily use another distro, gentoo, debian, userlinux or whatever.
the next point is the certified intergration of hardware. you must be shure, that your servers can run with it. That your configuration is tested and supported.
You dont want to loose your support form the hw-vendor, you paid for that. You don't want get in the the game SW-Guys against HW-Guyw, where the HW point to SW saying . its not our fault, it is a SW-Problem, and vice versa. You need a solution, not a movie.
Ask HP, or IBM, if they would support their boxes with gentoo or debian, no, they won't, they do it with Novell and RedHat.
if you have to work with important and/or mission critical systems, you will take care to get all the support you need to continue the business as fast as possible in case of a malfunction.
And, mission critical means not all the time LAMP, it means : mission critical. possibly, LAMP is mission critical for on-line services, so ,you see , it a question of the requirements that your business rely on.
But, again, Linux is not just used for LAMP, also for Oracle, Informix,DB/2, Sybase, Websphere/MQSeries, a.s.o.
The next point is the resource you have. Possibly you don't need a kernel-hacker all the time, you don't have the time to observe the scene to hire good people. Possibly, you have adminstrators and developers to fit the normal requirement of day-to-day business.
This is another reason for choosing a Enterprise linux because you oftenly get into a state, where you can easily can have access to companies with people to help you.

krgds,
Frank

spelling/grammar
by Anonymous on Wed 7th Apr 2004 19:37 UTC

""On the other hand, their absence makes me wonder how seriously the author can be taken."

"their" [sic] should be "there"

So get off your soap box and please f##k off.

Cheers"

As was mentioned, his usage of the word "their" is perfectly correct.

You know, having typos doesn't exactly make you look smart; on the other hand, when you correct someone who was actually right, you look really stupid.