Red Hat Competes in Crowded Market: Page 2

Posted February 26, 2008

James Maguire

James Maguire

(Page 2 of 2)

“We’ve built a set of tools and support infrastructure, and policies and a set of ecosystems, that allow customers to take that application and run it anywhere,” he said. This adaptability includes deploying a given app on stand alone hardware, in a virtualized environment, or on demand.

Today’s data centers are often cobbled together from disparate silos of infrastructure: Linux, Windows, VMware, Solaris. “We’ve built a platform that allows you to treat that infrastructure as one,” Crenshaw said.

“So you can take any RHEL app and run it on a RHEL server, a Windows server, a VMware server, or a Solaris server. The silos get homogenized; you have much more normalized infrastructure.” In Crenshaw’s view, Red Hat’s competitors, in Linux, Windows and Unix, don’t offer this same level of flexibility and portability.

A Customer’s Experience

Like every other large newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has grown ever more Web-centric over the years. As readers have migrated online, the newspaper’s server infrastructure needed to keep up.

When Jim Lann, manager of the paper’s Internet systems, sat down to discuss the upgrades with his supervisor, there wasn’t much doubt about which platform to deploy. It would be based on the LAMP stack, with Red Hat as the enterprise Linux.

Lann’s history with Red Hat stretches back several years. He once had a Red Hat server running at home. And though he’s tried a few flavors, he’s established a true comfort with Red Hat.

“My warm spot is with open source and that kind of technology,” Lann told me, explaining he was once a Mac guy, before migrating to Unix and Solaris, then finally growing to like Linux.

While there are many distributions available – Lann once set up a SUSE server – “the nice thing about Red Hat is that you get a packaged environment from a company that has experience with Linux – they’re not Johnny-come-lately.”

The newspaper's Red Hat servers, Lann said, now handle about 140 requests per sever, per second, with some 22 servers (three of which are virtual) up and running fulltime. With that much load, a data center manager needs to know the system is sure and steady.

“There’s a continuity there, a continuity of business, and a continuity of technology, that gives me certain comfort when I’m running Red Hat,” he said. “I have a lot of faith that, when Red Hat says, ‘apply these security patches,’ as long as I’m running the standard Red Hat stuff, I’m not worried that those updates are going to break those packages.”

It is surely one of the oddities of Red Hat’s market position. Not that long ago (the late ‘90s) the company was an insurgent upstart, little known among major enterprise customers. Now, based on Lann’s comments, some IT managers view it as the entrenched choice, so reliable you can set your watch by it. But will the company maintain this position in the years ahead?

The other nominees in Datamation’s Product of the Year Enterprise Linux category were Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time 10 and Canonical Ubuntu 7.10 Server Edition.

Page 2 of 2

Previous Page
1 2

0 Comments (click to add your comment)
Comment and Contribute


(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.