Red Hat Challenges Open Source Moochers

Red Hat moves to block enteprise software players that attempt to take advantage of its open source strategy.

When your product can be freely and legally copied by competitors, how do you compete in the marketplace? Paul Rubens talks about Red Hat's latest strategic moves.

Red Hat Red (NYSE: RHT) has gotten fed up with what it sees as companies like Oracle and Novell sidling up to its Linux server operating system customers in a shifty manner and whispering "Wanna buy cheap support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux?" Red Hat finds this galling because it effectively gives away RHEL server OS as a loss leader so it can sell support and other services, and it doesn't see why Oracle and others should act like parasites, making money from its hard work.

That's why with the release of RHEL 6, Red Hat began to do something new. Instead of releasing the kernel package in its upstream form, with separate patches to be applied at build-time, all the patches are now pre-applied. This makes it much harder for competitors to pinch Red Hat's support business, says Brian Stevens, Red Hat CTO.

Our competitors in the Enterprise Linux market have changed their commercial approach from building and competing on their own customized Linux distributions, to one where they directly approach our customers offering to support RHEL. Frankly, our response is to compete. Essential knowledge that our customers have relied on to support their RHEL environments will increasingly only be available under subscription...

Read the rest about Red Hat's strategy at ServerWatch.

Tags: open source, Oracle, Novell, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, patch

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