[nSLUG] Why Redhat is a frontrunner for business environments

Robert Ashley rb.ashley at gmail.com
Mon Feb 26 01:34:49 AST 2007

Donald, you get an Oscar for the best A+ essay in the e-short
category! Seriously, some persuasive arguments you mount.
Interesting, how things like liability, brand, and band-wagoneering
hold sway over the actual merits of this or that product.

I might have guessed...but for shame, didn't.



On 2/25/07, D G Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 2/25/07, Robert Ashley <rb.ashley at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Is it true that Red Hat is a frontrunner for business environments? If
> > so, why is that? I see too that in Canada at least, Xandros is trying
> > to, or has made business a key target market.
> >
> > Whadda they got that the rest ain't?
> >
> > bob
> I my view and experience it is very simple: Redhat provides a major
> brand identity, and indemnity.
>  Indemnity isn't such a factor in Canada, but in the U.S., or with U.S. lead
> companies
>  running operations in Canada, it is a factor.  If something goes wrong,
> there
>  is no one at Debian.org to sue.  Having noticed the Dallas-Forth Worth
>  yellow pages phone book has 110 pages for attorneys, I think that
>  says a lot about how interesting that is to people or businesses there.
>  Brand identity is something that works for managers making decisions
>  based on "business reasons".  Although Netcraft shows that Debian is the #2
>  platform of web server in the world, managers at the top level of companies
>  have often never heard of it.
>  The way I see it, this is like arguing to buy a fleet of Toyota's around
> 1990.
>  The CEO types are going to be much more comfortable going with one of
>  the domestic big three, even though any of the Japanese big three are
> better
>  for many purposes and lower cost of ownership.  Now 17 year's later, Toyota
>  is the #1 brand, and if you buy one today, NO ONE asks "why are
>  you buying an import?".  I expect the same will eventually happen with
>  Redhat and Suse's brand weakening.   I also expect the news to
> get around that what the big brand names actually provide you is
> very little (say if you are implementing something like Horde -
> Redhat does nothing to make this easier than in Debian).
>  I suppose a third aspect is that the sysadmin geeks don't get the respect,
>  because they talk in techie language and get all romantic about strange
>  OSes you'd never give to your mother, like BSD, Slackware, Plan 9, etc.
>  These sysadmin types push for their favorite distro for their personal
>  favorite reason rather than for reasons of infrastructure support.  Once
>  a shop has been poisoned with that experience and the guy who set
>  them up has gone, the CEO types don't want a repeat experience of
>  giving the sysadmin too much liberty and then finding they can't
>  hire someone with the same knowledge set.
>  The sheer number of different Linux distros is also a big shock to the
>  CEO who tries to spend even a Saturday afternoon researching their
>  options.  It immediately convinces them that there must be a lot
>  of unsupported and crappy distros amongst the few good ones,
>  and it is best to  standardize around a big commercially supported
>  brand, even if one never intends to buy support.
>  Things are looking good right now for Debian.  The latest Debian news item
> mentioned HP has announced hardware support for Debian, putting them right
> up there with SUSE and Redhat.  Another news item mentioned an election
> system in New Zealand which is powered by Debian and Postgresql.  None of
> these things could happen unless Debian was a seriously robust
> and well maintained distro, and these events just back that up again.
>  --Donald
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