[nSLUG] ubuntu iso a dud

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Tue Feb 27 12:55:36 AST 2007

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

Many commercial products from the US are developed and tested on Red
Hat.  Part of this is simply that Red Hat was there first.  When SGI
introduced IRIX 6.5, one vendor of widely used remote sensing apps
switched from IRIX 5.3 to Red Hat.  For us, without access to Red Hat
engineers who could talk directly to SGI and Sun engineers, it is
highly unlikely that we would have found a way to make NFS work
reliably with switched ethernet and
hierachical storage (clients see disks, but files are migrated to
tape, leaving just a few K bytes on the disk).

If your workload is similar to that of millions of others, you don't
need commercial support because others will have solved most of the
problems for you.  If your hardware comes with serial numbers under
100, you need to get all the help you can.

SGI, however, used to have their own linux distro for large parallel
machines but is now using SUSE.  I think this is largely because RH
commercial users count pennies and have very different workloads from
SGI's very few remaining very well-funded customers.

The recent discussions about the pressure from customers for Dell to
sell linux systems will be interesting.  I think Dell has been relying
on suppliers to provide drivers for the hardware bits (disk, video,
sound, etc.) they use.  Suppliers often sell dumbed down versions to
Dell in order to cut costs and underbid other suppliers.  There have
been problems running generic linux on Dell hardware, but there are so
many of then being sold (and other vendors that copy Dell designs)
that people eventually find ways to make things (mostly) work.  If
Dell really believed in linux they would be selling Dell Linux, but
that is a big leap for a company that has always worked by doing what
others have done before only cheaper -- it will be a neat trick to do
a cheaper version of "free"!

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia


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