View Full Version : How will Westhost be affected by changes at Red Hat???

11-04-2003, 12:30 AM
Red Hat has announced it will discontinue maintence on Red Hat Linux 7.x and 8.0 by the end of 2003, and on Red Hat 9.0 by the end of April, 2004. And most important: Red Hat does not plan to release another product in the Red Hat Linux line!!! http://www.redhat.com/apps/support/errata/

Red Hat will only be providing updates, bug fixes, and patches to their Red Hat Enterprise editions which start at $350 a year. Mission Critical editions are $1500 a year. And from what I've heard the prices are scheduled to increase.

The standard Redhat Linux that we have all grown to love over the years is moving to Fedora Core. http://fedora.redhat.com From what I understand Fedoria is a work in progress (they don't have a stable disro yet) and no one is certain how this will play out. Fedoria will be maintained by a volunteer community similar to Debian.

Will West switch to Fedora? Will West switch to a different distro? Will west switch to Red Hat Enterprise and pass along the cost to their clients?

Good discussion on Slashdot http://slashdot.org/articles/03/11/03/1749259.shtml?tid=106&tid=110&tid=126&tid=163&tid=185&tid=187

And on Newsforge http://www.newsforge.com/software/03/11/03/1657205.shtml[/url]

11-04-2003, 08:46 AM
I'd imagine that Westhost is already using the Enterprise Edition. The old regular red hat linux wasn't for mid-range or mission critical servers. I think it would be pretty silly for Westhost to be running the regular edition on their servers, but I could be wrong.

11-04-2003, 10:48 AM
Considering how inexpensive Westhost is I doubt it. And hosting companies that use the Enterprise Edition display that fact very prominently as a selling point. Until now it really wouldn't have mattered as the code was basically the same. With the EE you were mostly paying for suport, which I figure West does on thier own. The big difference is that Red Hat used to offer up2date (bug, security patches, etc) but that will be discontinued unless you fork out for the EE.

Can anyone from West comment on this? Which brings up another interesting question: how often are systems updated and patched?

11-04-2003, 03:23 PM
Just talked to tech support. West is running RH 7.3 So what happens in January?

11-12-2003, 05:20 PM
Good question... I'm thinking of signing up and that's kind of important. If the price jumps as a result of this I would not be happy. I wonder if they'll have to swtich to FreeBSD or something?

11-20-2003, 11:51 AM
Red Hat is at my company today, so I asked what are the customers that actually bought versions of Red Hat Linux are supposed to do when it's not supported anymore.

This is not an official statement, but basically they said that you have 3 choices.

Move to Fedora. They say the free ride is over. There isn't going to be anymore buy 1 copy of red hat, install it on 500 servers and expect lots of support from Red Hat. With Fedora, support will come from the community.
Keep using your old Red Hat. From now on, you'll have to support it yourself.
Use Enterprise. This is the new path for the future. This is the options where you will get support directly from Red Hat.

In other words, there is no official path. Everybody will have to decide for themselves what they want to do.

As for WestHost, it wouldn't bother me if they moved to Fedora. After they solved the NFS problems in the kernel, I feel confident that they will be able to use Fedora without too much trouble. Any other thoughts?

12-01-2003, 12:07 PM

WestHost is currently running on RedHat 7.3 and we're obviously working very closely with RedHat to establish what our exact plans are for January. At $799 per license, the RedHat Advanced Server product is a major investment (the days when a free version of linux was a viable competitor to the likes of Solaris are long gone). However, we're confident that this is the direction we need to pursue in order to provide the best quality of service for our clients. We have no plans to raise our prices because of these changes.

There are obviously some technical issues involved with the transition. As you know, our infrastructure is based largely on an NFS / SAN hybrid that we've developed (the result is a one-of-a-kind high-availability web infrastructure) and we learned that hard way that, despite industry claims to the contrary, the NFS implementation in the 2.4 series kernel is, to put it mildly, extremely poor (I have high hopes for 2.6). While we understand that there are some changes to the NFS code in the AS kernel (specifically, one of them is optimized for our Network Appliance NFS server) we're also going to have to invest resources into R&D before we can give the green light on the transition.

Because of this, it's unlikely we'll have completed these efforts before the RedHat deadline so there will be a period of time when we're supporting the OS ourselves. We are constantly applying updates and patches from RedHat, but we feel like we have the resources to manage these things on our own until we can complete the transition.

Hopefully that helps to clear some things up. :)

Best regards,

Brian Shellabarger
Chief Technology Officer
WestHost, Inc.