Mar 15, 2012

Is Ubuntu a legitimate alternative to Red Hat for enterprise use?

Mark Shuttleworth is claiming that Ubuntu has overtaken RHEL for web servers. Admitedly, Shuttleworth might be just a wee bit biased, and he is cherry picking the web server stat, but I've always thought of Ubuntu as the Linux choice for consumers' desktops, and Red Hat as the Linux choice for enterprise users. Is Shuttleworth just chatting up his company, or has Ubuntu really become a rivel to RHEL?

I have not researched this all that much , so I may be just speaking with out all the information.

What I have understood is that RHEL main selling point is that it has paid support, and some tweaks to the kernel.

That being said I do not see that what they do to the kernel makes RHEL a super OS compared to Ubuntu.

Along with that all GNU/Linux's are servers, the OS has always been a server OS, just because we install it on workstation class hardware makes it a workstation.

I think the real difference between RHEL and Ubuntu is in the proprietary software that is installed. Ubuntu installs pretty much none, and RHEL as their own, or loads others in their image.

In the end, if Cononical is going to start offering pay support for their OS, then I that will make it easier for corporations to move to Ubuntu as well as RHEL.

The more the merrier.  Ubuntu has never been my favorite distro, and Canonical has a bit of a reputation for being a touch unresponsive to customer complaints, so I will be interested to see how they play in the  enterprise environment.  I do know that Ubuntu has seen a lot of success as an OS in Amazon EC2 cloud use, so it isn't all just puffery when Canonical claims to have established itself as a choice for business, at least for edge servers.  I think RHEL still has a pretty firm hold on true enterprise servers, but competition is good; a runner is always faster with a rival breathing down his neck.

It depends on a company's needs when it comes to choosing between the two offerings. I'm sure Ubuntu would work well for some and not so well for others. Same goes for Red Hat.

I've always liked competition though, I think it brings out the best in product offerings. So it's a positive thing if Ubuntu decides to take on Red Hat. Red Hat will be forced to improve their products and pricing, and companies will benefit from that.

So let's hope that Ubuntu makes a real go of it. It will be better for everybody if they can make a credible offering that competes directly with Red Hat.
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