Purchasing Linux Tech Support - Redhat

This is a discussion on Purchasing Linux Tech Support - Redhat ; On Mon, 06 Oct 2008 16:24:08 -0500, Chris Cox wrote: > Richard Vaughn wrote: >> I have about 80 PC's running Fedora Core and am considering purchasing >> Tech Support. >> (No servers, just PC's) >> >> Any thoughts/suggestions/etc.? > ...

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Thread: Purchasing Linux Tech Support

  1. Re: Purchasing Linux Tech Support

    On Mon, 06 Oct 2008 16:24:08 -0500, Chris Cox wrote:

    > Richard Vaughn wrote:
    >> I have about 80 PC's running Fedora Core and am considering purchasing
    >> Tech Support.
    >> (No servers, just PC's)
    >>
    >> Any thoughts/suggestions/etc.?

    >
    > Support can mean many things.
    >
    > Fedora is a non-business oriented solution. So, if you are really
    > basing your business on Fedora, I would probably switch to something
    > like RHEL or SLES. You may prefer RHEL because it will be a bit more
    > Fedora like.
    >
    > BUT... if these are desktops, you can be assured that on modern (born
    > yesterday) desktops/laptops, that you're best bet is to run a
    > "community" (non-business) distribution like Fedora.
    >
    > So... if support means patches.... then go RHEL or SLES on the servers
    > side. If you have a lot of desktops and STILL want stability and
    > patches... there's pretty much only one choice, SLED.
    >
    > If you need that up-to-date very latest and greatest because you use a
    > lot of very, very new hardware, you're forced to use a community
    > distribution (well... pretty much anyhow). You could make a good case
    > that for >80% of the "new" issues that SLED could be sufficiently
    > tweaked, but eventually you stumble into "unsupported" land if you go
    > that route anyway.
    >
    > If support means somebody to come and troubleshoot your issues (like a
    > functional Linux Geek Squad), then you're best bet is probably hiring
    > short term consultants or perhaps contractors (for a longer running
    > support need).
    >
    > If this IS truly your business, AND you already have a Systems
    > Administrator, then you could invest in training to make the individual
    > handle Linux issues as well. IMHO, having somebody there reliably is
    > the best option. So hire or train would be my preferred solution for
    > regular ongoing support of a business.
    >
    > So... what does support really mean to you? That is the ultimate
    > question...


    Using a distro like Fedora on a large number of business machines is
    simply not a viable solution, it's just to unstable and it requires way
    to many updates. The workaround for CentOS on desktop hardware is to
    install your own kernel, that's what I do. You take a standard kernel
    from kernel.org and use the Fedora .config file for that generation of
    kernel. You use a script to build and install the kernel so it's easy to
    do. Here is my script,

    #!/bin/csh -f
    echo make -j 2 all
    time make -j 2 all >& kernel.log
    make modules_install
    make install

    This is more work then you would like but until Redhat starts to provide
    modern kernels there isn't a better alternative for RHEL/CentOS. Ubuntu
    LTS might be a solution also. The problem with Ubuntu LTS is that it
    isn't stable on day one like RHEL is. However if you wait for an LTS
    release to be 6 months old before you deploy it then it should be stable
    by then.

  2. Re: Purchasing Linux Tech Support

    On Mon, 06 Oct 2008 16:24:08 -0500, Chris Cox wrote:

    > Richard Vaughn wrote:
    >> I have about 80 PC's running Fedora Core and am considering purchasing
    >> Tech Support.
    >> (No servers, just PC's)
    >>
    >> Any thoughts/suggestions/etc.?

    >
    > Support can mean many things.
    >
    > Fedora is a non-business oriented solution. So, if you are really
    > basing your business on Fedora, I would probably switch to something
    > like RHEL or SLES. You may prefer RHEL because it will be a bit more
    > Fedora like.
    >
    > BUT... if these are desktops, you can be assured that on modern (born
    > yesterday) desktops/laptops, that you're best bet is to run a
    > "community" (non-business) distribution like Fedora.
    >
    > So... if support means patches.... then go RHEL or SLES on the servers
    > side. If you have a lot of desktops and STILL want stability and
    > patches... there's pretty much only one choice, SLED.
    >
    > If you need that up-to-date very latest and greatest because you use a
    > lot of very, very new hardware, you're forced to use a community
    > distribution (well... pretty much anyhow). You could make a good case
    > that for >80% of the "new" issues that SLED could be sufficiently
    > tweaked, but eventually you stumble into "unsupported" land if you go
    > that route anyway.
    >
    > If support means somebody to come and troubleshoot your issues (like a
    > functional Linux Geek Squad), then you're best bet is probably hiring
    > short term consultants or perhaps contractors (for a longer running
    > support need).
    >
    > If this IS truly your business, AND you already have a Systems
    > Administrator, then you could invest in training to make the individual
    > handle Linux issues as well. IMHO, having somebody there reliably is
    > the best option. So hire or train would be my preferred solution for
    > regular ongoing support of a business.
    >
    > So... what does support really mean to you? That is the ultimate
    > question...


    Using a distro like Fedora on a large number of business machines is
    simply not a viable solution, it's just to unstable and it requires way
    to many updates. The workaround for CentOS on desktop hardware is to
    install your own kernel, that's what I do. You take a standard kernel
    from kernel.org and use the Fedora .config file for that generation of
    kernel. You use a script to build and install the kernel so it's easy to
    do. Here is my script,

    #!/bin/csh -f
    echo make -j 2 all
    time make -j 2 all >& kernel.log
    make modules_install
    make install

    This is more work then you would like but until Redhat starts to provide
    modern kernels there isn't a better alternative for RHEL/CentOS. Ubuntu
    LTS might be a solution also. The problem with Ubuntu LTS is that it
    isn't stable on day one like RHEL is. However if you wait for an LTS
    release to be 6 months old before you deploy it then it should be stable
    by then.

  3. Re: Purchasing Linux Tech Support

    Richard Vaughn wrote:

    > I have about 80 PC's running Fedora Core and am considering purchasing
    > Tech Support.


    Fedora is probably the wrong distro to use in this circumstance. You should
    consider SLES (probably the /only/ distro with truly professional, paid-for
    support) or Ubuntu (Canonical will provide paid-for support for their LTS
    releases). Fedora is really meant to be a "test bed" for Red Hat, and
    tends to include "bleeding-edge" applications - these are unlikely to be
    stable enough for production use.

    C.

  4. Re: Purchasing Linux Tech Support

    Richard Vaughn wrote:

    > I have about 80 PC's running Fedora Core and am considering purchasing
    > Tech Support.


    Fedora is probably the wrong distro to use in this circumstance. You should
    consider SLES (probably the /only/ distro with truly professional, paid-for
    support) or Ubuntu (Canonical will provide paid-for support for their LTS
    releases). Fedora is really meant to be a "test bed" for Red Hat, and
    tends to include "bleeding-edge" applications - these are unlikely to be
    stable enough for production use.

    C.

  5. Re: Purchasing Linux Tech Support

    General Schvantzkopf wrote:
    > On Mon, 06 Oct 2008 16:24:08 -0500, Chris Cox wrote:
    >
    >> Richard Vaughn wrote:
    >>> I have about 80 PC's running Fedora Core and am considering purchasing
    >>> Tech Support.
    >>> (No servers, just PC's)
    >>>
    >>> Any thoughts/suggestions/etc.?

    >> Support can mean many things.
    >>
    >> Fedora is a non-business oriented solution. So, if you are really
    >> basing your business on Fedora, I would probably switch to something
    >> like RHEL or SLES. You may prefer RHEL because it will be a bit more
    >> Fedora like.


    Hmmph. It's integration with commercial products like Oracle that are hard
    with Fedora. But for desktop, and laptop support, Fedora leads by at at least
    a year in hardware drivers and system components such as OpenSSH, PHP, Gnome,
    KDE, HTTPD, etc.

    Running Fedora on random desktops is, in fact, easier than RHEL or CentOS due
    to the driver updates and user-desired components, such as OpenOffice, wifi
    drivers, USB external device drivers, etc.

    >> BUT... if these are desktops, you can be assured that on modern (born
    >> yesterday) desktops/laptops, that you're best bet is to run a
    >> "community" (non-business) distribution like Fedora.
    >>
    >> So... if support means patches.... then go RHEL or SLES on the servers
    >> side. If you have a lot of desktops and STILL want stability and
    >> patches... there's pretty much only one choice, SLED.
    >>
    >> If you need that up-to-date very latest and greatest because you use a
    >> lot of very, very new hardware, you're forced to use a community
    >> distribution (well... pretty much anyhow). You could make a good case
    >> that for >80% of the "new" issues that SLED could be sufficiently
    >> tweaked, but eventually you stumble into "unsupported" land if you go
    >> that route anyway.
    >>
    >> If support means somebody to come and troubleshoot your issues (like a
    >> functional Linux Geek Squad), then you're best bet is probably hiring
    >> short term consultants or perhaps contractors (for a longer running
    >> support need).
    >>
    >> If this IS truly your business, AND you already have a Systems
    >> Administrator, then you could invest in training to make the individual
    >> handle Linux issues as well. IMHO, having somebody there reliably is
    >> the best option. So hire or train would be my preferred solution for
    >> regular ongoing support of a business.
    >>
    >> So... what does support really mean to you? That is the ultimate
    >> question...

    >
    > Using a distro like Fedora on a large number of business machines is
    > simply not a viable solution, it's just to unstable and it requires way
    > to many updates. The workaround for CentOS on desktop hardware is to
    > install your own kernel, that's what I do. You take a standard kernel
    > from kernel.org and use the Fedora .config file for that generation of
    > kernel. You use a script to build and install the kernel so it's easy to
    > do. Here is my script,


    Updates are no biggie: mirror them to a local repository, and update from
    there. Voila, your bandwidth costs drop and performance of updates improves
    massively.


    >
    > #!/bin/csh -f
    > echo make -j 2 all
    > time make -j 2 all >& kernel.log
    > make modules_install
    > make install


    What in the? Don't use '-j 2' unless you have multiple CPU's, or multiple cores.

    Building a kernel from SRPM is pretty straightforward, even with a new kernel
    you can usually build a kernel SRPM in order to get package management.
    Throwing out package management is *DEADLY* in almost every OS.


    >
    > This is more work then you would like but until Redhat starts to provide
    > modern kernels there isn't a better alternative for RHEL/CentOS. Ubuntu
    > LTS might be a solution also. The problem with Ubuntu LTS is that it
    > isn't stable on day one like RHEL is. However if you wait for an LTS
    > release to be 6 months old before you deploy it then it should be stable
    > by then.


    That, I can believe.

  6. Re: Purchasing Linux Tech Support

    General Schvantzkopf wrote:
    > On Mon, 06 Oct 2008 16:24:08 -0500, Chris Cox wrote:
    >
    >> Richard Vaughn wrote:
    >>> I have about 80 PC's running Fedora Core and am considering purchasing
    >>> Tech Support.
    >>> (No servers, just PC's)
    >>>
    >>> Any thoughts/suggestions/etc.?

    >> Support can mean many things.
    >>
    >> Fedora is a non-business oriented solution. So, if you are really
    >> basing your business on Fedora, I would probably switch to something
    >> like RHEL or SLES. You may prefer RHEL because it will be a bit more
    >> Fedora like.


    Hmmph. It's integration with commercial products like Oracle that are hard
    with Fedora. But for desktop, and laptop support, Fedora leads by at at least
    a year in hardware drivers and system components such as OpenSSH, PHP, Gnome,
    KDE, HTTPD, etc.

    Running Fedora on random desktops is, in fact, easier than RHEL or CentOS due
    to the driver updates and user-desired components, such as OpenOffice, wifi
    drivers, USB external device drivers, etc.

    >> BUT... if these are desktops, you can be assured that on modern (born
    >> yesterday) desktops/laptops, that you're best bet is to run a
    >> "community" (non-business) distribution like Fedora.
    >>
    >> So... if support means patches.... then go RHEL or SLES on the servers
    >> side. If you have a lot of desktops and STILL want stability and
    >> patches... there's pretty much only one choice, SLED.
    >>
    >> If you need that up-to-date very latest and greatest because you use a
    >> lot of very, very new hardware, you're forced to use a community
    >> distribution (well... pretty much anyhow). You could make a good case
    >> that for >80% of the "new" issues that SLED could be sufficiently
    >> tweaked, but eventually you stumble into "unsupported" land if you go
    >> that route anyway.
    >>
    >> If support means somebody to come and troubleshoot your issues (like a
    >> functional Linux Geek Squad), then you're best bet is probably hiring
    >> short term consultants or perhaps contractors (for a longer running
    >> support need).
    >>
    >> If this IS truly your business, AND you already have a Systems
    >> Administrator, then you could invest in training to make the individual
    >> handle Linux issues as well. IMHO, having somebody there reliably is
    >> the best option. So hire or train would be my preferred solution for
    >> regular ongoing support of a business.
    >>
    >> So... what does support really mean to you? That is the ultimate
    >> question...

    >
    > Using a distro like Fedora on a large number of business machines is
    > simply not a viable solution, it's just to unstable and it requires way
    > to many updates. The workaround for CentOS on desktop hardware is to
    > install your own kernel, that's what I do. You take a standard kernel
    > from kernel.org and use the Fedora .config file for that generation of
    > kernel. You use a script to build and install the kernel so it's easy to
    > do. Here is my script,


    Updates are no biggie: mirror them to a local repository, and update from
    there. Voila, your bandwidth costs drop and performance of updates improves
    massively.


    >
    > #!/bin/csh -f
    > echo make -j 2 all
    > time make -j 2 all >& kernel.log
    > make modules_install
    > make install


    What in the? Don't use '-j 2' unless you have multiple CPU's, or multiple cores.

    Building a kernel from SRPM is pretty straightforward, even with a new kernel
    you can usually build a kernel SRPM in order to get package management.
    Throwing out package management is *DEADLY* in almost every OS.


    >
    > This is more work then you would like but until Redhat starts to provide
    > modern kernels there isn't a better alternative for RHEL/CentOS. Ubuntu
    > LTS might be a solution also. The problem with Ubuntu LTS is that it
    > isn't stable on day one like RHEL is. However if you wait for an LTS
    > release to be 6 months old before you deploy it then it should be stable
    > by then.


    That, I can believe.

  7. Re: Purchasing Linux Tech Support

    General Schvantzkopf wrote:
    > On Sun, 05 Oct 2008 17:32:39 -0700, Richard Vaughn wrote:
    >
    >> I have about 80 PC's running Fedora Core and am considering purchasing
    >> Tech Support.
    >> (No servers, just PC's)
    >>
    >> Any thoughts/suggestions/etc.?
    >>
    >> -Richard Vaughn

    >
    > Fedora is the wrong distro for that many PCs, you should be using
    > CentOS5. Fedora changes much to rapidly and has much to short a support
    > cycle for a system with that many PCs. If you use CentOS you won't have
    > to do 80 installs a year like you do with Fedora, you'll be able to
    > install it once on each system and then keep it for the life of the
    > machine. You will also have to do .1% as many updates. CentOS has a few
    > megabytes of updates a month, Fedora has hundreds of megabytes a week.
    > Finally a CentOS update won't break anything, you can't say that about
    > Fedora. For example a couple of months ago an update to X broke tcsh
    > which made Fedora useless of about a week until there was a fix. If you
    > switch to CentOS you won't need support, on the other hand supporting
    > Fedora for 80 systems would be a full time job.


    CentOS, and RHEL 5, in my observation, always lag Fedora by at least 12 months
    in major system components. This makes using a new tool (such as Nagios,
    Subversion, OpenSSH 5, or components that rely on PHP 5) quite awkward, and
    leads to dependency hell.

  8. Re: Purchasing Linux Tech Support

    General Schvantzkopf wrote:
    > On Sun, 05 Oct 2008 17:32:39 -0700, Richard Vaughn wrote:
    >
    >> I have about 80 PC's running Fedora Core and am considering purchasing
    >> Tech Support.
    >> (No servers, just PC's)
    >>
    >> Any thoughts/suggestions/etc.?
    >>
    >> -Richard Vaughn

    >
    > Fedora is the wrong distro for that many PCs, you should be using
    > CentOS5. Fedora changes much to rapidly and has much to short a support
    > cycle for a system with that many PCs. If you use CentOS you won't have
    > to do 80 installs a year like you do with Fedora, you'll be able to
    > install it once on each system and then keep it for the life of the
    > machine. You will also have to do .1% as many updates. CentOS has a few
    > megabytes of updates a month, Fedora has hundreds of megabytes a week.
    > Finally a CentOS update won't break anything, you can't say that about
    > Fedora. For example a couple of months ago an update to X broke tcsh
    > which made Fedora useless of about a week until there was a fix. If you
    > switch to CentOS you won't need support, on the other hand supporting
    > Fedora for 80 systems would be a full time job.


    CentOS, and RHEL 5, in my observation, always lag Fedora by at least 12 months
    in major system components. This makes using a new tool (such as Nagios,
    Subversion, OpenSSH 5, or components that rely on PHP 5) quite awkward, and
    leads to dependency hell.

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