[rescue] OT: Linux and USB on Intel

Chris Hedemark chris at yonderway.com
Tue Apr 22 05:54:24 CDT 2003

Hash: SHA1

On Monday, April 21, 2003, at 09:39 AM, Kurt Huhn wrote:

> What exactly is the difference in RedHat Enterprise Advanced Server (or
> whatever) and a Linux that I download and build to suit my needs?  What
> does it have that isn't available as open source?

Good question, and one I've been struggling with at $WORK.  Keep in 
mind a lot of this was in place before I started working there so I 
didn't make the call to do lots of these things.

The CTO calls me in the other day and one of the things he wants to 
talk about is the high cost of our Linux farm.  Our developers have 
been THRILLED with the Linux platform, especially in recent months, due 
to the extremely high performance over our Sun E450 Oracle servers.  
We're running Oracle on some dual Xeon IBM x345 servers and it just 

These servers were ordered with RHAS 2.1.  I didn't spec them that way. 
  This was either a ~$800 option or ~$1200 option, I forget.  We got 
three identical machines.  For giggles I tried putting RH Linux 7.3 on 
one of them.  We did some things like setting up table spaces, doing 
bulk imports of data, etc.  Red Hat Linux 7.3 was at least as fast as 
RHAS in all areas, and faster in a few.  I'm increasingly of the 
opinion that, for our purposes, RHAS 2.1 is pure marketing bull.

But wait, the other part of RHAS that is supposed to be magical is 
their support.  Forget it.  Unless you spend a lot of extra dough, the 
important bits aren't supported.  I opened up several trouble tickets 
and it would take days in some cases to get a response back from RH 
support.  It turned out that in other cases I was expecting one level 
of support and getting another, and they didn't bother to tell me that 
my support contract doesn't cover what I was asking about therefore I 
was lucky to be getting any response at all.  *grumble*  I can't speak 
for the quality of their highest level support option, but the support 
that comes with RHAS 2.1 for a year is crap.

Yet another sales pitch item is RHN.  I'll agree, RHN is a great tool 
when your server farm is small.  Try doing bulk RPM updates to like 30 
servers running 4 or 5 different flavors of RHL though and you will see 
the RHN servers brought to their knees.  Additionally RHN is foolish 
about bandwidth utilization unless you buy a very very expensive site 
proxy product from Red Hat.  I have been unable for awhile now to use 
RHN to update all of my servers at once, and now need to select small 
groups at a time for the front end interface to work.  And even if I 
can get jobs into the queue, the clients themselves running rhn_check 
(and up2date) will sometimes break unceremoniously while downloading 
updates from RH's pokey servers.

Early adopter access to ISO's?  Hahahahhaha.  That was a good April 
Fools joke by Red Hat.

In the end we're left considering a few options.  I'm feeling right now 
like either we freeload off of Red Hat by ftp-installing the consumer 
Linux releases, supporting ourselves (which is what we're doing anyway) 
and setting up some sort of RPM repository on our LAN.

We've also kicked around the idea of switching to Debian.  Need an 
RHN-like management front end but it's very stable and easy to upgrade 
from one release to the next.

PostgreSQL performs badly on Red Hat.  We use PostgreSQL for some 
smaller production databases where the cost of Oracle didn't make 
sense.  I'd very much like to evaluate FreeBSD as a preferred platform 
for PostgreSQL and I'm trying to free up some hardware to allow me to 
do that.

- --
"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has 
seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
- -Dwight David Eisenhower
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