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The question: "Is Linux ready for the Enterprise?" has been answered by events and reality. It is already there, and rapidly displacing traditional 'Big Iron' Unix; it has also credibly answered and has blocked or displaced the Microsoft server oriented lines, by offering the performance, stability, and manageability which the Enterprise requires.
Linux came into the datacenter initially, through the side door, from the developers and early adopters who have been stabilizing it for a decade. This was not a wholly unknown process -- Unix roots go back over thirty years, and the design 'dead ends' to avoid are well known; by not 'reinventing the wheel' and letting the optimal and optimized designs stand, it has been possible to focus on verifying the elements beneath the application meta-stack, and attain great results quickly.
The largest U.S. market share Linux distribution vendor for the last five years before 2004 has been Red Hat; at the start of 2003, they announced a shortening of the 'support tail' on their "Red Hat Linux" line, and then surprised many by discontinuing in the Fall of 2003, in favor of a new primary focus on maturing their "Enterprise" branded line. A great idea for them and their Q3 2003 profits were the highest ever.
... But their pricing model with a bundle of updates and support SLAs was not so good (nor affordable) for the many businesses and individuals. As the sources to their product elements were largely written by other developers, and essentially taken through release integration by Red Hat -- those sources, under Open Source principles, were available for others to replicate the process [just as Linux itself is a replication of design from the principles of Unix design].
We have been actve in that process for almost fifteen years, now, predating even the formation of Red Hat, Inc., and particularly participated in the 'cAos' (rhymes with 'Laos' in Cambodia) project and its CentOS subproject from the beginning; we announced our Wings line in February 2003 (extended support for 'out of maintenance' RHL and related products, architectures, and projects). We also announced support for the 'cAos' line in May 2003. At December 2003, the CentOS line had sufficiently stabilized and we announced our SLA eligible support for it as well.
We reiterate this strong statement of our continued support for what has become the dominant enterprise 'rebuild' effort, at late 2006 (Whitebox has been functionally dead as to updates since Hurricane Katrina hammered New Orleans in the fall of 2005, and WBEL was one of the casualties; Tao merged into CentOS in the summer of 2006); we recently had an inquiry as to continued availability of long term support, and we affirm the availability of global coverage, full line support for the (now out of update maintenance CentOS-2), CentOS-3 and CentOS-4, and CentOS-5 lines. We full well anticipate adding CentOS-6 when it appears early 2010.
Support is available on a per host, annual fee basis; on a per-site update services license on a local update server through our management services; remotely by telephone consultation; or on a Time and Materials consulting basis. We can supply an embedded site representative as may be needed.
We provide a wide range of services such as design and build, niche vertical development and implementation, change mangement, custom configuration, and proof-of concept, and of SLA options ranging from high end 24x7 monitored, business hours updates, notification services, colocation on standalone boxes and in virtual machine instances, and outsourced host management.
Please ask for a quote today. An email to firstname.lastname@example.org will start the process.
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