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Owl River Company

 
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Wingstm -- a commercially supported GPL Linux distribution


Wingstm is the Owl River Company commercial GPL and FOSS product. For those of you new to the concept, the 'Open Source Movement' community concluded early on that the only viable long term business model for the Information Technology sector was in providing 'value added' design, consulting implementation, integration, support and extension services, and not in selling shrink-wrapped, static boxed content.

To that end, the 'GPL' and related licenses ('BSD', 'Artistic', etc.) on use of software, working hand in hand with traditional copyright law, have provided a framework that 'FOSS' - Free and Open Source Software - freely available source code, freely usable in any context (personal or commercial), and freely saleable under some limits which prevent the seller from impairing the freedom of previously 'free' source code. As to new produced content, it would fall under the license the creator choses to release it under.

We have, for years built the infrastructure for Wings, and delivered on our trademark slogan: "The World is Open to Linux". We do this through the Wings product, wherein we integrate, distribute, maintain, and support the best of the best of GPL'd and related source-available Open Source license packages. These comprise a full feature, secure operating system environment, suitable for commercial and industrial deployment and sustained use in high application load settings.

We develop and integrate for our clientele; We track updates and security matters; we port to a platform; We deliver the resulting content and updates, both across the public Internet, and through our VPN product; We sell and meet service level agreement ("SLA") which meet the customer's requirements. Trained and qualified staff and contractors give a customer access to the full range of information services with the Wings product.

After 'end of life' or other entry into a 'no longer supported' status by others, Wings, and Owl River have continued to to extend the life of older products required in certain vertical applications, and to provide SLA services as required. We deliver professional support, and updates on all Red Hat Linux releases. All of 'em. And more ...

We also provide, on a non-'certified' basis installation, support, consulting, and update services on our variant (based on most of the 'open' components) of the Red Hat "Advanced Server" ('AS') and "Advanced Workstation" ('AW') [more recently called 'Enterprise'] releases. Why would anyone want a "non-'certified" product, you might ask? The answer is easy: price. Red Hat, and SuSE (the major commercial distribution vendors in Linux) pursue marketing and pricing models which are relatively inflexible; we are a small boutique, and can cater to niche, custom vertical and specialty 'backfill' markets with our line and services.

There has been some criticism in the marketplace on the bundling strategy and license strategy of the initial development of the Advanced Server, and the Advanced Workstation products [as noted, recently renamed as an 'Enterprise' product families, as opposed to the 'Community' re-designation of the former 'Red Hat Linux' line]. Additionally, price flexibility and access to replicated update mirrors and server side tools have been sticky issues.

We have structured our offering to track the 'fork-able' parts of the Red Hat and to a lesser extent, SuSE, Mandrake and Conectiva distribution 'products, with all the performance and reliability those lines carry, without the heavy price penalty.

Come fly on our Wings ...


Supported variants: We tailor and distribute in support of the following. Not all elements in this grid are actively covered at all times, but (using our proprietary automated buildfarm technologies) will be brought to current in our build, QA and distribution farm. We tailor and commercially support a Wings sub-element, as market demand appears, for both the commercial and community RPM base offerings. We deliver in an autorpm- and yum-enabled, GPG signed private access archive.

Processor Architectures covered
  • alpha - DEC/Compaq/HP/Ti/Fujitsu hardware
  • mips - SGI/Cobalt/Sun hardware
  • pa-risc - HP hardware
  • ppc - Apple hardware
  • sparc64and sparc32 - Sun hardware
  • x86 (32- and 64-bit) - Intel and AMD based hardware
Distribution Lines covered (alphabetical order)
  • [- Commercial Packagers -]
    • Red Hat - Enterprise/Advanced 2.1, 3 and 4, and later (new and updates)
    • Red Hat - Community - RHL 5.0 derived through 9 (updates) (version release dates and names)
    • Yellow Dog - Commercial - YDL 3.0, 4.0, 4.0.1 and later (new)
    • Yellow Dog - Community - YDL 2.2 and later (updates)
  • [- Non-Commercial Developer Core -]
    • Aurora - Community - 1.0 derived and later (new)
    • Aurora - Community - 0.4 derived and later (updates)
    • CentOS - - all (new and updates)
    • Tao Linux - - all (new and updates)
    • cAos - - Community - all (new and updates)

We recommend against Red Hat's variant of fedora for server applications, per the Red Hat purposing statement [see very bottom of document] (local PDF, page 4 [not a supported product of Red Hat; not enabled for commercial support nor suitable for SLA's; not a stabilized design, release support and upgrade path]; later revised to this (local archival pdf screenshot); and reiterated to IBM (local archival pdf) in late 2004 by Red Hat's then-lead X maintainer (local PDF at comment 3) [and reportedly still broken in RHEL 4 (released Feb 2005)]).

The 'CentOS', 'Tao Linux', and 'cAos' [rhymes with the country of 'Laos'] distributions are much better suited for both server (CentOS, Tao) and workstation new installations (cAos), after Q3-2003. We have not found the upstream responsiveness and update stream at 'White Box Linux' acceptable. Owl River presently delivers commercial support with SLA on CentOS, Tao, and cAos.

We commercially offer (ordering started 2/14/2005, with Q3 2005 delivery), and are also in process on a more generic and extensible 'private brand label' ('theme-able') rebuild product, extension and adjunct system, called PNAELV (pronounced: "pan-ahh-lev", with 'pan' as in "panache", and 'ahh-lev' as in "olive"), as a response to actions of a certain Prominent North American Enterprise Linux Vendor.
A couple of quick bullet points about CentOS, PNAELV and perhaps Tao:

Footnote:
We also (semi-tongue in cheek) have the 'Worms' distribution -- Wormstm is the Owl River Company non-commercial GPL product, representing the unsigned and 'unsupported' packagings of 'niche' extensions to base major vendor products. (Wings - supported - soar on the wind - Commercial; Worms - not formally supported - crawl through the muck - Hobbyist. Okay -- it's another darn geek pun. We admit it.).

Quick links:  Wings   |   EOL   |   EL   |   fedora   |   CentOS   |   PNAELV   |   Rebuild, not extension   |   Release Lifetime guidance   |   Worms

Nota Bene: We intentionally do not capitalize 'fedora' as a mark, as we hold prior commercial use, predating the 'takeover' of a FOSS project by another organization asserting some let on that word.
       

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Last modified: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 12:37:05 -0400
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