back to article Shuttleworth: Ubuntu rockets up at enterprises

If data presented in a in a blog post by Ubuntu project founder and "benevolent dictator" Mark Shuttleworth is any indication, then Canonical's Ubuntu variant of the Debian strain of Linux is waxing on public web services while Red Hat's Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is waning. "A remarkable thing happened this year: companies …


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  1. Marco van de Voort
    Thumb Up

    long term

    Fedora simply excludes itself for server use due to its 18 months support policy.

    The more popular ones (Debian, Centos, Ubuntu (Server which are LTS)) all have long support periods.

    1. ferricoxide

      Re: long term

      From an enterprise-deloyment perspective, Fedora's great for two things: reducing your operating costs in your development environments (no licensing costs) and getting you ready for new features to be found in future RHEL releases. Beyond that, yeah, the lifecycle's just too damned short.

  2. K

    Umm not sure I'd trust those stats..

    I bet he includes the different Ubuntu flavors in that, where Redhat will only count RHEL.. in order to make that fair, this should also include the CentOS figures, but I suspect this would

  3. vic 4

    Since when has linux been unix?

    Thought the N in GNU/Linux was not!

    1. vic 4

      Re: Since when has linux been unix?

      oops, does that exclaimation mark make a double negative and thus claim GNU/Linux is Unix?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Since when has linux been unix?

      Never, it's a poor copy

      1. vic 4

        Re: Since when has linux been unix?

        Given the choice, when I used irix, solaris and linux every day I preferred using them in that same order, at home there was never any choice (course now I've got some aging sgi and sun boxes I can't remember when I last powered them up).

        But to be fair you are comparing apples to oranges, or maybe tangerines to satsumas?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Fair enough

    It's not like Ubuntu is usable on the desktop any more.

    1. vic 4

      Re: Fair enough

      How true, it's got a little bit better, but unless there is a big change by the time I have enough time to install, test and upgrade to something else I'm saying goodbye to ubuntu.

    2. henrydddd

      Re: Fair enough

      if you don't like the Unity desktop in 12.04, you can change it to whatever you want. ie

      sudo apt-get install xfce4 or gnome-session-fallback, or to the kdesktop. Also, according to Kubuntu, it will be around for a while. I am posting this from a 12.04 Gnome desktop in a VM.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fair enough

        You shouldn't have to dick around with it. If the default is 'wrong', we may as well move to a distro that is 'right' from the start.

        1. admiraljkb

          Re: Fair enough

          Ummm, you don't have to fsck with any of that when doing a new install. Just install Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu or one of the Mint Ubuntu variants to avoid Ubuntu's Unity without jumping through any hoops. And if you have progressed past the handholding stage, just go straight to Debian.

    3. James Hughes 1

      Re: Fair enough

      I use it on the desktop without any problems.

  5. admiraljkb

    Many new Open Source projects start off on Ubuntu now

    Whereas used to they started on RedHat/CentOS. Android platform dev and builds seem to mostly be on Ubuntu, and Ubuntu was one of the first OS's to go cloud and get an advantage there.

    The trend *Overall* matches what I'm seeing on the development fronts.

  6. AdamWill

    Problematic comparison

    Note: for anyone who didn't already know, I work for Red Hat. So don't trust me. But what I say is easy enough to verify.

    This is, arguably, a pretty valueless comparison, for a couple of reasons.

    The most obvious is that RHEL and Ubuntu really aren't directly comparable products. You can download Ubuntu for free, deploy it on your web server, and get official security updates from Canonical, all without paying a red cent. In this respect, Ubuntu is more like CentOS or Fedora than it is like RHEL.

    You can't do the same with the officially-labelled RHEL. You can download a trial version free easily enough, but you don't get any updates. I really, really hope no-one is running their public-facing webserver on a trial version of RHEL with no security updates.

    Of course, we make all the RHEL source code available. So if you want to deploy 'RHEL', but you don't want to pay for Red Hat support, you go download one of the white label rebuilds: CentOS or Scientific Linux are the leaders. But neither of these identifies as 'RHEL', they identify as themselves.

    So Ubuntu's numbers are really 'unpaid deployments of Ubuntu plus paid deployments of Ubuntu', while RHEL's are 'paid deployments of RHEL'.

    A typical web server is, let's face it, a pretty dull, static and well-understood workload. It's exactly the sort of thing any company with a moderately competent IS team may consider self-supporting, rather than paying for support. In other words, it's exactly the kind of use case which is going to have significant unpaid vs. paid deployments. This is easily verifiable by looking at the total numbers, where neither RHEL nor Ubuntu is close to being #1; Debian and CentOS, which are both unpaid, take the top two spots.

    So it's really not very helpful to compare total Ubuntu deployments to total RHEL deployments, and it's particularly misleading in this specific use case - public-facing web server. Mark actually acknowledges this in the comments to his blog post (see Jef Spaleta's comments and Mark's replies), but noticeably fails to produce the statistics on how many of the Ubuntu deployments cited are paid deployments which generate revenue for Canonical; data he surely has access to, were he inclined to publish it.

    The biggest deployments of RHEL, you will not be surprised to know given the above, are not public facing web servers.

    1. ferricoxide

      Re: Problematic comparison

      You're also forgetting that, if you're deploying an expensive enterprise application on Linux, you're most likely going to be doing it on RHEL or SuSE because those expensive enterprise applications generally come with no support if you try to run them on anything else.

      So, the question of the validity of the study is in comparing equivalent workloads.

    2. Tim K

      Re: Problematic comparison

      I fairly surprised at the article title, then to learn that it was about public facing web servers, which is not what the title "Ubuntu rockets up at enterprises" suggests. Does anyone really care about public facing web servers? Now, as much as I wish it were true (it is a better distro than RHEL) the support just isn't there. There are hardly any applications for Ubuntu, all the enterprise apps are for RHEL and it seems most hardware vendors have never even heard of it.

      If Shuttleworth wants enterprise traction, he needs to stop spending his time breaking the desktop and start courting hardware and software vendors.

      1. tpm (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Re: Problematic comparison

        Fair point

        I should have said 'enterprises'

  7. ferricoxide

    Color me Skeptical

    SuSE and RHEL alternatives are fine if you're running free application stacks (e.g., you're just doing something like LAMP or doing XEN-type hosting). However, if you're running vendor-supported stacks (e.g., a NetBackup deployment), most vendors only support software running On SuSE and/or RHEL. Even if you're running a clone (e.g. Scientific Linux or CentOS) or free variant of either of those two OSes (OpenSuSE or Fedora), if you have problems running a vendor-supported package, you'll get next to zero support from the company that sold you the software.

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