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Could someone educate me about an issue which may look like a joke, but it bothers me. if we have large volume of data ( say about 10 million pages) to be activated with a accessibility of about 1000 concurrent users, does the free downloads of the linux is useful or we may think of using a linux which is priced one and is more rugged to sustain that type of trafic.
I think it depends on wether you (or your company) have available someone to provide support for any problems you may encounter with whatever version of Linux you choose or would like to have available tech/software support available quickly and directly from the OS provider.
For example, if you were to choose a free Linux such as Slackware or Debian you would mostly be relying on support forums like this and whatever In-House service you can contract. Both Slackware and Debian are fully capable of handling your needs (witch relate more to the hardware you have than to the software you choose) but they lack Official Professional Tech support services Directly from the vendor.
If you were to choose a large commercial distribution such as Red Hat or Novell, you would have access to their In-house professional tech support people. At the cost of having to pay for a License.
Generally you pay for support in the Linux world. I assume it's a web server? no proprietry applications needed? Well ANY distro can do that, free or paid for. the paid for MAY make administration quicker/simpler (definatly not in my case, i can't imagine how the CLI can be quicker by paying for it.
Like mentioned above, if you have Linux savy staff, capable of carrying out requirements, diagnosing problems and fixing them, then you may not need it.
If the uptime of this machine is critical, it may be worth it just in case.
When i tal kabout paid i mean things like RHEL, not linspire or whatever, as i think the cost there is for packages/proprietry media plugins etc.
Red Hat seems be what big companies usually go with, but I've also noticed that some are starting to get with Debian these days (I think this is because even big companies are starting to come to understand how even they can benefit by a total open source oriented system in that it opens the door for them to really mold things to their needs). Those also happen to be good examples of well developed distros on opposite side of the free/pay spectrum.
Much like anything, both routes have their pros and cons. With Red Hat you've got their support for help, but with Debian, you've got a distro that is set up very well with serious stability, security, and good assortment of tools to make things manageable and maintainable. I haven't used Red Hat much so I can't really comment on how they compare in those regards.
I would think that if you have techs and admins that are self-motivated and good at researching, then you would probably do just fine with Debian. Redhat tends to be very good about providing some very useful resources like documentation and support.
One thing that might be a big advantage to going the route of Debian is that it's really good about adhereing to FOSS standards. This helps lift alot of limitations and allows a company more freedom to tailor more precisely to their needs. Whether that's an advantage though, is going to depend on the company.
Either way, it would be a good idea to maintain some in house documentation as you resolve any issues as time goes on. Personally, I think having good in-house documentation is probably one of the most important things ever. Invariably, one will run into problems and one will fix them, but without documenting them, one is no better off in the long run. So I would recommend, that no matter what you do, devote some time resources and planning to there being the creation of things like in-house how-tos, guides, and checklists etc. You'll be glad you did down the road as it ends up being a very good investment of time that ends up paying for itself many times over.
You may be wondering why I only make mention of those two. While there may be some other distros that might be fitting, the reason I mention Debian and Redhat is that both of those are developed and maintained by large groups of dedicated people (a company in RH's case, and a large community in Debian's). They also have been around a long time and have very much proved themselves to be tried and true. Also, they've both matured into well evolved distros that stick to well established approaches to things. They both have alot of wisdom behind them due to how long they've been around.
New rule: Thread automatically killed if OP does not check in after 10 posts.
Seriously, it's all about support and convenience. If you know where to look, free distros + community support is maybe BETTER than what you might pay for. For example, installing a free distro such as Fedora and then coming to LQ with questions gives me support that is BETTER and CHEAPER than anything I ever got from Microsoft.
Our company supports ONE distro: RHEL4. They have in-house support and do not even go to RedHat. I believe that the only reason for RedHat is the stability and security. Then there are various pockets of locally-maintained Linux systems that do not interact with the IT dept.