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GAVollink 01-09-2004 12:45 PM

RHEL ES3 - Slow support?
Hi, am I the only one whom has had this experience?

I sent a web-based support question (having been logged in to my RHN account where my EL ES3 is registered). Mind you I'm only on standard (not 24/7 AS support). But it's already been since January 6 -- 3 days, and I've yet to get a response from RedHat.

It is in fact This same question. Obviously not critical, but I'm still disappointed that I haven't heard back yet.

First, I'm wondering if this is a fluke (has anybody else seen slow response). Second, I think those whom also may be considering buying RedHat EL ES3 may benefit from this sort of conversation. (I also got a request for followup when I mentioned slow support from another thread - so I figured this is the best place to do so).

Let me know your thoughts.

Whitehat 01-09-2004 08:34 PM

I would REALLY be interested in finding out if they are in fact slow with stuff. Back when I bought Redhat 7.1 Deluxe Workstation, I got like 60 days of support with it. They were slow answering my questions too. I don't think I can compare this with RHEL, but just the same, it took about 4+ days to get a response from them.

I paid like $80 for it back then, so it wasn't too bad :)


GAVollink 01-11-2004 07:34 PM

whitehat - it looks like you and I are the only two who care -- or as I've feared previously... NOBODY uses RedHat Enterprise Linux.

Mogh 01-22-2004 02:03 AM

They really need to drop the price. Forget about the home and small business users, what large business CIO/IT Director or Manager is going to go out on a RHEL limb when there are no cost savings.

Just take a look at the prices with updates for 3 years. It make Microsoft look like a bargain.

I am hoping that something like or will attract enough people and developers to fill this void.

GAVollink 01-22-2004 08:37 AM

Just the facts
To those whom look at this as a defense of RedHat, it's not.... it is my experience as well as my research into MS vs. RedHat as a Server. Pricing as of Jan-2004 in USA dollars

With Windows 2003 Server, it costs $926 for 5 users ( - preferred pricing) and $31 per additional user. MS Supports their server OS versions for 5 years (historically).

RedHat EL ES 3 - Standard support costs $350 per year.
Where five years of support for RedHat EL ES 3 - for unlimited users is $1750.

For a home networking or small office environment (less than 35 users) then Windows 2003 Server is cheaper than RedHat over the 5 year life. But compare a more realistic business model...
50 total network users, Win 2003 costs $2321.
RedHat still costs $1750 - over 5 years.

RedHat gets even cheaper of you plan an end of life at 3 or 4 years. Imagine upgrading to every new Windows version (3 years). Well now the $2321 is for only a 3 year end-of-life. Compare MS $2321 to RH $1050 (over the same life span).

I am a Director of IT - and RedHat is cheaper for my needs. I did do cost analysis, TCO etc. I do have the cost advantage of not having to train staff on how to use Linux (they already know). Then again, I worked up from a tech-support desk, and I'm probably more hands-on than most in my position.

My primary gripe about RedHat at this point is that they offer Web/Email support options, but they don't seem to answer. On the other hand -- compared to Microsoft -- the phone support is far superior - and I don't have to pay even more for that phone support (as I would for Microsoft).

Bottom line - even though I started this thread as a discussion about a poor support experience, I still would not be nervous about defending my decision to use RedHat to my CFO. Anybody else who's curious and doesn't need/want the update and phone support - I recommend checking out WhiteBox Linux [Google Search].


Mogh 01-22-2004 12:07 PM

Your comparison is not including licenses for the workstations.


Microsoft Windows 2003 Server w/25 client lic - $2600.00
Microsoft Windows XP Pro 25 licenses - $3350.00
Total $5950.00 (same over 5 years and including updates for everything)

Redhat (if you go strictly by how they are marketing thier licenses)

RHEL ES - $445.00 annual 1 server x 5 years = $2225.00
RHEL Basic WS including updates
$275.00 annual per station x 25 stations = $6875 x 5 years = $171,875

Total 1 year = $9100 w/updates/errata
Total 5 years - $174,100 w/updates/errata

I you do not want to renew annually and go for updates/errata on your own

RHEL Basic $179.00 + 25 stations = $4475.00
RHEL ES - $349.00

Total 1 year , no updates or errata = $4824.00

So the only way to save is to go without updates or errata from Redhat. Microsoft however includes these updates for free.

It is a hard sell without the updates. 10 years ago the old expression used to be that no one ever gets fired for buying IBM PCs for the Enterprise. Today it is no ever gets fired for chosing Microsoft.

It is an uphill battle selling Linux and you are going out on a limb. Redhat has just made the trek much more difficult. To make things worse they make these comments about not using Linux on the desktop and even recommended the UK government go with Microsoft.

GAVollink 01-22-2004 01:29 PM

I agree -- almost
If you are planning on rolling RHEL workstations (WS) then I agree (forgetting MS Office requirements). However, the WS product is for displacing UNIX workstations, SUN-Sparc, HP/UX and AIX workstations which run higher end programs than most USER/desktop PCs in an office environment. As you said, RedHat does not have a "desktop" product.


[i]Quoted from Mogh:
RHEL ES - $445.00 annual 1 server x 5 years = $2225.00
RedHat Enterprise ES comes with a year of support and updates for the $349 price. The $445 is for the "Management Module" pricing, which has no use for a stand-alone server (details here []). The update capabilities are already included with the standard ES product. My $1750 price stands. I know, because I'm doing exactly this, I already purchased. I'm not just guessing here.

Either way, the workstation argument doesn't apply to me (nor to many real-world business users) because I've already got an XP client infrastructure. And getting my users to dump Windows is just not in the cards this decade. I run a Linux desktop simply because I find it much easier to manage my network (including Windows) through a Linux workstation (and it's not running Enterprise Linux WS). The learning curve for my users are to great. That said, I encourage use of Linux by anybody in a technical role in my company.

Basically, my RedHat ES 3 machine is filling the same roles that I otherwise would have used a Windows server to do:
. Oracle Server (same price regardless of platform)
. WINS name resolution (using Samba)
. File server (using Samba)
. DNS server (using ISC Bind)
. DHCP server (using ISC dhcp)
. LDAP server (using OpenLDAP)
. Web server (using Apache)

I do not feel I was going out on a limb at all. I dare say, I wouldn't necessarily trust Windows to be able to handle all of these things reliably (but that's a different conversation). Again, I was already able to eliminate the biggest Microsoft TCO argument, training.

For desktop use, I don't know yet, but since the OSDL Desktop Linux initiative (announced a few days ago), I'm sure there will be a very reasonable option within the next couple of years.


Mogh 01-22-2004 01:58 PM

For your business model, absolutely I agree. I also see how I am confusing management module with update entitlement which throws all my numbers off. They make it is so damn confusing.

But what does not make sense to me is why an annual license? Why not just buy it once this year and buy the $20 update entitlement for each year afterward.

If you can do that the cost savings is huge.

GAVollink 01-22-2004 03:58 PM

The $20 Update Entitlement is only for RedHat Linux 9 - and will expire on April 30, 2004 (along with RedHat Linux 9 support).

RedHat Enterprise Linux ES is not "sold", but is only available with a year long support agreement. A renewal of that support agreement costs the same as the original support agreement (unless they decide to offer a discount at a later date).

dfowensby 03-05-2004 08:56 PM

the only :sneaky: way i like is this: RHEL 3 with full errata support, one click up2dates till 2008, and a guaranteed slow link (unless you do it after the library closes) just like RHN.


hit google and check it out. has it on cd for 7.47USD in the mail local inside of 3 days.
and yes, it has the same bugs as RH, but a little more easily stomached user fee. $ 0.00.
luck -O.

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