Red Hat Upgrades Linux OS

Red Hat on Wednesday introduced Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, the newest addition to its Open Source Architecture platform, and according to one analyst its improved support for Java and threads will have many Red Hat users making an upgrade.

According to Raleigh, North Carolina-based Red Hat, one of the key features of the new Red Hat Linux is its ability to support seven hardware architectures: Intel's X86, Intel's Itanium, Advanced Micro Devices' AMD64, and IBM's ZSeries, ISeries, PSeries, and S/390.

Other features included in version 3 are use of the latest stable Linux kernel; a new multi-threading capability to improve performance for multi-threaded applications; and enhanced Java implementations from BEA Systems, IBM, and Sun Microsystems.

Option to Upgrade

Stacey Quandt, a principal analyst at Open Source Development Lab, says that a number of organizations will upgrade to Red Hat's Enterprise Linux 3, in particular those organizations that are looking for better thread support.

"Red Hat provides support for the Native Posix Threading Library, which will enable improvements in scalability for running databases and application servers," Quandt says.

She adds that Red Hat's support for multiple 64GB platforms is a key advantage and places pressure on Sun and Microsoft.

Although Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 is an opportunity for the company to migrate Unix and Windows users to its version of Linux, Quandt says final migration decisions will depend on a company's workload requirements, including performance, scalability, manageability, and availability.

"Red Hat 3 offers performance features that will be attractive to users who want to consolidate workloads currently running on larger Unix systems," Quandt explains.

She adds that for users who need to scale a workload beyond eight-way SMP (symmetric multiprocessing), Unix is still the way to go, and that in general it is much harder to port Windows applications to Linux.

"Migrations from Windows to Linux usually take place when there is a cultural environment at the CTO and CIO level that is amenable to open-source software," she adds.

Known to Negotiate

According to Red Hat, its Enterprise Linux 3 is available as part of an annual subscription that includes Red Hat Network and services. Current network subscribers can upgrade now via Red Hat Network.

There is also some light at the end of the tunnel in terms of cost, according to Quandt, because Red Hat has been known to negotiate.

"While the high end of Red Hat AS 2.1 was originally priced at approximately $2500 per system, I have heard of organizations negotiating deals of $300 per system," Quandt says.

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