Red Hat unlikely to be standard for enterprise Linux in fu…[ad_1]
benny Vasquez told iTWire in an interview: "I see Enterprise Linux shifting into something new and exciting, and I see a shift away from anyone using Red Hat as *the* standard to a much more diversified enterprise Linux ecosystem. We are already seeing new and exciting opportunities that haven’t existed while the 'standard' was being a downstream-rebuild of RHEL."
There have been plenty of ructions in the open source and free software communities after Red Hat announced on 21 June that it would be making the source of Red Hat Enterprise Linux available only to paying customers.
Vasquez said while there was no direct communication about this from Red Hat, "there were certainly signs of a shift at least a few weeks ahead of time".
Vasquez entered open source development as part of her early career in Web hosting. "The entire Web hosting industry is built on open-source software," she said. "It was an absolute delight to be able to encourage and support the software that we used to build the web hosting control panel cPanel, and then to take the skills I’d learned there to help the community at Chef through a rough transitionary time."
The foundation is a non-profit but there is a company named CIQ that offers support for AlmaLinux, with one of its more notable staffer being Samba co-founder Jeremy Allison, a long-time supporter of free software and an individual who left Novell on principle when the company, at that time the owner of SUSE, signed a deal with Microsoft in 2006.
Vasquez said last month that from now on, AlmaLinux would aim for being application binary interface compatible
She answered a number of queries from iTWire; her answers are given in full below:
iTWire: What kind of company generally uses AlmaLinux?
benny Vasquez: AlmaLinux’s users are as diverse as they come. If we focus on just non-hobbyist uses of AlmaLinux, we’ve got everything from ubiquitous communication platforms to global delivery services to
How are support contracts determined? I mean the amounts, based on services offered. You don't have to give dollar figures.
The AlmaLinux OS Foundation is a 501(c)(6) non-profit and doesn’t offer any contracts of any kind. AlmaLinux OS is a community operating system, which is free for use and for which our community provides support. There are some companies that offer third party support of AlmaLinux, but we don’t offer them ourselves.
What kinds of services does AlmaLinux offer?
None. Our software and various projects are free to use, and we welcome contributors at whatever level they can join us.
When AlmaLinux was first announced, there was an estimate of what it would take to make the distribution a viable build at the enterprise scale. Has that target been achieved?
I’m not sure what specifically you’re referencing in that article, but the answer is yes. As is evidenced by our release schedule and consistent delivery of updates and security patches, we’ve achieved that goal and more.
Any notable names who are working for AlmaLinux? (similar to Jeremy Allison in CIQ)
For sure! Our volunteer Board has a number of bigger names, but it’s important to distinguish that CIQ is a commercial brand, and AlmaLinux is a non-profit who doesn’t pay any of its contributors. For example, Simon Phipps, who was the president of the Open Source Initiative for many years, and has been a leader in open source for decades, has been with us since the beginning.
How much has the Red Hat move been a surprise to AlmaLinux? Were there any hints in advance — voices in the corridor — that the step taken in June would be taken?
We didn’t receive any advanced communication from Red Hat, but there were certainly signs of a shift at least a few weeks ahead of time.
In a few of my earlier reports on the development, I have mentioned the following: "The change could have something to do with the revenue which Red Hat's owner, IBM, has been reporting for Red Hat. In the first quarter of 2023, the company reported an 8% rise in revenue; for the previous four quarters it was 18%, 12%, 12% and 10% respectively." Do you think this is accurate?
I don’t think I can speak for Red Hat around their decision making, but that logic certainly tracks. If a company is looking at the situation from a dollars-made perspective only, they’re going to make changes that are consistent with building revenue.
SUSE has said it will put more than US$10 million (A$15.61 million) into helping Rocky Linux. Does AlmaLinux have any big corporate names behind it?
SUSE and CIQ are working together through OpenELA, which will certainly be a boon to Rocky Linux, but I think there’s an important distinction to be made here: with our 25+ sponsors comes a diversification of our funding, and that makes us feel much more confident that we’re around for the long haul.
Companies like CloudLinux and CyberTrust Japan are making large monetary and staffing investments in AlmaLinux, and our other sponsors provide monetary, infrastructure, and staffing support in a variety of ways. Having such an active group of invested contributors means we can stay hyper-focused on building what our community needs, and solving the pains that we all felt with CentOS Linux.
How do you see the future of enterprise Linux playing out?
I see Enterprise Linux shifting into something new and exciting, and I see a shift away from anyone using Red Hat as *the* standard to a much more diversified enterprise linux ecosystem. We are already seeing new and exciting opportunities that haven’t existed while the “standard” was being a downstream-rebuild of RHEL.
It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out from a business perspective, because even if we just take the Netflix example, the reality is people will get mad about a change, but the dollars are what the company cares about. If the dollars don’t go away, and actually grow (as they do in most cases), then they feel justified in whatever decision they made.
Netflix is my favorite example right now, because they announced that they are going to start cracking down on login sharing. The whole Internet was full of people saying, ‘Well, I’m leaving, I’m not gonna put up with this.’ But then Netflix also signed up 6 million new users in the first quarter after that change.
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