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12.24.13

Despite US Roots, Red Hat Appears to Have Benefited From NSA Scandals

Posted in GNU/Linux, Red Hat, Servers at 8:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Who said US businesses are suffering?

Summary: Red Hat’s revenues soar after half a year of important revelations about the NSA

A LOT of the corporate press in the US wrongly paints the NSA disclosures as a killer to US technology companies, perhaps conflating “US” with “proprietary”. Well, many companies in the US are adhering to Free/Open Source doctrines and they aren’t doing too badly, even amid the NSA scandals. Despite them or because of them, those companies are doing well. Those companies hardly seem to have been affected by 'standards' with back doors in them.

Enter Red Hat.

While Red Hat’s nation of origin makes it somewhat difficult to trust patches it submits to Linux on behalf of the NSA, south/Latin America sure buys a lot of RHEL. The code is out there for auditing and even compilation by oneself. There is no known back door in RHEL. Some may speculate about hardware-level back doors or even random number generators with too low an entropy, but none of this is confirmed, just hypothesised. The US Department of Defence uses/deploys a lot of Red Hat, so why would the NSA put a back door in ‘vanilla’ RHEL (China is alleged to have been doing so in derivatives of RHEL).

Putting aside hypotheses, Red Hat is doing well [1] and its profits surge [2], with a 15% increase in revenues [3]. RHEL7 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7) is already looking quite promising [4]. The company, Red Hat, is liaising with OpenStack [5-10] amongst other partners and for those who cannot afford Red Hat there is CentOS 6.5 [11], which has just received a positive review [12].

Techrights has been running on CentOS for quite a few years, enjoying the work of Red Hat and also the low cost (we are hardly funded by anyone, except a few donations that we appreciate a lot). Back doors in proprietary software will hopefully convince more and more nations — let alone businesses — to explore GNU/Linux servers, desktops, and more. The price of freedom/autonomy/privacy is misunderstood by too many.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. State of the Red Hat Union
  2. Red Hat’s pockets bulging on strong Linux, JBoss sales

    Enterprise Linux vendor Red Hat posted strong financial results for the third quarter of its fiscal 2014 on Thursday, with earnings that beat both analysts’ estimates and the company’s own earlier guidance.

    Revenues for the quarter ending on November 30 were $397m, up 15 per cent from the same period a year ago.

  3. Red Hat reports 15% increase in revenues

    Red Hat, an icon of open source business, reported $397 million as total revenue for the quarter. It’s an increase of 15% in U.S. dollars from the year ago quarter.

  4. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Beta 1 Looks Great, Performance Is Great

    Red Hat this week released the first beta to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. RHEL 7 is based upon improvements and other work that happened over the past few release cycles in Fedora (Red Hat says it’s Fedora 19-based but in developer comments it turns out to be a mix of 18/19/20) and is riding on its new enterprise Linux 3.10 kernel. In this article is a first look at RHEL 7 Beta 1 along with our first benchmarks of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 comparing the results to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5.

  5. Dell and Red Hat team to sell enterprise OpenStack
  6. Red Hat OpenStack Platform 4.0 Reaches General Availability
  7. Red Hat launches its own OpenStack product.
  8. Dell and Red Hat’s OpenStack Alliance To Open Many Enterprise Doors
  9. Red Hat launches Enterprise Linux OpenStack 4.0 platform
  10. Dell Advances Cloud Efforts and Preps for More Innovation
  11. What’s New In CentOS 6.5?
  12. CentOS 6.5 Review – Red Hat for all

    CentOS firmly sits in the stable category of Linux releases – packages are rarely the the very latest versions, the kernel used is much older and it even still has GNOME 2 as its desktop environment, all in the name of cutting down on bugs. While it is stable and capable of running on older tech, it isn’t as resource friendly as distros specifically geared towards being lightweight. Especially if you pick up the full DVD image of the distro, clocking in at nearly 2 GB, which carries multiple desktop environments and a lot of default apps.

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