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01.14.14

For Systems Administrators, GNU/Linux (and UNIX) Becomes Key Skill

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Red Hat at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: GNU/Linux distributions, even zero-cost distributions such as CentOS, are becoming the de facto standard for servers

THE NUMBERS don’t lie. A lot of companies move to distributions like Debian and CentOS, not necessarily paying for their migration to GNU/Linux (Gartner and IDC only count revenue, not installed base). Hosts statistics [1] show just how massive GNU/Linux has become, physically and virtually (a lot if GNU/Linux servers are hosted jointly under hypervisors [2]), and many systems maintainers or administrators increasingly adapt to a UNIX- or Linux-dominated world, where desired skills relate to operation of GNU/Linux [3] for the most part (command line for performance and debugging). It’s not just about Red Hat. Recently, Zimbabwe had Debian, Ubuntu and CentOS mirrors set up [4] and Red Hat saw itself having to embrace CentOS, which is a free clone of RHEL [5-11]. Both sides were happy, based on their announcements [12-13], and the biggest loser was probably Microsoft, which at one point wanted to coopt CentOS and use it against Red Hat (without success and without much publicity, either).

By some estimates, CentOS is the most widely used distribution of GNU/Linux (other estimates say that Debian is the most widely used, but it’s hard to verify).

Generally speaking, Red Hat’s embrace of CentOS, only weeks after announcing surging revenue, is an indicator of the fact that GNU/Linux is attaining world domination on servers and there’s no monopoly by Red Hat or by paid (subscription) distributions.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. GNU/Linux is Kicking Ass At Netcraft

    This is how hosting providers monitored by Netcraft see the operating system universe. The majority use GNU/Linux when it counts, not just because someone offers them that other OS. GNU/Linux offers great price/performance/reliability. You can get that kind of performance on your desktop too from Debian.

  2. Exclusive Research: Server Virtualization Usage Varies by Enterprise Size
  3. New Year’s Resolutions for SysAdmins

    Ah, a new year, with old systems. If you recently took time off to relax with friends and family and ring in 2014, perhaps you’re feeling rejuvenated and ready to break bad old habits and develop good new ones

  4. ZOL relaunches local mirror for largest Linux distros: Debian, Ubuntu & CentOS

    As we step into a new year, I can’t help but look back on the current year and wonder that there has been a lot of talk in the broadband/internet side of things locally but not a great amount actually done about it.

    Now I know that sounds very negative, ISP’s have innovated quite a bit this past year, from uMax starting things by changing the game somewhat with fixed (non 3g) internet with their 20gigs for $75 plan and free modem, then ZOL blew that out of the park by saying that all their packages would no longer have a bandwidth caps forcing other providers like YoAfrica to follow suit. I’m still waiting for TelOne to also do similar across there packages as the last “big” ISP in Zimbabwe that’s yet to update/improve their packages (unlikely I know).

  5. As focus shifts to OpenStack, Red Hat embraces (coopts) Linux clone; The week in cloud

    Put this one in the strange bedfellows department: Red Hat, the company known for its supported enterprise Linux, is now working with its chief clone, CentOS. Since CentOS is seen as a free option to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in many businesses and Red Hat threatened legal action against CentOS in the past, last week’s news raised some eyebrows.

  6. Hell Freezes Over in Linux Land as Red Hat Makes Nice With Its Clone
  7. CentOS to boost its Linux distribution with Red Hat
  8. Red Hat Officially Joins Forces with the CentOS Project
  9. Red Hat and CentOS team up to push Linux and Openstack
  10. Red Hat Embraces Rival CentOS

    Red Hat’s CTO explains why the Linux giant is now working with the community group that has been cloning its flagship enterprise Linux platform.

  11. Red Hat incorporates ‘free’ Red Hat clone CentOS

    For almost a decade, expert Linux users who didn’t need the Red Hat Enterprise Linux support used its clone CentOS instead. Now, Red Hat has adopted this community Linux. Don’t panic!

  12. CentOS Project joins forces with Red Hat

    With great excitement I’d like to announce that we are joining the Red Hat family. The CentOS Project ( http://www.centos.org ) is joining forces with Red Hat. Working as part of the Open Source and Standards team ( http://community.redhat.com/ ) to foster rapid innovation beyond the platform into the next generation of emerging technologies. Working alongside the Fedora and RHEL ecosystems, we hope to further expand on the community offerings by providing a platform that is easily consumed, by other projects to promote their code while we maintain the established base.

  13. Red Hat and the CentOS Project Join Forces to Speed Open Source Innovation
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