[CentOS] A minor beef

James B. Byrne ByrneJB at Harte-Lyne.ca
Sat Nov 26 19:49:51 UTC 2005

On Fri, 25 Nov 2005 21:30:26 -0500, "Bryan J. Smith" <thebs413 at earthlink.net> wrote:

> You were paying $1,000/year for RHEL ES???

As I recall it was in the $700.00 USD range which amounted to over 
$1,000.00 CAD per year at that time. And that was with the discount 
that RH gave to early adopters of their new support programs when 
we were forced off of our previous plan with the depreciation of 
RH9 (at ~$60.00 USD per host per year). However, I might be 
confusing the renewal price with what we actually paid while on RH 
support.  In any case, the final cost in the second and subsequent 
years was over the magic three figure limit. Perhaps if you have 
hundreds or thousands of machines then RH might offer attractive 
bulk discounts, but for companies with just a handful of servers 
the cost of RH update support was made unbearable.

I see now that there is a Basic level of support available from RH, 
which I do not recall as being offered originally.  This presently 
costs $349.00 USD or about $410.00 CAD per host per year and I 
suppose that this service is equivalent to what CentOS provides in 
effect.  To create a local mirror for RH updates without paying the 
per host fee is, of course, a violation of the contracted support 
agreement. One is compelled to place each host on contract, go 
without support for some hosts, or pay a tremendous sum of money 
for the privilege of maintaining a local mirror.  

To put RH pricing in perspective, I just installed a 2.8Ghz P4 
server with a DVD DL super-mode burner, 250Gb of disc and 2Gb of 
RAM for less than $600.00 CAD. As I wrote earlier CentOS, at 
~$25.00 (CAD) per host, is a bargain in comparison to RH. The 
minuscule degree of delay in updates between RH and CentOS hardly 
bears serious consideration in the matter.

I suppose that if you have a government regulator on your back 
about some security issue or other then one might find a certain 
legal solace in pointing to a subscribed service as evidence of due 
diligence.  Then again, our federal government requires us to use 
an application written only for the now depreciated and unavailable 
Microsoft JVM and supports it only under MS-IE 5.5 running on a pre-
XP version of MS-Windows. So, go figure. (It runs, so far, under a 
fully patched MS-IE 6, but that is not the supported platform.)


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