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Is Strategically Important Marketplace For Red Hat"
Hat is the market leader in open source operating system
software and services, offering its award-winning Red Hat
Linux operating system and a full line of related services.
Red Hat India, a Joint Venture between Red Hat Inc. and
Clover Technologies, is looking to market Red Hat Linux
in the Indian sub-continent, as also support and service
Linux users here. Javed Tapia, director, Red Hat India Pvt.
is currently looking at addressing the growth of Linux in
the Indian and Asia Pacific markets and provide Red Hat
Inc a strong technical support base in India. Network magazine
caught up with him to get an idea about what Red Hat plans
to do in India
Hat is often regarded as the Microsoft of the Open Source
Movement in spite of the success it has achieved. Why so?
is more perception rather than reality. This impression
may hold good for the fact that Red Hat has a 55% market
However, if you are considering the market penetration aspect,
there is a fundamental difference in Red Hat's approach.
In closed source model, the solution vendor controls the
solution completely, whereas in Open Source model it is
control by the development community.
Red Hat has made substantial contribution in providing the
commercial face to the open source software. It has close
relationship with IBM, Oracle, Intel, and SAP. This has
enabled customers to adopt open source software without
fear of non-availability of commercial software on open
Red Hat also contributes to the Open Source Movement substantially
by engineering open source, and by providing services and
training to its customers. Its presence in 18 countries
provides its customers easy access to Linux.
Finally, Red Hat does all these things by closely adhering
to the Open Source Model and GPL.
the enterprise segment Red Hat or for that matter any other
distribution has not been able to make much impact, Ariba
or Commerce One for that matter are not available on a Linux
platform. How is Red Hat working to change that situation?
Hat has predominantly focused on the enterprise segment
and has made a substantial impact. In fact both Oracle Applications
and SAP are available on Linux. Ariba and Commerce One are
only one end of the Enterprise Computing segment. Today
most of the enterprise platforms such as Oracle, SAP are
available on Red Hat Linux. This is in addition to other
enterprise solutions such as Veritas. Today it is a preferred
platform vendor for IBM for its Intel and other Unix platforms.
Considering its market leadership, Red Hat places continuous
efforts by optimizing Red Hat Linux OS for these enterprise
solutions. For example, Red Hat Linux optimized for Oracle
back Red Hat had launched Certification Programs. What is
the idea behind launching these certification programs and
are you working in collaboration with Linux Professional
Red Hat wishes to build a community of Linux professionals
who have expertise on Linux and are up to a common set standard.
Also, the high-end Linux courses offered by Red Hat on embedded
systems programming and on device driver programming offers
individuals the best in training programs. The RHCE program
is not connected with LPI.
Where do you see Red Hat progressing in India and what
do you think could be a possible contribution to the Open
Source Movement from our side?
India is strategically important marketplace for Red
Hat. Along with server market segment, Red Hat will also
focus on desktop market in India. Today Red Hat India offers
all products and services in India that are globally available.
Red Hat will also focus on training. This will create gamut
of Linux skills available locally.
With respect to the Open Source Movement, Red Hat will play
a responsible and substantial role in creating awareness
about the Open Source Model in corporate India. Red Hat
India will also work closely with Open Source companies
in India by transferring required technology and joint marketing.
The Ramen virus points to the risks involved with open-source-code--and
the lack of a sound security-distribution system to address
them. Red Hat was one of the distributions vastly affected
by it. How is Red Hat gearing up to ensure that similar
problems don't happen again?
Red Hat Linux systems that haven't been protected against
vulnerabilities like rpc-statd, wu-ftpd and LPRng and BINDsoftware
typically get affected. All of these vulnerabilities are
well known and can be blocked by readily available patches.
What is also important is how quickly Red Hat makes its
customers aware of these problems and how quickly the solutions
are available worldwide.
date Red Hat has penetrated into the Proxy Server/Mail Server
segments. But with the release of Windows 2000 Data Centre,
Microsoft is addressing high-end enterprise clients. Any
thoughts on these developments?
Red Hat Linux is a proven technology in Internet space.
Apache, another open source software is way ahead of Microsoft
Web Server solutions. WRT Microsoft Windows 2000 Data Center,
Red Hat is well aware of the competition. With the launch
of Red Hat Linux 7.1 (with 2.4 kernel), on enterprise platforms,
it is well placed to address data centres and other enterprise
is Red Hat's strategy for Data Centres and Storage Area
Veritas Product Suite (NetBackup) is available on Red Hat
Linux to handle Data Centers & Storage Area Networks.
Red Hat India will soon launch a market promotional program
for this segment along with Enterprise Platform providers.
do you think a Linux distribution like Red Hat lacks to
become the preferred OS for mobile devices?
This is not true. Samsung has chosen Red Hat to create Open
Source Development Tools for Next Generation Low Power Chips
(Sep 26, 2000) while Ericsson & Red Hat have formed
a strategic initiative in home communication
you share some details about the Embedded Development Tool
developed jointly by you and Grammar Technologies for running
open source software?
Engine, Inc.'s PromICE.net, a memory
emulator that allows embedded developers to collaboratively
build applications over the Internet, runs on uClinux operating
system technology that was implemented by Red Hat.
PromICE.net, based on the NetSilicon processor, is an embedded
development tool that runs open source software. Its Web
server capabilities enable embedded developers to put their
target on the Internet and allow co-workers to access it
from anywhere in the world for development of new applications.
does Red Hat fit into the High Availbility Solutions? (FOS
and LVS technologies and its applications)?
Red Hat has a separate product called Red Hat HA for Enterprise
that encompasses both the technologiesFOS & LVS.
Clustering: The HA Product does "High Availability"
clustering only. This is software based clustering method
that runs on all Red Hat Linux compatible x86 hardware.
(In other words, if they can install and run Red Hat Linux
on a system then they can use the clustering. The HA server
can be configured to provide either Fail Over Services (FOS)
or Linux Virtual Server (LVS) functionality.
A Real Server is the term used to describe the server that
actually provides Web or ftp services that are covered in
our High Availability product.
Piranha is the Web-based GUI that allows remote configuration
and administration of the routers/servers in FOS or the
routers in LVS. It is run remotely by pointing a browser
to the active running machine.
Fail Over Services (FOS)
FOS consists of an active node providing Web, ftp, etc services
and an inactive node that is monitoring the active node
to determine if it goes down in any way. If the Active node
goes down, the inactive node will take over services. There
can be multiple shared data sources behind the two nodes
or the nodes may simply mirror data.
FOS Support Coverage: Only the two main nodes and the use
of the Piranha configuration tool from another system (i.e.
Web-based GUI) are within the scope of coverage for support.
Linux Virtual Server (LVS)
LVS sets up routers, active and inactive for backup,
that load balance Web and ftp requests in different ways
to the real servers that exist on the network behind them.
These real servers can be on any OS that supports the use
of the following commands: uptime, ruptime, rup. These system
level commands are common tools for determining the status
of a system remotely. Once again, only two routers and the
use of the piranha config tool from another system is covered
by the support policy provided with the product.
LVS Support Coverage: Only two routers and the use of the
piranha config tool from another system is covered by the
support policy provided with the product. Support for the
Real Servers would fall under a per-server support contract
that needs to be purchased separately.
- Bhavish Sood can be reached at email@example.com