Showing posts with label Oracle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oracle. Show all posts

Monday, November 2, 2020

What is Enterprise Linux?

You probably heard the term "Enterprise Linux" before. But do you understand what it means?
Photo by Danielle Barnes on Unsplash

On a previous post we discussed what's a Linux distribution. Today we'll discuss what they are, what they offer and how they differentiate from the traditional community-based desktop distros you use at home or work for free.

With the news that Red Hat is shutting down the CentOS project, we definitely cannot recommend CentOS for your server anymore. 😌 However, it still has its value if you're developing for RHEL.

What is Enterprise Linux?

Enterprise Linux is the term commonly used to refer to a Linux distribution available through a paid subscription service customized for use in commercial organizations. It's frequently used in servers but enterprise software for the desktop is also available. It's available in different architectures.

The first company to popularize the term by specifically targeting a Linux distributions to large enterprise vendors was Red Hat with the first to offer enterprise Linux software with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) in early 2000's. Quickly following that, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, followed by Oracle Linux with Ubuntu following more recently.

On the community side, traditionally the venerable Debian Linux has been the go-to choice for the server disputing with CentOS the top spot in recent years.

Why use enterprise Linux software?

The reasons to by enterprise Linux software are:

  • Solid, bulletproof software - LTS Linux kernel and LTS open-source software 
  • Long term support - up to 10 years support 
  • Super high SLAs - for example, RHEL claims up to 99.999% uptime
  • Enforced Security - Frequent and quick security updates to mitigate CVEs and security vulnerabilities
  • Extended Support - Dedicated support to help troubleshooting production issues
  • Access to certified software, hardware and cloud
  • Access to multiple partnerships, trainings and certifications
  • Access to custom/proprietary technologies - including predictive IT analytics service that identifies potential issues before they become problems

Most popular enterprise distributions

The last category is the commercial/enterprise Linux distributions. Those are distributions that require a financial commitment from the user or organization that plans to use them. The most popular today are:

With the news that Red Hat is shutting down the CentOS project, I definitely cannot recommend CentOS for your server anymore. 😌 However, it still has its value if you're developing for RHEL.

Architectures supported

Enterprise software needs to be available for most architectures, including supercomputers. For example, RHEL is released in server versions for x86-64, Power ISA, ARM64, and IBM Z and a desktop version for x86-64. All of Red Hat's official support and training, together with the Red Hat Certification Program, focuses on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform.  

Enterprise-Grade security

Since how critical Linux is for the functioning of the internet today, there are lots of eyes on its security model, especially on Enterprise-grade software. Government agencies like the NSA and others collaborate to build enterprise security tools like SELinux and AppArmor. But Linux's enterprise-grade security goes beyond that. In fact, there are multiple reasons that make if more more secure then other operating systems, including frequent updates, native disk-encryption, encrypted virtual machines, integrity sub-systems that can be used to detect if a file has been altered and encrypted data at rest.

FAQ

How much does it cost?

Since prices are always fluctuating, we'd ask you to consult the vendors linked above for more information.

Is there such a thing as enterprise desktop?

Yes! There are commercially supported Linux software for the desktop as well. The most popular being offered by Red Hat, Canonical and SUSE.

Are enterprise distributions always paid?

The short answer is no. Most vendors offer a development subscription allowing the developers to develop software on the same system they'll run their services. For example, Red Hat offers a Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription, available as part of the Red Hat Developer Program. This license is offered as a self-supported, non-production developer subscription offering a more stable development platform for building enterprise-grade applications and enables a clear pathway to supported, mission-critical deployments across cloud, physical, virtual and container-centric infrastructures.

Free enterprise Linux distributions

Looking for the best of enterprise Linux for as little as possible for your organization? Indeed there are community based enterprise Linux distributions. The common alternatives to paid enterprise software that we recommend are:

Conclusion

On this post we discussed what the term enterprise Linux means and reviewed some frequently asked questions about it. Hope it helps!

With the news that Red Hat is shutting down the CentOS project, we definitely cannot recommend CentOS for your server anymore. 😌 However, it still has its value if you're developing for RHEL.

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