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Buyer's Guide
Operating Systems (OS) for Business
September 2022
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JonathanShilling - PeerSpot reviewer
System Analyst II at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Has a standard file system layout so it's easy to navigate
Pros and Cons
  • "I like the fact that most of the system configuration is Namespace so it's easy to get to and easy to configure, and most of it still uses text documents. Not all of it's a menu-driven-type entry. I also like the fact that it's a very standard file system layout so it's easy to navigate."
  • "I'd like to see more of NCurses type menu systems in some instances. We're dealing with SUSE Enterprise Linux, they have an NCurses menu system. It's a menu system. It will write there. Even some of the higher-end Unix systems like AIX have some inner menu system where all the configuration tools are right there so your administrator doesn't have to jump through multiple directories to configure files if needed. I like the simplicity of Red Hat because it's pretty easy but having an NCurses menu when you have to get something done quickly would be nice."

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is to develop the servers and production. It's pretty standard usage. We have some Docker running but I haven't been involved in those environments very often. It's a standard server on minimal load and we're not using a full load with our GUI interface.

We have multiple applications running on both Windows and RHEL. The database systems are mostly MySQL. There's some Oracle but most of it is MySQL. Dealing with Red Hat is pretty straightforward. I haven't run into issues with it. 

When we were running multiple versions of Java, if patches came out for both versions, we would apply the patches for both versions and usually, that could be downloaded. It was pretty simple to update those. Those are systems-supported patches. With the specific application patches, it's a little different. Normally the application administrators take care of those themselves.

If Red Hat's system is set up right, it improves the speed and performance reliability of our hardware because it doesn't use as many resources as a Windows system.

What is most valuable?

I like the fact that most of the system configuration is Namespace so it's easy to get to and easy to configure, and most of it still uses text documents. Not all of it's a menu-driven-type entry. I also like the fact that it's a very standard file system layout so it's easy to navigate.

In some instances, it provides features that help speed development. In other instances, it's standard amongst most Linux groups. You can download the main features. The file system is always a big difference. You go from a Debian-based system to Red Hat, so the file system layout is a little bit different. User-based files are located versus system-based files. RHEL keeps everything in one area and segregates it. It makes it easier to go between different organizations and still have the same policies and structure. I do like the new package manager.

It's all text-based, all command line, whereas the minimal load does not have a GUI on it. If you're used to using Windows core servers, it wouldn't be that big of a deal, but going from a Windows GUI-based system to an RHEL command-line-based system is a learning curve for most Windows administrators. A lot of strictly Windows administrators don't even want to look at a command line from Red Hat because the commands are so different from what they're used to. There is a learning curve between the two major platforms.

The application and user experience are usually pretty consistent, but that really depends on the application developer. If they're developing an application, it'll be consistent costs on infrastructure. That's not an issue between the different platforms. User experience is based on how the application developer built it. They're not all in-house and so they developed across a consistent platform. They keep everything pretty simple from the user perspective.

It enables us to deploy current applications and merging workloads across physical hardware and VMs. Virtualization and physical hardware stay consistent. Going to the cloud depends on the platform we use but it'll mostly be consistent as well. The RHEL distribution has been implemented pretty well amongst most of our cloud providers. It's pretty standard now, whether we go to Rackspace, Amazon, Azure, or even Microsoft supporting RHEL distribution. You can go to a Microsoft Azure cloud and have a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system running there. The user would probably never notice it.

For Red Hat, the bare metal and virtualized environments are pretty reliable. The only thing I don't like about Red Hat is that every time you do an update, there are patches every month and you have to reboot the system. Fortunately, it's a single reboot versus Microsoft, which likes multiple reboots, but still, you have to reboot the system. You have to reboot the server. The newer updates have kernel patches involved in them. To implement that new kernel, you have to reboot the system, and Red Hat's best policy and best practices are to reboot the system after patching.

I used the AppStream feature a couple of times. Not a whole lot because a lot of our environment is specific to what we deploy. Normally I would just deploy the bare system, adding features requested by the application administrator, and they'll download the rest of the things that they need.

We have used the tracing and monitoring tools in certain instances but not consistently. We use them for troubleshooting but not every day. We use other third-party software to monitor the system logs and alert on the issues. They will run tracing analysis of the systems. The reason we don't always use it is because of the number of servers I have to deal with and the low band power.

Automation is however you set it up. As for running a cloud-based solution, a lot of it would be automated. Going from prior experience, dealing with it before coming to this company, we did a lot of cloud deployment and it's pretty consistent and reliable and you could automate it pretty easily. 

RHEL accelerated the deployment of cloud-based workloads in my previous experiences. Compared to no other solution at all, it's obviously a vast improvement. You have to worry about Windows. As soon as you bring the server up, it requires numerous patches and it'll take several reboots unless you have an image that is very patched and deployable there. Even then, every month you get new patches. Red Hat patches a lot faster than Windows and requires a single reboot. The speed of deployment is a hazard. It's almost twice as fast deploying an RHEL solution as it is a Windows solution.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see more of NCurses type menu systems in some instances. We're dealing with SUSE Enterprise Linux, they have an NCurses menu system. It's a menu system. Even some of the higher-end Unix systems like AIX have some inner menu system where all the configuration tools are right there so your administrator doesn't have to jump through multiple directories to configure files if needed. I like the simplicity of Red Hat because it's pretty easy but having an NCurses menu when you have to get something done quickly would be nice.

For how long have I used the solution?

I started using Red Hat back in 1996. I've been using it for at least 20 years, off and on. I was hired as a Linux administrator for RHEL 6, 7, and 8, and then I changed my job positions. I'm not actively using RHEL right now.

Unfortunately, we're moving away from RHEL to Oracle Enterprise Linux in the next couple of months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

RHEL is a very stable product. It's been around for a long time now. It's been stable since they brought it out as an enterprise environment. It's usually not the bleeding edge of Linux. That just means it has more stability in the packaging and the repositories. They keep the bleeding edge updates and things out of it most of the time, which means if you have new features that you want to implement, you have to do some finagling to get those features in place. But it does mean the system's more stable, for the most part.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's very scalable. I haven't seen any issues with the scalability of Red Hat. I've used it in environments where we have a few hundred people to a couple of thousand people. I've never seen any issues with scalability. It's one of the big sell points of RHEL. It's as scalable as Unix.

There are around 500 developers who use it. Web-facing interfaces, it's in the thousands.

If you're using a small environment with no more than around 100 to 200 servers, one or two people can handle most of the RHEL stuff pretty quickly.

If it's a larger environment, then you're looking at staff upwards from six to 15, depending on the environment the product's being used for.

There is a system administrator to perform the initial deployment of a server to the maintenance of the server. Then there are the application developers who develop the application, write the applications, and just manage applications. In our environment, we currently have sysadmins who manage the systems. My job is to manage the actual operating system itself. Then, you have application developers, who develop applications for user-facing systems. The application managers manage those applications, not only the developed applications.

It's being used pretty extensively. It's 1,100 to 1,200 servers on one site. 

We're using at least 85-90% of the features of RHEL but we don't really use Ansible that extensively. Red Hat Satellite server we're using as a primary repository in one site. Based on RHEL, we use most of these features.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are switching to another solution mainly because a number of databases in use are based on that system. They want to expand that database and some other products that come with switching from RHEL to LEL. That's the main reason. As I understand it, the licensing isn't that different with a more centralized approach, so convenience is a large factor.

We switched to RHEL from AIX because of the developer and the cost. AIX is usually implemented on specific hardware. IBM owned the hardware. So the cost for running AIX is a lot more expensive than running an RHEL solution, which can be run on virtual systems as well as physical systems. And x86 servers are a lot cheaper than a power system.

Open-source was also a factor in our decision to switch to RHEL. Open-source has allowed a lot of development in areas, more ingenuity, innovation, and products than other constricted OSs. My opinion is that when you're dealing with open-source, you have people who are more likely to innovate and create new things. It's easier to develop an open-source platform than it is to use a closed source platform because then you can't get to the APIs, you can't do anything in the system if you want to change things in the system to make your product more available to people.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty straightforward. I've even set servers up at home on a pretty regular basis. I have my own lab, so I've deployed it and it's pretty straightforward. With RHEL, the setup is nice because you get a GUI, so any Windows-based user is going to be familiar with the GUI and know what to look at. They can deploy software as needed, right there from the menu. From a TextBase, you can script it to where all you have to do is run a script and it'll deploy the server quickly. It's pretty straightforward.

Personally, I wouldn't be able to speak to the installation. Having a single point is always a benefit because then you don't have to jump around multiple points to download software and to deploy your solution. The only thing about it is with Docker, a lot of times you have to go out to the Docker site to download the newest versions.

If you're running Satellite, it's even easier because all your current patches are downloaded. The iOS is already there and a lot of time is it's a straight script that you can deploy quickly. The single-point install is a good thing.

Depending on what you're running it on and what kind of equipment you're running, it can take anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour. That depends on the equipment.

What about the implementation team?

They had Unix admins on site. They were implemented to bring in the Red Hat environment because of the similarity between Unix and Red Hat.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

If you implement Ansible, that's an additional cost. If you implement Satellite, that's an additional cost to your licensing. However, the amount of licensing if you license 100 servers is actually cheaper per server than licensing 50 or 25.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The first one that comes to mind as a real competitor would be SUSE. It's built-in Germany. Ubuntu is a commendable product but I don't find it as reliable or as easy to administer as I do RHEL. A lot of developers like it because it's really easy. It's more geared towards a home-user environment than it is a corporate environment. The support factor for RHEL is good. If you need to call tech support, it's there.

What other advice do I have?

I have used Satellite and Ansible in other environments. Satellite integrates very well. It's built by Red Hat, so it integrates thoroughly and it allows a single point of download for all patches and any software deployments you have. You can automate server builds, if you do it right, and make things a lot easier.

Ansible can tie into Satellite and RHEL fairly easily. It allows you to build multiple types of deployments for multiple solutions, and allows a playbook-type deal. You develop a playbook and send it out and it builds a server for the user. Done.

It would speed up deployment and make it easier to manage. If you had a developer who needed to throw up a box real quick to check something, he could run a playbook, throw up a server and rather quickly do what he needed to do. Then dismiss the server and all resource reviews return back to the YUM. If it was hardware, it would be a little bit different, but if we run a virtualization environment, they return all resources back to the host. So it made matching servers and deployment a lot simpler and less work on the operations environment.

The best advice I could give is if you're going from a Windows environment to an RHEL environment, there's a learning curve that is going to be a factor during implementation management and basic administration. Your company would probably need to hire new people just to support an RHEL environment. Between SUSE and RHEL, the number of people who know SUSE very well in the US is not as high as it is in Europe. RHEL has become more of a global OS than SUSE, though they're both comparable. I would advise looking at what you need it to do and then make sure you have the infrastructure, people, and manpower to support it.

There's a huge number of resources out there. You have sites geared specifically for RHEL administration. I believe IT Central Station has some resources on its site as well. There are Usenet groups and different forums. TechRepublic has a large number of resources as well. There are numerous resources out there to ease the learning curve.

There are a lot of things I've learned over the years using RHEL. Running it as a virtual design environment where you can run multiple servers on a single hardware piece makes it a lot more cost-effective and you don't have the resource depletion as you would have with Windows. Unfortunately, Windows is a resource hog. RHEL can be set up to run very minimally, with virtually no overhead other than the applications you're using to service users. 

I would rate it a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Technical Presales Consultant/ Engineer at a wholesaler/distributor with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Open-source, user-friendly, stable, and has a good online community
Pros and Cons
  • "The main distinguishing feature between Ubuntu and other Linux distribution is that Ubuntu has excelled at user-friendliness. It's very easy to use."
  • "One of the reasons people don't use Ubuntu on servers is because they are not as secure as Red Hat."

What is our primary use case?

I don't use Ubuntu very much, but I have been testing it for approximately ten years. 

There are some that are running their data centers off of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu Linux can be used for anything. Anything that you can do on Windows, you can do in Ubuntu. For example Microsoft Office, Microsoft is really famous for, their Windows platforms, and Office suite. 

In the past, the open-source community had alternative software such as Open Office or even another project called Libre Office. These open-source solutions provided an office suite similar to Microsoft Office. However, with the new Office 365, you don't need Windows to work on Office these days. Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel are all web-based. You can run Ubuntu and open your Firefox browser and use it.

What is most valuable?

The best way and the easiest way to get into Linux is with Ubuntu because they provide lots of hardware support out of the box.

You don't have to go into the deep parts with Ubuntu to install and configure it. There are many, ready-made guides online for Ubuntu, which is good. 

The Linux distribution is the best for laptops. If you are using laptops, you don't want to be running Oracle Linux there or Red Hat. It's going to be Ubuntu.

I like the easiness of Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a great product. It's awesome.

Canonical as a company, who is responsible for Ubuntu, is doing a great job at making Ubuntu very easy, plug and play, and they are good at porting applications to Ubuntu. If you're talking about Linux, the easiest Linux distribution you can encounter is Ubuntu.

The distribution with the most packages available to it is Ubuntu.

In terms of user-friendliness, Ubuntu is the best it can get in the Linux world. To say that it could be improved would be unfair. They are the ones bridging the user-friendliness gap in the Linux world.

The main distinguishing feature between Ubuntu and other Linux distribution is that Ubuntu has excelled at user-friendliness. It's very easy to use.

What needs improvement?

Ubuntu, as a distribution itself, is filled up with a lot of bloated software. That is the main reason why enterprise companies, mainly in the US, prefer to go with Red Hat, and SUSE is preferred mainly in Europe. 

Red Hat and SUSE provide less bloat on their OS.

Ubuntu is based on Debian, which is the first Linux distribution to ever come into existence, or the first mainstream Linux distribution. Debian also is bloated with a lot of software and sometimes some of the software is old. 

I would love to see Ubuntu strip down. They have a server edition that is stripped down.

Instead of having a billion different distributions, why can't there just be one? This would improve Linux and I would love to see this happen.

One of the reasons people don't use Ubuntu on servers is because they are not as secure as Red Hat. They could be more secure, but for them to be more secure, you need to strip the bloatware. Bloatware is when you have several applications that are not needed and already installed in the operating system. They have a server edition and that comes stripped of the bloatware.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Ubuntu Linux for more than ten years.

I have used the latest edition of Ubuntu Linux. If I am not mistaken, the latest release is 20.04 LTS.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is a broad topic. Ubuntu is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability? It Depends. It's Linux, you can do anything with it. 

It depends on what you mean by scalability. You have to be very precise. If you're talking about data center and scalability, then, yes, it's scalable. 

There are open-source projects that are being used, whether it be with Ubuntu or with Red Hat or with SUSE, to scale data centers, or to establish a scale-out architecture. It is possible to achieve scalability with Ubuntu, depending on the scenario. 

With any other Linux distribution, you can achieve quite the same.

How are customer service and technical support?

There is a large community online.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I'm using something called Debian. Ubuntu is based on Debian Linux.

I have used many operating systems. I have used Debian, CentOS, Fedora, Red Hat, and SUSE.

I have also used distributions that have very weird names as well.

How was the initial setup?

Linux has always been a technology for technical people. Ubuntu bridges that gap. With Ubuntu, you don't need to know the technical parts of it very well to install it on a laptop and you can use Ubuntu without having any Linux knowledge.

It is very straightforward and can be installed anywhere. That's the convenience of it. 

For example, if tomorrow you face an issue and you Google it online, you will find many people who face the same issue and will provide workarounds or resolutions for the problem.

It is very easy to install.

The time it takes to deploy depends on the hardware you are installing it on, but normally it is 20 to 30 minutes to install onto a laptop or a server.

What about the implementation team?

You can install it yourself. It is similar to installing Windows. There is no difference. You burn the ISO image to the USB, boot the server or the laptop and follow the instructions. You click the "next" button until it is complete and you are good to go. You give it your password, the settings that you would like, and that's it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Ubuntu is a free product. 

If I am not mistaken, you can purchase support contracts that are available from Ubuntu.

You can always purchase Ubuntu, use it as often as you would like, and you can get enterprise support. 

Canonical has its licensing scheme, but I think the product is free to use. 

It has a GPL license, (General Public License). This license is always and will always be free to use. 

I am not familiar with the prices because I never had to contact Canonical for support and inquired about how much it would cost for their support. 

In general, you can always download their software and install it at any time for free and use it for free, according to the GPL license.

What other advice do I have?

I am mainly a free VM Linux advocate. I love open-source products in general. 

At home, I have a server I'm running Linux on. I'm a Linux open-source enthusiast with more than 10 years of experience with multiple Linux distributions as a hobby. 

In my line of business, I interact with Linux environments a lot and Unix space environments in general.

I would recommend Ubuntu for anyone who's trying to learn Linux. 

For anyone who is not technical but wants a free operating system on their computer, I would definitely recommend Ubuntu.

I think there's something that needs to be clarified; Ubuntu shouldn't be compared to other distributions. These are just distributions. In the end, they share the same kernel. That is the thing with Linux. Linux is not a complete operating system. I will take the kernel, I will bundle it with a bunch of applications and then I will release it to the public and say that this is a distribution, which is not an operating system. 

I would recommend that it be compared based on the kernel, not on distribution to distribution. Ubuntu was made for something. It was made to be user-friendly, it was made for laptops. It is doing a great job on that. 

No other Linux distribution is doing as good of a job on that. For example, Red Hat or Oracle Linux, are not good on laptops, but they are good for servers. Red Hat is really good on enterprise servers.

If you are going to run any data centers that are all based on Linux, it should be based on Red Hat or SUSE. If you are running any Oracle databases or Oracle applications, it would be better to run them on Oracle Linux, even though Oracle Linux and Red Hat share the same binaries. 

There is no difference between the commands in Red Hat and Oracle Linux.

Linux is a messed up world. Everybody has their own agenda, their own thing and it's basically the same. If you go to Ubuntu with Oracle Linux in the back end, it's the exact same. 

This is the biggest nightmare with the Linux industry or the Linux world, that every day there is a new Linux distribution.

It's great. I would rate Ubuntu Linux and eight out of 10. 

It's a great product, very easy to install. It provides an alternative for Windows. 

Some people don't want to pay Microsoft or can't afford Microsoft, they want to have their own operating system solo on their hardware. Ubuntu provides that and gives you the option to give you support for it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Technical Presales Consultant/ Engineer at a wholesaler/distributor with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Relegated to a test bench, and therefore is no longer stable
Pros and Cons
  • "CentOS is very efficient and very powerful with many capabilities."
  • "I was using CentOS because it was very stable, and now it's not."

What is our primary use case?

It can be used for data centers to run the servers.

CentOS is a test bench for Red Hat. When Red Hat is testing new software, they will test it out in CentOS and Fedora. They will give it to the public, the public will complain about all the issues, then they will fix it, and include it in Red Hat.

I am not using it for the organization. However, I am using it in the business. For example, I help many clients back up Linux servers or protect Linux servers. But I am a Linux user at home, and I have been implementing products that revolve around Linux.

What is most valuable?

CentOS was one of the best Linux distributions out there. There was no community-based operating system like CentOS, except for Red Hat.

CentOS is very efficient and very powerful with many capabilities.

Anyone who has been using CentOs from the beginning of time has been using it because it has been a stable platform. Many companies have made solutions based on CentOS because it was a stable platform.

What needs improvement?

Unfortunately, Red Hat has changed the direction of the project.

The community is shocked that CentOS is no longer that stable branch, it's that development branch. 

They have now started a new project that some vendors are involved with, which is called Rocky Linux. 

Rocky Linux is a new Linux distribution that continues with what the community started with CentOS. The community now is making creating their own CentOS, because of Red Hat's decision to make this CentOS a test bench.

Most of the vendors in the market right now are making appliances, whether it be a firewall or a storage appliance, and most of them are using CentOS. Imagine the impact this will have on the vendors, on an international level, because they are relying on CentOS to be the most stable Linux distribution, and they chose the solution based on stability.

Red Hat made the decision of making CentOS a test bench, which means it will no longer be stable. Vendors will either push the new unstable update to customers, which is not something they would likely do or they would need to change to another Linux distribution.

It's a major decision for many companies to make. Because it is now a test bench many people are forced to change.

I was using CentOS because it was very stable, and now it's not. Will I use it? No. 

The main reason people use CentOS was because of its stability. Now that the stability has been compromised, no one will use it, unless they are Red Hat developers. The people who are learning Red Hat will also like it. But for us, the community, who might have been relying on CentOS as being a very stable platform, we will discard it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using CentOS for five years.

We used version CentOS 6, and CentOS 7, but the latest one is CentOS 8.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

CentOS had proven to be very stable, but now with the updates, CentOS is not the stable operating system that it used to be. 

How are customer service and technical support?

CentOS is not supported commercially. CentOS is a community project. If you have any issue, you open the forums online, you post about it, and they solve it for you. 

Red Hat is the one that is charging for it. You can buy Red Hat and purchase support from them and they'll support you.

How was the initial setup?

If you know your way around Linux, then it is easy to install CentOS.

Most of it is the command line. There is a graphical user interface installation, but if you know CentOS, you don't want to do anything with the graphics. Instead, you will want to do everything with the command line, otherwise, you should consider Ubuntu.

What about the implementation team?

I can install any Linux on my own, with no worries.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are no licensing fees for CentOS. It's a DPL project, there is no licensing cost.

What other advice do I have?

CentOS, Red Hat, Oracle Linux, and Fedora all share the same binaries, they have the exact same distribution, with very minor differences. 

CentOS started as a community project, a community enterprise operating system. It's basically free Red Hat. Red Hat was rebranded and called CentOS and released to the public.

I have had a really good experience with CentOS 6 or CentOS 7, but I have abandoned CentOS completely since Red Hat has made its position of CentOS very clear. CentOS now is discontinued. 

Red Hat is releasing CentOS Stream, which is new. Before, what used to be the situation? Red Hat would release the Red Hat Linux distribution online version six, for example, at the same time, Red Hat would release CentOS 6. Red Hat and CentOS 6 had no differences, except the fact that with Red Hat you can actually get a support contract, whereas, with CentOS 6, you cannot get a support contract. 

CentOS and Red Hat are the same. There's no difference between CentOS and Red Hat.

There used to be no difference between CentOS and Red Hat, but now CentOS is like Fedora.

There's no difference, it's just a test bench, with the latest updates, but it is not as stable as it is before.

Now, there was something called Fedora. Fedora is a Linux-based distribution. Usually, you have the latest updates, the brand new technologies, everything is in the Fedora, but it's not stable. Fedora is not stable.

Red Hat is the one controlling CentOS. Whenever Red Hat would release a version, they would release the same CentOS to the public. The only difference was that CentOS is supported by the community, and Red Hat is supported by Red Hat, the enterprise by the business. They used to have a test bench, which is Fedora. Fedora is a distribution based both on Red Hat or CentOS, but packages are very up to date, which is not stable. Now, Red Hat made a decision to stop CentOS and make something new called CentOS Stream. This CentOS Stream is just like Fedora.

It's not as stable as Red Hat. Before Red Hat was releasing a free version and a paid version. Both the free and the paid were the exact, same, they were identical, there were no differences. 

It has the same stability and the same everything. Now, CentOS is a test bench in which Red Hat releases the newest and latest code so that they can try it out on the community, to ensure that it is fine before they include it in Red Hat. CentOS is like Fedora. Good for testing, not for production, and not for servers.

For the time being, I would not recommend this solution to others. 

At one time CentOS was definitely a nine out of ten, but now with these recent updates, I would rate CentOS a zero out of ten. Imagine if you would create something for a specific purpose, but then in the middle, you would change it and make it the exact opposite. That would make any person who chose it, hate it.

I am very frustrated with the way the CentOS project has gone. I would rate it a Zero out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
CEO at a computer software company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5
Powerful with high availability and very stable
Pros and Cons
  • "Oracle Solaris is great due to the fact that it actually is meant for high-end servers."
  • "Currently, there are two variants, there's SPARC and there's x86. I would have wanted a scenario where they're all just one product."

What is our primary use case?

Clients mainly use the solution as a database operating system in many environments. Most who are using it are financial institutions, telecoms, or companies in the energy sector. 

What is most valuable?

Of late the most valuable feature is virtualization. They have attained virtualization and it's quite simple to create the Oracle Solaris zones.

The solution is quite powerful.

Oracle Solaris is great due to the fact that it actually is meant for high-end servers. 

The high availability is great. You can clone and you can do quite a number of things with them. There's also the ZFS File system which is very good. Is one of the best file systems that there is.

What needs improvement?

Most of the product is still command-line, despite the fact that they've got a graphical user interface in some areas. For some reason, core administration is still done via command-line.

The manufacturer can put most of those command-line environments into classical use like other operating systems. With Solaris the administration part is through command-line which may be difficult for some people who may not be used to that way of working.

Currently, there are two variants, there's SPARC and there's x86. I would have wanted a scenario where they're all just one product.

I would have loved if the clustering data was a bit simpler. Currently, the clustering data is a product on its own. It would be great if there was higher availability data with that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been an Oracle Solaris consultant for over 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is the most stable operating system compared to other operating systems that I know. If you look at it, it's rarely attacked by viruses and it rarely fails due to its reliable hardware. SPARC is normally very stable.

It rarely fails. Even if it fails, it gives you a lot of warnings in the logs. The log warnings are very clear. If you follow along you really get to the crux of the matter. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When it comes to scalability, it's even more scalable than other competitors given the fact that it's a high-end operating system.

It ranges from one single processor to over a hundred cores. It's a very scalable operating system. I'd say it's more scalable than any Linux and Windows environment - in vertical scaling, that is. The SPARC servers are extremely powerful. You can put a very huge database on it or even a very big application.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle support is good. The only this is that it is expensive. At the end of the day, if you are on Oracle support you are sorted out quickly. They are very responsive and knowledgable. If you are not on Oracle support you have to support it yourself and figure out what the issues are without their assistance.

With Oracle, everything is together and it comes nearly with all the patches and it's really great. If you put it on Oracle hardware, everything is there and it still works with Oracle. Once it's in installed the only issues that may arise are performance issues, and that may be a configuration problem on your end. 

At the end of the day, Oracle support will support you, and they will sort you out. They normally release patches on a regular basis. It used to be a monthly basis, however, I think now it's a quarterly basis. Those patches can help you if there's a new hardware release, which is not on your old Solaris environment.

How was the initial setup?

In the latest versions, the initial setup is not very complex. Solaris is normally of two variants. There is the SPARC variant and there is the Intel variant. 

With the implementation, the steps and procedures are very clear. You just install more if you're installing in SPARC or if you're installing it on an Oracle hardware.

It's very easy to install due to the fact that all the patches are there, unlike other products where you have to put apart from this other side of all these. With this solution, everything is there, so it's very straightforward. The implementation is very, very straightforward, and simple by the way.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is a free product. It doesn't cost anything. What you can purchase is support. 

If you buy Oracle hardware it's supported free with the hardware. If you're putting it on non-Oracle hardware, that is when you buy the support license, which is also very reasonable. It is $1000 dollars per year, so it's not overly expensive. 

If you compare what it can do with how much Oracle charges for support, it's more or less free.

What other advice do I have?

In our company, we don't use Oracle Solaris. As a person, I was employed as a Solaris System Administrator. I'm just a consultant. We don't use Oracle Solaris, because we're not big enough to use the solution ourselves. 

Overall, I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

I would highly recommend Oracle Solaris. It's a stable operating system and it's been around for a long time. If you're planning to have an Oracle Database, the best operating system for the Oracle Database is Oracle Solaris.

If anybody is implementing a new solution or a new environment and thinks of putting in Oracle Database, the first option would be Oracle Solaris, then they can look at other OSs like Windows and Linux.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Systems Engineer at a educational organization with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Quick and easy to deploy and offers very good integration of Microsoft products
Pros and Cons
  • "Within 10 or 15 minutes, you can build a single Windows Server and put it on production."
  • "The solution needs to be more stable and secure."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is mainly used if you have a lot of solutions that integrate with Microsoft products. The usage varies. It depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to use it for integrating for web services or integrating for OS with some of your net applications, or your C-Sharp type of environments, then Windows is your go-to.

What is most valuable?

The product is very good for those that are integrating a lot of Microsoft products. It's great at integrating them.

The initial setup is pretty easy. The deployment is very fast.

What needs improvement?

The solution needs to be more stable and secure. Linux servers are much better in terms of stability and security and are better at thwarting any form of cyber attack. You stand a better chance if you're on a Linux box if you get hit. Not that they don't get attacked. However, Windows is a high-maintenance operating system. You have to keep it up to date almost all the time, and you also need to have a lab to test your updates as some of the updates could actually break the environment. There is a fine line between keeping it updated and breaking it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for what feels like forever. It's easily been seven or eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability needs to be improved. You really need to have some sort of sandbox in order to test the updates. While it needs to be kept updated, you also run the risk of breaking your environment. It's a tricky balance. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are not so many users on the solution. Users are only using the applications, not so much the servers themselves, however, I would say, from our systems, we've got about five people that have to look after these servers.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup process has improved over the years. Now it's actually better than it was. I would say that at this point it's straightforward. Within 10 or 15 minutes, you can build a single Windows Server and put it on production.

What about the implementation team?

You can likely handle the implementation yourself. It's easy. I did it myself. I didn't need the assistance of any outside integrator or consultant. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

You do need to pay for a license. It's reasonably priced. Of course, if you are strapped for cash, you can set up a Linux type of server basically for free. It depends on what you need.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am aware of Linux servers. You can set up an Unbuntu server for free if you want. With Microsoft, you do have to pay. I also find Linux to be more secure. You are less likely to suffer attacks.

What other advice do I have?

We use various versions of the product. Right now, for example, it's a mix between the 2015 and 2019 versions.

Users need to be aware that they need to manage the solution properly. It could be pretty unsafe if you don't manage it properly.

I wouldn't outright recommend the solution per se. It depends on what you want to achieve or if you have the knowledge of what you want to do. I would only recommend it if you have to integrate it with other Microsoft products. There are other server platform products that are much more secure and better than Windows. That said, if you are integrating into a Microsoft environment, yes, Windows is your best option.

In general, I would rate the solution at a seven out of ten. It's great for Microsoft-heavy environments, however, it could be more secure. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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