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Buyer's Guide
Operating Systems (OS) for Business
September 2022
Get our free report covering Oracle, Red Hat, Canonical, and other competitors of Oracle Solaris. Updated: September 2022.
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Consultant at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Consultant
It's stable, mature and relatively easy to handle
Pros and Cons
  • "RHEL is stable, mature, and relatively easy to handle. I'm pretty confident in it. We haven't had to raise a serious support ticket for any server in I don't know how many years."
  • "Red Hat can be tricky at times, but all operating systems are. The moves to systemd and NetworkManager haven't made the product more user-friendly. Let's put it that way. The network management they had before was easier and somewhat more reliable than NetworkManager, which Red Hat forces us to use now."

What is our primary use case?

The primary purpose of any operating system is to run all sorts of applications and databases on servers. We use RHEL to run applications and host containers but not much else. We don't use it for databases, and none of our clients use Red Hat virtualization, so no KBM. We install them onto VMware and use them like Red Hat virtual machines.

I primarily work for banks that tend to have a proper on-premise cloud because the data can't leave the premises. We also work for insurance companies, government, and law enforcement organizations. Most of them use it on a virtualized platform like VMware. Some are hardware installations, and other clients are experimenting with cloud infrastructure. One of the banks we work for has started to build its own cloud to get experience and move specific applications to the cloud.

One client has RHEL deployed across two data centers, which is usually a mirrored setup. In other words, two hardware servers are doing the same thing. It can be active-active or active-passive. The VMs also stretch across two data centers, but it's a Metro cluster, so it's in the same city. I've been working with my current client for a couple of years. Our three-person team manages 250 hardware services and about 400 VMs.

We are still migrating a couple of solutions to Red Hat, so the user base is getting bigger. 

How has it helped my organization?

We decided to use Red Hat Linux instead of Solaris or something else because it's widely used and accessible. It's easier to find people who know RHEL. It has also made the automation through Satellite and Puppet easier, which are built into Enterprise Linux. 

What is most valuable?

RHEL is stable, mature, and relatively easy to handle. I'm pretty confident in it. We haven't had to raise a serious support ticket for any server in I don't know how many years. It has built-in high availability solutions for VMware on top of the hardware.  

Red Hat Linux is also useful for keeping applications from misbehaving. I like the fact that it has firewall controls.

What needs improvement?

Red Hat can be tricky at times, but all operating systems are. The moves to systemd and NetworkManager haven't made the product more user-friendly. The network management they had before was easier and somewhat more reliable than NetworkManager, which Red Hat forces us to use now.

That may just be my personal preference because I've been working on Red Hat for so long. It's something new that doesn't do exactly what it used to do, so it's probably more of an old person's complaint.

The firewall controls can also be somewhat challenging in terms of automation. An application may use a different setup, so you need to consider that if you want to automate installations. 

You can't easily port an application to another operating system unless it's CentOS or Fedora. It's not portable if you want to port it to something like Windows except for Java and containers. Unless it's another Red Hat, CentOS, or Fedora, the application itself isn't portable if it's installed on a thick virtual or physical machine even. It's not easily portable because you must recompile the application or make changes.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Red Hat for more than 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are bugs, but you can usually find a workaround quickly. When somebody discovers a bug, it's fixed pretty quickly in the next release.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The services run well, and it can handle pretty much anything provided you have enough hardware resources. That's something you always have to watch out for.

How are customer service and support?

RHEL is so stable in the environments I've been working on that I have never had to call Red Hat. Any issues we've had were either hardware or application problems. It's never an issue with the operating system. 

The community resources are helpful. You can find answers to most questions you have in terms of setup or troubleshooting. There are issues now and again, but you can go to the website or a discussion board to find the solution, and it works. When I say we've never had a problem, it's not exactly true. Sometimes it doesn't do what you expect, but you can usually find the solution, so we have never had to call support to ask.

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

A lot of my clients used to use Oracle Solaris, but many of them switched to Red Hat due to hardware costs. Oracle hardware is expensive, but it is good stuff. We had systems that ran for three years without any issues, but it gets expensive if something breaks or you need to replace hardware due to the lifecycle. 

You can install RHEL on any x86 hardware and deploy it on several Dell servers, which is much cheaper than a single Oracle server. For example, we needed to replace a system because the hardware got sold. We were quoted a price for Solaris running on an Oracle T5. It was four times the price of replacing it with HP hardware. So that's the main reason many clients have shifted to RHEL. 

It's a vicious cycle. As more companies switch, other clients say, "Oh, but there's not much user base left. How long will this run? Let's follow the mainstream trend." That said, I love Solaris. It's unbelievably stable and easy to use, but just the hardware underneath it is too expensive.

How was the initial setup?

I've been involved in deployment, but it depends on the client. I've done everything from architectural design to installation and administration for specific clients. Setting up RHEL is pretty straightforward if you know what you need to know. Of course, you have to do your homework before. For example, if you are deploying it on a VM, you need to see the size you need and what else you have to install. 

When someone orders a server, we typically tell them the deployment will take half a day, but the installation takes around an hour. You may need to install other things, but the out-of-the-box operating system takes about an hour.

We're just one team who manages the infrastructure for one department. It's highly specific. There's a specialized market team that does stock exchanges and financial services. The demands for hardware and availability are particular to that segment. We have three people responsible for installation, maintenance, and administration.

What was our ROI?

RHEL is stable and relatively cheap, so you get much more out of it than other Linux flavors. I mostly work as a consulting system engineer and am usually not involved in any of this financial stuff.

I can suggest how many subscriptions they need and how much it will cost, but I can't say if it's worth it to the client. I don't know, but we have never had any complaints. People never say, "Oh, but this is expensive, and it doesn't fit into what we had planned."

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

RHEL has a decent pricing model. It's a subscription, which makes sense. The OS itself is free, but you pay for the support. I have never heard any complaints about the pricing.

You can also purchase a virtual data center license that allows you to set up a hundred virtual servers. You can also add a Satellite license subscription to your standard server. There are several different add-ons that will increase the price of the subscription, depending on the functionality you need.

It's hard for me to compare Red Hat with other open-source solutions because we only have clients who work with Red Hat Linux. Of course, there are entirely free ones you could use. Fedora is the most extensive free version of Red Hat. You could use Ubuntu or any other Linux flavor, which is mostly free. However, I have no idea what additional cost you'd pay if you want to support.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Red Hat Enterprise Linux nine out of ten. I would recommend it, but I need to qualify that by pointing out that I don't have enough experience with other Linux flavors to say that it's better than the others. I've mostly used RHEL because it's so ubiquitous.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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Principal Cloud Architect at a wholesaler/distributor with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Reliable and easy package management
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable features of Ubuntu Linux is the reliability, the ease of package management, and the ease of upgrading from one version to the next."
  • "Ubuntu is putting great efforts into making their platform a great hosting platform for Kubernetes and other related tools, but they are not addressing the challenges with what it takes to run Ubuntu in a large Windows-based environment."

What is our primary use case?

We use Ubuntu Linux for deployments, infrastructure tasks, and for our developers. It is currently both on-prem and in the cloud. On-prem, there are a handful of machines and approximately 15 virtual machines in the cloud.

Most of the machines are somewhat tied to development purposes. We use it to host GitLab and an artifact repository. We also use it for mail relay to address some shortcomings in the exchange that we experience.

Ubuntu Linux is also used for Kubernetes and Docker development and production tasks. Most of the use cases of Ubuntu Linux are infrastructure related, with approximately 10 to 15 developers who also use it as a desktop.

For total number of users, there are 150 developers working with this solution and many more that use more specific services that are hosted on Ubuntu.

We plan to deploy a major application which will cater to all our testing and quality assurance people, which runs on Ubuntu on Linux.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of Ubuntu Linux is the reliability, the ease of package management, and the ease of upgrading from one version to the next. 

With Ubuntu Linux you can set it and forget it.  It requires low amount of administrative overhead.

What needs improvement?

I have certain misgivings about the policy of Ubuntu. They put business related packages into the universe branch of the distribution, which means that they will be upgraded without consideration for the package maintainer. Ubuntu Linux should put more of the applications and modules that are important for enterprise usage into the main branch, so updates could be more reliable.

Ubuntu is putting great efforts into making their platform a great hosting platform for Kubernetes and other related tools, but they are not addressing the challenges with what it takes to run Ubuntu in a large Windows-based environment. I recommend that Ubuntu Linux integrates more into active directory environments when it comes to authentication. There are solutions to make it run, but those are sometimes quite tedious, and it would be beneficial if Ubuntu Linux integrated more for large Windows-based environments.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Ubuntu since the first version was released.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With respect to scalability of Ubuntu Linux, you can use the same version on a machine with one CPU and one gig of RAM, and you could move this machine to a different VM with 64 CPUs and two terabyte of RAM and you just have to start it. Yes, it scales very well

If you scale up the machine, it will be faster almost by the amount that you scale up. It will not be 64 times faster with 64 CPUs, but it'll be like 55 times faster with 64 CPUs than with one.

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

My background includes working with a variety of Linux and Unix versions ranging from IBM AIX, Oracle Solaris, and RedHat-based Linux Distributions. The environment had all the services that were offered by those machines streamlined in order to run only one distribution. It was a good experience for me, however others in the organization had concerns with running Linux.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of Ubuntu Linux is extremely easy. You cannot go wrong with the installation. Of course, you have to know a bit about Linux or Unix in order to know what you're doing.

What about the implementation team?

We implement in-house. I can manage, configure, and upgrade them all together and maintain them with two to three hours per week. That is all that is required to keep them running smoothly.

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

We do not have any support agreements with Ubuntu, so we are using the free and open source version.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Ubuntu Linux is reliable, has easy package management and is easy to upgrade from one version to the next. Windows can not offer that. Ubuntu's deployments are easy with a very reliable machine, which Windows has shown that they can't do.

What other advice do I have?

If you are considering Ubuntu Linux, don't do it if you don't have knowledge of Linux.

I would rate this solution a 9 out of 10.

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.
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LLIEDNO - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr. NetBackup System Administrator at University of Delaware
Real User
An inter-platform solution with excellent documentation and support
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution runs very well on inter-platform or HPE Intel servers."
  • "The graphic interface could be improved to work better in a desktop environment."

What is our primary use case?

I use the solution to host Oracle Database and ACSLS which manages tape libraries. ACSLS used to be owned by StorageTek but was purchased by Oracle. 

For example, our infrastructure utilizes the solution to run ACSLS and provide commands to the tape library, conduct inventory, provide encryption, and keep track of volumes with their location slots. 

The solution is not used by thousands but instead provides inter-computer communications and services like DNS, encryption, and management. 

What is most valuable?

The solution runs very well on inter-platform or HPE Intel servers. 

Product documentation and technical support are excellent. 

What needs improvement?

The graphic interface could be improved to work better in a desktop environment like Red Hat or Ubuntu.

Few people use the solution because its marketing is faltering. Unless companies buy other items from Oracle such as ACSLS for managing tape libraries, there is no need to use the solution. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable and has been running for months with no issues. 

On occasion, we install patches to fix security vulnerabilities. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We use the solution for a very specific applications so do not have the need to scale. The solution is connected to another platform to provide encryption or management. For our use, the solution works very well. 

We do not have thousands of users connected to the solution. 

How are customer service and support?

The solution provides the best and most detailed documentation available. Step-by-step instructions are provided for downloading packages and installing operating systems. 

The response time for technical issues is excellent and second to none. If you have an issue, they will be able and willing to help. 

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

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

I am also a system administrator for Solaris and prefer it because it has been on the market longer and I am familiar with it. 

In my opinion, Solaris is the best operating system available but has limitations because it must operate on a SPARC server. It is a legacy solution that is aging out and being replaced by Red Hat or Linux. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup and deployment is easy.

Our data center operators racked everything and connected the network. Then our engineering group connected the console, mounted remote DVDs with the software, connected remote ISOs or ICOs, and deployed the operating system. Our security group handled authentication like the LDAP configuration that allows use of the same accounts for all servers. 

Daily operations include several monitoring services like Netcool or ScienceLogic to keep track of things via SNMP. When something fails, a ticket is received via Remedy and our security group lets us know to patch for vulnerabilities. 

What about the implementation team?

The implementation was done in-house with no issues. 

We downloaded software packages from the website, repurposed some hardware, and installed the operating system. 

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

Overall, the solution is less expensive than Solaris and allows for use of existing hardware.

I do not have access to actual costs but believe the licensing fees are quite high.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The Linux solution can run on inter-platform so that puts it in competition with Red Hat which is marketed better and has bandwidth. 

Red Hat has become the standard since it was purchased by IBM and users are migrating to it. Red Hat was not an option for us because we had specific needs. 

We chose the solution because it supports our HPE Intel server and ACSLS. 

What other advice do I have?

Documentation for the solution is outstanding and support is good. 

For security, disable things you do not need like Telnet or ports and rely instead on SNMP for great monitoring that alerts you to memory and space utilization. 

Partition your file system instead of using defaults for root and boot file systems. Separate file systems protect against machine crashes or root file system issues. 

Ensure that you secure your entire system to prevent hacks. 

I rate the solution an eight 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.
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Senior Unix System Administrator at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to install and manage
Pros and Cons
  • "It's easy to install."
  • "Updates are going to a streaming version."

What is our primary use case?

We have very varied, different uses. Mostly it's an appliance for applications.

How has it helped my organization?

It's required for some of the applications we have. In order to run those applications, we have to have CentOS.

What is most valuable?

It's easy to install.

What needs improvement?

They're changing how they're working, and I really enjoy the easy updates. Now they're going to a streaming version, which I don't like. We want to control the updates manually. We have an application that we don't want to be updated without our knowledge.

If you want to do something special on install, you can. But when they have 68 questions about how you want to install, you answer each one of them. A very simple, default install would be nice.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using CentOS for more than 12 months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is extremely scalable. We have about 200 people using it at this point, mostly engineers or database guys.

We'll probably have a minor increase in usage, but not a huge increase in how many nodes we'll have.

How are customer service and support?

CentOS has no technical support. You just look it up if you have a problem.

Red Hat is the paid version of Linux. They take out all the Red Hat stuff and make CentOS Linux with no support. But a lot of people use it, and a lot of people post. So if you have a problem, you just look online and it's fine.

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

I did use Red Hat a long time ago, and I switched because they couldn't seem to decide how they wanted to charge for their service. I was perfectly happy to just pay them, but it would range by huge amounts. I couldn't maintain that.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is in between straightforward and complex. It could be easier. There are too many options, and I'd like a lot less.

What about the implementation team?

Deployment takes a half-hour, and we did it in-house. One person, myself, takes care of deployment and maintenance.

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

There are zero licensing costs for the solution. 

There are admin costs. We run it on VMware, so there has to be VMware cost.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There were a few other options, but CentOS is heavily used and that helps.

What other advice do I have?

Just be aware of the changes they're about to make, which is from the regular updates to streaming. That's major.

I would rate the solution nine out of ten. It's easy to install, it's easy to manage, it's free.

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.
PeerSpot user
Software Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Easy to use, stable, with good support and an improved user interface

What is our primary use case?

I use this solution for general purposes on my personal laptop. I have installed some applications on it and everything works. I am familiar with it.

What is most valuable?

I like the changes made to the user interface compared to the previous version of Windows such as Windows eight and Windows nine.

It's easy to use.

What needs improvement?

This solution is stable, but it could be better. The stability could be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Windows 10 for one year.

We are using the latest version.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Windows 10 is stable, but it could be improved.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a scalable solution.

We plan to continue using this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am satisfied with technical support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward. It was very easy.

What about the implementation team?

I completed the installation myself. We have a technical team to maintain and deploy it when necessary.

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

We pay a licensing fee.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Windows 10 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.
Buyer's Guide
Operating Systems (OS) for Business
September 2022
Get our free report covering Oracle, Red Hat, Canonical, and other competitors of Oracle Solaris. Updated: September 2022.
635,513 professionals have used our research since 2012.