• Issues not addressed by this document
  • General Support Criteria
  • Description of Open Source Support
  • Description of Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Description of support for Red Hat Linux
  • Development of In-house Linux expertise
  • Red Hat Linux Training and Costs: Red Hat Linux
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux
  • Draft tss linux Support Information current as of August 26, 2003




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    DRAFT
    TSS Linux Support

    Information current as of August 26, 2003
    [Please send comments, suggestions and questions to dennis@stanford.edu]
    Purpose:

    This document describes our options and recommendations for supporting the Linux operating system on our servers.


    Issues not addressed by this document:

    Campus distribution and support of our Linux server solution

    Hardware standards

    Software repositories

    Application requirements

    Mature and dependable server-build methods

    Availability of test environments
    General Support Criteria:


    • Frequency of major releases

    • Availability and timeliness of fixes and security patches

    • Staff training

    • Availability of off-hours support for critical production systems



    Support Summary:

    There are three approaches to supporting Linux on our systems:



    • Purchase Red Hat support

      1. We can purchase Red Hat support for the AS, ES or WS releases, and add the Stanford modules ourselves.

      2. Red Hat support is purchased for each server on an annual subscription basis.

      3. The Red Hat support contract guarantees response times and off-hours support, depending on the support package.

      4. Red Hat support guarantees a release schedule between major versions of 12 to 18 months.

      5. Red Hat support guarantees up to 5 years of support per version.

    • Rely on Open Source community support

      1. There’s no direct cost for support or for the OS.

      2. Support depends on internet volunteers and in-house knowledge.

      3. There are no guaranteed response times, but historically it has been good.

      4. Off-hours support is uncertain.

      5. Public releases have an aggressive release schedule – 4 to 6 months between the public releases, with support lasting 1 year.

      6. Since Red Hat will support the public releases for just one year, long term support beyond a year depends on internet volunteers.

    1. No direct cost other than in further training of staff.

    2. We can to a degree guarantee response times and off-hours support.

    3. We can to a degree support our own release schedule and how long we continue support.


    Recommendations:

    We recommend adopting all three approaches. Each server and service should be evaluated and the support level set according to the requirements of the particular server.


    Some general criteria to use in determining support levels:

    Criticality of production – does supporting the service require 7x24 hr support?

    General (lot. generalis - umumiy, bosh) - qurolli kuchlardagi harbiy unvon (daraja). Dastlab, 16-a.da Fransiyada joriy qilingan. Rossiyada 17-a.ning 2-yarmidan maʼlum. Oʻzbekiston qurolli kuchlarida G.

    Yes – Red Hat AS with premium support

    No – Red Hat or open source

    Server redundancy – can a single server go down without affecting service?

    Yes – open source

    No – Red Hat or open source

    Application requirements – does the app require advanced server features?

    Yes – Red Hat AS

    No – Red Hat or open source

    Number of CPUs in the server:

    Greater than 2 – Red Hat AS, or open source

    1 or 2 CPUs – Red Hat or open source
    Examples:

    Oracle Database servers: Red Hat AS premium

    Oracle Database development servers: Red Hat AS standard

    A group of identical web servers (web farm): open source

    Four CPU server: either Red Hat AS or open source

    Email servers: open source

    Application server: Red Hat AS or ES standard

    Redundant application servers: open source


    Description of Open Source Support:

    In general, ‘open source’ refers to any program whose source code is made freely available for use or modification. Open source software is usually developed as a public collaboration project and is made freely available, as are patches and fixes.


    The Open Source community is a loose collection of highly capable and dedicated individuals who donate their time and energy to developing and maintaining software made publicly available. The major pieces of software produced and supported by this community is of very high quality. Two examples of open source software are Linux and Apache. Historically this community has responded very quickly to reported bugs and security problems, many times releasing fixes and patches sooner than commercial entities. However, since work on open source is voluntary, there are no guarantees on timeliness or quality of fixes and patches.
    If we deploy Linux on a wide basis, we should join the open source community by further developing Linux skill among our staff. The in-house Linux experts would monitor the newsgroups for patches and fixes, would develop local patches and fixes in the absence of publicly available ones, and would ask for help when necessary on the various open source newsgroups.

    Description of Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux products are delivered through an annual subscription with one year of support services and access to Red Hat Enterprise Network. The enterprise products strive to be stable, with a 12-18 month release cycle and five years of support for every version, in contrast with their ‘public’ releases (Red Hat Linux) which occur every 4 – 6 months.


    The support services consist of what Red Hat calls errata updates. These updates contain security, bug fix and enhancement errata that have been qualified on the appropriate Red Hat Enterprise Linux release and architecture. The scope of enhancement errata is constrained to additional hardware support. Security errata are released independent of the updates.
    Red Hat levels of support are:

    • Basic Edition, which provides 90-days of Installation and Configuration support (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm ET);

    • Standard Edition, which provides 24x7 Web/Email based support (2 day response time), and Business Hours Phone based support;

    • Premium Edition, which provides 24x7 Web/Email based support (1 day response time), Business Hours Phone based support, and 24x7 Severity One Emergency phone support.

    Red Hat has three types of supported products: AS, ES and WS.


    Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS (formerly Red Hat Linux Advanced Server) is the top-of-the-line enterprise Linux solution and is oriented towards large departmental and datacenter server deployments. It supports up to 8 cpus and a maximum of 16 GB of main memory, and is certified by Dell, HP, IBM and Sun. It includes two high availability clustering technologies: High Availability Clustering through the Cluster Manager feature; and the IP Load Balancing (Piranha) feature. The levels of support costs are:

    • Standard Edition $1499 (annual list price, 10% discount for universities)

    • Premium Edition $2499 (annual list price, 10% discount for universities)

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES is oriented towards medium-scale departmental deployments - network, file, print, mail, Web, and custom or packaged business applications. It supports up to 2 cpus and a maximum of 4GB of main memory. The two levels of support costs are:



    • Basic Edition $349 (annual list price, 10% discount for universities)

    • Standard Edition $799 (annual list price, 10% discount for universities)

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS is oriented towards client-server deployments, S/W development environments, specialized ISV client applications, HPC (high performance computing) environments deployed on high density, headless workstation configurations and blade compute farms. Typical applications include CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and visualization/rendering. It supports up to 2 cpus. The two levels of support are:



    • Basic Edition $179 (annual list price, 10% discount for universities)

    • Standard Edition $299 (annual list price, 10% discount for universities)


    Description of support for Red Hat Linux:

    New distributions of Red Hat Linux occur every 4 to 6 months. These distributions are the basis for SULinux.


    Red Hat's support policy for Red Hat Linux distributions is to provide maintenance for at least 12 months. At certain times, Red Hat may extend errata maintenance for certain popular releases of the operating system. End of Life dates for errata maintenance for currently supported products are listed below:
    On July 30, 2003:

    Red Hat Linux 9 (Shrike) April 30, 2004

    Red Hat Linux 8.0 (Psyche) December 31, 2003

    Red Hat Linux 7.3 (Valhalla) December 31, 2003

    Red Hat Linux 7.2 (Enigma) December 31, 2003

    Red Hat Linux 7.1 (Seawolf) December 31, 2003



    Development of In-house Linux expertise

    1. Send staff to classes to acquire knowledge and certifications. See below for Red HatTraining and costs.

    2. Encourage the staff to work on their own, either through self-study or by attending classes in the evenings.

    3. Encourage the staff to attend conferences.

    4. Organize an ITSS Linux users group where the individuals can share knowledge, especially around working with open source.

    5. Provide test equipment, space and time so staff can experiment, especially with open source software modifications, compilations, and installations.


    Red Hat Linux Training and Costs:
    Red Hat Linux:

    Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT): certification indicates that the person has passed a realistic performance-based lab exam that tests his/her ability to: install and configure Red Hat Linux; understand limitations of hardware; configure basic networking and file systems for a single system attached to a network; configure the X Window System; perform essential Red Hat Linux system administration; configure basic host security, set up client-side networking services required to attach to a production network, and carry out basic diagnostics and troubleshooting. 4.5 day course: $2300


    Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE): certification indicates that the person has passed a realistic performance-based lab exam that tests his/her ability to: install and configure Red Hat Linux; understand limitations of hardware; configure basic networking and file systems for a network; configure the X Window System; perform essential Red Hat Linux system administration; configure basic security for a network server; set up and manage common enterprise networking (IP) services for the organization, carry out server diagnostics and troubleshooting. 5 day course: $2500
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

    Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Training: RH401 is designed to train people with RHCE level competency on skills required to deploy and manage Red Hat systems to enterprise standards of reliability, availability, scalability and manageability (RASM). Central to the course is hands-on training in the high availability and load-balancing capabilities of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. 4 day course: $2900


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    Draft tss linux Support Information current as of August 26, 2003

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