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  • Infobrief Red Hat Linux 9 Professional Key Points

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    Red Hat Linux 9 Professional
    Key Points

    1. Red Hat® Linux® 9 Professional is Red Hat’s consumer operating system that may be used by small businesses for web infrastructure and for desktop installations. Many of the feature enhancements from the previous version are designed to assist small businesses set up their network infrastructure or desktops.

    2. Linux provides a cost-effective, optimal operating environment for an Internet infrastructure using Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers. There are no license fees, subscriptions or per seat fees associated with the consumer version of Red Hat Linux, which is an important contribution to help lower TCO.

    3. Enterprise deployments are best served by Red Hat’s Enterprise product family product. Enterprise products offer a much higher level of support than Red Hat Linux 9 Professional. Please see the Service and Support section for further detail.

    4. Red Hat Linux 9 Professional is the LAST version of the Consumer family of operating systems that is available for system vendors such as Dell to offer with a platform, either pre-loaded or included in the system packaging. It is strongly recommended that users of Red Hat Professional in server environments begin the planning process for migrating to Red Hat’s Enterprise family of products.

    5. Red Hat no longer offers certification for the ‘Consumer’ family of products. While every effort has been taken by Dell to insure correct operation of the software on our hardware, formal certification is not available.

    6. Red Hat Linux 9 Professional has several configuration restrictions that have not existed in previous versions. Please see the Product Restrictions section for detail.


    Linux has come a long way since August 1991, when Linus Torvalds began building an operating system (OS) that eventually became Linux, a full-featured OS that has evolved as a project of programmers worldwide.

    Linux is similar to but not identical to UNIX. It runs on a wide variety of hardware, including systems based on Intel, Alpha, PowerPC and other processors. Because of the similarity between UNIX and Linux, many organizations are considering a migration from their expensive proprietary RISC systems to the combination of Intel hardware platforms from Dell and Linux from Red Hat.

    The Linux operating system was developed under the GNU General Public License (GPL), making the source code freely distributable. Freely distributable means that the source code for the kernel (the core technology within any operating system) and most software cannot be withheld.

    Although Linux initially referred strictly to the kernel, it now also includes a collection of configured software that runs on top of the Linux kernel. These “collections of software” are known as distributions. Currently, a number of vendors, including Red Hat and SuSE, offer distributions of Linux that include various enhancements as well as service and support.

    Dell has chosen Red Hat as a strategic partner and distributes Red Hat’s versions of Linux. Red Hat maintains a strictly open source policy for its Linux offerings, which is consistent with Dell’s commitment to industry standards. Through this partnership, Dell provides customers with Red Hat Linux factory-installed on PowerEdge and PowerEdge SC servers. Red Hat Linux 9 Professional is supported by all currently shipping (as of May 2003) PowerEdge NICs, SCSI RAID controllers, and SCSI storage systems offered by Dell.

    Product Description

    Red Hat Linux 9 Professional is an implementation of the Linux 2.4.20 kernel and distribution of the latest set of Linux utilities provided by the open source community. Dell PowerEdge servers running Red Hat Linux offer tools such as: network configuration tools, Red Hat Network for OS change management, user management tools, and hardware viewing tools. These features are elements of the operating system and come ready to use with each factory-installed Red Hat Linux-based server from Dell.

    Red Hat has also included some popular Internet applications in Red Hat Linux 9 Professional:

    1. Apache 2.0 Web Server
      The Apache Project is a collaborative software development effort aimed at creating a freely available source code implementation of an HTTP (Web) server. Apache Web Server software is widely used by Web server domains. The Apache server is well suited for e-commerce applications, where security and stability are key system requirements.

    2. Red Hat TUX Web Server
      TUX is a kernel-based web server licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The TUX Web server serves static web pages, and can do so very efficiently from within the Linux kernel. The TUX Web Server is ideal for development environments, where performance and system response are critical.

    3. Open source products included in Red Hat Linux 9 Professional

    4. The versions of other open source products contained in this distribution are as follows

    5. KDE 3.1

    6. GNOME 2.2

    7. Mozilla 1.2

    8. Open SSL 0.9.7

    9. Product Upgrades

    10. Existing customers of Red Hat Professional should upgrade their software via the Red Hat Network software version control and management service. All copies of Red Hat Linux Professional come with a 180-day trial service and Dell customers are encouraged to subscribe to this service to gain access to new versions of Red Hat’s software. Dell will not be offering customer kits to upgrade software to version 9.

    Product Restrictions

    Red Hat Linux 9 Professional is no longer covered by a formal certification process managed by Red Hat. Dell has, however, extensively tested Red Hat Linux 9 Professional and made the following observations:

    • OS instabilities were observed on platforms with 6GB or 8GB of memory. While other memory configurations up to the maximum of 16GB appear to work correctly, Dell does not recommend installing on systems with greater than 4GB of RAM. Dell will not preload Red Hat Linux 9 on systems greater than 4GB.

    · Dell Power Edge 1650 systems running a BIOS revision level of greater than A06 will not be able to complete a CD installation. Dell will provide an installation CD in the Red Hat Linux 9 Professional kit. Other PowerEdge 1650 users may obtain a copy of the boot disk by downloading the disk from Dell’s web site.

    • Dell Power Edge 4600 systems may erroneously indicate a hardware error on the front panel during the boot sequence. This error does not indicate a hardware problem. Dell will install an updated Adaptec driver on those systems. Other PowerEdge 4600 users may obtain a copy of the boot disk by downloading the disk from Dell’s web site.

    Target Markets/Applications
    Dell’s Linux ‘Professional’-based solutions are targeted at users who want to gain the advantages of the Linux operating system for cost-effective small server applications. Dell PowerEdge Servers with Red Hat Linux can be effectively used as web, firewall, DNS/DHCP, Sendmail and small database (MySQL) servers and data marts due to the fact that all of this software is included with the standard distribution at no extra charge.

    The release of Red Hat Linux 9 Professional is a “community product.” The term “community product” means that while as much support as possible is offered for its deployment, the Linux community is ultimately responsible for the highest level of product support. Dell and Red Hat will jointly make best efforts to resolve issues raised by supported customers unless a modification to the operating system source code is required. If such a determination is arrived at, support will be passed over to the Linux community for resolution. Customers requiring higher levels of support in a specific time period should use the Red Hat Enterprise family of products that are fully supported.

    Features and Benefits of Red Hat Linux 9 Professional

    Generic Features of Red Hat Linux 9 Professional




    Multi-threaded Operating System

    Built-in support for symmetric multi-processing (SMP), currently up to eight microprocessors for an Intel-based system

    Scalable performance enables the system to handle increasing workloads, extending the productive life of the system

    No License Fees or Per Seat charges

    No license fees, supports an unlimited number of users

    Helps lower overall TCO: the solution scales, not the cost

    2.4.20 Kernel, Highly scalable and reliable

    With 2.5 million lines of kernel code, Linux is relatively small and more efficient than other operating systems

    The efficiency of the kernel results in better system performance as well as reliability

    Wide range of hardware compatibility

    Due to the open source of the OS, there are many public companies, educational institutions, government organizations, and individual developers contributing device drivers to Linux.

    Widening selection of hardware options for use with Linux enables system flexibility as well as the opportunity to incorporate legacy hardware

    Peer Review Process

    New Linux releases undergo worldwide public development review.

    Extensive review and testing results in a highly reliable and robust operating system

    "UNIX-like" operating system

    Leverages the large pool of developers and system administrators.

    Helps to minimize software development and training costs

    Specific Key Features of Red Hat Linux 9 Professional




    Firewall Tool

    Dynamic firewall configuration.

    Customize your level of Internet security

    Multi-Byte Console Support

    Allow multi-byte characters to be displayed on the console

    Complete support for system administration in multi-byte languages.

    Package selection during installation

    User choice to select or omit packages during the installation phase

    Optimal system footprint because users are able to customize installations.

    Apache 2.0 Web Server

    Web Server

    Latest release of Apache 2.0 Web Server.

    Red Hat Bluecurve

    GUI for Linux

    Easy-to-use desktop tool.

    Key Customer Benefits

    1. Solutions for Internet Infrastructures
      Dell PowerEdge servers based on Red Hat Linux provide a variety of solutions for Internet infrastructures in environments that range from small businesses to global enterprises.

    2. Reliable Solutions
      Linux can run for extended periods of time without having to be rebooted. And because the source code is open, bugs can be fixed quickly and easily without having to wait for proprietary vendors to issue fixes on their schedules.

    3. Software RAID
      Software RAID configuration at installation helps to provide protection against data loss through disk failure. Software RAID works with a variety of SCSI cards. Red Hat Linux supports RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 5.

    4. Open Source Software
      Open source software refers to software for which the license requires that its source code be open, extensible and freely re-distributable. Open source software takes advantage of the work of a broad base of development efforts.

    5. Flexibility
      Linux is highly customizable, enabling fine-tuning and optimization for a specific application/deployment.

    Service and Support

    Dell provides software technical support for Red Hat Linux 9 Professional through our DirectLine Plus Service Offerings and Premier Enterprise Support Services (PESS). Dell’s DirectLine Plus offers customers 7x24 priority-access support for operating systems that are factory installed or field-installed. Through the Premier Enterprise Support program, Dell offers a tiered service offering to help satisfy the unique needs of server and storage customers across a range of computing environments.

    The release of Red Hat Linux 9 Professional is a “community product.” The term “community product” means that while as much support as possible is offered for its deployment, the Linux community is ultimately responsible for the highest level of product support. Dell and Red Hat will jointly attempt to resolve supported customers issues unless a modification to the operating system source code is required. If such a determination is arrived at, the support issue will be passed over to the Linux community for resolution. Red Hat no longer offers certification for the ‘Consumer’ family of products. While ever effort has been taken by Dell to insure correct operation of the software on our hardware, formal certification is not available.

    Customers requiring higher levels of support in a specific time period should use the Red Hat Linux Enterprise family of products that are fully supported.

    Premier Enterprise Support

    Premier Enterprise Support features tiered packages of services (Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze) to help satisfy the business-critical needs of Dell’s server and storage customers. Since maximizing system uptime is crucial for enterprise customers, many features of Dell’s Premier Enterprise Support Service Tiers Gold and Platinum levels are focused on preventing issues – such as remote monitoring, pre-failure alerting, change notification, and change management.

    Other services are focused on rapid resolution to quickly resolve any issues as they occur. Services range from on-site1 service for hardware to remote software and storage support with seamless support for select third party products. Gold and Platinum customers benefit from engineer-to-engineer support, on-site troubleshooting, on-site engineers, and on-site spares (depending on the options customers chose).

    Platinum Support: For around-the-clock, business-critical environments, Platinum support provides fully integrated and comprehensive custom solutions for all Dell strategic operating systems. Some of the key program features include: Dedicated Technical Account Manager, On-site Troubleshooting, Customer Training, Seamless Support and a 2-hour on-site response2 and 6-hour repair2 commitment.

    Gold Support: For Linux-, Microsoft®-, and Novell®-based business-critical systems, Gold support offers a rich suite of high-end services designed to help manage key environments. Some of the key program features include: Seamless Support, Technical Account Manager Team, Customer-Defined Call Priority, and 4-hour on-site response2 for hardware issues.

    Silver or Bronze Support: For systems that require basic levels of support, the Silver or Bronze tiers enable customers implementing Red Hat Linux to choose from a variety of services based on their requirements.

    DirectLine Plus

    Some customers may require software support services on an incident package basis specifically to support their Dell | Red Hat environment. For these customers, Dell Services provides the DirectLine Plus incident packs. DirectLine Plus incident packages are sold in increments of

      • 1 to 10 resolutions in any 1 year period

      • 15 Resolutions over 3 years

      • 30 Resolutions over 3 years

    Red Hat no longer will offer its collaborative version of DirectLine Plus support services for Red Hat Linux 9 Professional through Dell. Therefore, those customers needing support beyond Red Hat’s basic 90-day phone / 90-day email support / 180 RH Network basic FTP download / and 1 advanced resolution, should purchase a DirectLine Plus or PESS contract from Dell.

    Dell provides software technical support via telephone free of charge for 30 days to customers who purchase Red Hat Linux 9 Professional factory installed on PowerEdge and SC Servers. If customers need advanced software support beyond 30 days (other than basic installation and configuration), they can purchase a Dell DirectLine Plus for Linux contract. Dell DirectLine Plus provides phone support with 8x5 or 24x7 coverage, with a guaranteed response time of 2 hours for non-critical issues. Please note that customers requiring Enterprise class support for Linux should consider purchasing a product from the Enterprise family of products instead of Linux 9 Professional.

    Because Linux 9 is a Linux “community” product, not all customer issues may be answered. Dell takes first call on all Linux support questions. If unable to provide the appropriate OS response, Dell will open an incident report to the Linux community via web, 'bugzilla', or RHN channels. Once the problem is resolved through these channels, Dell will close the issue with the customer. The PowerEdge server hardware comes standard with a three year limited warranty1 supplemented with three years of Next Business Day On-Site2 parts replacement and one year of On-Site1 Labor Service.

    In addition to its basic 30-day telephone operating system support for Red Hat Linux, Dell offers an enhanced suite of Professional Services, custom integration, and advanced performance computing (high-performance compute clusters, a.k.a. HPCC) to customers. Professional services vary by region. Please refer to the web sites below for more information:

    For more information on the Dell | Red Hat alliance, check out the Dell.com web page at:



    Regional Service & Support Availability Options

    Dell services may vary from region to region as Dell continues to scale and make consistent service offerings around the globe. The sections below describe service and support features available by region.

        1. Americas Support

    All of the services listed above are available in the US, Canada and Latin America. (NOTE: PESS is provided in English only, with limited Spanish-speaking TAM support available. Latin America is in the process of deploying PESS regionally.) In particular, PESS Gold is the best option for a customer requiring immediate, highly trained support technicians. For details on the PESS support tiers, check these web pages:





        1. Europe, Middle-East and Africa Support

    Dell services in Europe can provide PESS Gold level advanced software remote resolution support for Dell servers installed with Red Hat Linux 9 Professional, but do NOT offer DirectLine Plus. In Europe, customers can purchase PESS Silver and Gold with 3-year Advanced Software Support that includes 3 advanced remote resolutions during the 3-year service contract life. PESS Gold is the recommended cost-competitive service package for the Red Hat professional customer.

    PESS services for Red Hat are currently available in English only but with limited French and German telephone/email support during regular business hours (9 a.m. -5 p.m. GMT). Details on PESS in Europe can be found at:


    Dell Professional Services are available in limited regions and are currently in English only. The Dell | Red Hat alliance services selected regions. For more details on Professional Services in Europe:


        1. Asia-Pacific support

    Support for Red Hat Linux 9 Professional is provided directly from Red Hat support services in the Asia-Pacific region. Customers receive a drop-in-the-box service activation card. These services entitle the customer to 90 days of web-based support (http://www.redhat.com/support), 90-days of telephone-based support (includes basic setup and configuration), and 180-days of Red Hat Network subscription services. Additionally, Red Hat’s service provides 1-incident support for an advanced software or configuration resolution.

    Dell PESS for Red Hat Linux is now available for the Asia-Pacific region. Please check the following web site for details:


    Dell Professional Services is currently working to expand consulting and migration services into the region available in the next fiscal year.

        1. Japan Support

    Dell Japan provides PESS Gold level support for servers installed with Red Hat Linux 9 Professional, including three remote software resolutions over the 3-year contract period. Customers can also purchase Dell DirectLine Plus service packs in limited availability from Dell Japan.

    Dell Japan currently does not offer Professional Services directly from Dell, but are in the process of working with Dell Professional Services and Red Hat to offer migration and HPCC service capabilities.

    Updates and service information for Japan is posted at:


    Hardware Warranty and Support

    Dell PowerEdge servers come with the following standard support:

    1. Three-year limited warranty3 supplemented with three years of Next Business Day on-site1 parts replacement and one year of Next Business Day5 on-site1 labor

    2. Pre-Failure Alert Program5 for storage systems with a hard disk drive

    3. 24-hour/7-day Telephone Technical Support for troubleshooting and diagnosis of Dell hardware

    4. 24-hour/7-day E-support services featuring extensive online support capabilities

    5. Dell PowerEdge SC servers come with the following standard support:

    6. One-year limited warranty3 supplemented with one year of Next Business Day on-site1 parts replacement and one year of Next Business Day on-site1 labor

    7. 30-day Getting Started Technical Support Program6

    8. 24-hour/7-day One-Year Telephone Technical Support for troubleshooting and diagnosis of Dell hardware

    9. 24-hour/7day Online Support Services

    Services vary by region. For more information on the available services in your area, please visit http://www.dell.com/

    1 For a complete copy of our guarantees or limited warranties, please write to Dell USA L. P., Attn: Warranties, One Dell Way, Round Rock, Texas 78682. For more information, visit http://www.dell.com/us/en/gen/misc/policy_010_policy.htm
    2 Service may be provided by third-party. Technician will be dispatched if necessary following phone- based troubleshooting. Subject to parts availability, geographical restrictions and terms of service contract. Service timing dependent upon time of day call placed to Dell. U.S. only.
    5 The Pre-Failure Alert program is available only in the United States on selected Dell PowerEdge servers (1xx0, 2xx0, 4x00, 6xx0, 8450) and select PowerVault products. PowerEdge 300 is not included. Your system must be monitored by Dell-recognized system management applications in order to participate in the Pre-Failure Alert Program. The Pre-Failure Alert Program covers Dell products utilizing applications that can acquire information from the HIP and OpenManage Server Agent.
    6 30-Day telephone support program is available at no additional charge to help customers with installation optimization and configuration questions during the critical 30-day period after shipment of PowerEdge systems. This program is available to customers who have their Microsoft® , Novell® , or Red Hat®  operating system factory-installed on their Dell server. Support provided after the 30-Day Getting Started Program will be only for the Dell hardware. Beyond 30 days from the invoice date, Dell’s DirectLine telephone support service is available for NOS support

    Dell cannot be responsible for errors in typography or photography.

    Dell, PowerVault and PowerEdge are trademarks of Dell Computer Corporation. Red Hat is a registered trademark of Red Hat, Inc. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Other trademarks and trade names may be used in this document to refer to either the entities claiming the marks and names or their products. Dell disclaims proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

    ©Copyright 2003 Dell Computer Corporation. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of Dell Computer Corporation is strictly forbidden. For more information contact Dell.

    Dell Enterprise Systems Group Page June 2003

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    Infobrief Red Hat Linux 9 Professional Key Points

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