Red Hat Linux Advanced Server, priced starting at $800 per server, incorporates capabilities being developed for the upcoming Linux 2.5 kernel that improve the system's availability, manageability, and performance, says executive VP of engineering Paul Cormier. "We had one-size-fits-all for Linux," he says. The Linux operating system is freely available on the Internet for users to download. But when it comes to technical support, users are generally on their own. Red Hat has made a business of selling versions of Linux, priced at less than $200, that include phone and online support.
The Advanced Server, scheduled for general availability next month, will include one year of technical support for the base price. The version of Linux, based on the version 2.4 operating system kernel, also includes asynchronous input/output to improve performance, and supports clustering for failover across two nodes with the Network File System and Samba file system.
Advanced Server includes a new job scheduler and common set of tools for managing clusters designed for load balancing and failover, according to Cormier. Most customers will pay between $1,200 to $3,000 per server, he says.
Software vendors Oracle and Veritas say their software will run on the Advanced Server. Dell says it's begun pre-installing the operating system on its PowerEdge servers.