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Re: Debian Enterprise?

On Mon, 17 Nov 2003 19:55:36 +0000, Andrew M.A. Cater wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 17, 2003 at 01:45:05AM -0500, Andres Salomon wrote:
>> Over the past week, my boss and I have had discussions about the niche
>> left by RedHat, and the possibility of working on a
>> distribution/sub-project aimed at enterprise folks.  The plan is to target
>> those RedHat users and companies who are unwilling (or unable) to pay for
>> RedHat Enterprise Linux, but need HA features.  Our company falls into
>> this category, but made the RedHat->Debian switch earlier on.
> Check out the Beowulf list archives @ www.beowulf.org for 
> October/November where just these sorts of discussions have
> been happening. I've been trying to advocate a switch to Debian
> from RH for a lot of the high powered folk who run major clusters.
> I'm not sure that a separate distribution would fly - Progeny would
> have carried on otherwise.  Bruce Perens' proposed ??UserLinux??
> would possibly be a candidate here.  Nor am I sure that a "sub-project"
> is ideal.  A customised kernel or two and potentially a meta-package
> might be enough.

After reading Andreas Tille's link on sub-projects, I'm leaning more
towards that.  I have little doubt that a separate distribution (done
correctly) would fly; look at the success of Knoppix, for example. 
However, my goals are more in line w/ the goals of a sub-project.

> It doesn't make sense to fork unless you _really_ need to fork.  A 
> distribution based on woody + backports would be OK now, with a 
> distribution based on the new stable once we release :)  Pace Knoppix
> and Lindows, basing a distribution on testing may be more than a little
> difficult.  Talking to Libranet and merging your Enterprise stuff 
> there might be another option.  In the longer term, I'm slightly 
> sceptical about how many Debian-based distributions can survive outside 
> Debian - but then I've had 9 1/2 years of 20/20 hindsight :)

Most Debian-based distributions are aimed at desktop users; this market is
fairly crowded, especially when you take into account the distributions
outside of Debian that focus on the same thing.  On the enterprise level,
however, there are few distributions that focus on just that segment. 
There are even fewer that offer their distribution for free (as in beer).
RedHat was one of the few, and with their exit from that market, a large
opportunity opens up.

I do agree that there's little need to fork, so long as the sub-project
structure is flexible enough.  I need to do more research on that.

> Just my 0.02 Euro / 0.03 US$
> Andy

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