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Re: LSB and Debian, Commercial perspective

On Fri, Oct 11, 2002 at 09:06:29AM +1000, Jason Lim wrote:
> I would be interested to see where you get evidence for your statement:
> "simply, the cost of mantaining a debian box is
> lower than running a redhat boxen,"
> Now, suppose something goes wrong with your server... maybe it's a
> hardware problem, maybe it's a software problem. So you call up tech
> support of the server manufacturer. As soon as you tell them you're
> running Debian, Gentoo, or some other non-certified and thus non-supported
> distro, they'll say "Sorry, we can't help you there. There are hundreds of
> Linux distributions out there, and we cannot possibly know the little
> quirks and issues for each and every one of them. Please install a
> certified and supported distribution.". And that statement would be fair
> enough... because it is true. Each distro does do things a little
> different here and there, and when it comes time to debug problems, it's
> those little quirks of each distro that can get in the way of a speedy
> resolution.

Funny, I never had much trouble talking to IBM about Debian on my IBM
servers when they didn't work (and that in itself was rare).  I find
that you're likely to get what you want regarding tech support if you
know what you're talking about, e.g. "this network card doesn't work
and here are the ten things I tried" as opposed to "this network card
doesn't work and I'm pissed off!  Do something!"

Or maybe I don't understand your point ... if you're saying the hardware
vendor should help you configure your software, I don't want to work
where you work.

Or are you talking about commercial software support? (Oracle, Check
Point, Netcool :)  If so, you're never going to call your _server_
vendor for that support, I'd think.  Why would you?

Finally, I am willing to testify that "the cost of mantaining a debian
box is lower than running a redhat boxen." ... at my last job we had a
pile of linux servers.  They're still there, and they still run
Debian, even though I left!  I wonder why that is ...

> Redhat, Mandrake, etc. are the market leaders. Debian can probably never
> surpass them in terms of numbers. However, if we can at least join the
> market leaders in getting certified and supported, it'll make a big
> difference both "appearance-wise" and "vendor support-wise".

LSB is only going to help with software support, not hardware support.
The LSB is intended to provide a "Linux Standard Base" which software
developers can depend on to provide some set of invariants.  To that
end, I wouldn't mind seeing LSB-compliant software with the ability to
be installed on debian boxes, but only if it doesn't compromise the
excellence already built into Debian.
> This is my concern. And I was hoping that more of you guys running Debian
> in commercial environments would feel the same way, but perhaps you don't
> care about this issue, or you do not see it as important (perhaps you've
> found a way around this, or you have a solution?) If so, please share it
> with the rest of us.

If you're wondering what plans Debian has regarding LSB certification,
you'd probably be better off to bring it up on debian-project, or
possibly debian-devel (though I suspect it's off topic there too).

Nathan Norman - Micromuse Ltd. mailto:nnorman@micromuse.com
  They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little
  temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
          -- Benjamin Franklin

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