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Re: LSB and Debian, Commercial perspective

> 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!"

Half and half. For example, some hardware companies only "officially"
support some distros. I think Promise (RAID cards) comes to mind, but I'm
sure others here can come up with better examples of vendors only
supporting specific distros.

>From my experience, Debian is rarely one of the officially supported
vendors. Yes, if the vendor is good they will try and help you get it
working anyway, but when it comes down to the crunch, if you aren't on
their "officially supported" list, you're on your own.

My point is... I'd love to see Debian on more of the "officially
supported" lists, like Redhat and others. And if
certification/compliance/etc. is what it takes, then is it a bad thing to
head in that direction, as long as Debian's good points (eg. stability)
are not compromised?

> 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.

No... I'm saying, for example, if a particular thing (eg. a motherboard)
doesn't work on Linux (maybe a driver issue), then the vendor does not
need to support you if you're not running one of their "officially
supported" distros. And if "officially supported" equals "has
certification", then I think Debian should get certified. I doubt Debian
can "go it alone"... maybe Redhat could get away without being certified,
simply because so many people run it. But if Debian can piggyback off
Redhat and join certifications with it, and thus get vendor support along
with Redhat, is that a bad thing?

> 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?

It was only an example. Please don't pick on the minor points... it's the
bigger picture I think we're all trying to focus on. I'm not just talking
about hardware... I'm talking about everything, from software (eg. DB,
Application software, etc.) to hardware (RAID cards, Video cards, etc.).

> 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 ...

If you left Redhat servers there, they'd probably still be running too.
Doesn't say much besides the fact Linux is, in general, very stable ;-)

> > Redhat, Mandrake, etc. are the market leaders. Debian can probably
> > 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.

Agreed. I don't want certification that will compromise Debian's
well-renown stability. But if it doesn't compromise stability, what is
stopping Debian from getting certified? Is it money (do they have to pay
to get certified), or is there some other political issue that is holding
Debian back? People have already said technically that Debian could be LSB
certified along with others... then why isn't it?

> > This is my concern. And I was hoping that more of you guys running
> > in commercial environments would feel the same way, but perhaps you
> > care about this issue, or you do not see it as important (perhaps
> > found a way around this, or you have a solution?) If so, please share
> > 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).

Well, I thought about that, but only if others here agreed that
certification would be good on a commercial level. If not... perhaps I'm
missing the point? Perhaps certification would actually not be a good
thing? I was just hoping to hear from other commercial users, see what
their point of view is, and share thoughts with each other, and exchange
ideas :-)

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