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Re: LSB and Debian, Commercial perspective


On Thu, Oct 10, 2002 at 07:34:14PM -0500, Nathan E Norman wrote:
> 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,"

hmmmm... I've got little comparison to other vendor's systems, but
the Debian stuff *I* install is usually nearly maintenance free.
Say, on the order of running 3 years w/o someone touching it (not
recommended, but the customer has the last say).

At the same time, running Suse or Redhat at various clients (not done
by me), there are problems and problems that cause weekly to monthly
maintenance, or problems that don't even resolve. One client seriously
thinks of switching a server from Suse to Debian because of the
perceived better quality of Debian (he has both, but in different
applications), and since he can't seem to solve his problem with

> > 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

Yes. That's mostly my experience, too. There's a big "BUT" there.
I'd say you have some influence from whom to buy your servers, and
there are shops around that sell supported Debian systems. Now
what to do?

> 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

Then you are *much* luckier than I am.

> 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!"

No, it doesn't matter in my experience. When even starting to explain,
the "tech" at the other ends quickly feel run-over and try to hang up/
ask for a "supported install" before doing *anything*. No explanations,
only "We don't do X, only Y. So you need to do Y too if you want us
to help you."

> 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?

The software vendors are even worse in my experience. See other post.

> 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.



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