Red Hat Responds

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-09-09 Print this article Print

Lee Day, a Red Hat Inc. spokeswoman, said the company is spending a lot more time working with the analyst community to make sure it understands what Red Hat is doing. Red Hat is also facilitating communications between customers to make sure that they can talk to one another about their experiences, she said. "We are ramping up our analyst activities and will continue to do so. But there are also a lot of independent research reports like one from International Data Corp., which found that the return on investment for Linux is 504 percent over the next three years. Thats not research we funded, and those studies are also important," she said.
Rymer said that based on the study findings, the primary sources of Microsofts cost advantages are that the J2EE application server and Unix-based database software used in the Linux development and deployment stack drive up product costs and development complexity relative to the comparable Microsoft products.
Microsofts tools also simplify development of applications like those profiled in the study when compared with the J2EE/Linux products. This simplification translated into lower labor costs for development, he said. Rymer also noted that each of the models is based on an application scenario that was common among the interviewees. Both are portal applications. Both composites assume the same application development scenarios to allow for comparability. The report presents both the financial and the non-financial factors evident in choices made between Linux/J2EE and the Microsoft platform by the interviewees, he said. "It is only when the low prices of Linux are put into a larger IT context that their true impact on IT costs becomes evident," Rymer said. "In a head-to-head comparison, the list price for Red Hat 9 [the Linux version chosen for this study] is lower than the price of Microsoft Windows Server 2003. "However, the key cost factor in the studys Linux cases was the J2EE environment, not the operating system. Although the cost of Linux is low, the impact of that lower cost on the overall cost economics of an application development project is small. "The full development and deployment environment and the labor associated with the development project are the biggest costs. Comparisons of individual elements within the stack of software products required to build and deploy a complete application tell only part of the story and can be misleading," Rymer said. Next page: Why Firms Are Adopting Linux.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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