Linux vendor Red Hat Inc. on Wednesday will announce that it is expanding its enterprise Linux product line and offering a range of lower price points for customers.
Red Hat Advanced Server, which has been in the market since last May, is currently Red Hats only true enterprise offering. While customers are comfortable with its high pricing levels for database solutions and application servers, they have complained it is overpriced for use as an edge of network Web server and the like, Mark de Visser, a Red Hat vice president, told eWEEK Tuesday.
Advanced Server currently has three price points, depending on the level of service included. For $800 a year, users get basic support including 90 days of installation support and a year of Red Hat Network service; $1,500 a year buys five-day, 12 hours a day support; while for $2,500 a year customers get 24-by-7 support.
"So, instead of having one product that needs to fit all, we are now changing the current product name from Red Hat Linux Advanced Server. We will now call it Red Hat Enterprise Linux and have three flavors of this and more price points, ranging from $179 to $2,999," de Visser said.
In addition to Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Server (AS), there will be Red Hat Enterprise Linux Entry-Level Server (ES), which is expected to be available before the end of the month, and Red Hat Enterprise Workstation (WS), which is available now.
As part of the realignment and extension of the product line, Advanced Server will continue to be priced at $1,500 and $2,500 a year, while the version for the Itanium platform will continue to hold a $500 premium over this.
The Entry-Level Server will be priced at $350 for a basic version with only 90 days of installation support and $800 for a product including five-day, 12-hour support.
"While this server is very similar to Advanced Server, there are some differences," de Visser said. "It will not support RAM memory of more than 4GB, while the AS product supports up to 16GB. AS also supports high-availability clustering, and the ES product doesnt.
"We also anticipate that by the time we further develop these products these differences will become more pronounced. The product a customer chooses will be based on the type of workload anticipated and, because of that, we will make sure that these versions are very close in terms of binary compatibility and will come with the same kernel, libraries and tools."
The Workstation server, which is targeted at the Unix workstation market, will be priced at $179 with 90 days of installation support and a year of Red Hat Network service and at $349 for five-day, 12-hour support.
While this product has been available to date only from Hewlett-Packard Co. as a workstation product for its Itanium line, Red Hat is now making it generally available on 32-bit Intel and the Itanium platform.
When Red Hat reported its financial results for the third fiscal quarter in December, Matt Szulik, its chairman, president and CEO, said Advanced Server had notched up sales of more than 12,000 subscriptions in the quarter under review, its second full quarter of release, which marked an increase of 50 percent over the 8,000 subscriptions sold in the second quarter and brought the cumulative subscriptions sold to over 20,000—exceeding the companys expectations.
"Enterprise sales now account for some 92 percent of our revenue, up from 78 percent a year ago, and we gained 1,000 new Advanced Server customers in the third quarter," Szulik said at that time.
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