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Re: Forward looking to FC2 final and SELinux

On Wed, 2004-04-07 at 12:55, Jesse Keating wrote:
> On Wednesday 07 April 2004 11:36, Stephen Smoogen wrote:
> > I think the issue is that Fedora is not the product line you are
> > looking for your VAR. It has always been listed by Red Hat as a
> > proving ground for technologies into Linux distributions.. that
> > doesnt lead to the stability that VAR/ISVs want. Those VARs would be
> > better to work with RHEL and if they cant to work with the
> > GNU/Enterprise or one of the RHEL 'knockoffs' (WhiteBox, Tao?,
> > Chaos?) to get a better cost line.
> We've tried working with Red Hat.  Bottom line, if we're not IBM, HP, or 
> Dell, RH doesn't give a rat's arse about us.  We've tried helping RH to 
> come up with OEM pricing/deals that make since for smaller VARs and we 
> just get a door slammed in our faces.  On the other hand, SuSE is 
> pounding down our door to work with us.  Even though I as an engineer 
> feel SuSE is an inferior product, it looks like we'll have to go that 
> route to stay afloat.

It is probably better in the long run.. just be aware that I doubt the
SuSE low price will stay around. Long term, I think that the smaller
VARs are going to need to build a consortium and support a distro that
fits their needs. As you can tell with the time/effort in Legacy.. it is
an expensive operation to keep going.

> > The big problem is that you and every other silent VAR cant make it
> > into the stable product you want. Even if Red Hat were to open the
> > Fedora board to 30 outside people tomorrow, the driving force is not
> > business related.
> It may not be business related, but it is the public face of the product 
> line.  If you can't make the public free version work, why would we 
> trust you to make the closed expensive version work?

I think this is where Fedora/Red Hat have not communicated well enough.
It isnt a product of Red Hat, but everyone assumes it is. Red Hat
management doesnt seem able to separate itself enough from the kid to
let it grow by itself.. but doesnt want to take responsibility to send
it to college :). [Ok I need more sleep.]

> > My feeling is that the VAR market as it stands has been built on a
> > beach of sand, and the supports were never stuck in very deep. The
> > assumption that things will always be the same is the easiest one to
> > plan for, but the one that bites us in the ass everytime. The fact is
> > that the prices are going to change all around as the Free Beer for
> > commercial enterprises has ended.
> And the unfortunate reality with that is our customers are unwilling to 
> pay for the OS.  We have to hide the price of the OS into the system 
> cost, and it's getting harder and harder to do.  The sad reality is 
> that most small/medium offices and universities can get cheaper deals 
> with Windows than with full retail "enterprise" Linux.  Why should they 
> venture off the Windows path to a more expensive and initially more 
> difficult to manage platform?  Price of the OS was our biggest 
> motivational tool to get people on the Linux bandwagon.  Take away 
> price, and there goes the fish hook.

Well there is always debian. 

To use the fish hook analogy.. you have been using a single prong hook.
Unless the fish grabs on just right, you loose it. VARs need to come up
with a way to make a double/triple prong hook. The issue comes down to
the same way a small retail store has to seperate itself from WalMart.
It can be done.. its just a lot of work to find the customers to keep,
and the ones to jettison. 

As a 'potential customer', it has become very hard to figure out why to
choose a VAR over say IBM/Dell these days because of cost points. Most
of the VARs who come to sell dont have enough 'Value Add' to make it
worthwhile. Doing reviews of VAR purchases, most have become more of a
'sympathy buy' versus getting something added we couldnt get

Stephen John Smoogen		smoogen lanl gov
Los Alamos National Lab  CCN-5 Sched 5/40  PH: 4-0645
Ta-03 SM-1498 MailStop B255 DP 10S  Los Alamos, NM 87545
-- You should consider any operational computer to be a security problem --

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