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Re: Production Version of Fedora?



Bill Morris wrote:

Folks,

 Is there a version of Fedora that can be installed on
a production web server or is it all considered beta?

Will there be stable production releases in the future?



I'm sure that Fedora will be rock-solid stable.
However that isn't the */only/* consideration when choosing an OS
for a "PRODUCTION" web server. The other things, such as:
_Code Stability_ ( Fedora probably won't be back-porting bug/security fixes,
instead when a bug/security problem is discovered
{in Openssl or Apache for example}
Fedora will just jump to the next stable version of the package
that has the bug fixed. This means that you may also have
to upgrade all packages that depend on the SW you are
upgrading. As you can imagine, if you have developed lot's
of custom web server code that worked with a version of
Apache and the versions of Modules for Apache, it may not
be very simple to upgrade.
Also, Fedora has stated that there is no GUARANTEE of support
for a release beyond 8-12 months. This may mean that you
will be faced with */major/* upgrades to your system about once
a year.)


_Hardware Certification_
( You need a hardware/OS vendor pair that work together when
releasing a new kernel patch/version or XF86 packages,
otherwise you may find that needed upgrade paths won't work.
I know, you are thinking that you don't need to upgrade your
kernel. But what will you do when you *have* to upgrade
mod_ssl, and it requires a slightly newer version of glibc,
and the slightly newer version of glibc requires a newer
kernel rpm....)


_Software Certification_
( Many software vendors are certifying their products on Linux,
RedHat ES or SUSE Server releases are going to be the most
popularly cross-certified. Oracle, Veritas, Netcool, etc....


Believe me, I have had excrutiating arguments with SW vendors
trying to explain to them that my custom version of Linux that
I built in house on my own RPM repository is sufficiently like
RH version X, that they should *_please_* offer me the support
that I have paid for even though they only officially support 7.2 )


_Training Certification, Consultancy, Support _
( Cross your fingers and knock on wood. But what if your
cheif web developer, your system admin and your project
manager are all /god forbid/ hit by a meteor at the same time.
You are now left with a PRODUCTION server that needs tending, and
the only people who knew how to support it are dead.


If only you had built your production service using COTS technology
and methods, you could find, hire and be sure of the skill set
of a temporary contractor to help take care of your system.)



Now, it is possible that if you want to support all your own
Enterprise IT infrastructure (SW stack for things like management, backup, monitoring etc...)
And you want to have your own testing laboratory where you can do
patch upgrades and regression testing before implementing things on the
production systems. And you are prepared to maintain the handfull of software
package specific versions that you will inevitably get yourself tied into.


I however would suggest that you just use RedHat Enterprise Server.
Version 3 just came out.  It is very nice.  Sure it costs a several hundred
dollars a year for an RHN subscription, but it is worth it.

-Ben.






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