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How Red Hat subscriptions deliver business value

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Introduction

According to Red Hat’s 2021 Global Tech Outlook report1, nearly two thirds of organizations are focusing on digital transformation. While many organizations need to deliver software and services faster for their customers, they still need to maintain stability and security. 

A Red Hat subscription meets that need. Customers have shared with us that they value Red Hat for being secure and reliable, for our commitment to open source, and for our customer support.1 With a Red Hat subscription, you have access to enterprise-ready, open source software and the resources you need to help you deliver solutions for your business—including support, security patches, and certified hardware, software, and cloud providers.

Features and benefits of a Red Hat subscription

Why should you purchase a subscription from Red Hat? This document outlines the features and benefits of a Red Hat subscription, including access to: 

  • Technical support and expertise.
  • Security and accountability. 
  • A huge partner ecosystem.
  • Supported life cycles.
  • Product roadmaps.
  • Proactive analytics and remediation.

Technical support and expertise

Support should be more than a number to call when something goes wrong. It is a commitment to product expertise, to identifying potential issues and best practices, and helping our customers perform at their best. With a Red Hat subscription, you have access to online and phone support, so you can work with an expert or resolve issues on your own time. Red Hat has support levels to match your needs as a company. 

  • Self-support: Teams have access to Red Hat® Knowledgebase, a collection of solutions, articles, videos, discussions, and product documentation created by our support engineers from the customer cases they solve. 
  • Standard support: Customers have unlimited access to technical support engineers during standard business hours in addition to all the documented solutions available through the Red Hat Customer Portal. Our initial response time is one business hour for severity 1 issues. 
  • Premium support: Customers have unlimited 24x7 access to our global network of experienced technical support engineers in addition to all the documented solutions available through the Red Hat Customer Portal. Our initial response is one hour for severity 1 issues. 

Case management

You can open support cases in several ways—from the Red Hat Customer Portal, directly within Red Hat products with Red Hat Access, or by phone through the local support center. Once a case is opened, it is assigned to a specialized team of product-specific technical experts. If the issue is known, you will be directed to the appropriate content residing in the Red Hat Knowledgebase within the portal. Otherwise, Red Hat identifies and documents the resolution, adds the information to the Knowledgebase, and shares it with the Red Hat community.


You are not required to reproduce or justify an issue to receive technical support from a support engineer. And, ideally, you do not have to encounter a new problem to benefit from a Red Hat subscription—the goal is to avoid issues by guiding customers through planning, deployment, and operation. Our support team will work with you to troubleshoot problems and they work across teams and specialties within Red Hat to make sure the problems are resolved. Examples include consulting product experts to help with a case or bringing in a your account team to get more information on your environment.

Red Hat Customer Portal 

When things go wrong in a production software environment, the ability to access the right information quickly can make the difference between a fast return to normal operations and a costly outage. With a subscription, you have access to product documentation, life-cycle and support information, troubleshooting tools, Red Hat Knowledgebase articles, account and subscription management, security updates, and more. This helps you plan, deploy, maintain, and manage your Red Hat solutions, letting you resolve issues quickly and maintain optimal system performance. 

Ownership of multivendor cases

The most difficult issues to resolve are those that affect products from two or more vendors. Unlike other vendors, Red Hat takes ownership of any issue that involves one of our products. Red Hat engineers rely on their own extensive knowledge of open source products, as well as relationships with other vendors and the open source community, to find a solution that encompasses all of the relevant products. 

Security resources 

Red Hat offers a supported portfolio of tested solutions that let you use open source technologies in a trusted manner. We do a lot to make sure that you can maintain a secure environment. Our products are developed with a documented supply chain, undergo rigorous quality testing, and are certified to meet government and commercial security standards. 

Red Hat Product Security team 

Red Hat’s stable code is backed by a dedicated team of engineers who monitor, identify, and address risks to protect our customers’ data from meaningful security concerns. If a vulnerability occurs, you can rely on the clear, calm, and accurate advice from the Product Security team to help you quickly assess the risk to your environment and minimize impact to your business.

 

Partner ecosystem 

We know that your IT environments often include solutions from more than one vendor, and that you rely on each vendor’s complementary strengths to minimize costs, maximize efficiency, and avoid proprietary lock-in.

That’s why Red Hat works with a global ecosystem of partners to ensure that our shared customers have access to innovative, cost-effective solutions that are valuable and responsive to their business needs. Our partners run the gamut from Fortune 100 companies to independent software vendors. Red Hat’s strong partner relationships result in Red Hat products that are based on a combination of customer and partner requirements and are ready for hybrid cloud. Red Hat offers three kinds of certifications: 

  • Certified hardware ensures that Red Hat solutions are running on tested, verified, and supported hardware. 
  • Certified software identifies third-party software solutions tested specifically on the Red Hat platform. 
  • Certified cloud providers offer trusted clouds where customers can run applications on Red Hat technologies.

With a subscription, you get added flexibility from Red Hat Cloud Access. The Cloud Access program allows you to run eligible Red Hat product subscriptions on certified public cloud providers. It makes your subscriptions portable, so you may choose the best architecture and infrastructure for your needs—in a datacenter or on public clouds. Cloud Access lets you: 

  • Preserve your current IT investment by maintaining the consistency and security of your applications.
  • Move subscriptions and virtual images to certified public cloud providers with a Cloud Access custom image. 
  • Continue to access Red Hat support resources like their representative and the Customer Portal, which includes Knowledgebase, videos, and reference architectures.
  • Ensure portability between your datacenter and clouds so you can meet increased demand or improve response times.

Supported life cycles

We are committed to defining and supporting the life cycle of our products, so that security patches are released immediately and updates and releases happen on a routine, predictable schedule. Unlike proprietary software licenses, Red Hat subscriptions are not tied to a specific version, but cover the entire life cycle of the product. With a Red Hat subscription, you can upgrade to any supported version of Red Hat software and deploy the software on physical, virtual, or cloud-based servers. By maintaining active Red Hat subscriptions, you have access to all supported versions in both binary and source form, including all enterprise product documentation, security updates, and bug fixes. 

Red Hat product life cycles are generally 3, 5, 7, or 10 years. Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions offer 10 year standard life cycles, with up to 3 years of extended life support. During this time, you have access to all supported versions in both binary and source form, including all enterprise product documentation, security updates, and bug fixes. This means you have the flexibility to adopt the version that best fits your requirements, and upgrade on your schedule.

Product roadmaps

With a subscription, you can view our product roadmaps and provide feedback to shape our product direction. Our support team also works directly with the engineers who build our products so that we can influence how the products are tested and released. We take the feedback we receive seriously, whether it comes through chat sessions, social media, or other sources. We aggregate this information, relay it to our engineers, and file bugs for customers so that we can improve our products to meet customers’ needs. With each major and minor release, we update our products to address the most common challenges.

Proactive analytics and remediation 

Certain Red Hat subscriptions give you access to some of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings that are available through cloud.redhat.com. For example, all Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions include Red Hat Insights, a proactive IT risk analytics tool that lets customers proactively identify, prioritize, and resolve availability and performance risks in their environments before business operations are affected. Red Hat Insights is a rules-based analytics solution based on the knowledge that comes from years of supporting customers. Red Hat Insights helps IT teams determine where to focus attention across their estate of Red Hat Enterprise Linux implementation, both on-premise and across public clouds.

Subscription details 

You can purchase Red Hat subscriptions directly from Red Hat or from an authorized Red Hat business partner. Red Hat also works with thousands of system integrators, independent software vendors, and independent hardware vendors to build, optimize, sell, and deliver complete solutions to customers. Some of these partners are also authorized to provide frontline support.

Red Hat products are provided on a per-instance or per-installation subscription basis, which gives you access to all subscription benefits during the subscription term. Red Hat measures the full value of subscriptions by counting the number of instances or installations of Red Hat software that the customer uses. You must maintain an active subscription for every instance or installation of Red Hat software being used in your environment.

 

2021 Global Tech Outlook: A Red Hat report” Red Hat, September 2020