Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

Summary: Red Hat executives say they are going after Windows workloads in the enterprise and winning their share of deals. However, the effort will take time and the battle is really over new computing workloads.

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Red Hat executives say they are going after Windows workloads in the enterprise and winning their share of deals. However, the effort will take time and the battle is really over new computing workloads.

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux-Windows Server duel is worth noting. According to IDC's most recent data, Windows servers have 47.7 percent of the market with third quarter revenue of $5.6 billion, up 26 percent from a year ago. Linux servers represent 17.5 percent of industry revenue and third quarter revenue grew 32.6 percent to $2.1 billion. Unix server revenue has 21.5 percent market share, but is fading. IBM's z/OS has 8.6 percent of the server market.

In a nutshell, Windows servers have the most market share and nice growth. It's just a matter of time before Linux servers eclipse Unix to become No. 2.

On Red Hat's earnings conference call Tuesday---the company reported strong third quarter results---CFO Charlie Peters noted that "the Windows market continues to be something that we're definitely going after and something we've made good progress on." Indeed, Red Hat has had its share of wins, but the Microsoft battle is more nuanced. The fight between Windows and Red Hat is over new workloads. No one is ripping out a Windows box for a Linux version.

Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst explained the dynamic.

Typically you don't get a situation where somebody has a Windows box and comes in and reinstalls Linux on top of it or vice versa. The competitive dynamic happens with new infrastructure coming in or new workloads coming in, new applications coming in. And so working well with, making the SAPs of the world or the Accentures of the world, or ensuring web applications are built on a LAMP stack. That's really where the battle happens. The typical field of battle is actually who's getting the incremental 500 servers of infrastructure at XYZ company. And that's again certainly the OS is important, but it's also ensuring that the applications run best on that, that the tooling is there, that the company has the skill set to manage. I think we do incredibly well there. And obviously it's one of the reasons you've seen the growth.

Analysts on the conference call were all over the Red Hat vs. Microsoft debate. Next up was whether Windows applications were being virtualized on Red hat. Whitehurst said a few customers are virtualizing Exchange on Red Hat, but it's too early to tell what's going on. Whitehurst said:

We're still in the early days to call it a trend. But we're certainly seeing customers do that. Windows is fully certified and supported by Microsoft on RHEV (Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization), and so we have a number of customers virtualizing Windows workloads including things like Exchange. So we feel very good about that. In terms of absolute quantification, I don't have any great numbers on that yet. But we're certainly seeing a lot of Windows workloads being up on RHEV.

Topics: Windows, Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems, Servers, Software

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  • Love it but they need to reduce licensing costs

    For us in a VMware environment it's cheaper to license WinBlows servers than it is Red Hat.

    They need to change that and show a lower TCO (which is already there as it's not as unstable as Windows).....

    But Bring it on - Windows has no place in any datacenter.
    itguy08
    • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

      @itguy08
      So is it cheaper to license RHEL than vmWare ESX?
      (which is really the virtual platform price comparison.)
      sys_engineer
      • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

        @sys_engineer

        We have a huge investment in VMware, like most companies. We're not going to support another virtualization technology (REV/KVM) just for Linux.

        So they have to keep licensing competitive for VMware shops. And to a lesser extent the 5 people using HyperV.
        itguy08
      • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

        @it_guy 08...

        Ah - I think I get what you were driving at earlier. IMHO, I'd stick with VMWare as well, mostly because of the functionality.
        Random_Walk
    • Just like you have no place here

      @itguy08, but then again [/b][i]real[/i][/b] IT people tend to disagree with you pretty much most of the time. ;)
      John Zern
      • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

        @John Zern

        Sorry, I've got the years of experience, battle scars, and certs to back up what I say. If you don't like it, that's fine but I call them like I see them and that's a virtue sorely missing today.

        You don't need anything Microsoft to succeed in business. In fact the best businesses avoid Microsoft like the plague it is.
        itguy08
      • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

        @itguy08

        "In fact the best businesses avoid Microsoft like the plague it is."

        Sooooo.... How many companies in say, the Fortune 500 or FTSE 100 are running Windows, do you reckon?

        I ask because they would all strike me as being "best businesses".
        OffsideInVancouver
      • Sorry, itguy8, you sure don't sound like it

        but then, I have many years in IT myself, and talk among my peers lead me to a different thought then yours.

        Do you think anybody takes you seriouslly when all you do is spout the same line [i]In fact the best businesses avoid Microsoft like the plague it is[/i]?

        You actually sound like a clone of DonnieBoy, an "IT Expert" that hasn't a clue.

        You don't sound at all like a person [i]who calls them like they see them[/i], just someone who, for whatever reason, wants to bad mouth MS, Dell, ect at every opportunity they get, not because they have practicle experience, but becuase they're blaming MS for their own failings.

        I could counter and say that <b><font color="green">it's been proven that you really don't need Linux at all to succeed in business</font></b> , as there are many extremely successful companies out there that don't use Linux at all.

        But I'm a professional, and we don't waste time with petty jealousies or hate issues like you seem to have. :)
        John Zern
      • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

        @John Zern,

        "Sorry, I've got the years of experience, battle scars, and certs to back up what I say. If you don't like it, that's fine but I call them like I see them and that's a virtue sorely missing today."

        Yea, that's no substitution for the facts. Windows runs fine in alot of data centers. Your posts are always mired with alot of opinionated, over dramatic anti-Microsoft rants.
        bmonsterman
      • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

        @John Zern

        So it appears itguy is a frustrated Linux fanboi, trapped in a Windows body. He also didn't read the article and the facts as it appears business does prefer Windows. They obviously have him restrained at work.

        The problem with all these trolls is they dont really understand how sophisticated Widnows is, nor do they understand why we need all the bells and whistles. From a Windows perspective, I'm always surprised at how primitive, unsophisticated and lacking in functionality Linux is. Ah well, if you only run a call center, I suppose that's all you need.

        Oh and I have decades of experience, degress, diplomas and years of development (not just management) to back up what I say ;-)

        Hope you can fit a Xmas tree under the bridge guys - merry Xmas
        tonymcs@...
    • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

      Red Hat pricing on competing hypervisors is "per VM", meaning they treat them like physical machines. That's why we run SuSE Linux Enterprise Server. They charge per physical machine, regardless of whose hypervisor you use, and you can have as many VMs as you like on each hypervisor, all for the same price Red Hat charge per VM.

      For those VMware customers, there is also "SLES for VMware"; basically free SLES subscriptions for VMware ESX customers. (http://www.vmware.com/products/sles-for-vmware/)

      When Red Hat update their pricing model to compete with SLES I'll look at it, but with what's on offer at the moment, SLES is quite hard to beat.
      nathanr.au
    • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

      @itguy08
      zzz TCO which decade are you in ??? Hello 2000 calling..
      anyways where I come from.."itguy" is someone who would come to replace defective parts in my work station and probably setup my work station initially...you have no business talking about data centers :P
      ricecube
    • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

      @itguy08 HyperV... maybe not that many people use it but it's pretty crazy... it's massively cheaper and has features very close to VMware.
      jessiethe3rd
      • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

        @jessiethe3rd: "close to" doesn't let me run 30 VMs on a single box. "close to" doesn't give me live migration. "close to" doesn't require that I spend $4k on the Win2k8 Ent. license fee required to run Hyper-V on a box with more than 32GB of RAM. "close to" doesn't require me to by a Win2k8 Datacenter license to run more than four "virtual images" on the server.

        Not sure where you're getting this "massively cheaper" jazz from, but until Hyper-V actually becomes enterprise-worthy, I wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole.
        Random_Walk
      • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

        @Random_Walk,
        Maybe jessiethe3rd was referring to Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, the free standalone version of Hyper-V. Here is some info about it,

        ""close to" doesn't let me run 30 VMs on a single box."
        The maximum number of guest instances that can run on Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 is 384.

        "close to" doesn't give me live migration."
        Live Migration is part of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2.

        "close to" doesn't require that I spend $4k on the Win2k8 Ent. license fee required to run Hyper-V on a box with more than 32GB of RAM."
        Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 support a maximum of 1TB of RAM

        "close to" doesn't require me to by a Win2k8 Datacenter license to run more than four "virtual images" on the server"
        That's part of Windows licensing not Hyper-V licensing, so the same applies if you are using VMware or another virtualization platform if you plan to install Windows Server as a guest OS.

        Here is the link in case you need additional info,
        http://www.microsoft.com/hyper-v-server/en/us/default.aspx
        dvm
      • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

        @dvm:

        Wow - Microsoft really is desperate to get a foot in teh door, then.

        I hadn't heard of the freebie they were offering. Too bad it's still a bit limited, though (the site's assertions aside, if it's the szame as their with-OS products, their idea of "live migration" doesn't include quite a few key features that now come standard with vMotion (live storage migration, migration w/o 'freezing', etc).

        I also noticed a complete lack of management tools for it, and a complete lack of "guest virtualization rights". Where can those be found, perhaps?
        Random_Walk
      • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

        @Random_Walk You're pretty clueless. And not talking about Hyper-V server, but the one that comes with the server.

        1.- "close to" doesn't let me run 30 VMs on a single box. Sure it does, see post above. Hyper-V Scales pretty much the same as VMware.

        2. "close to" doesn't give me live migration.
        Yes it does. Hyper-V 2008 R2 has this functionality. It's been out almost a full year. Where've you been hiding under?

        3. "close to" doesn't require that I spend $4k on the Win2k8 Ent. license fee required to run Hyper-V on a box with more than 32GB of RAM. - Hello, welcome to 2010. WS 2008 R2, as long as it's 64-bit architecture can access more than 32GB of RAM, regardless of the edition.
        4. "close to" doesn't require me to by a Win2k8 Datacenter license to run more than four "virtual images" on the server. - You are clueles son MS licensing. You can run as many Win VM's as you want. Standard Edition includes 2, EE includes 4, DC is unlimited. This is true regardless of the hypervisor you're using. Even if you're using VMWare and you run more than, say, 10 Windows VM's, Datacenter edition (which costs like 2.8K per CPU) is more cost-effective. You can also mix and match editions (Buy EE, run 4 images. For 5th one use StdEd).
        So in all, Hyper-V really is massively cheaper and the features really are very close to VMWare's. The cons? Hyper-V is super complicated to set up, while VMWare is super simple.
        Get your facts straight before spewing your MS hate mongering crap.
        fer.paredesb@...
    • RE: Windows has no place in any datacenter.

      @itguy08

      I must agree.

      Think of the 'children' (other O/Ses in your data center).

      WindoZE is like the neighborhood bully - best left isolated, and ignored.

      (/snark)
      fatman65535
    • Err, what?

      @itguy08:

      You're not making any sense here. Per VM, it's still cheaper to "license" RedHat ($300/yr support if you actually want it - otherwise $0.00), or CentOS ($0.00) than it is to support Windows Server 2008 std ($1029), Win2k8 Enterprise ($3,999) - not counting the obligatory Windows CALs.

      Per server? With VMWare, you're paying $0.00 for ESXi, and (depending on contract schema) around $2k per physical server for vSphere Enterprise Plus.

      (and yes, "Hyper-V" is free, but the server licenses + CALs you park it on will cost you about as much -- 2x more if we're talking big servers-- , and you don't get anywhere near the functionality).
      Random_Walk
  • RE: Red Hat vs. Windows for server share: The battle just heating up

    Two thoughts:

    RHEL 6 looks impressive. Red Hat may finally have an OS which can take out UNIX in the mission critical database space. It will give Solaris a run for its money, and may be what ultimately kills HP-UX (or saves HP Business Critical Systems, if HP wises up and puts Nehalem-EX processors in the Superdome 2).

    RHEV 3 will likely become the #3 virtualization platform behind VMware and Hyper-V, but over time will likely move towards the #2 position. The "thick hypervisor" model of VMware ESX and KVM seem more flexible than the "thin hypervisor" models of Xen and Hyper-V.
    meh130@...