When we first wrote about the Oracle Unbreakable Linux support program late last year, Red Hat Enterprise Linux users appeared ready to at least give it a look. The program, officially announced in October 2006, promised deep discounts for Red Hat users that opted to go to Oracle — not Red Hat — for their Linux support. Sometimes these discounts were as much as 50% below what Red Hat was asking.
In our article, “Red Hat users pine for discounted support”, a Pacific Crest Securities survey of 188 enterprise operating system buyers — 86 of whom were Red Hat Inc. support customers — revealed that one-third of respondents said Red Hat would need an Oracle-like discount of 50% to 74% to keep their business.
A story from down under today leads me to believe that Pacific Crest might want to revisit that survey for another go.
Max McLaren, Red Hat Australia managing director, said Red Hat has not been losing business to Oracle for support, with one exception: Melbourne firm Opes Prime Stockbroking said it would switch allegiance to Oracle last year.
McLaren told Australian IT that “out of the top five banks in Australia, four are our customers … (but) we don’t have much penetration in the insurance sector. That’s an area to work on.” He added that the Pacific Rim is another area of huge expansion for Red Hat, which we kind of touched upon in previous posts on the Enterprise Linux Log (or TELL for short).
So that’s Red Hat’s take abroad anyway. I’m sure McLaren made sure his comments went through the spin cycle a few times before he said them, but it’s interesting to see how little of an effect Oracle *might* be having on Red Hat’s business. It’s about one year in now, so we’ll see if Unbreakable is maturing or manuring, if you get my meaning.