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Redhat and Intel Team Up for Linux Business 66

Red Hat and Intel announced today at LinuxWorld Boston that they would be entering a partnership to help customers "plan for, accelerate and optimize their deployments of Linux solutions." From the article: "'We're responding to what customers have told us they really need to support their advanced deployments of Linux and open source,' said Tim Yeaton, executive vice president of Enterprise Solutions at Red Hat. 'The programs Intel and Red Hat have selected are aimed at equipping customers with in-depth domain knowledge and providing hard core data to make complex architectural decisions.'"
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Redhat and Intel Team Up for Linux Business

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  • This is super cool.
    Now maybe we'll see performance improvements that can tightly take advantage of the Intel archecture.
    -nB
    • by x2A ( 858210 )
      ...like, recompile distro using ICC, change ICC license to be compatible with doing so...? :-p

    • Intel has been providing better reliability for the cost. I suspect a lot of it has to do with motherboards, etc. that are available in comparable systems within the same price brackets, but....

      Anyway, I think that Intel seems more interested in commoditizing complimentary markets (software) in order to sell more hardware. And by participating more in the community they may get additional credibility with the FOSS advocates. They are doing more in this area than AMD (which is not entirely surprising give
  • FTA:
    Proof of Concept Support: Customers can save time and resources by running proof of concepts using the state-of-the-art hardware, software and technical support offered at the program centers. Customers will be invited to actively participate at the local centers.
    So... when the customers are done with their proofs of concept, will they then build out their apps on the AMD boxes in their own datacenters?
    • by Syberghost ( 10557 ) <syberghost@syber ... .com minus berry> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:56PM (#15071215) Homepage
      So... when the customers are done with their proofs of concept, will they then build out their apps on the AMD boxes in their own datacenters?

      Some. But most will continue to use Intel for the near future, and even if in the farther future AMD passes Intel in Enterprise server sales, this'll still be worth Intel's time because they're not just competing with AMD; they're also competing with Sun and IBM in the server space. Linux competes with that even more (currently) than it does with Windows, in my opinion.

      I personally prefer Ubuntu on AMD, but the Fortune 500 company for which I work uses RedHat on Intel, and it's a joy to work with but could be better. Hopefully this will help make it better.
      • I really do hope that having the customers around in their centers does lead Intel to improving the efficiency and temerature of their processors. For now, I certainly do prefer AMD, especially for mulit-core, and am fortunate enough that the company where I work has started buying servers using this setup. These servers are really nice. :)
  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:52PM (#15071177)
    From TFA:
    Reference Solutions and Certified Solution Stacks: The program will give customers access to information about previously tested or deployed solutions based on Red Hat and Intel technology.
    I absolutely HATE having a vendor say "sure it will work" or "sure it does that". And when you buy it, you get to pay for a support call so tech support can tell you "no way, it's never been able to do that". Which is why I now demand that I speak to their other clients who have actually implemented whatever I'm looking for.

    I know that the company I work for is not unique.

    I know that someone else had probably already done what I want to do in the way I want to do it.

    So let me find out how they did it and I'll buy your product.
  • This is HUGE! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Iago515 ( 862958 ) <Iago515.gmail@com> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:53PM (#15071187)
    In my opinion, it may look small, but the simple fact that Intel is partnering with a Linux distro will mean that other hardware vendors will accelerate their development for Linux. This, in my opinion is still one of the biggest hurdles. I'm not a developer and think that those who are are doing a great job, but I still have hardware problems (HP LaserJet 1000 on SuSE, tv cards, etc.).

    Let's see what else comes out of this, but I think it's a wake-up call to other hardware vendors.

    • Re:This is HUGE! (Score:1, Insightful)

      by i8puppies ( 910027 )
      Exactly.
      With a company like Intel teaming up with a Linux distro, it's a major endorsement from a large reputible company for open source products.

      As for hardware vendors, yeah, this should be a big wakeup call. As it is, most Linux drivers are reverse engineered, and even the ones that are given out by the vendors are very poorly written (cough, ATI, cough), save a few (nVidia, LinkSys). Having to reverse engineer hardware in order to make drivers can only get you so much performance out of your hardware,
    • If they get the urge to merge, will one of them be known as "RedTel"?

      I thought IBM and RedHat had a thing going. Is IBM going to have a BM, now?

      image work cometary
  • The first thought that comes to mind is that Intel would like nothing more than to subvert Linux so that it runs best on Intel architecture. Keep in mind that it's indeed very easy for an OS to become permanently tied to a certain platform.

    This hasn't been the first Slashdot article that brings fears to mind about Linux being pulled too far in the direction of corporate interests. Don't get me wrong, though, some attention from big companies can be very beneficial to projects like Linux. But still, here'
    • If that were the case why haven't they donated their compiler backend to GCC?
      The Intel compiler for Linux is quite good (so I'm told) and since that's not a money maker for them you'd think they would make it part of GCC.
      • Because now that AMD's chips have SSE 1/2/3 hardware, using Intel's compiler often results in speed increases on AMD chips as well. It doesn't help Intel if AMD gets the same boost!

        steve
      • If that were the case why haven't they donated their compiler backend to GCC? The Intel compiler for Linux is quite good (so I'm told) and since that's not a money maker for them you'd think they would make it part of GCC.

        Intel may license patented optimization techniques. Such techniques would be unavailable to gcc.
    • How? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by XanC ( 644172 )
      Intel's optimizations affect optimization for AMD and other architectures not one whit. If Intel makes their stuff works better with Linux, or makes Linux work better with their stuff, nobody is harmed, and Intel's customers gain. AMD, HP, Sun, whoever, will have an incentive to make optimizations for their architectures too.
      • Provided only the source is changed a bit, the fear of Linux being subverted by Intel (or any other hardware vendor wanting Linux to support their "features") is largely baseless, albeit still a possibility.

        But keep in mind there are lots of sneaky tricks that Intel can try, because sneaky tricks are the name of such a corp.'s game. For example, imagine trying a certain distro, distributed in binary (say, RedHat, or even a "downstream" one like CentOS) and finding strange problems when using it on AMD ha
    • Uh, Linux already works best on x86 machines. If you're saying that Intel will add optimizations to make Linux run better on Intel CPUs than it does on AMD, well then... AMD is welcome to do exactly the same thing. Plus, it is difficult to make AMD chips run worse without also making some Intel chips run worse as well. The nice thing about open source is you can choose which optimizations will work best for your machine.
    • "The first thought that comes to mind is that Intel would like nothing more than to subvert Linux so that it runs best on Intel architecture"

      There's two ways to do this:
      1 - Improve Linux on Intel architecture. We're talking about improvements here, can't see any problem with them doing this.
      2 - Cause problems with Linux running on non-Intel architecture. Erm... I just can't see this happening. Eg, getting a patch into mainline kernel with improves it isn't the easiest thing in the world (with the amount of
      • -- Cause problems with Linux running on non-Intel architecture. Erm... I just can't see this happening. Eg, getting a patch into mainline kernel with improves it isn't the easiest thing in the world (with the amount of people who will disagree with how it's done, how it should be done etc). One that hurts performance/stability on entire architectures, is gonna be even tougher.

        Did you not get the memo about this year's Underhanded C Contest [slashdot.org]? The task is to design innocent-looking code which runs well on one
    • Sure, Intel has made their share of evil corporation moves, such as the Skype deal.

      But I personally have every confidence in what Intel is doing here. They are quite simply trying to help their resellers push less costly systems so that they can get a larger chunk of the pie. It is a really good move really.

      The real victims in this manuver are the proprietary software companies such as Microsoft. Certainly not the FOSS community which stands to benefit quite a bit.

      The idea that Intel could be doing some
    • Well if Intel puts the effort and cash into getting better performance, the only way for AMD to catch up is to make sure they give the same level of support to Linux.

      I see this as a win-win situation. There's nothing like an arms race to push the boundaries.
  • by linuxwrangler ( 582055 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:57PM (#15071222)
    For all the other posters talking only about "Intel Architecture", remember that Intel is more than processors. They make network switches, motherboards, NICs, etc.

    Here's something to watch: Intel has an entire line of telephony products (Dialogic) but the lack of open-source drivers has frustrated some development efforts. This is probably about to change. I spent some time at the Intel booth at VON in San Jose last month and he mentioned that Intel plans to open-source the Dialogic drivers over the next few months. This would be great news for those developing Linux telephony apps.
    • This would be great news for those developing Linux telephony apps.

      Wow, master of the understatement. That would be *HUGE*. Already there is considerable momentum behind projects like asterisk. Just imagine if we got access to good telephony hardware in linux.

      That'd be a boon. Not only to those of us in the field, but to businesses world wide.
      • Yes, it would. You heard it here first. :)
      • Is the holdup really the hardware? I don't do a ton of phone stuff, but from the passing experience I've had with several phone systems, they're nothing more than a number of PRI interfaces, ports for the phones, a general-purpose CPU, and a hard drive. And many require another machine (usually a Windows machine) to run all of the IVR, voice mail, and every other feature. In other words, nearly everything is done in software on relatively general-purpose hardware.

        Digium makes the interfaces, and there ar
        • You've got the shape of it, let me flesh it out a bit.

          In the small to mid size business, asterisk ( and digium ) is where it's at ( as far as the free stuff. And I hear it's better than a lot of the paid for stuff ). Now picture intel hardware working with asterisk. Competition, pure and simple. And consumers would benefit.

          Also, imagine what kind of attention Intel can bring to this area of linux. I know many linux admins who have never heard of asterisk. And with that kind of exposure on an already e
      • Already there is considerable momentum behind projects like asterisk. Just imagine if we got access to good telephony hardware in linux.

        I saw an Intel linux telephony box at LinuxWorld last week. Lots of ports with both x86 and xscale processors on it.
  • I Fortell..... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mpapet ( 761907 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @05:57PM (#15071224) Homepage
    Synergized partners who realize new markets delivering revolutionary technology with ground breaking service.

    Seriously, I hope this is successful "service and support" that every corporate IT media pundit claims Linux is missing.
  • That's one small step for Linux, one giant leap for Intel :-)
  • by j1mmy ( 43634 )
    i've preferred amd's opteron processors for all my business hardware purchases over the last couple years. redhat was the first distro I ran on x86_64 hardware because it was the only one i could get to install in 64-bit mode. why intel?
    • "why intel?"

      They offered? AMD haven't? I'm sure Redhat wouldn't have made a decision to NOT work with AMD.

  • intel has now very obviously joined the "anti-m$" team (they get stronger every day)

    goliath is gonna fall.
    • Do you mean intel or M$? Because AMD is no longer a minor threat to arrogantly ignore anymore. And AMD vs. Intel is defenitely a David and Goliath story in technology if ever there was one.

      And ironically enough, the anti-trust suits against M$ have clarified the laws that are making it possible for AMD to slap Intel around in court in their anti-trust case.

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/02/amd_subpoe nas_skype/ [theregister.co.uk]

      Anti-MS types always crack me up with their stifling innovation arguments, while
      • "Regardless of whether or not the people holding the stick are just as evil"

        No one is as evil as Microsoft! Even Sadam's Iraq was run on OpenSource! ;-)

  • interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by goldfita ( 953969 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @06:05PM (#15071288) Homepage
    Redhat wanted to interview me for a virtualization development position a few days ago. This sounds like good news for anyone working with open source. But I wonder what Intel is getting out of it. Or are they anticipating future rewards when open source has more market share?
    • Huh? What do you mean? Intel gets a certified partner status with Red Hat .. Red Hat talks with customer who needs Linux solution, customer buys Intel because it is certified to work in "complex architectural deployments".

      So company buys intel chips, motherbords, network adapters, telephony, embedded solutions, yada yada yada..

      Gives me a warm fuzzy knowing a company is backing its hardware, providing drivers and support for my operating system. While community built drivers are nice it doesn't necessarily e
    • Re:interesting (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jason Earl ( 1894 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @07:29PM (#15071882) Homepage Journal

      Intel sells hardware, but for the hardware to be useful it needs software. Therefore when purchasing Intel solutions purchasers always have to look at the total price of the package including software. Commodity software lowers the overal price of the solution without touching Intel's margins at all. That makes it possible for Intel to sell the total solution at a lower price meaning more sales at the same profitability per sale.

      This is basically what Microsoft has been doing to the hardware manufacturers for years. Because there was competition on the hardware side hardware prices have dropped dramatically over the years and Microsoft has ridden that wave to ever increasing sales and profit levels. Well, now Intel is finally wising up and realising that turnabout is fair play.

      Long story made short. It is in Intel's best interest to see more competition in the software space as long as the software all runs on its chips.

      • Re:interesting (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Johnny Mnemonic ( 176043 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {eromsnidm}> on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @09:56PM (#15072693) Homepage Journal

        Long story made short. It is in Intel's best interest to see more competition in the software space as long as the software all runs on its chips.

        This announcement coupled with the recent, exclusive, partnership with Apple makes me think that Intel REALLY wants to get out of bed with Microsoft and the "WinTel" alliance. So what does Microsoft do now? Make their stuff work better on AMD and promote them? Cripple their support on Intel and let the benchmarkers talk about it? Price leverage?

        It's interesting that Intel is dancing with others than brung them, and they think they can get away with it. They must have calculated the repercussions MS would impose--but decided they had to support multiple OSes anyway.

        Very interesting. The upside is that if it works, both OS X and RH will have Intel-only optimizations, and as those platforms grow, AMD will be marginalized. The downside would be a strong AMD-MS alliance, such that neither OS X nor RH grow and Intel is relegated to being the CPU for "other" OSes but AMD is the best choice for Windows.

        One can only surmise that Intel is seeing the alternative OSes reaching critical mass and preparing to break out of their niche markets, and Intel wants to be the favorite when that happens. And there are smart people at Intel that wouldn't make that forecast lightly...

  • Do Intel and and Redhat think that teaming up will make up for them being second choice? Maybe only intel chips will be able to run Firefox or something.
  • Again? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Russ Steffen ( 263 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @06:40PM (#15071544) Homepage
    So they're pairing up again? I've still got some junk left over from the party Red Hat and Intel (and Dell that time) threw at LinuxWorld 2000 to announce some kind of partnership then.
  • Intel, as one of the founders and main supporter of the Open Source Development Lab [osdl.org] where Linus works and I think most of the lab activity for OSDL still takes place at an ex-Intel building in Beaverton, OR.

    Intel has been helping to make Linux better for years and doesn't get the credit for the millions of dollars and other resources it has put into Open Source.

    • Then why is the ipw2100/2200/2195 driver a huge pile of crap that has to be hacked by a tiny team of people? (despite all having '@intel.com' e-mail addresses). Where is the driver support for this chipset? Where is the almighty Intel? No, I don't think Intel deserves a lot of credit. If they showed any results that came close to their lip service, then I'd rethink.

      The original Becker eepro/eepro100 driver stomped all over Intel's own driver. Vendors can't write drivers worth a crap. They make hardwar
  • In the next version of RedHat, users without a DuoCore Intel processor will be unable to open more than 2 tabs in firefox due to their inferior hardware.
  • Is it me, or dooes something sound Verrrrrrrrry Messed up about the arrangement? Consider this, (if I am wrong I will stand corrected)
    isn't microsoft like one of Intel's bigger if not the biggest partner? If this is the case, considering that a majority of the Intel Bauxes run Windows in some way/shape/oor form? With that being said, doesn't seem weird that Intel would be flirting with a MAJOR Competitor like RH?? Or just Linux in general be it Red hat, V/A, Gentoo, Etc.... This kinda smells like an SCO Sna
    • I would think that IBM would be Intel's largest partner and also their largest competitor....

      Microsoft is about the size of Intel. IBM, Dell, and others are quite a bit bigger.

      Again, I am very confident that this deal will be to the good of the community. How could it not?
    • by NerveGas ( 168686 ) on Wednesday April 05, 2006 @11:59PM (#15073254)
      It does seem odd at first glance, but look at the current CPU market: AMD is taking significant market share from Intel, and the lucrative part at that. When AMD released the Opteron, they cought Intel with their pants - and shorts - down, and Intel is still trying to come up with a viable response. They've been grasping around for anything to try and get numbers back up.

      So... being a good bedfellow of Intel, Microsoft kindly delayed the release of a 64-bit OS for quite some time, until Intel had a 64-bit chip ready as well. The thinking was that without a OS that used the 64-bitness, extra registers, and had a scheduler that understood the complexities of obtaining maximum performance out of a NUMA architecture, the Opteron would surely turn out to be a flop. Right?

      Wrong. They forgot about Linux. Linux could already support 64 bits, and IBM had poured some VERY significant NUMA experience and technology into Linux. Linux completely carried the Opteron sales for at least the first year. It might have been two, but I don't recall off of the top of my head.

      So... here's Intel right now, trying desperately to find a way to at least stop the bleeding on the high-end server market. It's not far-fetched to think that they said "Hey... Linux carried the Opteron, and has worked against us. It's helped AMD and IBM, maybe we should jump on that train, too."

      Of course, that attributes much more intelligence to Intel's decision-makers than they have hitherto demonstrated, but it's possible.

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