Interview: Troy Dawson from Scientific Linux

Posted by dowdle on Jun 7, 2011 9:53 PM EDT; By Scott Dowdle
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Scientific Linux is getting a lot of long overdue attention given the fact that it too is a solid enterprise clone... that has been around for a long time... that has a lot of support behind it. MontanaLinux is proud to present an interview that was conducted via email with Troy Dawson who is a long-time Fermilab employee and Scientific Linux developer.

ML: Do you think Red Hat is better off with the existence of Scientific Linux and the various other RHEL clones or do you think it / they have a negative impact on Red Hat's bottom line?

Troy Dawson: This is something I feel strongly about. I think Red Hat is better with the clones, particularly Scientific Linux. Here is my reasoning. National Lab's like Fermilab run Scientific Linux, or a mixture of RHEL and SL. Universities come to these National Labs and in order to work with the infrastructure, they have to run RHEL or SL. The Universities and their students are very low on money (as are many of the National Labs) so they run SL on their machines.

The students at those Universities learn Scientific Linux. They graduate. They get a job in some corporation. The corporation asks which type of linux they should use, and those graduates say "I know Scientific Linux and it is a very good and free clone of RHEL. Since we want support, we should use RHEL."

In short, the free clones end up giving RHEL customers.

What about the clone called Oracle Linux? Oracle Linux gave Red Hat more advertisement then they could have dreamed of. If you look at Red Hat's stocks and revenue before and after the initial Oracle Linux announcement, there is a definite change. Red Hat took Larry's announcement and used it to their advantage and it has paid off.

The one thing I'm afraid of is Oracle Linux hurting the free clones like SL. It hasn't happened yet, but it's something I worry about.

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