Subject: Re: Why do Linux box vendors thrive?
From: Phil Hughes <fyl@a42.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 09:31:05 -0800 (PST)

> Jonathan Corbet wrote:
> > So does anybody have any thoughts on why companies go to VA rather than to
> > Dell for their Linux servers, and whether they will continue to do so?
> 
> I guess one reason is that they are ensured that they get top quality
> hardware that also runs fine with Linux.  I'm not sure about advertising
> made by Dell but using a Linux-oriented company you can be more sure
> that you will get a proper system.

I moderated a panel on web servers at ISPCON.  I had people from Cobalt,
Corel (now Rebel) and VA on it.  The representatives didn't talk about
the hardware but rather about the issues of handling different kinds of
loads on their server.  The closest we got to talking hardware was when
Larry Augustin of VA explained that for a high-end system (there were
more parameters here) he would recommend a dual-processor system with a
GB of RAM and then went on to explain why.

As a consumer, you could feel very confident that VA knew what they were
doing.  Dell, on the other hand, seems to be shipping boxes meeting your
requirements--that is, so much RAM, whatever processor(s) you ask for
and so on.  Until Dell hires or creates the sort of expertise that the
Linux-specific vendors offer, they aren't going to effectively compete
in the Linux server market.

The exception, of course, is going to be when you are looking for a
database server running Oracle or some specific database product and a
contract or agreement is in effect that herds you to Dell or Compaq or
whoever to run your Oracle server.  This is where VA and others need to
make sure they stay in the game by building the right alliances.

-- 
   Phil Hughes ++++ FYL ++++ fyl@a42.com ++++ Phone/FAX (360) 276-4232
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