Subject: Re: Why do Linux box vendors thrive?
From: <>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 10:43:34 -0800
Tue, 28 Dec 1999 10:43:34 -0800
On Mon, Dec 27, 1999 at 12:41:40PM +0100, Martin Schulze wrote:
> 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.
> Regards,
> 	Joey

There's a somewhat analagous situation in the proprietary box space.
IBM was "the" provider of mainframes and mainframe services, but this
didn't stop the emergence of the seven dwarves (and no, I can't name
them all).  Sun provides both hardware and Solaris, but you can buy
compatible RISC systems from Tatung, if not others as well.

The key is that the original vendor (or specialized provider) can offer
specialized expertise in a system, including both hardware and software
customization.  The market space around Linux is more open than, say,
the market space around Solaris.  Tatung can tune HW but not the OS
itself.  Still, with a limited set of kernel-hacking expertise floating
around, a VA Linux can establish a strong market position.  Note that
Sun and VA might both exprience brain drain of skilled technical
personnel to other firms or startups.  In Sun's case, the competitor
might have the technical, but not the legal, ability to make changes to
the OS.

Interesting times....

> -- 
> Never trust an operating system you don't have source for!
> Please always Cc to me when replying to me on the lists.

Karsten M. Self (
    What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?

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