Red Hat Wednesday revealed plans to expand its Enterprise Linux family with the unveiling of two products aimed at the the midtier server and workstation market.
With the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES (the server offering) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS (the workstation product), the vendor now has a suite of Linux products to sell to midsize and small enterprises.
Available now, Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES is a complete operating system for entry-level and departmental server applications. Red Hat is positioning it as ideally suited for application-, network-, file-, print-, mail-, and Web-serving, as well as for running custom or packaged business applications.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS is also available for immediate purchase. Red Hat describes the product as its first enterprise-class engineering desktop/workstation, and is positioning it as ideal for software development, electronic design, and compute-intensive work, such as in oil and gas and other engineering applications. Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS is fully compatible with other members of Red Hat's Enterprise family of products.
Both the server and workstation are designed to be 100 percent compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS (originally Red Hat Linux Advanced Server), which has been available since last May. Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS is the vendor's solution for mission-critical departmental and data center server deployments.
By offering what is essentially a lower priced version of Advanced Server software, Red Hat is trying to enter new markets by targeting different levels of the enterprise. Red Hat's Enterprise Linux products are certified to work with computers from IBM, Dell Computer, and Hewlett-Packard as well as software from several different vendors.
Red Hat also said Wednesday that it will be coming out with a new version, 3.0, of the Linux-based operating system.
Michael Evans, vice president of channel sales and development for Red Hat, estimates that Red Hat currently holds a market share of between 50 percent and 80 percent of the Linux operating system software market.
Evans also said sales of Red Hat's Advanced Server system are going better than expected, and that its focus is on the sales of its operating system and to generate future revenues from recurring subscription contracts. Evans said Red Hat expects its customer to renew subscriptions at a rate of more than 70 percent.
Although Red Hat has developed a subscription-based model with differing levels of service, Evans emphasized that it is an operating system software company and not interested in developing Linux applications.