RedHat is one of the pioneers of the Open Source community with their distribution of Linux called RedHat Enterprise Linux. While the OS software packages and the Linux kernel are completely Open Source, and anyone is free to download, use, and distribute them (some disclosures required), if you want commercial support you have to pay for it. RedHat is in the business of selling support and patches, there is no software licenses, there can’t be, it’s Open Source (the OS at least). If the company that only sells support for Open Source, says they don’t want to provide you the service you’ve paid for, what do you do?
It might come as some surprise to certain customers that RedHat is telling them they can’t get support for an Open Source OS just because it’s running on a hypervisor that is based on Open Source. The hypervisor in question is Nutanix AHV, which is based on CentOS, the same line of code as RedHat. This is some top class FUD, and is entirely untrue, if you read the details.
I’ve written some things about FUD in my time, usually about Oracle. I didn’t expect I’d be writing this time about RedHat. But here we are. I will cover some details about what RedHat Sales are saying, and link to the official documentation that you can use to fight back.
For some background you can see this RedHat Forum Post on Running RHEL on AHV. One of the RedHat employees says that Nutanix needs to work within the hardware certification program, however that isn’t relevant. Nutanix AHV isn’t hardware and Nutanix isn’t a hardware company, it’s a software company. Nutanix fully supports RedHat Enterprise Linux running on Nutanix AHV – see the compatibility matrix. Nutanix has tested and validated it’s functionality and we do not modify the guest OS in any way. The KVM that Nutanix AHV is based on is from the same place as RedHat KVM, with some important improvements in Security, Performance, and Management. Derek Seaman also wrote about RedHat Satellite Configuration.
Then there is this article about What Hypervisors are Supported for RHEL. Both VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V is listed (both can be used with Nutanix also). Nutanix AHV is not listed, even though it’s based of KVM. It’s usually at this point that RedHat Sales will point customers to this KB article about Nutanix Acropolis Hypervisor Support on RedHat Enterprise Linux. This is not relevant at all as this isn’t what the customers have been asking for and is technically not possible. Customers want to know about RHEL running on Nutanix AHV, not about Nutanix AHV (which is a hypervisor) running on RHEL (not technically possible). RedHat clearly has their wires crossed.
RedHat only sells support and patches. If RedHat fails to provide support their contract can be cancelled. If RedHat refuses to provide support for their OS, you can get support for RedHat Enterprise Linux from Suse and others. It’s Open Source software, so anyone can support it.
RedHat is a member of TSANet and therefore can be compelled to provide support under the terms of TSANet, which is a multi-vendor support organisation. RedHat even includes the details of TSANet in the third party support statement. Nutanix is also a member of TSANet. The only time Nutanix would ask a customer to engage RedHat on a support incident is if we believe the defect or fault is with the RedHat OS after a full analysis.
Nutanix routinely finds defects with various packages of RedHat, CentOS and other Open Source vendors and provides our patches to the community for use. We have contributed a ton of code to Open Source projects over the years and continue to do so. We also regularly find bugs in Open Source operating systems and fix those bugs and provide our patches upstream. This is how Open Source is meant to work.
In summary, RedHat Enterprise Linux is supported on Nutanix AHV, by both RedHat and Nutanix, it’s in writing and it’s black and white. It is covered under RedHat’s third party support policy and where RedHat Enterprise Linux is suspected of the fault RedHat support will resolve it.
Where necessary RedHat and Nutanix can work collaboratively through TSANet. Regardless of where the fault is found, Nutanix AHV Customers are covered for Support when using RedHat Enterprise Linux under their support contracts (provided it’s a version validated on Nutanix AHV). If getting full RedHat certification was as simple as running some standard tests and submitting them to RedHat, then Nutanix would have done that already. RedHat needs to stop spreading FUD, stop punching their customers in the face, and get on with supporting customers!
If someone from RedHat happens to be reading this article and would like to provide a reference to the certification program for hypervisors for RHEL and any other relevant certification programs I’d be happy to get Nutanix to go through them. To date, in spite of spending hours searching RedHat.com I’ve found nothing.
This post first appeared on the Long White Virtual Clouds blog at longwhiteclouds.com. By Michael Webster +. Copyright © 2012 – 2019 – IT Solutions 2000 Ltd and Michael Webster +. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced for commercial purposes without written permission.
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RedHat needs to stop playing games and certify it’s OS on AHV.