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Are there any reasons NOT to run an Ubuntu server?

Why most of hosting providers use RedHat Enterprise and CentOS? What is the advantage of using them compared to, for example Ubuntu Server? For me it seems like its easier to install and configure ubuntu and also it is more frequently updated.

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marked as duplicate by pauska, Iain, Chopper3 Dec 5 '11 at 9:46

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

I'm not really sure if there is a concrete advantage. Let's take RHEL and Centos. One thing someone wise once told me is that enterprise level stuff will get features faster, as they have shareholders with deadlines to answer to. Community distributions (typo in your title by the way) may get new software later as a result, but because it has had more time to be tested it tends to be more stable. This is by no means always the case, but I can see the logic behind it. Perhaps RHEL has better virtualisation support, but Centos works fine for me on Xen. – Aaron Newton Dec 5 '11 at 9:27
@aaron.newton - did you mean for this to be a comment as it's closer to an answer than a comment? – Chopper3 Dec 5 '11 at 9:32
I don't think it's a duplicate, since one asks about a particular enterprise distro (vs others) while this asks about enterprise vs hobbyist; i think the the two are only the same if you think ubuntu==linux. so i've voted to reopen (and thought i'd add a note saying why). but i freely accept i could be wrong! – MadHatter Dec 5 '11 at 10:20
@Chopper3 - it doesn't really answer the full question though - it's more like an example. Question has been closed at this point anyway. – Aaron Newton Dec 5 '11 at 21:14
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Enterprise grade Operating system gives you following, which is not found in non-enterprise class servers:

  • Near to real-time security updates
  • Online 24x7 support and troubleshooting
  • 100% Verified and Secure code from their own secure repositories
  • Maximum reliability and up-time, based on the reliable and only tested and verified configurations and software installed.
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Other people have posted several good answers, but one that's missing so far is the main reason that, whilst I run Fedora on my desktops, I run CentOS on my servers, and that's a very long support lifetime. Fedora comes out every six months, and release n is supported until shortly after the release of n+2. That means I'll have to upgrade the OS once a year, and for a server, that's vastly too frequent.

CentOS follows Red Hat's model, which means four years of active support, two further years of bedded-in support, and one years after that of security-only support. Upgrading server OSes every seven years is fine; the hardware is usually being retired by that point.

An enterprise distro will commit to a very long, stable lifetime, and that's exactly what I want on a server.

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Ubuntu also has LTS version, which is supported for five years – Poma Dec 5 '11 at 9:39
Poma: absolutely it does. I'm not an Ubuntu fan, but I certainly didn't mean to suggest that CentOS/RHEL was the only enterprise distribution. Most major distros have an enterprise-flavour offering, and you should pick the one you like the most. My answer only intended to suggest that, when deciding if a distro is enterprise-grade or not, the committed support lifetime is an important element. I agree that five years is long enough to qualify as enterprise-grade; one year isn't. – MadHatter Dec 5 '11 at 9:43

Third party software support typically only supports the large commercial distros, like Redhat and SuSE (and by proxy their derivatives).

Established support, in the case of SuSE and Redhat.

Tools that are not available on the free versions of the operating systems that allow for easier management of large install bases.

That at least explains Redhat and SuSE, with their free variants getting some of the benefits by virtue of being derivative.

Also bare in mind that "frequently updated" is not always a good thing for large enterprise installations as it means a tremendous amount of QA. Stable tools with predictable release cycles is often preferred over cutting edge when it comes to thousands upon thousands of servers.

There is also a bit of a "traditional" way of thinking in installing Redhat, it's been the major player in enterprise linux for so long and one could easily some it up as "No one has gotten fired for buying redhat."

Easier for the end user is not always easier for the administrators.

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I would add - hardware support (not only the drivers or procudents soft). You may not receive support from e.g. RAID controller vendor when you face troubles on "non-Enterprise" distros.

Also - often "easy" installation, a lot of packets comes for the price of stability. Usually Enterprise editions don't hung/reboot/crash without serious reason.

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