What is most valuable?
The GUI for network adapters and built-in tools provided by RHEL, such as the Mozilla browser, have been valuable. Since they come built-in, it saves the time of having to install them, and you have everything necessary with the installation itself.
There are several tools which Red Hat provides as add-ons such as ReaR (Relax and Recover) which can be used for disaster recovery.
What needs improvement?
Improvements are necessary to stay in the market and face the competition. I really think that the upgrade policies between the major versions, like from from RHEL 5 to RHEL 6, should be much easier, similar to what is in place for upgrading from RHEL 6 to RHEL 6.8.
For how long have I used the solution?
One to three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
Until now, RHEL has been the most stable OS I have ever seen. Nothing seems to break, with frequent updates. I have been running it 24/7 for the past 18 months and it runs flawlessly.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No issues so far. You can always scale the hard disk as much as you want, add NFS, CIFS disks and still the enterprise solution would run seamlessly.
How are customer service and technical support?
I would rate technical support at eight out of ten. Though they have some excellent engineers available, the case mostly goes through level-3 support staff and then it moves forward. This can sometimes be a time consuming process and lethal for a company.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
No, we did not use a previous solution. We knew about Red Hat from our inception. It was a pretty well-known enterprise platform.
How was the initial setup?
The setup of RHEL is straightforward, there is nothing complex about it. Everything is well documented on their website.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The pricing is a bit on the expensive side, mainly because of the support they provide. However, it is quite affordable if you are an organization. If, as a small company or individual, this is an expensive option, I would recommend CentOS, which is an exact replica of RHEL, minus the customer support.
What other advice do I have?
I have worked on a few Linux platforms, but Red Hat is a different experience. Due to its stability, it makes an excellent choice. It’s so-called invincible security makes sure that your data remains safe. The excellent customer service support agents are ready to get your problem resolved almost within an hour of opening a case (as long as you have the premium license for your servers). Taking all this into consideration, I would say this solution is a nine out of 10.
I have been working on Red-hat for two years and I must say I enjoy working with it. No day is like another, since there will always be something which will enhance your learning curve.
I would say if you are managing high-end servers running complex programs, Red Hat would never do you wrong. It has a lot of built-in tools if you choose the maximalist installation. If you are running a low-end server, you can even go with the minimalist installation which would only cramp a few megabytes of your processor power.