Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Valuable Features

System Analyst II at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees

I like the fact that most of the system configuration is Namespace so it's easy to get to and easy to configure, and most of it still uses text documents. Not all of it's a menu-driven-type entry. I also like the fact that it's a very standard file system layout so it's easy to navigate.

In some instances, it provides features that help speed development. In other instances, it's standard amongst most Linux groups. You can download the main features. The file system is always a big difference. You go from a Debian-based system to Red Hat, so the file system layout is a little bit different. User-based files are located versus system-based files. RHEL keeps everything in one area and segregates it. It makes it easier to go between different organizations and still have the same policies and structure. I do like the new package manager.

It's all text-based, all command line, whereas the minimal load does not have a GUI on it. If you're used to using Windows core servers, it wouldn't be that big of a deal, but going from a Windows GUI-based system to an RHEL command-line-based system is a learning curve for most Windows administrators. A lot of strictly Windows administrators don't even want to look at a command line from Red Hat because the commands are so different from what they're used to. There is a learning curve between the two major platforms.

The application and user experience are usually pretty consistent, but that really depends on the application developer. If they're developing an application, it'll be consistent costs on infrastructure. That's not an issue between the different platforms. User experience is based on how the application developer built it. They're not all in-house and so they developed across a consistent platform. They keep everything pretty simple from the user perspective.

It enables us to deploy current applications and merging workloads across physical hardware and VMs. Virtualization and physical hardware stay consistent. Going to the cloud depends on the platform we use but it'll mostly be consistent as well. The RHEL distribution has been implemented pretty well amongst most of our cloud providers. It's pretty standard now, whether we go to Rackspace, Amazon, Azure, or even Microsoft supporting RHEL distribution. You can go to a Microsoft Azure cloud and have a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system running there. The user would probably never notice it.

For Red Hat, the bare metal and virtualized environments are pretty reliable. The only thing I don't like about Red Hat is that every time you do an update, there are patches every month and you have to reboot the system. Fortunately, it's a single reboot versus Microsoft, which likes multiple reboots, but still, you have to reboot the system. You have to reboot the server. The newer updates have kernel patches involved in them. To implement that new kernel, you have to reboot the system, and Red Hat's best policy and best practices are to reboot the system after patching.

I used the AppStream feature a couple of times. Not a whole lot because a lot of our environment is specific to what we deploy. Normally I would just deploy the bare system, adding features requested by the application administrator, and they'll download the rest of the things that they need.

We have used the tracing and monitoring tools in certain instances but not consistently. We use them for troubleshooting but not every day. We use other third-party software to monitor the system logs and alert on the issues. They will run tracing analysis of the systems. The reason we don't always use it is because of the number of servers I have to deal with and the low band power.

Automation is however you set it up. As for running a cloud-based solution, a lot of it would be automated. Going from prior experience, dealing with it before coming to this company, we did a lot of cloud deployment and it's pretty consistent and reliable and you could automate it pretty easily. 

RHEL accelerated the deployment of cloud-based workloads in my previous experiences. Compared to no other solution at all, it's obviously a vast improvement. You have to worry about Windows. As soon as you bring the server up, it requires numerous patches and it'll take several reboots unless you have an image that is very patched and deployable there. Even then, every month you get new patches. Red Hat patches a lot faster than Windows and requires a single reboot. The speed of deployment is a hazard. It's almost twice as fast deploying an RHEL solution as it is a Windows solution.

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Principal Analyst - AIX and Linux at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees

Satellite is an optional system which provides for extensive deployment and patch management. That is quite valuable.

We use Red Hat Enterprise Linux's tracing and monitoring tools. You don't leave them on all the time, as far as tracing is concerned. When you are sick and go to the doctor, that is when you use it, e.g., when an application is sick or things are really unexplainable. It gives you a good wealth of information. In regards to monitoring, we are using them to a point. We are using Insights and Insight Sender as well as the Performance Co-Pilot (PCP), which is more something we look at once in a while. 

Other Red Hat products integrate with Red Hat Enterprise Linux very well. In fact, they integrate with pretty much everything around the universe. We are doing API calls without even knowing what an API is, i.e., towards VMware vCenter as well as Centreon. There are certain individuals who use it for free without subscription and support for Ansible in our Telco group with great success.

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Systems Analyst at Intraservice/City of G̦teborg

The most valuable thing for us is the support that we get from Red Hat for the product. One of our most important applications here in the City of Gothenburg runs on RHEL, so if something happens, we have a partner to get support from.

The solution has features that simplify adoption for non-Linux users. There is an interface that you can activate on RHEL systems, and on other Linux systems as well, so that you will get a graphical user interface instead of just a shell. It's easier for an administrator who is used to only working on Windows.

In terms of the deployment and management interfaces for non-Linux users and Linux beginners, for me it was quite easy to get on with Linux and RHEL. And if you're not using the Cockpit, or graphical interface, then it's a bit harder because then you have to type in everything and you don't get any visual guides. On the RHEL systems that we have, we haven't been using the desktop environment; we only just use the shell environment. But using Cockpit is much easier because then you get a visual, graphical interface.

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Learn what your peers think about Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2021.
511,521 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Associate Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

Customer support is valuable. Because most of the Linux distros are open-source, most of them don't have customer support. RHEL isn't open-source, and that's why I prefer it more than other distros.

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Linux Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

Its security is the most valuable. It is very stable and has many features. It also has good performance.

Some of our clients were using Windows servers and products. I suggested Red Hat Linux to them and described the features. They switched to it, and they really loved it. There were around 50 servers in my last company, and they switched all those servers from Windows to Red Hat. I used to manage those servers.

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IT Manager at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees

We find the Red Hat Satellite deployments very useful. It integrates well with other solutions.

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Learn what your peers think about Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: June 2021.
511,521 professionals have used our research since 2012.