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Red Hat's Volley on Linux Management Offering

Call it Red Hat's forward spin velocity regarding Linux management tools. With competition such as Oracle offering full Red Hat support on their own products, Red Hat is now expanding and improving its Linux management footprint.

The leading Linux distributor told internetnews.com that it is rolling out online monitoring tool this year Red Hat customers.

Rich Friedman, director of product management for the Red Hat Network, told internetnews.com the management tool is already in use with a select group of customers with expanded rollouts planned throughout the year.

"We provide a set of services that can monitor systems and we handle the background work of collecting metrics, analyzing them, sending out availability and performance alerts," Friedman said. "We provide reporting charting and history and even more capabilities in terms of managing how you set up alerts and it's all from an online perspective."

News of Red Hat's Linux system management initiatives come just days after Oracle announced earlier new Linux management capabilities to Oracle's Unbreakable Linux customers.

Oracle claims that Management Pack for Linux does everything that Red Hat does with its Red Hat Network management product, and more. Plus, Oracle said, it's a free add-on for its Unbreakable Linux subscribers.

Red Hat is also planning a major upgrade to its Red Hat Network (RHN) systems management platform this year. RHN 5.0 is expected around the same time as Red Hat's flagship product Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL 5) is released.

"What we'll be doing with RHN 5 is providing support and capabilities around virtualization management," Friedman said. [This includes] "focusing on what we do from a Red Hat RHEL perspective and the capabilities we have and the ability to control the system from a central place."

And that's what sets Red Hat apart from the competition, he said. It may also be a matter of approach.

The Oracle Management Pack for Linux, which is a module for Oracle's existing Enterprise Manager product, includes broader capabilities for managing database and application components, according to Oracle.

Red Hat is taking a different angle than a one-console approach to managing all the enterprise components. "One console to serve all purposes is not as important as managing RHEL with the best capabilities," Friedman said. "That's where we focus."

And it's not just Oracle with which Red Hat wants to contrast its approach. Freidman said Red Hat's goal is to integrate with the big systems management vendors and work with them in a complementary manner.

Though Red Hat's goal is not be like the big systems management vendors, it is pursuing an effort to open up RHN so that it can manage more applications

Friedman explained that Red Hat is currently working on a platform for systems management that open source projects will be able to leverage to provide systems management out of the box. "Not to be an OpenView (HP's enterprise management product) or any one else in that arena but really as a way that you can integrate a base platform, and then provide a plug-in that will mange your product set," Friedman said.

"It will be based on a lot for work from Red Hat and JBoss and we'll be doing more for that his year. When I talk about where we are going from an open source platform...we want to make sure that's something our communities can leverage."