I wrote a story yesterday about CentOS (the Red Hat Enterprise Linux clone) getting commercial support from OpenLogic. One thing that isn’t in the posted story, that I’ve always been curious about, is why Red Hat itself doesn’t go after CentOS users in an effort to convert them to paid Red Hat support.
Today, I got an answer on that question from Red Hat’s Marco Bill-Peter, vp Global Support Services.
“We are not actively chasing users of CentOS, but rather find that
enterprises are naturally turning to Red Hat for the value of the Red
Hat subscription model and support,” Bill-Peter said.
I personally find that a little ‘interesting’ especially in light of the comments made by Red Hat’s CEO and CFO during recent quarterly investor conference calls. As an overall sales strategy, Red Hat is pursuing the free-to-paid opportunity.
During Red Hat’s third quarter fiscal 2009 conference call CEO Jim Whitehurst said that one of the top 25 deals closed by Red Hat
during the quarter was one where the user moved from a Free version of
Linux to a paid Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscription. Whitehurst
pegged the deal at “6 figures” for a single year.