Red Hat expands enterprise software tools

Linux developer Red Hat Inc. is looking to increase its presence in the high-end market for enterprise software. At this week’s LinuxWorld Conference & Expo, the company is showing off its forthcoming Red Hat Advanced Server and introducing several new tools designed for large businesses.

Red Hat is adding another service tier to its 16-month-old Red Hat Network, a system for remotely managing Linux deployments via the Web. The new Red Hat Network Workgroup service includes all the features found in Red Hat’s less expensive Basic service, as well as multiple-administrator authorization and system grouping tools intended to ease management of various server and workstation sets. The company recommends Workgroup subscriptions for customers managing multiple Red Hat Linux systems.

Red Hat’s Basic service costs US$60 per system subscription, per year. The new Workgroup service costs US$240 per system, per year. Both are available worldwide.

Red Hat is also releasing add-on options aimed at Workgroup subscribers, including the Red Hat Network Proxy Server and Red Hat Network Satellite, a security tool.

“In the beginning, we were focused on small and medium businesses, and individual users. Now, we’re bringing our tools into the enterprise,” said Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s executive vice-president of engineering. “We feel confident that we can handle businesses of any size.”

Red Hat’s forthcoming Advanced Server, on display this week and scheduled for release during the second quarter, is intended to be a top-of-the-line operating system for key enterprise application deployments, Cormier said. Red Hat is focusing its enterprise-class product development on “features that are requirements,” including high-availability, clustering and load-balancing capabilities.

“We’re really mainstreaming Linux into mission-critical applications within the enterprise,” Cormier said.

Red Hat currently claims a subscriber base of more than 400,000 systems connected to the Red Hat Network, although the company won’t specify how many customers are represented by those 400,000 systems. The company also declined to release any customer names.

Red Hat, located in Research Triangle Park, N.C., is at