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Support Options

This section outlines some support options and costs for a Linux and Microsoft server, based on published retail and third-party options.

Linux Support Options and Costs

Red Hat offers tiered support options for its products, ranging from automatic software updates to one-hour incident response, as outlined in Table 8. On-line support for consumer and small-business Linux distributions is available via Red Hat, Inc.'s Red Hat Network, with basic services available for a $60 subscription per year for each system. Red Hat Network provides electronic notification about new fixes and updates, better search capabilities in Red Hat's knowledge base, Internet on-line updating of systems, and download of new .iso release images apart from public File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers.

Some products, such as Advanced Server, are serviced by using annual subscription-based plans, with optional services such as developer support, technical account management (dedicated software engineering), and other services based on premium support options.

In-house based support mechanisms may also be purchased and installed. Examples include Red Hat's Proxy Server and Satellite software systems, which provide local installation, upgrade and maintenance servers that mirror those from Red Hat.

Table 8—Red Hat Advanced Server Support Options and Costs14

Advanced Server

Basic Support

Advanced Server

Standard Support

Advanced Server

Premium Support

$799.00

$1499.00

$2499.00

9–5 weekday phone support

24/7 Web support

Scope of coverage is installation and configuration

9–5 weekday phone support , domestic and international

24/7 Web support

Four business hours phone response time

Two business days Web support

Medium scope of coverage

24x7 phone support

24/7 Web support

One hour phone support

One business day Web support

High scope of coverage


Red Hat, Inc. also offers various add-on products and services related to Red Hat Linux Advanced Server, such as developer support, technical management (to aid in transition, deployment, or migration), and managed services (for ongoing IS/IT operations).

Reference:

http://www.redhat.com/software/advancedserver/subscriptions/

Windows Support Options and Costs

Table 9 details just some of the available Windows 2000 Server Support options. Options are provided for Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server, along with the type of support and cost.

Table 9—Sample Windows 2000 Server Product Microsoft Support Plans

Product

Type

Cost

Windows 2000 Advanced Server

Windows 2000 Server

On-line

$99 per incident

Windows 2000 Advanced Server

Windows 2000 Server

Phone

$245 per incident; five incidents for $1225

Windows 2000 Advanced Server

Remote advisory

Hourly, consultative fee at $210 per hour

Third-party

Varies

Negotiated


Although ACME could turn to paid support operations, such an approach does not make sense economically; one or more trained staff members may be employed following initial setup and testing of the Microsoft-based network.

Reference:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;en-us;Prodoffer46a

Summary

It can be initially confusing when trying to balance, estimate, or judge the overall cost or quality of service between using Red Hat Linux or Microsoft Windows 2000 support operations. ACME should consider that it represents a much larger client to Red Hat, Inc. than to Microsoft. Although this fact may or may not totally influence the quality of service, one would reasonably expect that Red Hat, Inc. would have a greater interest in satisfying the client concerns of a business the size of ACME.

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