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Re: long term support release

On Jan 22, 2008 11:24 PM, Jeff Spaleta <jspaleta gmail com> wrote:
> On Jan 22, 2008 9:12 PM, Stephen John Smoogen <smooge gmail com> wrote:
> > I worked out the numbers for doing that at one time.. and it wasn't
> > pretty... especially when people want all of Fedora to be supported
> > for 2 years. The best price I came to was 2x what Red Hat charges for
> > an RHEL license to cover basic costs.. if a company wanted to actually
> > stay in business it was a lot more... especially when you would need
> > to make sure you had at least 200 paying customers. Cutting down the
> > supported packages basically brought it down to a much smaller segment
> > than what is in RHEL before you could get what most fedora users would
> > consider reasonable (say 50/year).
> There's a lesson here. Did you do the same calculation assuming you
> incorporated your company on the Isle of Man for tax benefit purposes
> to see if the numbers became profittable? What if you started off with
> a multi-million dollar venture capital injection and had 10 years to
> get to profitability?

While I would love to have an office on the Isle of Man (my
grandfather always said it was the best place for racing motorcycles,
and the weather fits my temperment..) I didnt use it. Basically the
make or break of it was how much capital I could have at the beginning
and how long it was before I was 'profitable'. Even trying to do it
non-profit still needed a large amount of core money before I could
get a 'revenue stream'. The big issue is how many packages can an
engineer handle in fixing bugs. There are over 4800 packages in 8..
which would be needing somewhere between 100-200 core coders, qa
testers, tech support etc. Using very cheap engineers at an overhead
cost of 100k (salary, benefits, housing, electricity, servers, etc)
that came out as ~10 million a year in costs. At an online 'box' price
of say $50.00/year  I would need to clear 400,000 sales per year to be
almost  profitable. [While it might look like I need 200,000.. the
fuzzy math of taxes, marketing, partner costs.. discounts for special
users etc.. it cuts down to about 1/2 in most real world if you are
doing good]

I could cut down the number of packages that were supported but that
would just make it so that there were less packages per developer (I
mean who is able to code, bug-fix, triage 24-48 packages full time?) I
would need to bring up the price and lower the number of packages down
to the point were I was basically supporting RHEL :). Or just
supporting the 'Extras' part of it.

Stephen J Smoogen. -- CSIRT/Linux System Administrator
How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed
in a naughty world. = Shakespeare. "The Merchant of Venice"

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