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Re: OS recommendations/Aging software issues

On Thu, 2005-06-02 at 09:34 -0400, Marc M wrote:
> Hi, 
> I work for a major defense contractor that is very tight with money at
> times.  Two years ago, before I came, they got RH 9 (bought or
> downloaded- whatever).  I guess that got deemed appropriate to buy at
> the time, and it has been sitting here getting old ever since.  The
> purpose of this server is to run Symantec Manhunt on it as an IDS.
> They bought Manhunt at the same time and never got around to deploying
> it until now.  
> Now I am about to deploy a linux server (Dell) and I am trying to
> figure out which version to go with - RH 9, FC 1-3, or whatever.  I
> want it to be redhat-based since I am the main admin, and I am more
> comfortable with that than on debian based systems.  
> On the other hand I am not sure what to do.  My boss makes the
> argument that we need to run the oldest, since he has seen versioning
> issues and conflicts in this situation.  However most of that is in
> the world of Windows which does stupid things by default as we all
> know.   
> In this scenario my argument is <still> that we should go with
> something more recent.  I don't like the idea of putting something out
> there that is so old it isimpractical by today's standards, that am
> going to think is stupid.   I guess there is some wisdom in being able
> to keep the age of the OS in sync with the age of the software, but in
> the linux realm, that really isn't the same issue as it is in other
> areas - right?  OTOH I don't want to do a 'yum update' on the box and
> not be able to get updates because the version is so <frickin'> old.
> I think FC2 would be a good choice.  Although it is still old, it at
> least is a little bit ahead of RH9.  An additional concern - even if I
> were to deploy FC2, I would probably want to upgrade that too.  Is
> that gonna be a problem?   Can I upgrade versions of Fedora (2 to 3 to
> whatever) on a production box without a lot of problems?  Will yum do
> that cleanly and consistently without a lot of headaches?  
> Whatever choice I make is going to have to last for a good while.
> Does anyone have any advice for this situation?  
> Thanks in advance
> Marc

Just my opinion, but I would tend to go with the newest I could get my
hands on. I had a similar experience with a company that was a
collection agency. They were still running RHL 7.3 and wanted to know
why their system wasn't supported anymore. They, via their primary
consultant, were also afraid to upgrade to a newer version because of an
irrational fear things wouldn't work - despite having an updated system
with their critical software applications running on it demonstrated to
them. They actually came in and rolled back to RHL 7.3 after completing
an upgrade because of this fear and then tried to say I didn't do
anything for them. <sheesh...!>

As an side note, I don't do business for collection agencies anymore -
the ones I've dealt with were as cheap as they were repeatedly and
knowingly unethical (even illegal) in their practices. But I digress...

Anyway, your assertions are essentially correct about versioning - RH/FC
handle this much better than Windows, but it's not perfect either. Be
sure to test no matter what you do. I think the better question to ask
in your situation is should you be running Fedora Core or Red Hat
Enterprise Linux. I would choose between Fedora Core 4 since it's due
for release on June 6 or Red at Enterprise Linux 4. I've been running
FC4 Test2 / Test 3 / Rawhide with no serious issues other than things
you'd expect from running pre-release software. I'll be updating as soon
as I can download the final version. If you need the security of a
company supported distro, go with RHEL4.

Hope that helps!



When the solution is simple,
God is answering.

-- Albert Einstein

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