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Linux Storms the Enterprise On Route to the Cloud

November 5, 2012

Summary

Symantec and Red Hat’s recent partnership accelerates data centers into next-generation cloud technologies, by providing solutions that ensure continuous availability of systems, services, and applications.
Commercially supported enterprise Linux platforms have an incredibility bright future as core building blocks for next-generation, highly resilient data centers and agile private and hybrid clouds. Yet to fully optimize Linux to support the demands of increasingly business-critical workloads, organizations need to heed enterprise requirements around disaster recovery, high availability, and storage management.
Enterprise oriented Linux offerings like Red Hat Enterprise Linux have increased confidence and satisfaction in the enterprise data center, paving the way for organizations to migrate a tide of mission-critical workloads and applications to this platform. According to market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), Red Hat continues to roll forward, and IDC research finds that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the single-largest paid distribution in the industry and the single-largest non-paid distribution in use.¹
With virtualization now a standard part of the value proposition around commercial Linux, IDC and other analysts groups fully expect the environment to grab a significant role in the cloud computing landscape. What's driving the accelerated adoption? Flexibility of choice around x86 hardware, more rapid innovation cycles, greater agility due to an open platform and faster deployment of virtualization technologies, and a reduction in hardware and software costs are the most oft-cited benefits of enterprise Linux and what's cementing its new role as a foundational element in the on-going data center transformation.

A Partnership Built On Strengths

Red Hat very successfully served the needs of enterprise customers with mission critical deployments worldwide for many years. The reliability at the operating system layer combined with world-class customer service has established Red Hat Enterprise Linux as a platform of choice in these environments. There are ways to improve reliability and rapid recovery even further by adding software at the application layer. Seeing an opportunity to address customers' challenges on these fronts, market leaders Symantec and Red Hat have joined forces to deliver solutions based on their collective technology strengths. Their goal: To ensure that mission-critical Linux can power the hybrid and private cloud infrastructures of tomorrow—including data centers with physical and virtualized infrastructure.
Both companies have an established footing in the enterprise. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is deployed by more than 80% of the Fortune 500 and enjoys a market share of 63% of commercial Linux according to IDC,² while Symantec's storage and availability management solutions are employed by 99% of the same group.³ A closer look of internal Symantec customers shows that on a global basis nearly 65,000 are using Symantec availability and management solutions for their data centers where Linux is deployed.
Both companies have an established footing in the enterprise. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is deployed by more than 80% of the Fortune 500 and enjoys a market share of 63% of commercial Linux according to IDC,² while Symantec's storage and availability management solutions are employed by 99% of the same group.³ A closer look of internal Symantec customers shows that on a global basis nearly 65,000 are using Symantec availability and management solutions for their data centers where Linux is deployed.
Given their extensive common ground, Red Hat and Symantec see opportunity in delivering flexible and open solutions that will facilitate a migration of mission-critical systems to the cloud and datacenter. The idea is to create value throughout the entire solution, from ensuring highly available, multi-tier applications and business services, to delivering an open source platform where there is no vendor lock-in with commodity-based x86 hardware for either server and storage solutions. The partners have identified the following areas for an initial round of solutions:
Automated Off-Premise Disaster Recovery. Organizations invested in Red Hat Enterprise Linux that operate across expansive geographic boundaries, require a certain standard of fail-over protection. Veritas Cluster Server from Symantec automates failover of multi-tiered applications across any distance, regardless of whether failover is necessitated due to power loss, a natural disaster or other causes. The solution also offers non-disruptive failover testing to proactively ensure DR readiness. Ease-of-management and simplified DR workflows are also addressed, in part, by Cluster Server's single-click disaster recovery experience.
Cost-Effective Failover for Oracle Databases. With so many business-critical applications dependant on Oracle databases, organizations can ill afford the damage to brand reputation or customer service levels that can result from unforeseen down time. Veritas Storage Foundation Cluster File System and Cluster Server from Symantec ensure sub-minute recovery times for Oracle database failover while allowing organizations to deploy less costly single-instance Oracle databases. To further simplify complex application environments and deliver true business service resiliency, Cluster Server will also orchestrate multi-tiered application failover.
Improved Storage Performance and Availability for Heterogeneous Data Centers. Most data centers are stocked with storage solutions from multiple vendors, and each point solution injects another layer of operational complexity into the picture, which could jeopardize critical data availability across heterogeneous systems at any given point in time. Symantec's Storage Foundation Dynamic Multi-Pathing running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a uniform, solution that delivers management capabilities and visibility across multiple storage hardware. This gives organizations more flexibility in choosing right-priced storage hardware while ensuring a smoother management environment when storage devices are swapped out.

Breaking Free From The Prisoner's Dilemma

Given its low-cost, flexibility, and robust performance, organizations are readily adopting Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the strategic platform of choice for private and hybrid cloud deployments. But with IT organizations continually challenged to do more with less—a scenario some dub the "Prisoner's Dilemma"—there's a growing mandate to find the most cost effective and efficient ways to build out the data center and cloud environment. The challenge for IT management is to take advantage of the cost efficiencies and scalability of Linux for building out the cloud, while still achieving the levels of business continuity, high availability, and flexibility around storage management that are standards in the traditional data center.
Learn more about how Symantec and Red Hat are working closely to help IT organizations maximize their data center and cloud investments without sacrificing enterprise-grade application protection and business resiliency.
  • ¹ IDC, Linux at 20: Claiming Its Place in History, doc #229926, August 2011
  • ² IDC, Worldwide Linux Client & Server Operating Environments 2012-2016 Forecast and 2011 Vendor Shares, doc #236064, July 2012
  • ³ Symantec and Red Hat: Open and Flexible Mission-Critical Computing, June 2012

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