Fedora Makes a Terrible Server?

Todd Denniston Todd.Denniston at ssa.crane.navy.mil
Tue Mar 25 20:21:24 UTC 2008

Les Mikesell wrote, On 03/25/2008 03:23 PM:
> David G. Mackay wrote:
>> Now, if we're talking a system that's handling financial transactions
>> that has to be available 24/7, then it's another situation entirely.
> I assumed that the word 'servers' in the subject meant that the services 
> mattered to someone...

for many of us, server = a machine running at least one of the following, NFS, 
SAMBA, bind, yp, LDAP, Apache....

>> I've been in shops like that, and am aware of the practices necessary to
>> sustain that.  I don't, however, need a disaster recovery plan with a
>> hot backup site for my video and music collection.
> If reliability over some long interval isn't important to you, then this 
> thread probably isn't very interesting.

I would say reliability over a long interval is not the problem here, as I 
have had some VERY reliable FC servers (handling 30+ folks.) for years[0]. 
Any admin who updates a critical server without doing some testing on a 
similar machine, should no longer be allowed to do the job, even when those 
updates are paid for from RH or MS. Things like 'we know kernel 2.6.24.x-fc8 
broke on ..." is only another chunk of info for the admin, [s]he should be 
watching for the same things if using a Enterprise editions, because they 
sometimes[1] have those problems too[2].

However, using FC means that that 'long interval' has to be ended[3] sometime 
between the time that the vendor drops doing security updates for that distro, 
and when the admin can no longer keep the box patched up to the appropriate 
level on the budget available. Fedora makes the  'long interval' 1year+, and 
Enterprise editions make it ~7years[4].  THIS is why fedora should loose to 
RHEL|CentOS when dealing with a server that needs to be in service for much 
longer than a year.

[0] I miss fedora legacy.
[1] Granted, they USUALLY have the problems less OFTEN, severity is often the 
[2] read the autofs, DRBD and Linux-HA lists for a while.
[3] ended by upgrade to a new distro version or retirement of the machine.
[4] http://www.redhat.com/security/updates/errata/

Todd Denniston
Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane)
Harnessing the Power of Technology for the Warfighter

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