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How Red Hat Does Support

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2006-11-09 Print this article Print

Oracle will not find it easy to match Red Hat's Linux support operation. (Linux-Watch)

Oracle, with its recent claims to be able to support Red Hat Enterprise Linux under the name Unbreakable Linux better than Red Hat does, has a hard road ahead of it. Behind Red Hat's support network is a large, well-trained organization.

Iain Gray, Red Hat's senior director of global support, explained that Red Hat offers 24x7 support around the world using a "follow the sun model." By this, he means that Red Hat maintains technical support centers around the world.

The company's primary technical support centers are in Raleigh, N.C., Brisbane, Australia, Guildford, England, and Pune, India.

In each of these main centers, support up to and including level 3 is supplied. All together, Red Hat has support centers in 12 countries with help available in 11 different languages.

So, Red Hat's follow the sun support works like this. If you're in Japan and you call about an RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) problem, your call is most likely to be answered by a native Japanese speaker either in Japan or in Red Hat's Brisbane center.

The one thing, according to Gray, that they will all have in common is that every front line support person is a RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer).

All together, Red Hat currently employs over 200 RHCEs in support. The support operation itself is actually larger than that, since the 200 doesn't include the support staff's support staff or back-line engineers.

Read the full story on Linux-Watch: How Red Hat does support

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Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor of eWEEK.com's Linux & Open Source Center and Ziff Davis Channel Zone. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.
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