Thanks to all who responded. There is plenty of wisdom in the sum of all of
these posts. We are nailing down costs from the hosting provider for each
option. It looks like Windows 2008 Standard is less expensive per month
than RHEL 6 with the hosting site we are using (primarily because of the
$500 annual cost for RHEL). My colleague uses his own perl scripts with
apache, so he is not excited about IIS. My only issue with IIS has to do
with poor experiences to date, but when I check the date, it is somewhere
around 2001. Perhaps I need not hold a grudge that long?  cheers!  --dawn

On Wed, Jul 17, 2013 at 7:48 PM, John Hester <> wrote:

> Dawn, just to add my 0.02, I have a couple of production CentOS servers
> but run UV on RHEL.  UV is the most mission-critical app we have and I feel
> it would be too much of a risk to run it on an unsupported platform.  And I
> would take Tony's point that Linux has the exact same update headaches as
> Windows one step further and say that it's worse.  I choose to run UV on
> RHEL because I rely heavily on custom UV integration with system utilities
> like cron and open-source apps like postfix, cURL and wget.  Installing all
> available updates a la Windows on the RHEL UV box is something I'd never
> do, though, because the risk of breaking something is too high.  To give an
> example, I installed all the latest updates on the less mission-critical of
> our CentOS servers a while back and it broke the freeRADIUS service we use
> to authenticate wifi clients via Active Directory.  Fortunately the other
> CentOS server is a backup freeRADIUS server, but it was still time
> consuming to fix.  When RH or CentOS updates an app, any config files
> replaced are backed up in the current location with an extension of
> ".rpmnew".  When freeRADIUS starts up it reads every config file in its
> directory regardless of name, so this totally borked the installation.
>  Fixing it was a matter of opening both the old and new versions of all 7
> replaced config files in a GUI text editor with diff capability and
> painstakingly merging the original config into the new files.  I probably
> spent a couple of hours on it, and that was just one application.  UV is in
> use 24x7 and an outage like that on our UV server would be catastrophic.
> Having said that, I think a case could be made for running UV on CentOS if
> the initial installation runs stably and you don't plan to patch it.  I
> would thoroughly test every aspect of UV, but once you're certain it's
> stable, you aren't likely to need support if you don't break anything going
> forward.  Lack of patches sounds like a security risk on the face of it,
> but good security isn't a black and white issue.  If no unnecessary
> services are listening on the box, no end users have direct access to the
> OS shell, and the box isn't directly open to the internet, it's pretty
> secure IMHO.  RH may issue a ton of "critical" security updates for various
> services, but if you're not running those services, or if a user needs OS
> shell access they don't have to execute a privilege escalation, those
> updates are irrelevant.  There are lots of add'l security measures that you
> can take to further protect the server, such as installing the free OSSEC
> intrusion detection utility from Trend Micro and running ssh on a
> non-default port.  As Dan said, the question of whether or not to run UV on
> an unsupported platform really depends on the risk tolerance of the client
> where it's installed and how they're using it.  It's not appropriate for
> our environment, but if someone else decides the cost savings outweigh the
> risks for them after carefully considering both, I wouldn't necessarily
> tell them it's a bad idea.
> -John
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:
>] On Behalf Of Daniel McGrath
> Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 11:00 AM
> To: U2 Users List
> Subject: Re: [U2] CentOS with Universe?
> In Dawn's case, I agree with Tony. At larger scales though, support from
> RHEL isn't just bug fixes that CentOS gets eventually, but is also system
> configuration assistance for issues, particularly around performance. If
> you are not running a production server yourself, but are using it for
> development or support, then it is probably less of an issue.
> If you are running your core business on it 24/7, it's a different story.
> Dan McGrath
> Managing Director, U2 Servers Lab
> Rocket Software
> 4600 South Ulster Street  ·  Suite 1100  ·   Denver, CO 80237 ·  USA
> T: +1 720 475 8098 · E: · W:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [mailto:
>] On Behalf Of Tony Gravagno
> Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 11:38 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [U2] CentOS with Universe?
> > From: Dawn Wolthuis
> > We have a VAR who would prefer to load Universe and their application
> > on a supported platform, but we would prefer not to pay for RHEL 6. I
> > searched the list and found a few tidbits, but does
> anyone
> > have a good list of what changes might be required to successfully
> run
> > Universe 11.1 on CentOS? How much pain would we be introducing for
> > ourselves and our VAR, if they were willing to play along?
> Dawn, you have accurate responses from everyone:
> 1) Should be exactly the same.
> 2) Might not be.
> 3) There is risk involved.
> Personally I run CentOS whenever I need Linux. But it does have its own
> errors from time to time, and sometimes it takes a while to get them fixed
> - just visit the CentOS forum and see what people are talking about. That's
> the gamble we take for freeware. (It's only "free" if your time is
> worthless.)
> How much does RHEL Support help? Well, many systems I know never even
> update their RHEL systems. They install and then don't want to patch
> because it might mess up dependencies, forcing a reinstall. And RedHat does
> the same themselves to an extent - they guarantee that their distro isn't
> volatile like Fedora - in part because they don't provide many updates to
> common FOSS after production. As an example, you need an update to
> something like cURL (v7.19 from the "current" RHEL6 yum update but v7.31 in
> real world) you'll have to get it from somewhere other than RedHat, and
> that could break a lot of stuff. And because they bashed Windows for so
> many years about this (DLL HELL) before drinking the Linux Kool-Aid, these
> folks are afraid to say Linux has exactly the same problems, or afraid to
> admit they don't update their system, or maybe they just don't know that
> their packages are a couple years old and unpatched. (No need for people to
> jump in to reassure us that you update your personal system(s) - trading
> anecdotes doesn't change the fact that other people do things differently.)
> But the real point here ... is that once U2 is working, and it "should"
> out of the box, then it "shouldn't" break, as long as you don't change
> anything. It's been around since 2010 and CentOS is right there with it
> now. The only time you could have issues is when U2 is certified over a new
> RH release and CentOS hasn't caught up to them yet. The cost for not being
> with a current RHEL release is that you won't be able to install a brand
> new OS/DBMS combo with confidence, you'll just have to wait a while for the
> dust to settle. Now, what if you do get that brand new release of RH/UV and
> it breaks. You need to wait for Rocket to work with RH anyway. So if you're
> going to wait there anyway, why not just wait a little longer and get it
> all free?
> You asked "how much pain would we be introducing" ... all we can tell is
> how much pain you "could" or "might", not "would". The odds are in your
> favor - chances are very slim that there will be an issue in RHEL that
> affects U2, that it will get fixed by RH but not passed on in CentOS.
> There's just a time delay - you'd be paying RedHat to get changes to you
> faster, that's all, but you'll eventually get the same changes from CentOS.
> T
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Dawn M. Wolthuis

Take and give some delight today
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