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What I don't get is this:

You build software, you ship it on an OS so it works, cool, this makes sense (I assume you need hardware and VM support, not just VM).

Why would you accept additional risk on the OS if you can easily reduce the risk, and ultimate cost, by going with an OS that has vendor support written into the actual contract? RHEL is 11-13 years total, Windows is... I'm guessing my grandkids will be using some form of Windows 10. CentOS is, and always was a community "best effort", with some serious delays occasionally (not often, but it happened).

A RHEL server license starts at $349, I have to assume that's at least an order of magnitude (or two or three) less than the cost of your software based on the technologies involved (sounds enterprise-solutiony). In other words a rounding error overall.

As a sysadmin in academia, this is not so straightforward. Since number of servers/VMs are in ballpark of over one hundred, RedHat license costs will be over 30,000$/year. This is not insignificant amount of money and not easy to get the money suddenly.

$30k is a significant amount, especially in academic environment, I don't deny it. But it's not much for > 100 servers. In my previous job, I had licenses which were about 15kâ‚Ĵ for one server (thanks Oracle...) and the Windows Server licenses were also pretty expensive. $300-500 per server/year is not much more than a Photoshop license for one designer. And if we talk big business (1000's of servers and even more), you will get very special pricing anyway.

Not just price, but ability to function without constant access to the satellite portal. It's darn near impossible to upgrade a RHEL box from a work at home VPN environment.

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