Red Hat

Understanding Red Hat Linux Price and Pricing

Despite being around for two decades and being one of the most popular Linux server distributions, the pricing of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), sometimes called Red Hat Linux, is still a common source of confusion, both among its existing users and those who are just thinking about making the switch.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Its Relationship with Fedora

RHEL was first released in 2000, after the discontinuation of Red Hat Linux. With the new version came a new pricing model and also Fedora Linux, a free, community-supported Linux distribution that functions as the upstream source of RHEL.

RHEL uses a much more conservative release cycle than Fedora. New features are typically first made available to Fedora users and don’t make it to RHEL until they are polished. While both RHEL and Fedora can be used for commercial purposes, only RHEL receives commercial support.

“Developers and Linux enthusiasts flock to Fedora for the latest features and the opportunity to directly collaborate with Red Hat engineering,” explains Red Hat on its website. “Banks, stock exchanges, hospitals, and businesses that run the world’s leading websites choose Red Hat Enterprise Linux for the platform’s performance, stability, and security, which lets them implement mature and well-organized IT infrastructures across the enterprise.”

Variants of Red Hat Enterprise Linux

RHEL is available in multiple variants, each targeting a different group of users, offering a unique assortment of features, and including a certain level of customer support.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop: With a full office productivity suite, KVM virtualization, and extensive hardware support, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop enables users to be productive while benefiting from the robust and secure Red Hat Enterprise Linux foundation.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation: Including all the capabilities and apps from Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop, plus development tools for provisioning and administration, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation targets advanced Linux users working on more powerful systems, such as graphic designers, animators, and scientists.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Suite: Intended for development purposes only, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Suite is a self-supported Linux distribution and includes all Red Hat Enterprise Linux Add-Ons, Red Hat Software Collections, and the Red Hat Developer Toolset.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Workstation: Designed specifically to meet the needs of software developers, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Workstation includes all the features of Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Suite with unlimited incident reports and 2-business-day or 4-business-hour responses.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server: Deployable on a physical system, in the cloud, or as a guest on most widely available hypervisors, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server is an easy-to-administer, simple-to-control operating system with multiple subscription options and several optional add-ons.

Besides these main variants, there are also variants for high-density virtual servers (Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Datacenters), for IBM Power computers (Red Hat Enterprise Linux for IBM Power Little Endian), and for  IBM Z systems (Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server for IBM Z), among others.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Pricing

Now that we introduced the dominant variants of RHEL, it’s time to take a closer look at their pricing:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation

Subscription type Price
Self-support (1 year) $179
Standard (1 year) $299

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Suite

Subscription type Price
Self-support (1 year) $99

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Workstation

Subscription type Price
Professional (1 year) $299
Enterprise (1 year) $449

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server

Subscription type Price
Self-support (1 year) $349
Standard (1 year) $799
Premium (1 year) $1,299

Available add-ons:

  • Smart Management ($350)
  • High Availability ($399)
  • Resilient Storage ($799)
  • Extended Update Support ($249)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Datacenters

Subscription type Price
Standard (1 year) $2,499
Premium (1 year) $3,999

Available add-ons:

  • Smart Management ($1,225)
  • High Availability ($1,245)
  • Resilient Storage ($2,495)
  • Extended Update Support ($775)

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for IBM Power Little Endian

Subscription type Price
Standard (1 year) $269
Premium (1 year) $435

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for IBM System z

Subscription type Price
Standard (1 year) $15,000
Premium (1 year) $18,000

Choosing the Right RHEL Subscription

The Red Hat subscription packaging model allows customers to select the right subscription for their needs, stack subscriptions to streamline purchasing, and move subscriptions from physical to virtual to cloud. For physical hardware deployments, subscriptions are based on the number of socket-pairs in the systems used. For virtual deployments, subscriptions are based on the number of virtual instance-pairs used.

Let’s say you want to deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server on a 2-socket server. In that case, you need to purchase a single subscription, which starts at $349. The same goes for 2 physical servers with 1 socket each.

However, 2 physical servers with 2 sockets each require 2 subscriptions ($698 in total with self-support), 4 physical servers with 2 sockets each require 4 subscriptions ($1,396 in total with self-support), and so on.

The self-support subscription includes access to software updates, the Red Hat Knowledgebase, and technical content on the Red Hat Customer Portal. It does not include phone or web support from Red Hat.

The standard subscription adds unlimited web and phone requests during standard business hours with a response time of one hour for problems that severely impact the use of the software in a production environment (Severity 1) and 2 hours for problems which the software is functioning but its use in a production environment is severely reduced (Severity 2).

The premium subscription introduces 24×7 coverage for Severity 1 and Severity 2 problems, making it great for mission-critical workloads.

Conclusion

With so many variants of Red Hat Enterprise Linux to choose from, it’s no wonder that even those who have been with this popular Linux distribution are often not sure just how much they should expect to pay. We hope that this article has made things clearer and helped you unravel Red Hat’s pricing structure.

About the author

David Morelo

David Morelo

Content writer and copywriter, researcher, wannabe linguistic, part-time marketer, gym rat, sometimes annoying but always loving boyfriend.

I was born and raised in the Czech Republic, where I studied English and Japanese philology at the Palacký University in Olomouc, the second oldest university in the Czech Republic and the largest university in Moravia, one of the historical Czech lands.