Report Optimizes Subscriptions for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Support

Note:This feature is available with IT Asset Management.

A new report offers optimization of your Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions.

While Linux is free, open-source software licensed under the GNU General Public License, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is designed to be stable, with long-term support for enterprise users, and a more measured release cadence. To fund this effort, Red Hat (an independent subsidiary of IBM) contracts with customers that they purchase annual subscriptions for support of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system. Two key alternative subscription models as follows:

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Datacenters subscription allows you to deploy an unlimited number of VMs running RHEL on hosts with hypervisors supported by Red Hat (such as Red Hat Virtualization, VMware, and Microsoft HyperV). Instead of counting VMs, it counts the number of processors in each virtual host. Each subscription entitlement covers two processors running on a virtual host, so that for a virtual host with 8 processors, you would purchase four of these subscriptions. This subscription type is best suited for dense virtualized environments.
The Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server subscription is best suited for physical servers, or for low-density virtual servers.
For physical devices, one subscription is required for each pair of processor sockets in the device (except that devices with only a single socket require a separate subscription each, as the socket-pair subscriptions cannot be split across devices).
For a virtual environment, one Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server subscription authorizes operation of two virtual machines on a host. Rounding of subscriptions is not applied at the level of the individual host (for example, a virtual host with nine VMs requires 4.5 subscriptions); but rounding up is applied finally to the enterprise-wide sum of these subscriptions.

A subtlety of these subscription models is that Red Hat requires that each cluster must be authorized in a uniform way (that is, either one, but only one, of the subscriptions may be used to authorize all installations within the cluster). For this reason, many companies choose the Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Datacenters subscription for its simplicity of authorizing any number of virtual machines. However, since the cost for each subscription entitlement is more than seven times higher for this subscription, it is often possible to optimize the structure of clusters and realize considerable savings at the next annual renewal of your subscriptions.

Enter the new Red Hat Enterprise Linux License Optimization report. The report calculates the cost of covering each cluster with each of the subscription models, and recommends the more economical subscription model for each cluster. It includes a wealth of insight into which servers contribute what processor or VM count, together with associated costs. This report does not include any specific recommendations for moving VMs to other hosts, or other changes to your cluster architecture; but armed with its insights into current costs, you can certainly experiment with your architecture, and re-run the report to see comparative results.