Available immediately, the Red Hat Advanced Mission-Critical Programme offers service levels previously available only on mainframe-class systems, according to the firm.
The move is designed to drive take-up of Red Hat Enterprise Linux among customers with more exacting requirements.
"The targets for this are the most conservative companies currently on Unix-based systems and with a need for unusual levels of support," said Scott Crenshaw, vice president of Red Hat's Platforms business unit.
Red Hat worked with Fujitsu in building the mission-critical support framework based on demand from Japanese customers.
"They came to us and said they had mainframe customers that wanted to move to Linux, but wanted the same support and lifecycles," Crenshaw explained.
One of the major benefits of moving is that customers can deploy applications with the same level of availability, but on much less costly x86 server hardware.
"We are taking away any barriers remaining for customer migration. It's the last nail in the Unix coffin," said Crenshaw.
The programme includes longer standardisation periods of up to 60 months, designed to reduce server administration and management costs associated with operating Red Hat Enterprise Linux in a datacentre environment, along with 10 years of support for major revisions of the platform.
Customers signing up for mission-critical service level agreements can expect faster response times of under half an hour for severity 1 issues and four hours for severity 2 issues, Red Hat said.
The company also pledged to provide customers with an emergency fix for severity 1 and 2 issues within 24 hours, and deliver a report detailing root cause analysis findings within the same timeframe.
While the costs associated with this level of support are greater than those for standard Enterprise Linux deployments, Crenshaw said that some customers expected to save US$500,000 per server by joining the programme.
Fujitsu is offering support now through the Advanced Mission-Critical Programme, while other OEM vendors will follow soon, according to Red Hat.
Red Hat offers mainframe-class support
By Daniel Robinson on Nov 20, 2008 6:10AM