Red Hat is under siege

When Oracle launched a direct attack on Red Hat's business model last October, Red Hat's share price sank by 24 per cent. The database company announced it was going to be redistributing Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the OS that commands a 61 per cent share of the Linux market -- and providing support for it -- for half the price that RH charges. And this week it added management tools to its Linux support service.

Now, it's not alone: Sun has thrown Solaris into the mix.

Aiming to undercut Red Hat with a support package that makes open source Solaris half as expensive to run as Red Hat's Linux, Jim Craig, Sun's UK software marketing manager, pitched open sourced Solaris as a contender.

"It offers the same benefits as the competition as it's free to download and use, and it runs on commodity hardware," he said.

Red Hat is under siege.