"One key piece of value is that for most of the core software technology that we offer through subscription, we employ the experts who are, in fact, the key contributors to that software," he says. "More importantly, they are a key part of the developer community, and can put in changes or fixes for you when they are required," he adds.
2. Input Into New Features
Another benefit of paying a subscription is that in many cases it can give you a say in the product's roadmap, according to Haff. This is clearly not possible if you simply download and run the open source software.
Therefore, if there are certain features you want, paying a subscription can be a cost effective way of getting them incorporated into the product.
Ironically, paying customers have to wait longer for new features than other users do because new features are released in the "upstream" open source projects before they make it to the productized versions of the software. In other words, Fedora is more "cutting edge" software than RHEL.
3. Tested, Stable Products, Rapid Bugs Fixes and Predictable Lifecycles
Companies like Red Hat carry out testing, tuning and troubleshooting across a wide range of hardware, configurations and applications before it allows any new code from open source projects to trickle down into their subscription products, Haff explains.
This requires considerable corporate resource--people, processes, systems and infrastructure--and arguably it's the stability and reliability that results from this, more than anything else, that you are paying for with your subscription.
The effect of this slow trickle down of technology is that the current version of RHEL is usually several releases behind Fedora, and since the Fedora development community doesn't provide fixes to outdated packages, Red Hat provides interim security or bug fixes to RHEL packages as part of the subscription. New features that appear in the latest releases of Fedora may also be back ported to the RHEL, Haff says.
Subscription products also tend to have a defined lifecycle that specifies the length of time they will receive enhancements, bug fixes and security updates, unlike open source projects. This allows you to plan your upgrades and bring hardware refreshes into line with upgrades where necessary.
4. Extra Functionality