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Red Hat License Subscription Pricing 2022

October 31st, 2022 11 min read

The software company behind the red fedora is one of many networks of amazing production solutions for DevOps teams. From managing cloud computing to software development, Red Hat can be a comprehensive tool for the big three cloud providers. Whether you are a major enterprise or an indie developer, Red Hat has an insane amount of tools and resources for innovators. They are a great choice for Linux dev teams having built incredible infrastructure on the open-source operating system (OS).

What is Red Hat?

Red Hat is a powerful and relevant open-source software developer for over 20 years. The prolific giant IBM acquired them in 2019 for over $30 billion, but they still maintain their independence as a company. 

The majority of their products have open-source code so they’re easily customizable. They also produce free open +-source downloads of their products and sponsored open-source projects. The company has solutions for IT automation, modern cloud architecture, and developer teams building apps with cloud providers. Some of their robust services include operating systems, and virtual machines (VMs). 

Some of their products include the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Developer Suite, the Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, and Red Hat OpenShift for multi-cloud deployment. The Red Hat Virtualization service allows teams to maximize and expedite workloads with automation management using VMs connected with hypervisors. Its main product is to compete with VMware.

Teams can see more about how Red Hat Virtualization works here. You can also find information like new features and product pricing from their extensive PDF on the product here. For a look into all their products, you can visit their page here.

The Red Hat platform has a wide array of open-source software and resources for DevOps teams. One of their most important missions is developing enterprise-level, open-source software so more teams can innovate. 

Many of their paid subscriptions have community versions and they actively contribute to open-source projects like Fedora. Appropriately named after Red Hat’s iconic logo, Fedora is one of their Linux Distributions. It’s an ideal free choice for an operating system with flexible functionality to develop customizable applications. You can find the software for download here

There are even more free resources on the Red Hat Developer website here. There you will find the open-source versions of many products ready for download. You will also find free tutorials, e-books, and cheat sheets ready for download as well. For access to even more resources, you can register for the Red Hat Developer subscription, which is completely free.

redhat dev chat

If you want to learn more about Red Hat, check out the demo video below for Red Hat Subscriptions.

How Does the Red Hat Subscription Model Work?

The Red Hat pricing model is definitely on the complex side. In the pricing table, we do not look at all Red Hat subscriptions. We only look at the featured products in the Red Hat Store. They have several more subscriptions for their Enterprise Linux, Middleware, and Training services. You can find their full product list here

Teams can access some general background information about the subscriptions on the FAQs page here. They answer common questions about Red Hat Support offerings as well as physical hardware and software certifications. There is also the FAQs page for the Red Hat Store, which answers more technical questions about their products like the difference between physical and virtual hosting.

They have another page about subscription benefits that you can find here. This page discusses features like supported lifecycles, partner ecosystems, and technical support in even more detail than the common questions page.

We go into the No-Cost Developer Program and the open-source version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) first and then talk about the featured paid subscriptions Red Hat offers.

What is The Red Hat Subscription Free Version?

In general, you can find free open-source software from Red Hat on their separate site Red Hat Developer here. There is no guarantee all products have a free version. For free and open-source alternatives to their popular RHEL subscriptions, there may be some confusion.

There is the open-source download with the Developer subscription and there’s the completely separate open-source project Linux CentOS. Unfortunately, Linux CentOS was discontinued in 2020. The Linux CentOS was a widely popular open-source Linux distribution that teams could access.

The current free version of RHEL is part of the Developer subscription and requires you to be an individual developer, not a commercial team. Go here for the RHEL no-developer edition download. You will need to join the Red Hat Developer Program, which has great benefits like tutorials, training, and live events. The FAQs page for no-cost developer versions of RHEL can be found here.

How Much Do Red Hat Subscriptions Cost?

Below you will see 4 different subscription services and a total of 10 different plans between all of them. Again these are not the only product subscriptions for Red Hat but are just the featured product subscriptions in the Red Hat Store. When it comes to purchasing a subscription, you buy them in one-year or three-year packages

Main features that all Red Hat Subscriptions come with include upgrades, customer portals, security, and access to the knowledge base. Some but not all plans allow you to add on other services, or utilize powerful capabilities like analytics. You also should know that technical support is not included in any of the Self-Support plans of any subscription. 

There is a wide range of plans so we won’t go into each and every single plan extensively but will look at the highlights. If you do look at direct pricing for individual plans, you’ll find there isn’t much of a feature breakdown available. 

The main difference between plans that buyers can see is technical support and add-ons. We recommend that you contact sales for the most in-depth explanation of which plan is best for you and your team.

Red Hat License SubscriptionsIndividual Plan Cost (per year)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux ServerSelf-Support $349Standard$799Premium$1299
Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual DatacentersStandard$2,499Premium$3,999
Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application PlatformStandard$8,000Premium$12,000
Red Hat Enterprise Linux WorkstationSelf-Support $179Standard$299

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server subscriptions offer 3 diverse options. The Self-Support plan is more of a bare minimum option. It has no support, hosting, and does not offer a production environment so you can distribute to end-users. 

It can only be deployed on physical systems (on-premises). In terms of add-on options, you can tack on the smart management package to optimize the organization of your environment. It’s good for privacy but the Standard and Premium subscriptions offer on-premises hosting as well so compared to other plans it may not be worth it.

For the Standard and Premium subscriptions, you do get support and more add-on choices. Standard has phone and web support, as well as the ability to add extended support, the smart management bundle, high availability, and resilient storage features. The Premium plan has 24/7 support, and the same options for additional features (except support because you already have it).

It mainly depends on whether you think you need less or more support. Standard and Premium are still definitely better options because they do offer you a production environment.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Virtual Datacenters is recommended for use cases that need a more robust version of RHEL Server subscription. If you have very intricate virtual servers then you would need this version. It manages the infrastructure better using the same functionality as Red Hat Virtualization. The Standard and Premium plan both have support and the same add-on options as RHEL Server. 

When it comes to the Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, it’s the black sheep of this group. It’s not a Linux OS. JBoss is an app server that can be used as a middleware platform. It’s a development environment for automation and integration specifically with the programming language Java (the J in JBoss). The Standard plan has web and phone support while the Premium has 24/7 support. There are no add-ons available. 

You may have heard of JBoss before. Red Hat has a separate project with Apache, called the JBoss Web Server. It’s a secure deployment option for web applications. The JBoss Enterprise Application is a version with more integrations and functionality than the JBoss Web Server. The JBoss Web Server Community version was discontinued. 

For the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation, teams have access to an advanced Linux for graphic visualizations, and animation. The Self-Support option has no support and can’t be used for production while Standard can do both. Neither have the option for add-ons. 

What is an Alternative to Red Hat?

Oracle is an absolute powerhouse tech company that offers open-source software enterprises. They specifically have an open-source alternative to Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions and CentOS Linux (again it’s an open-source Linux distribution by Red Hat). This solution by Oracle is called Oracle Linux

Oracle linux page

Oracle Linux is a high-performance operating system that can be used for automation, visualization, and cloud computing development. It’s also completely free for production use cases. The program is completely free and can be downloaded from their main site here. It’s as of late been marketed as an option that is both RHEL compatible and a good replacement for CentOS Linux.

When it comes to end-user reviews, both programs have a strong positive reviewer sentiment. They each have very high trScores as well with Oracle Linux being 8.7/10 with the Top Rated for 2022, and RHEL is 8.6/10.

Oracle Linux Review Sentiment

Oracle linux reviewer sentiment

Red Hat Enterprise Linux RHEL Review Sentiment

redhat reviewer sentiment

We have an extensive comparison between these two software that you can find here. Both products are distributions of Linux, and while RHEL has a free version, their paid subscriptions for enterprises are very expensive. Oracle Linux is free, but if you want technical support the lowest plan cost is $1,199 for a one-year purchase of their Basic support

In terms of reviewer satisfaction, more users rate RHEL higher for usability and support (but it may be because users opt out of buying the support package from Oracle). They tie with a score of 8.7 for the likelihood to renew. 

For common complaints, the main issue end-users have with RHEL is the overall cost and the added cost of things like training courses (which are separate). Many users have also reported the graphical user interface (GUI) and updates are problematic. With Oracle Linux, general issues are installation could be a lot easier, and the desire for more packages

Highlights for both software include the functionality and performance they provide each user. Oracle users have praised the high availability and updates. RHEL users praise the program’s support, stability, and security

The open-source download offered by RHEL isn’t made for production environments, but Oracle Linux users are often medium to large enterprises. Oracle Linux definitely looks like a cheaper option to RHEL subscriptions and it’s a production environment. On the other hand, users rave about Red Hat support while Oracle does charge hefty costs for support packages. 

When it comes to choosing between both are great choices with great benefits. It really depends on the functionality you want, and the budget you have. Each of them can get pretty expensive, but both offer free versions. 

More Resources 

The curious parties that want to learn more about Red Hat can find a plethora of information on the tech dark horse. The best place to start is the company’s about page here, and from there you can go to their blog and read their 25 facts about the company article here. TechTarget is a super in-depth resource about software and they also have a great article on the history of Red Hat here

If you’re interested in more related software you can find a list of operating systems products here. For those that have used any of the platforms discussed here, please leave a review to help other buyers make informed decisions.

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