Those who dealt with Red Hat in that era know that, as a company, it was a rather chaotic
place. The marketing for the support partners never happened, and the backup services for the
support plans the partners were able to sell themselves were, shall we say, less than the
customers thought they deserved given what they had paid. The support partner program was not
a big success for anybody involved.
As a result, one of the first things Red Hat did with its new pile of cash was to cancel this
program and start building its own, internal support operation. Eklektix continued to push its
own support offerings for a while, but the fact of the matter is that it was not a fun
business: it seemed to mostly consist of cleaning up after low-budget ISPs which could not be
bothered to install security updates.
I wanted to just say sorry about the cancelation of the Red Hat partner program in 1998. No
one inside of Red Hat support wanted to do it, but we had to face the numbers that we were not
delivering our promises and we weren't going to be able to soon. The program had been a
chaotic mess on our side and while I learned a lot from it.. it was as ugly on the inside as
what it did to our partners. It wasn't until years after I left the 24/7 work I was doing at
Red Hat that I saw how poorly communicated the problems and reasons for the decision were
done... so here is my belated apology.