Virgin America upgrades to Red Hat Enterprise to tap Linux support

Virgin America, the airline that began domestic US flights last week, has increased its investment in Linux support and plans to migrate its web servers to Red Hat Enterprise Linux by the end of this year.

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Virgin America, the airline that began domestic US flights last week, has increased its investment in Linux support and plans to migrate its web servers to Red Hat Enterprise Linux by the end of this year.

The airline was born in 2004 but has only just begun flights. Since its inception, it has used Fedora Core 2 Linux distribution, a product sponsored by Red Hat but for which the company does not provide support.

The company has now decided it requires a higher level of Linux support, including greater scalability and security, according to Ravi Simhambhatla, its director architecture and integration. He said after reviewing its options the airline had gone for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

“As our need for fine-grained control and scalability grew we decided to migrate to Red Hat Enterprise Linux for its reputation as a resilient, secure and scalable platform,” he said. Another factor was that Virgin America already used the Red Hat network for system management and security.

The company’s website now runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, and the Squid and Apache web proxy servers, as well as Red Hat’s JBoss applications for its core kiosks.

Virgin America said the migration exercise was so far proving a success, with its consistent website requirement scaling to over six times as many hits per second as before the migration.

Simhambhatla was still keen to praise the benefits of the previous system, explaining that it was cost effective and usefully community based. “Fedora was a fantastic solution for us as we began our journey with open source," he said.

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