It’s likely that these distributions also have gotten fresh attention due to changes at Red Hat. Hosting companies, which represent some of the larger Linux installations, began assessing the economics of Red Hat last summer, when the company unveiled a new business plan built around its Red Hat Enterprise Linux product, which requires a $349 annual subscription. Red Hat said it would discontinue support and security updates for Red Hat Linux 9 in April.
Red Hat has fared best among dedicated server providers, with EV1Servers and Rackspace contributing to its growth. Hosting companies reducing their use of Red Hat include Interland and Affinity, which have substantial shared hosting operations. The economics of the shared hosting sector appear to make it more cost-effective for providers to use in-house support staff, rather then incurring a per-server cost for paid support.
Cobalt reversed a lengthy erosion in hostnames following Sun’s decision to open its source code, but experienced a slight decline in market share, as its growth rate was outpaced by other distributions during a period of huge expansion in Linux-based hosting. A distribution name is present in a little over a quarter of Linux based Apache sites.