Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
Redhat feels this is their best way to take a bigger step into the small business computing market.
Yes and no.
One of the nice things about cloud computing is when it's a local cloud. Which is essentially taking us back to the days of the mainframe server and dumb terminals, only smarter.
Having one server offering apps in your office can make your user desktop situation almost mind numbingly easy. All the desktops really need to be able to do is boot up and run a full blown browser. The money saved on user desktops alone makes up for the cost of a decent HP ML server to run an in-house web server.
Setting up a Linux server running any number of apps that can be used in a business saves more money. Tie that all in with limited third party services like email and domain name /hosting for a low monthly/annual cost and you have the makings of success.
Get especially creative and get a guy who knows his way around Linux to set up a proxy server as well so that the redirects from internet requests to the in-house server are going through the proxy adds expanded usability and security as well.
Think about it. The typical small business has modest tech needs. Perhaps between 1 and 100 users online at any given time, not too often simultaneously, keeps traffic and server loads low, meaning hardware needed for good productivity doesn't have to break the bank.
The number one problem facing such a situation is the lack of a truly functional office productivity app like the Google suite of tools. Sure, there is OpenGoo, but it still needs a lot of work before it's ready for primetime.
Linux as an operating system is already there, waiting to take on the work of the small business. OpenSource apps need to step up and shoulder the load of providing the tools people need to make the best use of Linux and OpenSource as a whole.