Travelocity takes flight by standardizing on Red Hat

In the boldest confirmation I've seen as to the performance and power of open source, Sabre Holdings has dumped proprietary Unix for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay

With over 9,000 employees and over $3 billion in annual revenue, Sabre Holdings is a customer worth having. It is, however, also a very demanding company: with websites Travelocity.com, Lastminute.com, and others, even a little downtime costs the company tens of millions of dollars.

It is therefore instructive that Sabre Holdings has decided to standardize on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, dumping the proprietary Unix systems it had been using. In case someone within your organization makes the suggestion that open source can't deliver best-in-class performance, you might want to refer them to this statement by Robert Wiseman, chief technology officer at Sabre Holdings:

While operating the largest travel distribution service in the world, we develop solutions that must withstand what is perhaps the highest sustainable volumes anywhere, peaking at 32,000 transactions per second, available 24x7, with five-nines uptime. It's always a peak business hour somewhere in the world....

[W]ith Red Hat we are able to build stronger and smarter systems with our global customers in mind....Compared to proprietary Unix/RISC solutions, our testing has shown that Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Intel performs three times faster at a fraction of the cost.

This is serious performance, and the most compelling statement I've seen to date that attests to the power of open source, and particularly Red Hat Enterprise Linux. I'm betting that Red Hat will be much more grateful for the few million it likely received from Sabre than it would be for $100 million from Microsoft. ;-)