There are some special Linux distributions that we call Enterprise Distributions; Those are the distributions that are commercially supported to possibly fit a specific or multiple enterprise goals in the market. For example, large telecommunications companies like AT&T or even your local ISP most likely can’t develop all their software solutions by their selves, and above that, they need support in order to set up their infrastructure. That’s where those enterprise Linux distributions come to the picture. They provide a specific set of software for those companies (Small, medium & large ones) with the support they need to get the job done. In most of the times you can get the distribution itself for free, but for support, you have to pay $$$.
We won’t talk about the famous enterprise Linux distributions such as Red Hat, SUSE or Oracle Linux, because most of you already know about them. Instead, in today’s article, we’ll introduce 6 less popular enterprise Linux distributions for you.
If you are an enterprise who’s in need of creating a virtual environment on your servers, regardless of the size, then Proxmox is for you. They provide a complete Linux distribution that includes their own software and tools to let you easily create, manage and monitor virtual machines across your infrastructure. Proxmox is a company based in Austria, and has been in business since 2005.
Proxmox VE features are:
- Supports both KVM and LXC containers as the core of their virtualization solution.
- They also have their own filesystem named
pmxcfs, which is a clustering filesystem that allows quick data replication in real-time across all nodes.
- Based on Debian Linux distribution.
- Offers a complete web interface for managing everything.
- RESTful API is available, as well as CLI commands support.
- High-availability support.
- Support for a wide-range of storage filesystems, such as GlusterFS, CephFS, ZFS and much more.
- Embedded backup solution.
- Firewall support on each node of the cluster.
They also provide another version of their distribution for email security & monitoring, named Proxmox Mail Gateway. You can think of it as a middle layer between your inner mail servers and the outside world; It helps you prevent spam and malware from reaching the inboxes of your email users, and provides a nice web interface for monitoring the load and statistics of your overall mail infrastructure, beside managing all aspects of it of course. This distribution includes an embedded ClamAV for anti-virus scanning, a local spam detection and filtering system, and a high-availability module if needed too.
Univention Corporate Server (UCS) is a Debian-based Linux distribution that aims to be a central enterprise management endpoint for everything related to your IT and infrastructure. It heavily utilizes the concept of “Apps” where you can install official Univention apps depending on your use case, or even 3rd-party verified and supported apps. Those apps can be anything from monitoring tools, Active Directory compatibility services, virtualization tools, chat services or even normal CMS’s.
Some Univention Corporate Server features are:
- A centralized app center for pre-configured set of business and enterprise applications and services.
- Ability to manage system users, groups, devices, domains al overall infrastructure settings.
- Web-based interface leaving you in no need for CLI.
- Compatible Microsoft Active Directory services with OpenLDAP, allowing you to easily migrate to Univention after installation, or even use your UCS environments with Windows environments on the same AD domain without much change.
- Support for Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2 and OpenStack.
- Managed cloud solutions are also possible.
- IT consulting is available if you need it too.
- Reliability, as everything (apps, updates, issues…) is supported via the enterprise plans.
Learn more about Univention and its products from the official website. You can download the core operating system for free too if you want (But of course, it will come without support and the other important features).
Another distribution that aims to be a central enterprise management tools is Zentyal. It is designed to be very carefully integrated with Microsoft Windows and its services; For example it can be used under an AD domain or deploy AD domains under it with no hassle. It also offers a dedicated mail server that supports ActiveSync.
Zentyal features include:
- Full compatibility with Windows 7, 8 and 10 servers (You can use Zentyal to manage them).
- Active Directory compatibility.
- Support for managing users, groups, devices, networks and Samba integration.
- CIFS and ACL (Access control lists) are supported.
- The mail server supports SMTP, POP3, IMAP and other protocols.
- Anti-spam protection is available for mail too.
- Web-based interface very similar to how Microsoft designs its products interfaces.
The latest version of Zentyal is based on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
Learn more about Zentyal from its official website. You can request a 45-day free trial from there too.
PBXware is a much more niche Linux distribution; It is a telephony platform designed to handle VoIP communications and IP PBX. It can be used by national telecommunication providers, call centers and businesses to establish a communication management platform.
PBXware features are:
- Support for most IP phones out there in the market.
- 3 various versions for each possible use case (Telecommunications center, business and call center).
- Integration with various CRMs such as Odoo and Salesforce, many more.
- Beautiful web interface to manage everything.
- A server version called “SERVERware” to run a cloud-based instance of the platform.
- A desktop client called gloCOM GO that can be also installed on smartphones.
- Updates, maintenance, documentation and support.
For more information, visit their official website.
EuroLinux is, as its name implies, a European-origin Linux distribution that is based on Red Hat Linux. Sadly, not much information is provided about it in their official website. What we can tell is that they provide support and training services for a much cheaper fee compared to Red Hat, without offering a lot of additional features their selves. They also offer a known SLA-response time.
However, they offer something called EuroDB, which is a fork of the PostgreSQL database added with their support. They say that “EuroDB modules significantly expand the capabilities of the engine beyond those available in standard PostgreSQL”. And it has their own custom user interface.
The distribution origin is in Poland, and we found much more content about it in Polish than in English, most likely its customers are in that country mainly and not from all Europe. Check them at https://euro-linux.com
Baruwa is a Linux distribution based on CentOS that is focusing on mail security. They offer a functional yet beautiful web-based system for email filtering and spam protection, and it has some other features such as RESTful API, advanced setup, high-availability support, scaling over multi nodes and clusters, multi-domain management and much more. It supports many protocols such as SMTP, POP3, IMAP,
The distribution charges a monthly subscription fee of both its frontend and backend servers.
More about Baruwa can be found in its official website.
So this is the end of our post. We hope that you have enjoyed learning more about these less common enterprise Linux distributions. As you can see, Linux is suitable for almost any use case you may think of, and people all over the world have been creating various Linux-based operating systems suitable for their needs and the needs of their customers.
If you know any other less common enterprise Linux distributions, we would love to hear about them in the comments below.