Your decision to choose a Linux operating system for running a mission critical server is totally justified. However, the real test of your judgment lies in selecting a perfect distro from among a vast multitude of free and supported versions. Additionally, you will also need to consider the options of a virtualized or a cloud based support. 

RHEL 

Linux and Red Hat have always been used as synonyms in the software industry for a long time. The enterprise segment is especially happy with availability of Red Hat Cloud and Satellite Management that can be used for supporting the infrastructure of Linux in addition to robustness of Enterprise Linux Server by Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4. 

Even though, RHEL 7.4 has price tags for each of the offerings, you can run Red Hat on more than 100 certified networks of public clouds. 

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Whether you need support of general virtualization or OpenStack, Red Hat offers great support. The price tag of RHEL at the entry point can be justified if you consider the infrastructure it provides for running your enterprise server environment. 

Choosing the Ideal Linux Distro for your Enterprise Server

Fedora Server Version 26

For those who are searching for Linux Servers with short life cycles, Fedora Server would be the right approach. The Fedora approach can also fulfill the need to choose the distro that offers easy access to the latest features from time to time. One can access the very recent Linux features of Linux technology once in every six months with Fedora Server. 

Fedora Sever would not be a right fit for complex Linux installations that involve major steps, thereby restricting frequent upgrade processes. However, if you are planning to execute applications independently on single installations, then Fedora can perform the role of Docker by obviating additional expenditure of virtual machine. 

SLES- a multi-faceted enterprise server

SUSE has always been sought after by ISPs to manage a myriad of web workloads and its JEOS version or Just Enough Operating System is capable of delivering a tiny footprint to support container apps or cloud images while acting as a mini host Operating System for simplification of a number of IT workloads. 

Although, you can download SLES without incurring any expenses, you will have to pay for its latest patches and consistent support. Their support can be extended to as many as fifty cloud providers on a long term basis. 

Moreover, you are also able to create your tailor-made installation by leveraging SUSE studio. One of the most attractive features of this Linux distro is that of SUSE Manager. It allows use of a central location to manage a large number of Linux installs. 

Ubuntu for a long term relationship

The undisputed popularity of Ubuntu server is largely attributed to the version of Long Term Support, which is also called as Ubuntu LTS. Enterprises can leverage a robust as well as stable release that would last for a long period of five years to impart sustained stability of the operating system for dependable performance of business critical applications. 

Certified images of Ubuntu are compatible with a majority of cloud service providers including the major ones such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google, and Rackspace to name just a few. Ubuntu has also been providing a sound support of vital tools for management and deployment of clouds in OpenStack Cloud Platform. 

Top of the line landscape management tools provided by Ubuntu are highly appreciated by administrators for its capability of managing a vast multitude of servers from a singular interface. 

Oracle Linux- the latest RHEL version

If you have been running Oracle databases or are contemplating to use other Oracle software for supporting mission critical business applications, then Oracle Linux 7.3 can be the right choice. 

It is founded on the most recent version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and has a distinction of possessing a myriad of extensions such as Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. UEK offers a useful attribute of supporting online payment applications while improving virtualization as well as security of these transactions.

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel has also been designed to exhibit a seamless compatibility with a wide range of Oracle applications. This is in addition to its unique and free offering of VM hosting server to support virtual applications. 

Interestingly, the free availability of the core Oracle Linux Operating System is very well provide a fantastic option to a wide assortment of commercially available applications and Red Hat Enterprise Linux  along with its highly cost effective support features. 

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Oracle Linux is also appreciated for an array of extras along with round the clock support guarantee and a sound backing of subscriptions. If you need to mitigate Total Cost of Ownership while using a Red Hat clone, then Oracle would be a preferred choice.