While much of the DevOps world was focused on DockerCon in San Francisco this week, there was also big news happening on the east coast. While DockerCon was shaking things up with the announcement of the Open Container Project the Red Hat Summit in Boston held its own share of big news and much of it spotlighted the important role of open source.
“Red Hat is really the independent voice of Linux focused entirely on business,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group. “It is also a showcase of how to make money on the platform without taking advantage of anyone in the process and largely remaining true to the core tenets that created Linux in the first place.”
Focus on Open Source
One of the primary core tenets—if not the defining core tenet—of Linux is open source. The shared development and collaborative nature of the operating system as an open source project is its main strength. At the Red Hat Summit open source played an even larger role than normal.
“The company continues to show strong momentum for OpenShift Commons as the re-write of the technology is moving forward showing that the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) battles are alive and well,” explained Al Hilwa, program director of software development research for IDC. “Red Hat also rebranded and updated its FeedHenry platform as it continues to turn it fully into open source and integrate it with OpenShift.”
Aside from the focus on open source, the other big news out of the Red Hat Summit was a new strategic alliance with Samsung. Samsung will push Red Hat’s mobile platform and potentially other software into the enterprise in a more integrated fashion as a function of the new partnership.
The relationship has potential, but according to Enderle there are both positive and negative outcomes possible. “Samsung needs Red Hat far more than Red Hat needs Samsung because Red Hat provided the enterprise brand that Samsung needs to penetrate the space. Samsung is a firm that has never found a platform they didn’t like and have historically been unable to focus on any one of them for extended periods of time,” cautions Enderle. “Red Hat alone won’t be able to fix that and Samsung’s behavior could actually tarnish Red Hat if they aren’t careful.”
Hilwa also made another observation about the strength of Red Hat’s business model. “That the company will cruise through the two billion dollar annual revenue barrier sometime this year is all but certain with its posted rates of growth. This is an enormous milestone for the open source world.”
We’ll have to wait and see how the Red Hat / Samsung partnership pans out for either company, but the Red Hat Summit highlighted the strength of Red Hat’s momentum and the unstoppable juggernaut of open source development.