The Stack Archive

Red Hat commits to shift company emphasis to cloud-mobile

Wed 24 Sep 2014

Open source software giant Red Hat has announced that it intends to move away from desktop and the traditional uses and conventions of Enterprise Linux and towards cloud computing.

It’s a major statement of intent for the company that rose to success providing supported distributions of its own fork of the open source Linux operating system. CEO and president Jim Whitehurst said in a blog post: “Right now, we’re in the midst of a major shift from client-server to cloud-mobile. It’s a once-every-twenty-years kind of change.”

Whitehurst likened the current climate of cloud adoption to the golden years of the client-server arena, when Windows and Intel defined the commercial atmosphere. “We’re staring at a huge opportunity,” he added. “the chance to become the leader in enterprise cloud, much like we are the leader in enterprise open source.”

The company’s foremost OS project remains Red Hat Enterprise Linux, used, as Whitehurst notes, by over 90 per cent of Fortune 500 companies, and Red Hat has no intention of abandoning it. “The original vision for Red Hat Enterprise Linux was simple”, says Whitehurst, formerly Chief Operating Officer at Delta Air Lines and Vice President and Director of The Boston Consulting Group. “…to create the best enterprise-class server operating system. But the community has taken Linux further than any of us could ever have imagined. It now serves as a foundation for the next-generation datacenter.”

Certainly many of Red Hat’s acquisitions and interests demonstrate that the company feels cloud is the future. On the back of recent positive financial reports, the North Carolina-based company acquired enterprise mobile application platform provider FeedHenry, further diversifying its already impressive portfolio of Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. In June Red Hat acquired OpenStack based cloud services company eNovance, and back in April bought up Inktank, a Ceph-based startup specialising in scaleable open source storage.


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