Red Hat is generally credited as the industry's leading open-source company, but it's a distinction that is as meaningless as it is incorrect. While Red Hat's revenue directly derives from the open-source software it develops and distributes, other companies like Sun, IBM, and Google actually write and contribute far more open-source code. It may be time to stop talking about open-source companies and get back to the importance of open-source code.
Open source offers a fantastic way to reach developers and users of one's technology. Ironically, however, the very group most inclined to adopt open source is the least likely to pay for it.
Therefore, to make an open-source business thrive in enterprise software, vendors must learn to distinguish between developer-users and IT operations-buyers. As I'll explain, however, open-source companies may need to guard against becoming too successful in order to preserve their exit opportunities.
It is, of course, quite possible to make money in open source. Lots of it. Red Hat, for example, is approaching $1 billion in … Read more
IT spending may be tight, but chief information officers plan to increase their budget allocation to a select group of virtualization vendors, including VMware, Citrix, and Red Hat, according to a Goldman Sachs CIO survey released Monday.
It's not surprising that virtualization is top of mind and wallet for CIOs, but things look particularly rosy for Red Hat, given its position as the market leader in open source and a strong challenger in virtualization.
While the percentage of CIOs expecting to increase IT spending has grown since Goldman Sachs' last survey in June 2009, a full 69 percent expect … Read more
Red Hat announced a range of cool new products and technologies last week at Red Hat Summit, but the most potent message emerging from the conference may well have been 'Diplomacy be damned!' Red Hat has generally opted to publicly ignore competitors, but not anymore. The company singled out Microsoft and Oracle, in particular. Is this a new, combative Red Hat?
Red Hat's DeltaCloud was the big technical news, offering a "common API to blend public and private clouds." It also announced a new Catalyst program to corral a partner ecosystem around its infrastructure products.
But for … Read more
Red Hat has launched a project to create an application programming interface that will let developers write applications for use across many kinds of clouds.
The Deltacloud project, introduced on Thursday, aims to provide a "cloud broker," according to Red Hat Chief Technology Officer Brian Stevens. It will provide drivers that map the API to external clouds such as Amazon's Elastic Compute 2 (EC2), as well as to internal virtual clouds.
"We want to foster an ecosystem of users, tools, and products for the cloud," Stevens told ZDNet UK. "Developers can write to a … Read more
Arguments for and against the cloud are starting to calm down a bit, and most people agree that the cloud is somewhere in your future, if not in your present.
Instead of arguing semantics of application development and delivery, the discussion should really be around how to deal with a mix of on-premise and on-demand, a combination that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
I spent the first half of this week in Las Vegas at a nontech trade show, and missed both VMworld and the Red Hat Summit. However, watching and reading from afar, I noticed two … Read more
Novell reported on Thursday a 22 percent year-over-year increase in its Linux revenue, topping $40 million. That's the good news. The bad news is that overall, net revenue slumped to $216 million from $245 million for the third fiscal quarter of 2008, with every product besides Linux dropping considerably. From identity and security management (down 16 percent) to systems and resource management (down 15 percent) to workgroup (down 12 percent), Novell is in serious trouble, with at least two potential options:
Turn to the open-source community or Microsoft to fix its failing businesses.
Novell's Open Platform business, of … Read more
Drupal is a fantastic Web publishing platform that derives much of its value from a disparate community of contributors, as Xconomy recently wrote. With more than 4,000 contributed modules from over 3,000 active contributors (741 of which contribute to Drupal Core), Drupal has something for everyone, which is both its greatest asset and biggest liability.Choice is good. Too much choice, however, can be bad.
As open source has become big to businesses, it has also become big business, with Gartner predicting that vendors will increasingly maintain the leading open-source projects. Vendors, and predominately "proprietary vendors," dominate open source today. Given this assimilation of open source into the proprietary software fabric, has open source won? Or lost?In 2007 Tim O'Reilly predicted that "virtually every open-source company (including Red Hat) will eventually be acquired by a big proprietary software company." Red Hat still stands independent, though there is good reason to believe it could make an attractive target, but it … Read more
The Linux Foundation recently released an updated study of Linux development statistics that reveals interesting statistics relating to who actually writes the kernel that allows others to build on top.
More than 70 percent of total kernel contributions come from developers working at large companies including obvious participants like Red Hat, IBM, Novell, and Intel as well as other less obvious small companies such as Parallels.Red Hat: 12.3% IBM: 7.6% Novell: 7.6% Intel: 5.3% Independent consultant: 2.5% Oracle: 2.4% Linux Foundation: 1.6% SGI 1.6% Parallels 1.3% Renesas Technology: 1.3% Academia: 1.2% Fujitsu: 1.1% MontaVista: 1.1% MIPS Technologies: 1.1% Analog Devices: 1.0% HP: 1.0%
Another interesting fact is the rate of development and constant refactoring of the kernel code. An average of 10,923 lines of code are added with an average of 5,547 lines removed every day, ensuring that the code is high quality and relevant for the most important implementations of the kernel. … Read more