Red Hat on Wednesday announced that it has started offering migration tools to enable enterprises to abandon their proprietary middleware solutions for open-source Red Hat's JBoss product.
It's a new salvo in Red Hat's increasingly successful campaign to replicate its Linux operating system success in the application server market.
Importantly, the new JBoss Mass (migration assistance) program is not just about software. It's also a community effort, including system integrator partners such as RivetLogic and CityTech, which aims to "connect new JBoss customers with existing customers and partners who have extensive migration experience."
In my own experience with migrating customers from one system to another, this community involvement will be the critical ingredient to making JBoss Mass successful. No software tool can infallibly migrate enterprises from one product to another. Experienced consultants make a big, positive difference.
By recognizing and including this community of consultants and customers from the start, Red Hat is demonstrating the savvy that comes from spending years migrating customers off proprietary Unix servers to Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers.
It's paying off. As The VAR Guy recently noted, Red Hat has effectively dispelled the myth that there's no money in open source. Red Hat is the first open-source vendor to cross the $500 million in revenue mark, and it shows no signs of stopping.
Red Hat's JBoss business increasingly delivers significant revenue to Red Hat. Red Hat will be rolling out its JBoss Application Server 5.0 within the next few quarters, reports The Register, which, among other things, will even more effectively modularize the JBoss AS code, making it easier to run on "run on everything from Web servers and caching servers to the full-on Java Enterprise Edition application server."
Such innovation at a fair price, via a fair distribution and development model, is why JBoss is Red Hat's fastest-growing product by revenue. It's also paving the way for Red Hat to more diligently explore expansion of its product line beyond core infrastructure like the operating system and application server.