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Red Hat-Makara means more open source in the cloudsJay Lyman, December 2, 2010 @ 12:52 pm ET
It is with great interest that we watch Red Hat add in the cloud application management technology of its Makara acquisition to fill out its Cloud Foundatios PaaS offering. We believe Red Hat gains a much needed application managemeint piece for its cloud computing strategy and extension from its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), JBoss middleware and other open source software for the enterprise. The Makara acquisition also arms Red Hat for the pending PaaS war in which it will be competing with much larger rivals, including Microsoft and VMware. Makara also represents Red Hat’s reach out to managed service providers, where we, along with other rivals, see ample opportunity for Linux. Finally, we believe Red Hat will increase the prominence of open source in cloud compouting and PaaS, though we see from our Seeding the Clouds report that open source software is a critical part of nearly all of the major cloud providers’ stacks.
Makara is also all about devops, which is having an impact on enterprise software development, IT operations, data management strategies, mobile application development and more. This is another great extension for Red Hat, which has a big role to play not only in the ‘ops’ part of devops, but also in the ‘dev’ part, as the company lays out with its Cloud Foundations PaaS technology and strategy.
Another interesting aspect of the Red Hat-Makara deal is that Makara had relatively recently adjusted its offerings in favor of public clouds, where the company reported there was more traction and revenue, as opposed to private clouds, which are nonetheless still growing in use. This might seem bad for open source, which has always seemed poised and positioned perfectly for private cloud building more than public cloud infrastructure. However, time has shown that there is just as much interest and demand for open source software in public clouds, such as the various Linux distributions popular on Amazon EC2 and other public clouds or MuleSoft’s Cloudcat Tomcat application server as a cloud service.
Actually, the fact that Makara was seeing more action and business in public clouds may mean that Red Hat will be able to more effectively monetize the use of Linux, JBoss and now Makara and its Red Hat Cloud Foundations open source software, given public cloud use typically comes with an expectation to pay, whereas private cloud building is often associated with DIY, support yourself and open source because it is free. This also highlights the shifting drivers for open source sotfware, which in the case of Makara and cloud application management have more to do with innovation and flexibility than cost.
Similar to OpenStack, the Red Hat-Makara deal is further evidence the market wants, needs and will support alternatives, particularly if they are open source. While part of Makara’s technology was already open source software, Red Hat intends, as we would expect, to open source all of the software. Thus, the deal will make even more of cloud computing, and particularly cloud application management and PaaS, open source.
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