Red Hat’s acquisition-fueled climb to the cloud

Red Hat is famous for its ability to focus squarely on a market and technology and build success from there, as it did with Linux. However, the company increasingly has diverged from its roots and historical laser focus on the enterprise x86 server market with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

The overarching theme and identity of Red Hat is still open source software, but the main driver for the company clearly is now cloud computing, which is intertwined with open source.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

451 Take on Red Hat-CentOS

There was a somewhat quiet, cost-free acquisition of sorts in the Linux world earlier this year when Red Hat announced it was joining forces with Red Hat Enterprise Linux community clone CentOS. The move, which effectively brings organization, governance, backing and technology of CentOS under Red Hat’s brim, is interesting for a few reasons.

First, it illustrates the continued presence and power of unpaid community Linux distributions like CentOS. Second, it’s part of the changing Linux market, which is being driven by cloud computing and new types of uses on the rise. Third, it also may be a sign that open source software users and customers are exerting more influence than ever before.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

Open source woven into latest, hottest trends

We may not see or hear much about open source in the latest cloud or Big Data offerings, but it’s playing a significant role in the most disruptive trends in enterprise IT.

Just as we’ve seen with open source in cloud computing, it is an integral part of trends that currently are disrupting consumer and enterprise IT markets, including hybrid cloud computing, automation and devops, and Big Data.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

The OpenStack Tipping Point – new report

Since its start in the summer of 2010, the OpenStack open source cloud computing project has been the subject of a lot of hype. Today, the technology, backers and use of OpenStack are giving substance to all of that sizzle and skepticism is giving way to service provider and enterprise use cases across the globe. OpenStack is still relatively immature and still requires a high degree of technical aptitude to deploy, but its community continues to grow in both providers and users, both of which are focused on making the software easier to deploy, manage and scale.

*Coming of age
The OpenStack project itself is not even three years old, but thanks to maturing technology, growing membership and the OpenStack Foundation formed last year, OpenStack has matured to the point it is getting attention from large service provider and enterprise users, including companies in telecommunications, retail and research. Large supporters of OpenStack such as Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM and Rackspace are using OpenStack internally and also in new cloud offerings. We also see vitality in the number of startups and smaller players bringing OpenStack to the market, including Cloudscaling, eNovance, Mirantis, Morphlabs, Nebula and Piston Cloud Computing. We’ve also seen large vendors make acquisitions of key OpenStack players, such as Red Hat’s acquisition of scale-out storage specialist Gluster for $136m in October 2011, VMware’s acquisition of open source networking player Nicira for $1.26 billion in July 2012 and Oracle’s acquisition of cloud management vendor Nimbula in March 2013. We have no doubt as the OpenStack technology and market matures, it will present additional acquirers and targets along the way.

The fact that there were already open source cloud computing options in the market when OpenStack was established helped contribute to a discussion of open source software, open standards and open clouds. We expect OpenStack and other open source cloud options, such as CloudStack, Eucalyptus, Joyent and OpenNebula, will continue to co-exist in the market and will all benefit from the increased credibility they all bring to open source cloud computing. Just as different Linux distributions and different open source hypervisors have helped drive one another in the industry, we are likely to see open clouds do the same thing.

*Components mature, emerge
In addition to its foundation and growing support among vendors and implementors, OpenStack is also gaining traction because the technology of the open source project is maturing and advancing. The main OpenStack components for compute (Nova), networking (Quantum) and storage (Swift) are becoming more credible for enterprises and service providers beyond bleeding edge users. Where there are some of the biggest gaps in OpenStack, such as dashboard/UI, identity services, orchestration or metering, additional components and sub-projects are emerging. While OpenStack continues to require a good degree of technical aptitude to deploy, the OpenStack community seems to be scatching the right itches for broader enterprise and service provider use.

OpenStack users have also indicated that although the OpenStack technology may be lacking in certain features and functionality, they appreciate the ability to be part of the community that solves issues and having more control of their own IT destiny.

*OpenStack Drivers
OpenStack is being driven largely by the growing number of enterprise and service provider organizations that want to put more of their operations and offerings in the cloud. Many companies are seeking the scalability and elasticity of public clouds, but desire more control and want private clouds, where OpenStack is finding some traction. this is particularly true for continuous integration and continuous deployment or devops implementations that combine application development and IT operations for greater efficiency and speed. We are seeing two types of adoption of devops: more proactive efforts that center on speed and iteration and more reactive effors that focus on providing IT resources to developers, productivity and business units so they do not go outside the organization for public cloud, free or low-cost options, also known as ‘shadow IT.’

Other OpenStack drivers parallel the advantages we’ve seen for open source software: cost savings, flexibility and avoiding vendor lock-in. OpenStack users have also indicated it has been helpful to be able to access OpenStack source code and customize it for integration with existing infrastructure and systems. We’ve also heard from some OpenStack implementors that their developers and engineers prefer open source tools and frameworks that give more flexibility.

*OpenStack Hurdles
Despite the size and number of OpenStack supporters and vendors, the open source cloud computing software still represents a technical challenge for many organizations. Baseline features and functionality, such as metering and billing, are just now taking shape in OpenStack and while issues are being rapidly addressed, the software is not ready out of the box by an means.

Another challenge with the project and its use among more enterprises and service providers is the fact that OpenStack talent is in short supply. This is one of the biggest challenges of deploying OpenStack and while users may seek third-party help, their options are somewhat limited. This facet of OpenStack is quickly changing with more training and certification efforts in the works as well as a new OpenStack Operations Guide that was published last month.

We at 451 Research have also fielded more inquiries and questions on OpenStack. In response, we’ve published an extensive report on OpenStack available to 451 Research subscribers here.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2012.08.17

Topics for this podcast:

*Red Hat puts enterprise cred and bet on OpenStack
*LexisNexis touts open source benefits of Hadoop alternative
*Who doesn’t love Hadoop?
*Proprietary vendors siding with open source
*PostgreSQL and its cloud, commercial opportunity
*Our Hosting and Cloud Transormation Summit NA event

iTunes or direct download (32:24, 5.8MB)

OSS support grows among proprietary players

VMware continued its embrace of open source software with its recent acquisition of open source and virtual network provider Nicira. The move continued VMware’s aggressive M&A strategy and its effort to transition from proprietary software and virtualization to a broader market and cloud computing, largely through open source software.

With previous open source software acquisitions that have included Rabbit Technologies’ RabbitMQ messaging, Zimbra email and collaboration and SpringSource, VMware seems to have found it paramount to participate and integrate with open source software technology and communities, despite its heritage as a strictly proprietary virtualization vendor.

VMware continues to back and sell mostly proprietary software and products, but its broader engagement of open source also highlights how nearly all vendors in today’s market are, at least to some extent, users or purveyors of open source software. We’ve also seen examples of how the vendors that resist open source are likely to find themselves isolated from vibrant communities if they stick to a closed technology approach.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2012.06.22

Topics for this podcast:

*Sauce Labs grows with fast Selenium application testing
*MySQL, NoSQL, NewSQL survey results and analysis
*Microsoft’s Linux love leaves out Red Hat
*Hadoop roundup with Cloudera, Hortonworks and VMware
*2012 Future of Open Source Survey highlights

iTunes or direct download (28:28, 5.1MB)

Reading between the lines of the Linux contributor list

The recently released Who Writes Linux kernel contributor list reveals that some of the usual supporters of Linux — Red Hat, SUSE, IBM, Intel, Oracle — remain firmly behind the open source OS.

There has also been a lot of attention on the other contributors, which now include Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). What I find most fascinating about the Linux contributor list — beyond the increasing rate of code change with some 10,000 patches from 1,000 developers representing 200 companies in each quarterly kernel release — are the contributors that show some new direction and potential for Linux, in this case the processor players.

Whenever the Linux contributor report comes out, there is also typically some focus on those that use the Linux kernel code but do not necessarily appear among its list of core contributors.

One of the most frequent names to come up in this regard is Canonical, backer of the popular Ubuntu distribution.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

2012 to be year of Linux domination

Previously, I’ve called out years for non-desktop Linux in 2008, Linux in both the low and high-ends of the market in 2009, ‘hidden’ Linux in 2010 and last year, cloud computing in 2011. For 2012, I see continued growth, prevalence, innovation and impact from Linux, thus leading to a 2012 that is dominated by Linux.

I expect to see nothing but continued strength for Linux and open source in cloud computing in 2012. The cloud continues to be the biggest disruptor and opportunity for Linux providers. 2012 got off to an interesting start with Microsoft’s efforts to support for Linux on Azure, which highlights just how pervasive Linux has become in cloud computing. As detail in our special report on The Changing Linux Landscape, we also expect Linux to continue to be the basis for most offerings in IaaS and particularly PaaS, which is burgeoning across open source languages and frameworks as well as verticals and enterprise customers. Its popularity among enterprise and other developers will also bolster Linux and open source software in 2012.

We can certainly expect to see Linux continue its domination in supercomputing and the Top 500 Supercomputer List, where Linux continues to grow its share above 90% while others, such as Microsoft, Apple and BSD, fall off of the list.

I also expect Linux will grow its presence and impact on the wider, more mainstream server market, where Red Hat and SUSE continue to benefit from Unix migration, particularly from Solaris. Our analysis with survey data from 451 Research division TheInfoPro shows server spending for databases and data warehousing favoring Red Hat with Linux over Oracle with either Linux or Solaris. Out of more than 165 server professionals interviewed by TIP, 67% are planning to spend more with Red Hat on database/data-warehousing, and only 6% plan to spend less. The positive figures for Red Hat mirror negative spending intentions for Oracle, with 55% planning to spend less and only 9% planning to spend more. Spending continues to decline strongly for all of the primary Unix providers in the study, which in addition to Oracle includes IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

We may also see further expansion for Red Hat, which may be eyeing key acquisitions, and other Linux and open source vendors as they continue building their channels and wade more into midmarket and SMB customers.

In smartphones and mobile software, I also expect Linux will do quite well in 2012 with continued Android strength, diminished FUD and possibly an open source boost from a newly-open sourced WebOS. We also see Ubuntu arriving on the mobile and converged device scene, including ‘concept’ appearance at CES.

We’re also likely to see Linux in automobiles, health care and other electronics even more in 2012, though you may never hear Linux or open source. Don’t be fooled though, Linux is expanding its already impressive, wide presence and 2012 looks to be another year of significant gains.

451 CAOS Links 2011.12.20

Red Hat revenue hits $290m. New CEOs for Cloudant and Lucid Imagination. And more.

# Red Hat announced Q3 revenue of $290m, up 23%, and net income of $38.2m, compared with $26.0m a year ago.

# Cloudant raised $2.1m in an equity and stock funding and named Derek Schoettle as its new chief executive officer.

# The Apache Software Foundation published an open letter explaining the progress of Apache OpenOffice (Incubating) and reinforcing its position on trademarks and fundraising.

# Lucid Imagination named Paul Doscher CEO.

# The founder of the ownCloud project, Frank Karlitschek, formed a commercial entity, ownCloud Inc, with former SUSE/Novell executive Markus Rex.

# Adobe published the proposal for Flex to become an Apache Incubator project.

# Actuate launched BIRT Performance Analytics.

# Uhuru Software introduced Uhuru .NET Services for Cloud Foundry.

# Palantir released its first open source code with the launch of two projects: Cinch and Sysmon.

# Quest Software introduced Quest One Privilege Manager for Sudo.

# CollabNet announced that Git is now available as a hosted offering on its Codesion cloud development platform.

# The Outercurve Foundation published the results of a survey of software developers about their open source coding habits.

# Basho Technologies introduced an early version of Riaknostic, a diagnostic system for Riak.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2011.12.16

Topics for this podcast:

*Hadoop roundup
-Cloudera Enterprise Hadoop update
-Hadapt combines Hadoop with db analytics
-Informatica grows its Hadoop work
*HP open sources WebOS
*The GPL fade
*Red Hat acquisition targets

iTunes or direct download (31:41, 5.4MB)

451 CAOS Links 2011.12.14

Jive goes public. webOS goes open source. Cloud Foundry goes .NET. And more.

# Jive Software started IPO at $12 a share, closing the day up nearly 30%.

# HP announced that it plans to release webOS under an open source license. Details are thin on the ground, although Fedora is reportedly an inspiration. Joel West’s post pretty much summed up my thoughts.

# Tier 3 announced that it has created Iron Foundry, and open source .NET Framework implementation of Cloud Foundry.

# Xeround raised $9m funding for its MySQL-as-a-service cloud database.

# Microsoft released the Windows Azure SDK for Node.js as open source and made available a preview of the Apache Hadoop on Windows Azure, amongst a slew of other open source-related announcements.

# Red Hat, Canonical, Cisco, IBM, Intel, NetApp, and SUSE created the oVirt project, based around Red Hat’s Enterprise Virtualization technology for managing KVM environments.

# Nuxeo announced the availability of Nuxeo Platform 5.5.

# Joyent launched its SmartMachine Appliance for MongoDB.

Red Hat announced JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform 5.2 and JBoss Operations Network 3.0.

# Novell announced the availability of Novell Open Enterprise Server 11.

# Couchbase claimed thousands of open source deployments and 150 commercial deployments, but has rethought its product line-up for 2012, having “confused the heck” out of potential users in 2011.

# Univention released Univention Corporate Server 3.0.

# SuccessBricks announced that its ClearDB distributed MySQL-based database service is now available through Heroku.

# Ember.js is the new name for the SproutCore 2.0 JavaScript framework.

# HEnrik Ingo examined the recent spate of MySQL authentication plug-ins.

451 CAOS Links 2011.12.09

Funding for BlazeMeter and Digital Reasoning. Red Hat goes unstructured. And more.

# BlazeMeter announced $1.2m in Series A funding and launched the a cloud service for load and performance testing.

# Digital Reasoning announced a second round of funding to help develop its Hadoop-based analytics offering.

# Red Hat announced the availability of Red Hat Storage Software Appliance, based on its recent acquisition of Gluster.

# Red Hat also announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2.

# Jaspersoft released Jaspersoft 4.5, delivering drag-and-drop analytics and reporting on Apache Hadoop, NoSQL and analytic databases.

# Jaspersoft also delivered a second-generation native connector to MongoDB.

# CloudBees announced the availability of Jenkins Enterprise by CloudBees providing support and enhanced capabilities for the Jenkins Continuous Integration platform.

# Diaspora* is back in action, and outlined its plans.

# Talend announced that Bi3 Solutions has embedded Talend Integration Suite inside its Software-as-a-Service platform.

# DataStax announced new versions of Apache Cassandra, DataStax Community, and DataStax Enterprise.

# The H reported that Microsoft’s Windows Store agreement has open source exception.

# Black Duck Software announced the release of Export 6.0.

# Antelink launched SourceSquare, a free open source scanning engine.

Ubuntu on the move more than in decline

Ubuntu has been taking some criticism and heat for its falling Distrowatch rankings. I don’t doubt that after years of popularity, we’re finally seeing a bit of a return to the desktop Linux world of old when a new distribution shot up every week or month, then faded, then re-appeared … and so on. However, when I consider where Canonical and Ubuntu are heading, I question the significance of desktop OS standing and Distrowach rankings.

First off, I must say that Ubuntu’s slip off the ‘king of the hill’ game on Distrowatch came at the expense of Linux Mint, another polished, user-friendly Linux. It wouldn’t surprise me if some Ubuntu users may be migrating to Mint or other distributions largely out of frustration or dislike of the new Unity interface over the previous primary interface, Gnome. However, I think the move will be worth it in the long run to Ubuntu, as I’ll explain further.

If considering desktop OS, the most important aspect to me as an enterprise software analyst is enterprise desktop, and Ubuntu does well there. I’m sure there are plenty of shops running other flavors of Linux, including Mint, Gentoo, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Debian and many, many others, but for corporate desktop, the list quickly thins. Nevertheless, this is where Canonical has had some big victories, including the French police. In terms of consumer and user desktop PCs, the category itself is disappearing into converged and touch-capable devices, further distancing us from the ‘distro wars’ of the past.

Still, the server is where the real action and revenue from Linux exist. Here, Ubuntu still faces a role-reversal from most Linux distributions, using desktop and developer popularity to fuel its use as a server OS, which is also helped by free availability and cloud computing. Ubuntu continues to benefit from its early move to cloud computing and its popularity among developers, but also still faces a huge challenge in monetizing use. Significantly, the latest version, Ubuntu 11.10, incorporates support for OpenStack (or Eucalyptus) and VMware Cloud Foundry PaaS. This could be significant given what we’ve seen from this type of integration and bundling in the past. In addition, Ubuntu benefits from being among the select few Linux distribution that exist in both free, community and paid, commercial form. As reported in our special report, ‘The Changing Linux Landscape,’ the existence of an unpaid community cousin can help drive commercial growth for paid, subscription Linux, as we’ve seen happen with free Ubuntu and paid Ubuntu, as well as Fedora and RHEL and OpenSUSE and SLES.

Finally, the explosion of smartphones, tablets and converged devices — many of them running embedded Linux — makes clear there is more opportunity in these newer devices than in the desktop PCs of old. Ubuntu got a good start in netbooks and continues to be among the most advanced netbook operating systems. This should help its move to smartphones, tablets, other mobile devices, TVs and more and this is where the payoff of Unity occurs. Canonical with Ubuntu may have a real advantage as a user-friendly, mobile Linux OS that can be used by OEMs and carriers without the intellectual property stress that has marked Android, which has nonetheless laid the groundwork for mobile Linux in the industry. In the end, the pain of leaving Gnome has been significant, but the promise of where Ubuntu is headed seems worth that pain.

451 CAOS Links 2011.11.29

Software foundations in the Git era. New funding for Puppet Labs. And more

# Mikeal Rogers’ post on the Apache Software Foundation’s slow response to the Git era prompted significant discussion, from Mike Milinkovich, Bradley M. Kuhn, Stephen Walli, Stephen O’Grady, Simon Phipps, and the ASF’s Jim Jagielski. Alternative you could just read this tweet.

# Puppet Labs raised $8.5m in series C funding from Cisco, Google Ventures, and VMware as well as Kleiner Perkins, True Ventures, and Radar Partners.

# YaCy, a free distributed search engine was launched.

# Alex Pinchev, Red Hat’s Executive Vice President of Sales, Services & Field Marketing, will be stepping down in January to become the chief executive officer of a data protection software company.

# Tasktop Technologies announced Tasktop Sync 2.0.

# Interesting statistics on Apache Hadoop adoption based on LinkedIn data, from NC State University’s Institute for Advanced Analytics.

451 CAOS Links 2011.11.23

Red Hat’s Ceylon makes its debut. Heroku launches PostgreSQL service. And more.

# Red Hat’s Ceylon programming language made its public debut. Mark Little provided some context.

# Heroku announced the launch of Heroku Postgres as a standalone service.

# GitHub co-founder Tom Preston-Werner explained why you should open source (almost) everything.

# Mikeal Rogers discussed the issues behind the Apache Software Foundation’s slow response to the Git era.

# Royal Pingdom explored recent trends in Linux distribution popularity, pondering the rise of Linux Mint and the decline of Ubuntu.

# Canonical is dropping CouchDB from Ubuntu One.

# ActiveState announced that Stackato Micro Cloud will continue to be free of charge for developers to use as their own private Platform-as-a-Service.

# The European Space Agency wants to publish more of its software using open source licences.

# Sourceforge provided some interesting statistics on operating system usage.

451 CAOS Links 2011.11.15

Funding for Vyatta and Hortonworks. Ice Cream Sandwich source code. And more.

# Vyatta raised $12m in new funding from HighBAR Partners and existing investors JPMorgan, Arrowpath Venture Partners and Citrix Systems.

# Index Ventures announced that it has invested in Hortonworks, reportedly as part of a substantial B round.

# Google released the source code to Ice Cream Sandwich.

# SugarCRM announced billings growth of 69% in Q3

# Apache Hadoop 0.23 has been released.

# Revolution Analytics announced the general availability of Revolution R Enterprise 5.0.

# Adobe and the Spoon Foundation are working together to donate the Flex SDK to an established open source foundation.

# Glyn Moody explained why Barnes & Noble is an open source hero.

# Red Hat added support for Jenkins, Maven and integration with JBoss Tools to its OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service.

# Zend Technologies announced the general availability of Zend Studio 9.0.

# WSO2 updated both the WSO2 Carbon enterprise middleware platform and WSO2 Stratos cloud middleware platform.

# Mozilla published Mozilla Public License Version 2.0, Release Candidate 2.

# DigitalPersona open sourced its new FingerJetFX fingerprint feature extraction technology.

# AquaFold launched AquaClusters.com, a new social collaboration tool for software developers that is free for open source developers.

# Xyratex joined Open Scalable File Systems (OpenSFS) as a formal member.

Signs of OSS strength in financial services

Linux and open source software are spreading out — cloud computing, mobile computing, supercomputing — and an increasing number of use cases large and small. One area where Linux and open source have history and continue to remain strong is banking and financial services, highlighted by the latest open source messaging technology in the space: the new OpenMAMA middleware messaging project and the AMQP messaging standard, recently released in version 1.0.

Read the full article at LinuxInsider.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2011.10.14

Topics for this podcast:

*Our latest special report on ‘The Changing Linux Landscape’
*Oracle’s Hadoop-based appliance and big-data strategy
*Rackspace’s plan for the OpenStack Foundation
*2011 Q3 funding for open source companies
*Red Hat buys open source storage player Gluster

iTunes or direct download (27:38, 4.7MB)

451 CAOS Links 2011.10.14

Dennis Ritchie RIP. Microsoft adopts Hadoop. And more.

# Dennis Ritchie, creator of C and co-creator of Unix, died aged 70. This article from Joe Brockmeier puts his influence into perspective.

# Microsoft announced plans to team up with Hortonworks and the Apache Hadoop community to create a distribution of Hadoop for Windows Server and Windows Azure.

# Hortonworks explained why it decided to work with Microsoft to support its Hadoop plans.

# Black Duck Software closed a $12m round of financing led by new investor Split Rock Partners.

# OpenOffice.org e.V pleaded for financial support for the OpenOffice.org project, prompting a statement of clarification from the Apache Software Foundation

# Microsoft noted that The Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) Working Group confirmed the availability of the AMQP 1.0 specification. Red Hat confirmed its support.

# Red Hat updated its JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform, JBoss Enterprise Data Services Platform and JBoss Enterprise Business Rules Management System product lines.

# Cloudera announced an integration partnership with MicroStrategy.

# Monsanto is creating is data integration and visualization platform based on the Cloudant suite.

# Samba can now accept code from corporations.

# VMware Micro Cloud Factory now includes PostgreSQL and RabbitMQ.

# Univa announced StackIQ will market, sell and support Univa Grid Engine to its customer and reseller channels.

# Openwave Systems is going to integrate Open-Xchange’s email technology into the Openwave Rich Mail product.

# X.commerce, a new business at eBay combining PayPal and Magento, joined the OpenStack community.