Red Hat acquires Makara for cloud platform

Red Hat jumped back into the acquisition game announcing this morning that it has acquired

Makara, a start-up focused on providing a cloud platform (platform-as-a-service, or PaaS) for Java and PHP applications on both public and private clouds.

The open-source stalwart has been on the PaaS march for the last few months for a number of reasons, including the necessity to support applications in multiple environments and demand for private cloud solutions from large enterprises.

If you read between the lines from Red Hat executive comments (and the rumor mill), it seemed like Red Hat had Makara, or a Makara-like … Read more

Red Hat adds to its cloud appeal

Red Hat made several announcements Wednesday related to the development of public and private clouds, including updates to its Cloud Foundation portfolio, the effort to make its Deltacloud a standard API, a flagship cloud customer, and a new platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering.

The company is working to create a comprehensive cloud offering--at least in theory--with new products that address the various layers of what can be considered cloud infrastructure.

This is all interesting, especially because Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens recently stated that cloud services are at least a decade away. Apparently, the company is taking the long-term view that the … Read more

VMware and Red Hat: The war for the data center

Once upon a time Red Hat was content to be the enterprise Linux leader and VMware was happy to be the dominant virtual infrastructure vendor.

No more.

As the two companies have sought growth, they've increasingly stepped on each other's toes, with recent VMware marketing taking strong swipes at its erstwhile partner, Red Hat, highlighting Pizza Hut as a high-profile customer defection from Red Hat to VMware.

Can't the two companies just get along?

Probably not. Back in 2006, Red Hat and VMware announced an "expanded relationship to support customers and ISVs who are deploying virtualization.&… Read more

Bad economy is a gift that keeps giving to Red Hat

Someone should tell Red Hat that the world has been muddling through a global recession for the past few years. While others' earnings went into a deep freeze throughout the recession, Red Hat has consistently posted strong numbers.

Red Hat's fiscal fourth-quarter 2010 earnings, announced on Wednesday, are no different. Does the company ever get bored of reporting double-digit growth and record billings?

Apparently not.

Red Hat notched its fourth consecutive quarter of exceeding analyst expectations for profits. Highlights from Red Hat's earnings include:

$195.9 million in total revenue, up 18 percent from the year ago quarter. … Read more

Red Hat to collide with Microsoft

For years, Red Hat has happily sold Linux to Unix shops anxious to save money at equivalent or better performance. During this time, the company largely avoided Microsoft, which has tended to compete much higher up the stack. No longer. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer argues that one of Microsoft's biggest opportunities lies in enterprise infrastructure and associated application development.

Red Hat, meet Redmond.

Red Hat wants to own the infrastructure market. The company is nearing its initial $1 billion goal, but has a far more audacious ambition: own half the associated middleware market.

This is a direct challenge to … Read more

Revenue up, but Red Hat needs more JBoss focus

At the recent Red Hat Summit, company CEO Jim Whitehurst quipped that "flat is the new up," but he clearly wasn't referring to Red Hat. On Wednesday Red Hat announced another strong quarter, with revenue of $183.6 million for the company's second fiscal quarter of 2010.

That's a rise of 12 percent compared with the same period last year. Despite the company's against-the-grain performance in a weak market, however, it may need to invest more in its middleware business to ensure future growth.

But first, the good news. Of Red Hat's total … Read more

Open-source companies' developer dilemma

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

Open-source M&A: The scorecard to date

What is the value of an open-source asset? Over the past several years, and most recently with SpringSource, we've seen a number of open-source companies acquired at valuations of 10x or better. Did the buyers get their money's worth?

It's a tricky question to answer--and likely depends upon far more data than I have at my disposal. It also depends on the acquiring company executing, which has not been the case with Yahoo (which bought Zimbra) or Sun Microsystems (which bought MySQL). No open-source company can offer a panacea for an acquiring company's failure to execute.… Read more

Investor reveals secret to $1.6 billion in open-source success

No other investor has had as much success in open-source software as Peter Fenton, general partner at Benchmark Capital.

A competitive triathlete, Fenton has turned the standard marathon of open-source business-building into a sprint, churning out four big open-source sales--JBoss ($350 million), Zimbra ($350 million), XenSource ($500 million), and SpringSource ($420 million)--while most investors have yet to turn a profit on any.

Not that Fenton is a one-trick pony. He also just sold FriendFeed to Facebook and sits on the board of Twitter. It's fair to say that Fenton can now afford a second Aston Martin.

But Fenton … Read more

Red Hat's JBoss road less traveled

Red Hat has announced its 2009 Innovation Awards, with some impressive finalists making the list. From Whole Foods to Harvard Business School Publishing, major organizations are doing impressive things with Red Hat technology. Interestingly, however, the real "innovation" revealed by these awards is just how much more money Red Hat makes in its JBoss deals than in its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) deals.

I reported earlier this year that Red Hat's JBoss business is growing at twice the rate of its RHEL business. This isn't surprising: JBoss is still relatively small change compared to RHEL, … Read more