Red Hat Inc. announced today that it would soon expand its global open source channel program to further promote the adoption of open source software in enterprise environments.
The new channel program is designed to assist partners with developing customer relationships, improve margins and take advantage of new revenue opportunities using open source software, company executives said.
According to Red Hat, the program will be “available soon” and includes:
- Partner Investment. Red Hat will increase focus on business partners with leads for qualified partners, training benefits for RHCE and RHCA and the option to participate in Marketing Development Funds (MDF) programs for demand generation.
- Red Hat Subscription Center. This subscription center will allow partners to renew customer subscriptions. The Subscription Center will offer services such as renewal reminders, renewal processing and will allow partners to participate in the annuity business that subscription sales offers by tracking all the customer renewal information and making it available to partners via the Partner Portal.
Now that’s all well and good, but our friends over at sister blog Channel Marker tell me this is a lot of ado about nothing new.
“They’re just compiling a bunch of old press releases into one for some extra exposure. I’ll probably just throw out a blog entry about it.”
Hey, what do you know, me too.
When IDC releases its quarterly Server Tracker report, the Hewlett-Packard headquarters in Palo Alto must throw a little party. Or at least have cake. A big penguin-shaped cake.
I say this because HP has owned the Linux server market for many, many years now, beating out IBM and Dell for the coveted spot rather handily, according to IDC’s server report. Now, they appear to have set their sights on the growing blade market with their BladeSystem line.
I recently spoke with Doug Small, the director of open source and Linux strategy at HP, about this blade server push, and the results of that conversation are now live at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com.
Now I could have sworn there were a few drawbacks to going with blades in the data center, but Small would have none of it. Those concerns over architecture lock-in and power consumption were just figments of my imagination, I suppose.
I think a lot of people out there want to see Ubuntu go beyond the desktop, where it has been an immensely successful (and completely free) distribution, and into the server arena — en masse.
Sure, server support has been built into Ubuntu for a long while now, but it really hasn’t been “advertised” by the folks at Canonical Ltd. Even when that practice started to change back with the release of Dapper Drake (version 6.06 LTS) in June 2006, it still seemed more like a me too moment than anything else.
But now, as another release looms on the horizon — Feisty Fawn 7.04 — the server talk has been ratcheted up a notch once again. Of course, there are some not so subtle differences in the OS environment today that did not exist in 2006. A big one is Microsoft Vista, and the upgrade headaches both in hardware and software licensing costs that will greet many IT managers as they debate remaining with Redmond or vetting less expensive alternatives. Then there are the conspiracy theory moments like the defection of Fedora Core developer Eric Raymond to Ubuntu. Or we could go political: The French are now on board with Ubuntu too, it would seem.
All of these little signs and portents are the crux of an Ubuntu article I’m working on this week. People love an underdog story almost as much as IT managers love freedom of choice in their data centers, and it will certainly be interesting to see where Ubuntu on the server side falls in either of those categories.
Some Linux vendors talk about the opportunities presented by the release (finally) of Microsoft Vista. While others talk, HP developed a game plan and is scoring points. HP is now touting its success in the Linux desktop market, and Dell — reading the writing in the IDC stats and on its blog — is trying to catch a bit of HP’s action. If both do well, this could be a less-than-lovely year for Microsoft.
Last spring, Christine Martino — vice president of HP’s Open Source and Linux Organization — told me:
“We consider the desktop an important emerging Linux opportunity worldwide.”
The following fall HP exec Paul Miller said:
“Changes coming in Microsoft Vista and Office 2007 will force corporations to either buy new desktops or find some other way to extend the lifecycle of desktops.”
What’s different today than when Microsoft announced other new desktop operating systems is that there are viable business-ready alternatives: preloaded Linux desktops from major PC vendors and rock solid operating systems and application suites or desktop virtualization.
There’s time for Microsoft shops to decide on an alternative, too, says blogger Lynn Linse on the Lynn Verse Computer (LVC) blog:
“…most organizations with more than 100 (or perhaps more than a dozen?) computers will just ‘ghost’ any new Vista-licensed computers back to Windows XP (or even 2000) for at least a year.”
During this potential “year of the Linux desktop”,HP and Dell and OpenOffice (as fostered by Novell) will have to deliver the enterprise-seductive goods. Also, says Linse, the Linux/open source community has this year to get it act together on application package management.
If HP continues to deliver on its game plan and other Linux players follow suit, then Microsoft may find that its Vista isn’t as clear and sunny as expected
Red Hat has been feverishly pitching the media this week about a San Francisco event for the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. In the pitch, they’ve also mentioned a little something extra would be happening in addition to touting their new OS — but little else.
Red Hat Inc. plans to create a Web store to boost sales of its own open source software and of compatible open source products from other companies, a person familiar with the plan said on Thursday.
The company plans to announce the strategy next week when it releases the first major upgrade in two years to its core Linux-based operating system, according to the source. [...] The software maker plans to launch the Web software store before the end of the year with a limited number of products, and roll it out slowly, the source said.
There’s no word yet on what’s to be sold in this one-stop online shop for all things open source, because Red Hat isn’t talking about it publicly until next week’s event.
Unfortunately, I think I am like a lot of people in that I don’t really think about what happens to a server when it’s time to send it off to that big happy data center in the sky. In reality, that big happy place is oftentimes a landfill, into which the lifeless server sometimes releases a toxic concoction of chemicals.
It’s enough to make a Greenpeace volunteer’s head explode, and apparently that is what’s happening now that Microsoft is ramping up the Vista train. For many IT guys, Vista equals hardware upgrades in addition to the software ones, and that means a lot of perfectly good older servers are being put out to pasture. In other words, e-waste.
But all is not lost, and would you believe nature’s savior could be … Linux? In an article I put up today, I took a look at a new report from the U.K. government that said because Linux servers last twice as long as Windows ones, they are more environmentally friendly.
A fellow blogger named Mark Ontkush over at EcoGeek leaped on the news today and said a widespread switch to Linux could prevent millions of tons of waste from going into landfills.
“Every computer not needed would prevent the use of 240 kilograms of fossil fuels,” he said. “Spread that out over the 17.5 million computers that wouldn’t be going obsolete every year, and Linux could deliver the world a much more sustainable future.”
Like Communisim, it all sounds great on paper, but real world results are going to be very tough when your main roadblock to greener server rooms is named Microsoft.
In the article, Raven Zachary of the 451 Group waxes pessimistically about the whole situation: “We haven’t seen any announcements about customer wins. That’s very telling.”
Also telling is that fact that although Red Hat customers were initially enticed by the prospect of deeply discounted Linux support, that feeling has apparently dissipated somewhat along with those new concerns about Daylight Savings Time. It’s still early though, and you’d be a fool to dismiss Larry Ellison and Oracle from the Linux game just yet.
Red Hat’s Fedora Core 6 Linux distribution has reached another big milestone, racking up 2 million installed users barely two months after tallying 1 million installed users.
Hmm. Don’t you mean 1,999,999?
I kid the ‘Hat. Honestly.
Seems like Xen is up and down these days. Red Hat is downplaying its Xen connection, thanks to XenSource’s trademark. Linus Torvalds chose KVM over Xen for the Linux kernel. Here are two instances — RHEL5 and the kernel — where a “Xen inside” label would have given Xen some credibility in the corporate market.
In my experience, finding Xen implementations in corporate data centers is as easy as finding penguins in Alaska. Even IT shops that use Linux servers, as most do these days, run VMware and not Xen. IT managers have said to me: Why choose a startup when there’s a free version, VMware Server, that offers more functionality and, of course, maturity? Xen is a virtual nonentity, as far as I can see. If you can prove me wrong with a list of corporate Xen users, I’ll eat an anchovy. Unlike penguins, I hate anchovies.
I just read this short blog entry on kerneltrap.org about why KVM is favored over Xen by some in the open source community:
“Well, there are actually technical reasons in favor of KVM. And kernel developers usually don’t mention them because they are obvious to them. XEN was once designed as a very thin layer underneath the guest OSes. That worked fairly well for the machines XEN was originally used on. But then crazy people came along and wanted to port XEN to other machines, like those 1024CPU altix ones. And they noticed many problems when doing so.
Most of those problems fell into two categories. Either the hardware contained bugs and XEN needed a workaround. In those cases the usual method was to take the workaround from Linux and add it to XEN. Or XEN ran into a scalability problem and was too slow on those machines. In these cases code from Linux was taken, as it already is scalable on all those machines, and added to XEN.
So overall we end up with a formerly thin layer that is accumulating more and more code from Linux as it is getting ported to more and more machines Linux is already running on.”
On the up side, Xen trademark-holder XenSource has introduced a new high-performance line. This offering fills in functionality gaps, like support for Windows guests.
ISV and developer support will be key to XenSource’s success. Xen may not be inside RHEL5 or the kernel, but it could win by being inside virtual appliances.
Have you been living under an IT rock? Maybe just a pile of cabling in a really untidy data center? Then you probably know Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 is launching this month. But maybe not the exact day. Well, now you know: March 14 (two weeks later than planned).
Here at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com we’ve written pretty extensively about RHEL5, from its baked-in Xen paravirtualization capabilities; to Q&A’s with Red Hat executives about driving down costs with virtualization; and even to the other side of the coin with Novell and what they have done to mitigate the popularity surge that a major product launch like RHEL5 is sure to generate. That’s all preview and speculation though; its going to take some time before we see how features like Xen work themselves out.