That job was to inform the audience here at the Red Hat Summit that the Red Hat Exchange (RHX) was live and ready for downloads. Taking the stage to detail the launch of RHX was Red Hat director of online services Matt Maddox.
“There should be a place to go to find trusted online services. For that, we’re launching RHX,” he said (there was applause). “[RHX] demonstrates the core Red Hat belief; a belief in the inevitable expansion of open source.”
Maddox told attendees that RHX, now open for business at www.redhat.com/rhx would include open source products from vendors like SugarCRM, collaboration technology from Zimbra and Scalix, as well as a slew of other offerings, including business intelligence (BI). There are 14 members in all. Products are available directly from the web site or via Red Hat’s channel partners, Maddox said.
According to Red Hat, all applications are purchased, delivered and supported via a single, standardized Red Hat subscription agreement with consolidated billing covering the complete application stack. At the RHX web site, customers have access to application profiles, user ratings and reviews, free trials and online purchase options for all applications, a la Amazon.com (a comparison Red Hat execs were ready to make time and again). Red Hat will coordinate with ISV partners while providing customers with a single point of contact for all support issues throughout the application stack. In addition, RHX may be purchased through a select set of Red Hat’s Value-Added Reseller Channel partners that can also provide additional services in support of the RHX offerings.
The announcement wasn’t exactly a surprise. When Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL 5) launched in March, Red Hat’s director of engineering Paul Cormier made the first mention of the program, stating it would be available soon. Today, it seems, is soon.