Enterprise Linux Log

Jun 16 2008   1:52PM GMT

Partnering up for a showdown? Red Hat Summit 2008

Suzanne Wheeler Suzanne Wheeler Profile: Suzanne Wheeler

This post was contributed jointly by SearchEnterpriseLinux editors Lauren S. Horwitz and Caroline Hunter

As the VAR Guy noted in a recent blog post on the upcoming Red Hat Summit, Red Hat has some gumption. The Raleigh, N.C.-based company has crossed the Mason-Dixon line to hold its annual event in Boston, the territory of its rival, Waltham, Mass-based Novell: What chutzpah!

Not to be outshined, Novell has made its presence known, posting some conspicuous advertising in the Hynes Convention Center, the location for this year’s Red Hat Summit, the VAR Guy reported.

But whether Red Hat’s choice of venue is a real shot across the bow or not, there’s little doubt that that over the past several years, the Red Hat/Novell rivalry has gotten pretty heated. One could date the boiling tensions to 2006, when Novell signed an agreement with Microsoft to share product patents. In 2007, the two companies agreed to work toward interoperability and have even dedicated a lab to that purpose.

By joining forces, Microsoft and Novell aim to gain an even stronger foothold in the open source market, though some data indicates that both the Red Hat and Ubuntu distributions have made strides against Novell SUSE. A new survey on open source adoption may support these findings.

The VAR Guy also noted Cisco’s expected prominence at the Summit and wondered whether it might signal an upcoming Cisco/Red Hat partnership, much like Microsoft’s with Novell. Or maybe Cisco’s “cozying up,” as the VAR Guy characterized it, is more a case of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Consider this user comment in response to the Var Guy’s musings:

“Cisco now views Microsoft as its #1 threat in unified communications and other areas,” the user wrote. “I think they are just solidly placing themselves on the other side to be honest. They see a cost/competitive advantage and want to help set the ‘other’ standard.”

Stay tuned from the frontlines for more Red Hat Summit coverage.

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