When the Red Hat Exchange (RHX) launched alongside Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (RHEL5) in March and was expanded upon at the Red Hat Summit last May, I’m not sure a lot of people knew exactly what to expect from it.
Red Hat’s vice president of global engineering, Paul Cormier, compared RHX to Amazon, in that both services allow users to comment on and rate the “products” being sold on the site. In RHX’s case, these products were open source applications being offered by companies like Alfresco (content management) and Zimbra (messaging and collaboration), to name a few.
Red Hat’s director of online services, Matt Maddox, compared RHX to an open air market and even showed Summit attendees a digital short of some Red Hat staffers navigating a real life open air market searching for fruits and vegetables.
When the service launched more than six months ago, there were 12 companies. Today there are a few more, but only recently has Red Hat really started to solidify what the real goal of RHX might be. Part of that goal was revealed last week, when the Red Hat Appliance OS became a reality. This “optimized version” of RHEL will be offered to ISVs along with a virtual appliance development kit (VADK) sometime in the first half of 2008.
The way this ties into RHX is that a wide range of software applications on Red Hat Exchange (RHX) are already available for trial and purchase as pre-configured software appliances. With an RHX and AOS combination, Illuminata senior analyst Gordon Haff said Red Hat could streamline the appliance distribution process, but he also stressed it’s too early to give a definitive answer on that front. “We’ll have to see how the integration with ISV updates and so forth gets put into place because that’s an integral piece,” he said. More to come from Red Hat on that point sometime in 2008, I’m sure. Perhaps at next year’s Summit?
Further RHX updates were offered up by Red Hat via their news blog earlier today:
Expanded products and services from red hat partners
- Groundwork Monitor Pro will be available with three levels of support on RHX. Groundwork will also offer installation and training services through RHX.
- JasperSoft will offer JasperAnalysis through RHX with two levels of support. JasperSoft will also offer implementation and training services through RHX.
- Zmanda will offer Zmanda Network for Amanda Enterprise on RHX with back-up clients for Unix and Linux. This offering comes with three levels of support. Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL and Zmanda implementation services are available through RHX as well.
Expanded Support Offerings
- RHX will also begin offering significant enhancements to its support offerings with the availability of 12×5 and 24×7 phone and web support.
Or course, there’s also that little point about how RHX could, in all actuality, be a personal incubator for future Red Hat acquisitions, but there’s nothing much to report on that front just yet. Or is there?