Red Hat to Give Customers Changes in Real Time

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-03-14 Print this article Print

The company wants to be able to continue to work with the open-source community while also developing early service-based relationships with customers around next-generation technologies.

While Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 will be released at an event in San Francisco on March 14, the company has not been sitting idle since the code went gold last month, with its engineering team already doing future planning and hosting worldwide summits, the first of which was held in February. Red Hat is also developing a new model for next-generation capabilities that allows it to continue to work with the open-source community while also developing early service-based relationships with customers around these new technologies.
Read more here about what RHEL 5 brings.
The goal of this is to let customers help influence the direction of next-generation technologies and capabilities, while putting that code into production before it is widely released, Brian Stevens, Red Hats chief technology officer and vice president of engineering, told eWEEK in a recent interview. This will also allow Red Hats engineers to work more closely with those customers to understand their environments better. "This service relationship will be unique and unlike anything we have done in the past in terms of how upgrades work and sustainability," he said. "So those customers are really opting into a different set of rules, and we are designing those rules around what makes sense. One of the considerations we are having specifically with the new real-time technology is how we harden it while allowing it to advance," he said. As such, Red Hat has not developed a pricing model for this yet, but it will be a service-based relationship to a limited set of customers and will be used for both its new messaging technologies and the real-time Linux development work currently under development. "But they will both still be subscription-based relationships," Stevens said. Why did JBoss founder Marc Fleury leave Red Hat? Find out here. The new messaging technologies and the real-time Linux development work are truly differentiating and will have impact, creating real value for customers, so cost is really the footnote in the conversation between Red Hat and its customers, who want to know how these can be used to create value for them, he said. Growing Red Hats business while creating value for its customers are overlapping goals, Stevens said. "In the case of the real-time work, its an alternate kernel so we are not talking about capability thats fully merged upstream. So its not just a layered product or technology set, its a support arrangement around an alternate patch set that we are managing and which we will ultimately drive mainstream so we will have a unified product down the road that will be made generally available," he said. Next Page: New in RHEL 6.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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