Red Hat Add-ons Enable Enterprise Applications

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-09-23 Print this article Print

Red Hat is moving outside the Linux OS with an open-source enterprise architecture to increase the breadth of Linux uses, improve TCO and strengthen Linux's role in the enterprise.

Open-source software provider Red Hat Inc. is the latest vendor to embrace the concept of providing layered add-on services above the operating system that it can potentially charge customers more for. The Raleigh, N.C., company on Tuesday will announce that it is building an open-source enterprise architecture that will deliver a standards-based open-source infrastructure that focuses on management and broad applications across multiple hardware platforms. This new open-source architecture will increase the breadth of uses for Linux, dramatically improve its total cost of ownership and help convince customers that Linux is ready for the enterprise, Paul Cormier, executive vice president of engineering at Red Hat, told eWEEK in an interview.
Now that Red Hat has put in place a platform with its enterprise Linux offerings, customers want it to do the same things architecturally, but they want it to move outside the operating system into more pieces of the infrastructure, he said.
Red Hat has held a number of meetings with enterprise customers, and the ISV, IHV and open-source communities to hear what their problems are and what areas of infrastructure they have found do not integrate well with Linux and that would benefit from the open-source model. "This helped us to chart a course and helped us identify areas like management, virtualization and security because of those discussions. We are keeping the same community model that we have used with the operating system," Cormier said. "Were not going to go and reinvent the wheel. This doesnt necessarily have to be a Red Hat product. Participate in it and use the same model were in today," he said. The Open Source Architecture will be delivered in phases and has three major components: the platform, virtualization and management. "By doing it in modules, we will be able to add these outside the boundary of the operating system and will be able to bring in things like Java, new management modules as well as aspects of virtualization and clustering. "The quarterly updates of the operating system will also address any dependencies on the other layers," Cormier said. Next page: Layered approach vs. Microsofts "bloat" effect.

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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