Red Hat Adopts Open Systems

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-09-29 Print this article Print

Vendor unveils open-source architecture.

Red Hat Inc. is the latest vendor to embrace the concept of layering add-on premium software and services above the operating system.

The Raleigh, N.C., company announced its Open Source Architecture last week, a plan that will deliver a standards-based infrastructure for running and managing enterprise applications across multiple platforms. The Open Source Architecture will increase the breadth of uses for Linux, improve its total cost of ownership and help convince customers that Linux is ready for the enterprise, said Paul Cormier, Red Hats executive vice president of engineering.

Red Hats move follows Sun Microsystems Inc.s Sun Java Enterprise System software stack, announced this month. Red Hat officials said, however, that the Sun solution limits users in their choice of hardware platform. Red Hat is taking the opposite approach to Microsoft Corp. as well, Cormier said, in that rather than stuffing everything in the operating system, Red Hat is taking a layered approach that will let users choose whether to use its open solutions or proprietary software from another vendor.

The Open Source Architecture will be delivered in phases and has three major components: 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," Cormier said.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, due next month, will act as the unifying platform and will be available on seven client and server platforms.

In the second phase, Red Hat will provide virtualization capabilities at two architectural layers: application and execution, by leveraging open-source Java technologies; and the physical environment layer, via file system and clustering technologies. These capabilities will be delivered in the next two quarters, Cormier said. This phase will also address other key areas of infrastructure, including a Web applications framework. Red Hat has been working with the ObjectWeb consortium, the Apache Software Foundation and the Eclipse integrated development environment community and has been contributing to the development of an open-source Web applications framework; a Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition implementation; and associated development tools.

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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