Red Hat Exchange Goes Live

 
 
By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-05-10 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The company continues its focus on online services with Red Hat Exchange, an online service that delivers pre-configured, integrated stacks for 14 business applications.

SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Red Hat officially rolled out at its annual summit here May 10 an online service for North America that delivers pre-configured, fully integrated solution stacks for 14 business applications. The new service, known as Red Hat Exchange, was previewed on March 14, when the Linux vendor announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. Red Hat is working with 14 open-source business application vendors on this service, including Alfresco Software on the content management front, Scalix and Zimbra on the messaging and collaboration front, ComPiere for ERP (enterprise resource planning) and GroundWork Open Source on the monitoring front.
The company, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., is also working with companies like MySQL and EnterpriseDB on the infrastructure side.
Click here to read more about the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. The ISV partners will share in the revenue for the recurring annual subscriptions rather than receive a one-time payment, Donald Fischer, Red Hats vice president of online services, told eWEEK in an interview. "So, we are not just providing an online store where customers can buy that software. What we are providing is a fully integrated stack that includes Enterprise Linux or the Red Hat Applications Stack, which is essentially a bundle of JBoss middleware and Enterprise Linux, along with the ISV application," Fischer said.
The software is delivered under a single subscription, which is similar to a traditional RHEL subscription, with one legal agreement that covers the entire stack and a single SLA (service-level agreement). The pre-configured stacks provide all of the infrastructure components required for specific applications, he said. Pricing information is available here. Asked if customers would get a discount for buying the stack rather than the individual components, Fischer said the prices were essentially the same as the product list price, so "there is no substantial discount involved, but the advantage is that this price includes the Red Hat infrastructure software as well as the partner application software, which is all delivered over Red Hat Network and is all supported by Red Hat." Red Hat has shunned the Windows model for its new global desktop. Click here to read more. Red Hat will be the single point of contact for its own and the ISV software, Fischer said. "We have mutual support agreements in place with each one of the ISVs, but we have designed the system to avoid the dreaded handoff. We will hold the case through conclusion and manage any escalations," he said. There will only be one level of support offered initially, which will be equivalent to the RHEL Basic Support offering, essentially a two-business-day response time. The early adopters of this service are expected to be SMBs (small and midsize businesses) with department-level deployments, and that was the support level most suited to them, Fischer said. This support offering will likely be scaled up over time, particularly if there is enterprise demand for the service, Fischer said, adding that while a number of companies have been participating in the private beta for the service, none were available for public reference. Customers will also be able to buy Red Hat Exchange through a select set of Red Hats VAR channel partners, which can provide additional services in support of these offerings. Red Hat is readying a real-time product. Read more here. The Red Hat Exchange Web site will allow user ratings, comments and reviews of the solution sets, and there will be a public peer-support capability around support issues and the knowledge base of issues that Red Hat has already seeded, Fischer said. "As we work with customers to resolve their cases, we basically have a workflow that we will be contributing to that public knowledge base available to subscribers," he said. Al Gillen, a vice president at research firm IDC, welcomed the move as a step toward addressing complexity for users. "When customers can minimize the number of number of vendors they are dealing with and the associated number of support contracts, they can reduce the complexity and often the cost associated with managing workloads," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
 
 
 
 
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 www.eweek.com.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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