Red Hat, JBoss Show Fruits of Acquisition

New open-source subscriptions embrace both vendors' platforms.

Linux vendor Red Hat on Sept. 18 will roll out a new series of open-source subscriptions that include offerings from recently acquired middleware provider JBoss. The products will be immediately available to Red Hats global distributors and resellers.

The new Red Hat Application Stack subscription includes RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), JBoss AS (Application Server) and JBoss Hibernate, as well as support for the MySQL and PostgreSQL open-source databases.

New offerings also include JBoss subscriptions, such as JBoss AS, JBoss Hibernate and the various JEMS (JBoss Enterprise Middleware Suite) components.

All the software will be delivered and updated through the Red Hat Network. Pricing for an annual subscription will start at about $1,999 per server and rise to about $8,499 per server, depending on the level of support required, said Todd Barr, a director in Red Hats enterprise group.

The launch of these new stack offerings comes approximately 100 days after Red Hat, of Raleigh, N.C., completed its acquisition of JBoss.

"The combination of JBoss and Red Hats platform offerings positions us really well to lead the build-out of the next-generation enterprise IT software infrastructure, where open-source solutions enable virtualization and SOA [service-oriented architecture]," Barr said.

Red Hat is positioning JEMS as the low-cost on-ramp to SOA. That, along with RHEL and its upcoming Xen virtualization capabilities—as well as the ongoing build-out of the management and security infrastructure around RHEL and JEMS—is becoming a compelling, flexible, modular and low-cost infrastructure solution, Barr said.

"JBoss was largely a direct company before, while more than 60 percent of Red Hats sales came from its OEM and reseller channel. So, to be able to light up that channel with JBoss solutions is pretty significant," Barr said.

Red Hat currently works with some 500 reseller partners globally, as well as about 75 distributors. The key, Barr said, is to make JBoss relevant to that channel, which is where the new subscription-based stacks come into play.

"The Red Hat application stack takes the best of open source and stacks this together in one subscription that is delivered through the Red Hat Network and supported by Red Hat at a single price. This gives customers the benefit of the integration of the stack without the pain of the lock-in to a proprietary vendor," Barr said.

Red Hat said it plans to continue to make individual components available. "Maintaining cross-platform compatibility is a key part of our strategy going forward, and so we want to continue to make sure that JBoss runs really well on Microsoft Windows and Novells SUSE [Linux]. We see it as a great accomplishment to have lots of JBoss running on Windows," Barr said.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read about Red Hats success with subscriptions.

When asked what operating systems current JBoss customers are running, Barr said that more than half are on Linux, with most of those on Red Hat. He said the balance are running Windows.

Some Red Hat partners and resellers—such as John Zamierowski, director of sales at Melillo Consulting, in Somerset, N.J.—welcome the move. "Our customers are clamoring to take advantage of service-oriented architectures and to leverage their IT investments to produce new revenue streams," Zamierowski said.

"These new subscription offerings will finally help us to deliver a simple, low-cost, integrated platform that scales physically and economically. With the economics of a subscription-based model, we can now make many new projects feasible. Overall, this means more business for us," Zamierowski said.

Red Hat also is hoping that the combination of the new stack offerings and the fact that they can now be delivered through the channel will attract a new set of open-source customers, such as small and midsize businesses and enterprises that have been looking for an opportunity to standardize.

"For an application development manager, the stack gives them a standard platform to develop to, while, for an IT manager, the stack gives them a precertified, pretested integrated stack to deploy on," Barr said.

Barr said Red Hat believes the stacks are aggressively priced; integrated, certified and easy to deploy; and a good entry point to full Java capabilities.

The individual technologies also lend themselves to modularity and linking to other standards, Barr said, adding that the application stack also offers compelling value when compared with the total cost of ownership of a supported Microsoft environment.

Red Hats acquisition of JBoss has also had no effect on its partnerships with competitors such as Microsoft, IBM and Oracle, Barr said.

"We have a multifaceted relationship with IBM, and we will partner with and compete against them at some level, but not in any large way. Its pretty much the same on the Oracle side," said Barr.

Red Hats New Open-Source Subscriptions

Red Hat Application Stack includes:

  • RHEL
  • JBoss AS
  • JBoss Hibernate
  • Support for MySQL and PostgreSQL databases

JBoss subscriptions include:

  • JBoss AS
  • JBoss Hibernate
  • Various JEMS components

Source: Red Hat

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