Red Hat Add-ons Enable Enterprise Applications

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.