Would a VMware Acquisition of Red Hat Go Anywhere?
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Would a VMware Acquisition of Red Hat Go Anywhere?
by Sam Dean - Aug. 19, 2008Comments (10)
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Is there any chance that virtualization giant VMware might have its eyes on Red Hat as an acquisition? This article reports that "VMware CEO Diane Greene, ousted by her board in July, had set up meetings with Red Hat in part to position VMware as friendly to open source and possibly as a prelude to a buyout discussion, according to a person familiar with the conversations." While both companies have declined to comment, the prospect could make a lot of sense for VMware for several reasons. Here's why.A few months ago, I wrote about Red Hat's continuing financial success with its largely support-driven model for monetizing its Linux efforts. That piece also made note of the fact that Oracle has been trying to match that success with similar efforts, but has stumbled in many ways. Meanwhile, readers wrote in and suggested that IBM and Hewlett-Packard might have their eyes on a Red Hat acquisition. Could VMware be the most logical suitor?VMware, of course, has seen some rocky times recently. Its CEO was recently ousted, and replaced with a seasoned Microsoft executive, Paul Maritz, who knows his way around operating systems. In this item, I noted that operating systems themselves represent growing threats to VMware's virtualization business. That's because virtualization is being wrapped into operating systems as an under-the-hood feature that people expect to get for free. Both Windows Server and Sun's Solaris are offering built-in virtualization.From my perspective, especially given Paul Maritz's background with Windows, VMware could very well be looking at Red Hat as a possible acquisition (this is speculation at this point, though). Maritz would know that what is going on with virtualization offerings is following the same path that software utilities have always followed. They end up free in the operating system. This happened with backup software, file managers, disk defraggers, and countless other utilities. Virtualization is becoming commoditized in this way--expected in the OS.That's why VMware could benefit from an operating system to marry its virtualization tools with. Also, as BusinessWeek notes, "sales of computer servers preloaded with Linux are growing faster than the overall market for servers." A VMware acquisition of Red Hat could provide numerous opportunities to ride that trend, and might give the financial community--which has pummeled VMware--a more positive spin on the company's prospects.(Wall Street isn't being so kind to Red Hat, either.) Red Hat's financial success with its support-driven, Linux-focused business model could be of substantial value to VMware. And, of course, Red Hat has recently entered the virtualization race, announcing its own embedded hypervisor, oVirt. Clearly, the momentum of virtualization is not lost on Red Hat.A combination of VMware virtualization and a proven, popular operating system could pave the way for a future of healthy competition for VMware with other operating systems that bundle virtualization. I wouldn't be surprised to see both VMware and Red Hat pursue all of this.
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10 Comments
 
by an anonymous user on Aug. 19, 2008While it would be nice to see VMware do SOMETHING soon to help its shareholders, Maritz might lean more on his cloud computing background with Pi to take VMware 'higher' into the cloud, though the company has limited experience there.
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by Jack G on Aug. 19, 2008I bet that most of their competition is actually coming from Microsoft, rather than any of the Linux vendors. Customers still want a throat to choke, especially with relatively newer technologies in mission-critical data centers, and while Linux is present in most data centers, when it comes to managing wider distributions, I bet VMware is seeing MSFT more than RHAT.
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by an anonymous user on Aug. 20, 2008They obviously perceive Microsoft as being a big threat. Maritz, with his Microsoft background, should be able to help them fight the evil empire!
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by an anonymous user on Aug. 20, 2008No, if that happens Red hat is doomed.
I don't want a proprietary vendor with a soon dead product buying a 100% open source company with a lot of potential!
That will just suck for Red Hat.
It would be great for Canonical tough, cause then Novell and Red Hat both suck.
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by an anonymous user on Aug. 20, 2008I hope VMWare doesn't buy Red Hat... Red Hat has a bunch of open source projects going that promise to make Linux virtualization both easy and powerful (libvirt, ovirt, etc). I believe that if VMWare buys RH, they will kill those projects because the last thing they want to do is develop software which directly competes with their bread and butter with a far more attractive price tag: Free.
Although VMWare has spent a great deal of time supporting their commercial products in Linux, they've never exactly been what I would call open-source friendly.
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by an anonymous user on Aug. 21, 2008If you haven't noticed, VMware ESXi is free. Go to VMware.com and download it :)
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by Tim on Aug. 22, 2008ESX3i is free in price, but it's not everything. Without HA, DRS, VCB (basically, the rest of the Virtual Infrastructure)...it doesn't provide as big of an advantage over it's competitors.
Also, ESX3i isn't open source. For many, that's an important feature that isn't available.
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by Serge on Aug. 23, 2008Strange speculation... and this comes shortly after the Red Hat CTO has said that VMware is doomed because it doesn't have an OS to leverage its Hypervisor and thus provide a full stack, which according to that same CTO only Red Hat and Microsoft were capable of. It seems that Red Hat is closer to Microsoft then VMware... However, I don't buy his argument and I think it basically misunderstands the true power of the virtualization concept. VMware is the only game in town that truly understands this. A hypervisor as a "bolt on" to a general purpose OS is definitely not the right way to go...
The free hypervisor may not have DRS or HA but then again, Microsofts Hyper-V also doesn't have Hyper-V. VMware's offering is 32MB vs 2GB for Hyper-V!!! Attack surface anyone?
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by Serge on Aug. 23, 2008Err... **Microsofts Hyper-V also doesn't have DRS (or VMotion)...**
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by sanjay on Oct. 27, 2008Best is that VM ware is the only product that supports all the available operating system in the market. Better they should go with their own flavor of linux which is right into the ESXi and ESX and vmware workstation 6.0 I have working experience with vmware all my server are virutalized and runs on vm-ware workstation 6 (only workstation6 of vmware supports full umbrella of different Operating system from windows 3.1 to windows server 2008, Redhat linux to sunsolaris and suse linux as well so though its desktop product it has marvelous capacity to port all your server on desktop benefit are a sever product can run on desktop who needs the bulky dell server (i personally installed Hyper V on Dell server and its running BES server in production) but I would say hyper v sucks and no where I can compare it with workstation 6 (fuck to esx ) only vmware workstation 6 is the best product for virutualization even for your servers
tried and tested since last 1.2 years in my production environment. If you think to spend money then only go for vmware workstation 6 or 6.5 its wonderful product for SME and enterprise. No match to that one of the fine product of vmware please visit http://www.redpaladin.com/Virtualization.cfm
0 Votes
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