In the OpenStack Race, Red Hat's Advantage Remains Support
Red Hat is on track to be the big winner in the OpenStack cloud computing race, at least it is according to a report from Steve Ashley of Baird Equity Research. Its abiity to cater to datacenters and its long experience dealing with the open source community are primary reasons why, according to Ashley. Ashley sees the data center market as waiting on OpenStack to mature, after which deployments will pick up in a big way.
But there is another reason to bet on Red Hat as a possible winner in the OpenStack arena, and that reason is support.
Recently, Canonical has been expanding its presence in the OpenStack arena, and growing players like Mirantis are poised to give tech titans like HP a run for their money. However, Red Hat has years of experience offering top-notch support for open source platform software. The company is familiar with the demands of IT departments.
Additionally, Red Hat is expanding its alliances with powerful tech partners. The company has just announced a new partnership with Cisco, for example. Cisco's UCS Integrated Infrastructure product family is designed for private cloud built on OpenStack and is an on-ramp to Intercloud. The platform combines Cisco Unified Computing, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.
Red Hat's new OpenStack release includes a three-year support lifecycle. There has been controversy over whether Red Hat will offer support for OpenStack distributions other than its own, but its hard to argue with the company's track record at supporting open source software. It routinely re-signs its support subscribers each year, based on their satisfaction.
In the cloud computing arena, yes, businesses and organizations want flexible solutions for their deployments, but they will demand top-notch support. History shows that. Support is a giant cost center for companies that provide it, but companies that do it well succeed. In the case of many open source projects, lack of support and complete documentation is often cited by IT administrators when asked why they don't favor this or that solution.
Clearly, Red Hat is tying its future to cloud computing and the OpenStack platform, and it also clearly needs to continue to focus on support.