Red Hat Marks a Strong 2014, Sharpens Focus on OpenStack
As 2014 ended, there were many eloquent summaries of the state of open source and the state of cloud computing, but one of the most focused ones came from Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst. In an online post that was fresh on the heels of a knockout financial quarter for Red Hat, Whitehurst lauded the fact that open source technology is now pervasive, and provided glimpses of how his company is gaining momentum with its cloud efforts.
“Today, it is almost impossible to name a major player in IT that has not embraced open source,” Whitehurst said. “Only a few short years ago, many would have argued we would never see that day.”
As a matter of fact, for several years Whitehurst has been predicting that open source would be used at every major enterprise and would exist at the component level in most software releases.
Whitehurst also took note of the fact that even Microsoft now claims to love open source and Linux. Several media outlets toward the end of last year reported on Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's comments on how he "loves Linux" and how he reportedly claims that 20 percent of Microsoft's Azure cloud is already Linux-based.
"Open source was initially adopted for low cost and lack of vendor lock-in, but customers have found that it also results in better innovation and more flexibility,” Whitehurst wrote. “Now it is pervasive, and it is challenging proprietary incumbents across technology categories. It is not only mainstream, open source is truly leading innovation in areas like cloud, mobile, big data, the Internet of Things, and beyond.”
Red Hat just marked its 11th consecutive quarter of mid-to-high teens revenue growth, and its stock jumped up in response. Red Hat is placing big bets on the OpenStack cloud platform, and this past quarter was the first one where OpenStack's impact on Red Hat's finances was really apparent.
Red Hat is also in partnerhsip with Cisco to bring cloud solutions to enterprises, and we'll likely see cloud computing become as significant a business for Red Hat as its Linux segment has been.
Whitehurst added the following: "For years, we tackled questions: 'Is open source safe?' 'Is it secure?' 'Is it reliable?' Open source solutions are all of those things and more. They are widely embraced by the enterprise; Red Hat alone counts more than 90% of the Fortune 500 as our customers. Today, with virtually every major technology company adopting or embracing open source, I am not hearing those same questions at the CEO and CIO level."