A recent deal between IBM and open-source cloud company Red Hat will help a public-sector cloud marketplace already trending toward a more open-source design, according to Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of IBM Hybrid Cloud.
“The U.S. public sector has been a strong supporter of open source now for many, many years. I think what we do here together only gives them more," Krishna said. “We fully endorse and want our federal government here in this country to drive more and more adoption of open source, because it’s appropriate for the benefits it can bring.”
Krishna added that budgeting concerns on top of an imperative to modernize make open-source solutions particularly appealing.
“The public sector and especially the federal and state governments can all benefit from using even more technology with an open source.”
The two companies announced Oct. 28 that they had reached a deal for IBM to acquire Red Hat at an estimated value of $34 billion.
“The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer. It changes everything about the cloud market,” said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer. “IBM will become the world’s No. 1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open-cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses.”
According to Paul Cormier, president of products and technologies at Red Hat, the acquisition will enable Red Hat to expand and take on projects that it was previously too small to support.
“We’re still a relatively small company and, you know, our customers are really seeing open, hybrid cloud as the only way to bring public cloud into, as part of their IT infrastructure. And the demand for us is something, at our size, that we can’t recognize the potential of that demand,” Cormier said in a press briefing on the acquisition.
“IBM here helps us now bring that strategy to 170 countries around the world. It really accelerates the vision that we’ve had and the product portfolio that we’ve built out.”
But the acquisition will not change the projects that Red Hat is working on or the focus of the company, according to both Cromier and Krishna.
“We’re going to run Red Hat as a separate entity within IBM. There’s a number of reasons for that: culture is a reason, product set is a reason, but one of the other reasons is business, as well. We need to and will remain Switzerland in terms of how we interact with our partners,” said Cormier.
That neutral designation is particularly important for Red Hat’s partnerships with other major public cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
“I don’t think it will affect those deals; in fact, I’ve already heard from many of my connections at the public cloud partners with all good comments,” said Cormier.
According to the news release, IBM is committed to using Red Hat technology to continue being a multi-cloud provider and supporting open-source technology on all platforms.
This means that Red Hat will continue to pursue the same open-source programs and contributions to the open-source community, including deals with other cloud-providing companies, while taking advantage of the resources provided by IBM. In turn, IBM continues a longstanding partnership with Red Hat that has served as the basis of its $19 billion hybrid cloud business.