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Building the Industry’s Broadest OpenStack Ecosystem: A Decade in the Making

For those of us in the technology industry, it is sometimes difficult to take a moment to think about the impact and scale of the work that we accomplish on a day-to-day basis. While we are all lucky to be in an amazingly innovative and fast paced industry, it is important to spend a reflective moment or two to gain some perspective on the projects that we work on at our respective companies and in our open communities.



At Red Hat, we have been working steadily to help bring OpenStack from a project to a product for nearly two years. As you would expect, our efforts span the spectrum from contributors and developers across every key OpenStack.org project to enabling our partners and customers with enterprise-grade OpenStack products designed to help them take their computing infrastructure to the cloud.



A key aspect of the inherent value proposition that Red Hat brings to the table is our co-investment with partners in making sure that our products work together as expected, and are supported in a collaborative and well understood manner to reduce customer complexity. This technology certification is an important element that has helped build Red Hat into one of the world’s most trusted brands.



Over the next few months, at Red Hat Summit and at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, you’ll hear more from Red Hat on our incredible momentum and progress as we bring OpenStack to global partners and customers around the globe. In the meantime, I’d like to take an opportunity to reflect on our ecosystem progress to date.



In April 2013, we announced the creation of the Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network at the OpenStack Summit in Portland, Oregon. Since that time, we’ve been impressed with the growth and energy with participants from all over the globe, representing all industries and covering all types of technologies.



In June 2013, we launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, and along with it, our first set of certifications focused on Compute, Storage and Networking. Behind the scenes, our teams worked closely with hundreds of partners to develop testing and automation tools, exchanged ideas and feedback on the process, and created the entire infrastructure necessary to build collaborative support agreements for our customers.



Many of these relationships with our OEM, ISV, IHV and SI partners have been established over years of work together. My colleague Gordon Haff just published a great article reflecting on how OpenStack is paralleling the adoption of Linux in the enterprise. It’s true.



More than a decade’s experience in bringing customers true choice has taught us many things. It showed us that our ongoing commitment to maintaining several multifaceted customer benefits, including a long and stable product lifecycle; tested and secure enterprise-grade solutions; and robust integration through standard interfaces and APIs, helped make Linux enterprise-ready. We’re bringing that same know-how to OpenStack.



It also taught us that creating a tightly coupled and certified solution means more than a press release. It requires deep commitment to rolling up your sleeves and working with engineering teams on real technical issues and repeating that process build after build.



Our partners understand what it takes to make commercially viable solutions. A platform is only as good as the applications, solutions and technologies that work with it, and we are proud of how strong our ecosystem of partners has become.



Led by our Alliance Partners – Cisco, Dell, IBM, and Intel – we have seen hundreds of systems and thousands of applications moving towards certification on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. Our commitment here does not waver as we work across competitive boundaries with many companies in building a broad range of enterprise solutions.



In November 2013 at the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong we expanded our certification scope to include other OpenStack services, offered additional partner benefits for system integrators, MSPs and cloud providers, and enhanced Red Hat Marketplace. It was a proud moment when we were able to announce that in only seven months, we had built the industry’s largest OpenStack ecosystem in support of commercial deployments.



With all of the investments we made in 2013 in our OpenStack ecosystem and certification programs, it may seem as if we just started to build these Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure Partner Network efforts. It wasn’t. The truth is that the foundation for this momentum was laid out 12 years ago when Red Hat first launched Red Hat Enterprise Linux.



Trust is the core for everything that we do; it is our model, and our open approach. While OpenStack as a set of technologies may be new, the relationships with our partners, the excitement of our customers, and the energy within our company to work together to build the next generation of trusted computing is well established and energized. We look forward to a 2014 filled with exciting product, program and partnership announcements.



I invite you to join us at Red Hat Summit in April, and the OpenStack Summit in May, to hear more about our vision and continued momentum.