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Inktank Acquisition FAQ - April 2014
Q: What was announced?
A: On April 30, 2014, Red Hat announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Inktank, an open source storage software company with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco, CA.
Q: Why has Red Hat made this purchase?
A: Inktank technology offers capabilities that we believe make it a perfect complement to Gluster's technology and will enable Red Hat to advance its leadership in open software-defined storage. Gluster's file and object capabilities and Inktank's block and object capabilities provide communities of users and developers with the opportunity to innovate with the best open source storage software in the market. By aligning two leading open source communities, Red Hat can offer its customers a very competitive alternative to traditional proprietary storage systems from companies like EMC. Given the size of the storage opportunity, increasing the Red Hat investment in this area made a lot of sense, especially considering Inktank's strong position with OpenStack.
Q: How does Inktank compete in today's market?
A: Inktank's highly scalable, cost effective software-based storage solution is viewed by many as the default storage choice for OpenStack. In addition, Inktank has built a vibrant community of developers, partners, and users around Ceph, giving Inktank a competitive advantage.
Q: What is Red Hat's plan of action with respect to Inktank's existing products? Will you continue to sell and support them?
A: Yes. Red Hat plans to continue to sell and support Inktank's products. Inktank has a customer base that is engaged and growing, and Red Hat is committed to expanding and innovating to provide the user community with even higher value solutions.
Much like Red Hat has done with the Gluster community after its acquisition by Red Hat in 2011, we expect to further grow the community and the business over the next few years.
Q: What is Red Hat's sales strategy/plan for Inktank-derived products?
A: Red Hat will continue to invest, sell, support, and develop Ceph products under the Red Hat name while continuing to work with the community to innovate and drive the Ceph product roadmap. Over the next 1-2 years, Red Hat plans to develop product roadmaps from which Red Hat can derive a range of compatible storage offerings to address the demand for file, block, and object storage.
In the coming months Red Hat plans to further integrate Inktank's products with other Red Hat solutions and offer Inktank's products using a subscription model, similar to what we do with other Red Hat products. Inktank products will be sold by the existing Inktank sales team in coordination with the rest of the Red Hat sales team, especially the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform sales team.
Q: How is Inktank technology different from Red Hat's current Gluster-based offerings?
A: Inktank shares the same vision with Red Hat – i.e. disrupt the storage market through the power of open source innovation and volume economics brought forth by industry standard x86 servers. Inktank and Gluster are also very similar technologies, with both providing software-based scale out storage solutions based on commodity servers, hash-based data placement on an underlying XFS file system. Both products protect data through replication, automatic self-heal, and non-disruptive upgrades.
Inktank has a more mature block interface and OpenStack integration, while Gluster has a more mature file system interface and traditional web storage integration. Therefore, the two complement each other very well and we believe the combination is a very attractive alternative to traditional proprietary storage.
Q: Will Red Hat continue to foster the Inktank development community?
A: Yes. Inktank's existing open source development and subscription/services business models match up well with those of Red Hat. For example, we expect that the Inktank community will benefit significantly from the long-term, stable commitment of the world's leading provider of open source solutions. With Red Hat’s long history of successfully guiding open source communities for the benefit of all members, the Ceph community can feel confident in a continuation of the vibrant ecosystem Inktank has built well into the future.
Q: Who uses Inktank today and what are the use cases where it shines?
A: Starting from a base in leading OpenStack innovators, Inktank's customers have grown to include companies across financial services, media and entertainment, telecommunications, and leading technology and cloud providers, including Cisco, CERN, and Deutsche Telekom. For more information about Inktank, visit http://www.Inktank.com.