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Our development model

How the best ideas become enterprise‑ready

Innovation doesn't happen by chance. It's the outcome of a proven process. The Red Hat® development model begins in the open source community, with thousands of contributors, and results in finished products that are tried, tested, and trusted.

Community to enterprise

Communities to enterprise

Community spotlight

A closer look at the development of Red Hat Ansible Engine

Ansible Engine

Ansible is the upstream community of the product that eventually becomes Red Hat Ansible Engine —agentless IT enterprise—grade automation software. The community was founded in 2012 and made the 2017 GitHub Octoverse report in the categories of most reviewed, most discussed, and most contributors.

Every day, community members work on new modules, update existing modules, and contribute to the basic and core code that make modules possible. The turnaround time on Ansible Engine is fast, with a new release every 1—3 months. Thanks to the dedication of the upstream community, and Red Hat’s enterprise—level experience, Ansible Engine has become a powerful way for customers to build and write playbooks.


More eyes. More secure.

The community—to—enterprise development model often results in more secure software compared to proprietary software for 3 core reasons. First: When everyone can see the code, more threats can be discovered. Next: Issues that arise get patched quickly because the source code is accessible. Finally: Red Hat takes responsibility for testing, hardening, and supporting open source software, so every customer shares the same level of assurance.

Development model


Obvious—and less obvious—savings

Open source software doesn’t require a licensing fee—which results in a clear advantage when examining the cost to deploy a solution. However, massive development savings are also represented in a community—based distribution. One estimate shows that when you account for inflation at the time, it would cost approximately US$10.8 billion to build the Fedora 9 distribution from scratch.(*) The contributors who work on Linux® projects share this development burden over time.

Development model icons


Patents for defensive purposes only

Open source communities are free to innovate without the barriers of patents. We believe that software patents impede innovation in software development and discourage open source innovation. For this reason, we issued our first patent promise in 2002 to discourage patent aggression—and in 2017, we expanded this promise.

We really enjoy the open source model...the open source community has always been a great help to Amadeus as we work through projects.

Christophe Defayet, Director of Software Development, Security, and Communication Systems, Amadeus


Your code is here to stay

With proprietary solutions, there's always a risk that the company could discontinue the code. With open source software, however, there's no risk of discontinuation. Even if the vendor stops distributing a certain product, the code will remain available for use and improvement.

Development model

Development is just the beginning

Sources: [*] McPherson, Amanda. Proffitt, Brian. Hale-Evans, Ron. “Estimating the Total Cost of a Linux Distribution.” The Linux Foundation. October 2008.

Linux is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.