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IT decision makers seem to be up in arms regarding discussions on “next generation” technologies.  In the past three months it has been nearly impossible to hold a conversation where the terms cloud, OpenStack, or (Linux) containers don’t surface.  Hot topics and buzzwords aside, it has become clear (to me) that the right mix of market conditions are causing organizations to express a renewed interest in enterprise virtualization.

Many organizations are now ready to adopt the next generation of server hardware.  The popular Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge chipsets from Intel are four to five years old and those who purchased such hardware tend to refresh their equipment every four to five years.  In addition, we see Intel Haswell technology approaching its third anniversary.  Organizations that lease hardware on a three year cycle will also be looking at what the next generation of hardware has to offer.

What does a potential wave of hardware refresh have to do with a renewed interest in enterprise virtualization?  To no one’s surprise

we are finding that it was incredibly common for organizations to have attached software licensing to these aforementioned hardware purchases.  The vendors who were able to perform a successful “hardware attach” are now coming in and attempting to treat customers like piggy banks and not as technology partners.  To this end, Red Hat is seeing a significant increase in demand for our virtualization technologies based on the KVM Hypervisor.  As compared to what many of the incumbent vendors can provide, this is a unique opportunity for organizations to extend and enhance their environment(s) with economical, open source solutions like Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat CloudForms.

Finally, the strong overtones of a significant, impending market consolidation seem to be a cause for confusion.  Organizations who are dependent upon current proprietary virtualization technologies have many unanswered questions.  For example, will organizations continue to receive the same experiences in terms of customer support, innovation, and product experience?  Questions like these have prompted organizations to investigate their vendor relationships and partnership strategies so as to ensure that they have a sure footed pathway ahead.

With this mix of market conditions - the inevitable need for a hardware refresh, the associated expiration of expensive, proprietary virtualization solutions, and the uncertain future related to a potentially significant market consolidation - know that Red Hat is ready, willing, and able to step up and help organizations to better understand how an open source approach to solving the challenges of enterprise virtualization can be a low cost path towards a more certain future. Whether organizations are investigating physical operating system concerns, enterprise virtualization challenges, or even face confusion around modern technologies like private cloud and containers, Red Hat has a set of open infrastructure and management solutions that will help customers evolve to solve business challenges in more rapid and orchestrated ways.

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