OpenStack drove a chunk of Red Hat's largest deals during the fourth quarter, with cloud proving more lucrative than its trademark Linux business. One-third of what Red Hat called its largest deals in the three months to February 28 contained an OpenStack private cloud component. More than a third involved Red Hat's Ansible automation management technology. Red Hat reckoned on four deals with a value of $20m in the quarter, 16 at $5m and 30 with a value of $3.5m for the period with telecoms, Red Hat's busiest sector. During the quarter, Red Hat sidled up to Hewlett-Packard and Huawei to collaborate on its Linux and NFV–priming RHEL as a convergence platform. The biggest boost arguably came through a expanded channel partnership with IBM to sell Red Hat's OpenStack distro.
Red Hat's enterprise virtualization product is proving stiff competition for VMware, Paul Cormier, EVP and president of products and technologies, claimed at Red Hat's North American Partner Conference. While previously VMware customers did not immediately see the need for Red Hat Virtualization (RHV), this is changing as customers' perception of their environment is evolving, he explained. "We've really seen an uptick in RHV around that as we've packaged RHV with things like OpenStack and CloudForms for management. We've seen our customers start to embrace that much more because it's now not just an island. Virtualization is one piece of their environment. They're trying to melt that into their overall environment. We're seeing RHV as the core to critical environments."
Red Hat is looking for a new type of channel partner. One that can drive a sale from discovery, to pilot, to build, to deploy and finally to scale. The only problem with this strategy is that, according to John Bleuer, Red Hat's VP of global ISVs and IoT partners, this group of solution providers who have expertise through the entire lifecycle only make about approximately 10 per cent of the channel community today. With that Red Hat, has launched a new partner program to change the behavior of the channel community to help them go deeper in a more collaborative way with the open source pioneer. Called the Red Hat Application Platform Partner Initiative, it goes live for the U.S. market as a pilot with more than 12 channel partners who have customers working towards their digital transformation goals with open source. The goal of this program is to be launched formally later this year. This new program also augments Red Hat's go-to market strategy with application development.
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Red Hat announced that more than 20 North American reseller partners are now accredited to sell the company's software-defined storage solutions, Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage. This is in addition to more than 15 technical alliances partners, such as Cisco, Dell EMC, Intel, QCT, Samsung Semiconductor, Seagate and Supermicro. The accreditation of Red Hat's storage resellers–underway since
Red Hat expanded the routes to market for the Red Hat Storage portfolio in November 2015–is indicative of growing demand for software-defined storage as part of modern IT solutions, including more agile container-based and cloud environments. In addition, Red Hat's active technical alliance program seeks to improve solution compatibility, devise supportive architectures and enhance innovative software-defined storage designs, with advanced hardware from partners around the globe.