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There’s no standing still in enterprise IT; much like in nature, failure to evolve and adapt means that there’s an unpleasant experience looming in the near future. While not quite as dramatic as that, IT organizations are adapting to changing business needs and a growing desire for digital transformation at fundamental levels, namely the very architecture upon which their datacenter is based.

Customers value choice in their technology implementations, and choice is a key benefit of open source solutions. This is why Red Hat is making a commitment to bringing its portfolio of open technologies to bear on a broad spectrum of datacenter architectures - choice begets innovation, and innovation moves IT forward.

While x86 remains a dominant computing technology in the datacenter, and one that Red Hat is fully committed to, we’ve seen customer interest in alternative architectures, especially as emerging workloads may require non-traditional computing solutions. While these IT organizations may want unique computing resources for specific workloads, they are not looking to manage a host of snowflake-style operating systems. They want standardization and they want open source, which often means that they want Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the cornerstone to how we help our customers get more value from their hardware, and the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform also provides the launchpad for Red Hat’s portfolio of enterprise-grade open technologies. We want our customers to eventually have access to a fully-open, enterprise-ready software stack, regardless of the underlying hardware architecture.

So what do we mean by “multi-architecture?”

IBM architectures
Red Hat’s existing multi-architecture strategy enables customers to design and build infrastructure based on their choice of commercially available hardware architectures. Several years ago we laid the groundwork for broader architecture support with Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Power and Red Hat Enterprise Linux for z Systems. We plan to continue to build out these solutions and refine them with new capabilities and features keeping them on par with our standard releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Red Hat and IBM maintain more than a decade-long collaboration in the Linux community and, in recent months, have worked to extend this relationship to better address customer requests for broader access to Red Hat’s portfolio on IBM Power systems. Highlighting this is new support for the High Availability and Resilient Storage Add-Ons as well as the Open Container Initiative (OCI) runtime and image format on IBM Power Little Endian architecture.

ARM architectures
While IBM Power and z Systems are not “new,” ARM, specifically the 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture, is new. As an example of our multi-architecture enablement efforts, over the past two years Red Hat has delivered Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server for ARM as a Development Preview to partners designing and building systems based on 64-bit ARMv8-A architecture. This has helped to consolidate, stabilize and standardize ARM hardware support in the base operating system and move it forward to a more mature level.

What’s next?
Moving forward, our customers can expect Red Hat to continue addressing IT needs across a wide set of computing architectures, coupled with the support and expertise for which we are known. Our technology partners can continue to address business-specific needs of mutual customers with powerful, scalable and fully-open technologies allowing them to standardize on Red Hat solutions across multiple supported architectures.

Enterprise IT does not stand still, and neither will Red Hat. We never want our customers to choose between their favorite hardware and the world’s leading enterprise Linux platforms, so we’re ready to deliver enterprise-grade open source solutions across multiple footprints and multiple architectures. You can count on Red Hat when it comes to building your datacenter, cloud and application strategies.


Yan Fisher is a Global evangelist at Red Hat where he extends his expertise in enterprise computing to emerging areas that Red Hat is exploring. 

Fisher has a deep background in systems design and architecture. He has spent the past 20 years of his career working in the computer and telecommunication industries where he tackled as diverse areas as sales and operations to systems performance and benchmarking. 

Having an eye for innovative approaches, Fisher is closely tracking partners' emerging technology strategies as well as customer perspectives on several nascent topics such as performance-sensitive workloads and accelerators, hardware innovation and alternative architectures, and, exascale and edge computing.  

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