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This summer marked an important milestone for Red Hat and our partners: Two years ago we announced the closing of the IBM acquisition. This was not only a turning point for Red Hat and the industry as a whole, but also for our partners. We told partners that Red Hat would maintain our neutrality and commitment to supporting a collaborative, open partner ecosystem. Since then, we have seen a lot of change, from new leadership to product updates and a global pandemic, but one thing remains constant - Red Hat is still Red Hat

Red Hat is firmly focused on building further capabilities into our portfolio of solutions to meet even more customer needs and anticipate future growth opportunities. This of course is rooted in open hybrid cloud - going beyond Red Hat Enterprise Linux and into emerging technologies out to the edge. To help customers reach the full potential of open hybrid cloud and address challenges along the way, Red Hat needs our partners.

With this in mind, here are a few key resources for our partners to navigate recent product updates and future opportunities: 

CentOS Linux migrations with partners 

With the announced changes regarding the CentOS Project, organizations may now be considering a migration to an alternate Linux platform such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Our partners, particularly those serving mid-market customers, are vital in lending a helping hand and guiding customers to make the right choice for their business.

Red Hat is heavily focused on simplifying migration paths for CentOS Linux users and enabling partners with the information and resources needed to support impacted customers. Partners can log into the partner portal to find tailored materials to help guide customer conversations and answer questions regarding migration. In addition, Red Hat is developing new programs to support partners and customers with the transition. More information is also available here:

CentOS Stream is an alternate option for organizations focused more on contributing to the development of RHEL vs. deploying a production-grade operating system to run critical business applications. It provides an upstream open source development platform which allows for development, testing and contributions to a continuously delivered distribution that tracks just ahead of RHEL. Depending on a customer’s unique developer needs, Red Hat offers a range of options - whether it’s Fedora, CentOS Stream or the hardened RHEL operating system. I encourage our partners to listen to customer feedback and their business objectives to determine the best possible platform.

Kubernetes and cloud-native innovation

Red Hat OpenShift continues to grow as the industry’s leading enterprise Kubernetes platform, and our partners are seeing the benefit. Red Hat recently announced the release of Red Hat OpenShift 4.8, designed to unlock new use cases and supported by our extensive partner ecosystem of ISVs. 

In addition, Nutanix announced OpenShift as its preferred enterprise full stack Kubernetes platform for Nutanix Cloud with AHV. Both announcements underscore the power of OpenShift among the Red Hat partner ecosystem in driving real customer outcomes with virtualized and containerized workloads. 

To further enable our partners with OpenShift, we have introduced a Partner Launch Pad series as part of the Red Hat Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN). The series helps partners navigate training resources related to the competitive value of OpenShift in the market. Partners can also access a new tool to help them engage with customers to qualify and assist in moving opportunities forward. 

As always, thank you to our partners for your continued loyalty, innovative efforts and resilience. Since I’ve joined Red Hat, I have witnessed firsthand the possibilities we can achieve when we work closely and collaboratively with partners. I hope to see you all in person one day soon, but in the meantime, we remain committed to working with our partners wherever they are - remote or otherwise. 

Follow along for more channel partner updates and news in our Red Hat Channel Watch webinar series


Ernest Jones is Vice President of North America Commercial Partners & Alliances. In his role, Jones is responsible for the development of strategic relationships across the Red Hat partner ecosystem to extend Red Hat's customer base. Ernest previously acted in leadership roles at Oracle and IBM overseeing cloud solutions sales and services. Most recently, he served as the co-founder and Chief Operations & Revenue Officer at, an enterprise live-streaming cloud-based platform focused on maximizing sales channels via live video.

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