For last three years I led research on private cloud computing in the Gartner for Technical Professionals division. Overall, I spent more than a decade analysing disruptive markets: virtualization first and cloud then. I reviewed hundreds of go to market strategies and products from countless vendors. I advised large enterprise organizations worldwide on how to develop an adoption strategy, how to identify the best products for their needs, how to transform their operational frameworks to return on their investment, how to make sense of these highly competitive and often confusing markets, and ultimately succeed.
I learned immensely from my clients. One of the things I learned is that the current market offering in terms of cloud management platforms is not satisfying for most of the large enterprises. I learned that OpenStack has a number of issues that must be solved to succeed, as I infamously pointed out in my last blog post at Gartner (http://blogs.gartner.com/alessandro-perilli/why-vendors-cant-sell-openstack-to-enterprises/). I learned that customer demand is evolving rapidly and the most successful vendors are the ones that listen and adapt, not the ones that are stuck in the past or follow ideals at all costs.
Enterprises have real world problems to solve, and need pragmatic and credible business partners.
So why did I decide to join Red Hat? I did it because I believe that Red Hat has an amazing potential to solve those real world problems and be a pragmatic and credible business partner. For starters, this company built its computing stack on remarkable technologies:
• KVM and OpenStack, as the foundation for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) clouds
• Docker and OpenShift, as the foundation for platform as a service (PaaS) clouds
• CloudForms, as the cloud management platform to govern both OpenStack and OpenShift clouds
However, it's not just a matter of pieces and parts. Clouds are tools to address the needs of an audience in specific use cases. What I learned in my years as an analyst is that the primary consumers for clouds are developers. And that the most successful use case for clouds is rapid application prototyping and testing.
Red Hat is strong in both areas: it has a significant influence on the Java development community and an IDE already integrated with its cloud (yep, Eclipse provisions straight to OpenShift - https://community.jboss.org/en/tools/blog/2012/06/27/deploy-from-eclipse-to-openshift-in-a-breeze)
Valuable assets and the understanding of the market audience and their use cases is great, but it's not unique. What makes Red Hat truly standing apart to me are the intangible qualities:
• The credibility to bring open source to the enterprises
• The genuine desire to invest in new technologies and business models to innovate
• No vested interests in selling hardware or services
That's why I joined Red Hat. And in my role as General Manager, Open Hybrid Cloud Program, I'll have the privilege to work with a talented pool of professionals in product development, engineering, marketing, sales, to evolve our cloud offering and focus on what's the best for the customer.
Becoming a leading cloud management platform player is the goal. Will it be easy? Nope, but Red Hat and I have always been up for big challenges.
Alessandro Perilli (@giano)