Red Hat’s new CEO says his appointment won’t change the company’s ongoing “open hybrid cloud” strategy.

Paul Cormier, a long time Red Hat employee who took over as CEO following Jim Whitehurst’s departure to new owner IBM, used this year’s virtual keynote to recommit the open source giant to meeting its customers wherever and however they want to work.

“It’s what we’ve been building in and around our platforms for many, many years. Open hybrid cloud is what we are delivering to our customers and building with our partners every day. Today and tomorrow.”

The virtual summit was rejigged to focus on supporting existing customers with existing products and services rather than the predictive themes and product announcements of past events.

Best known for its enterprise version of the Linux operating system, Red Hat has evolved to offer infrastructure services beyond on premise IT, a reflection of the needs of its customers, according to the company.

Cormier briefly broke down the open hybrid cloud strategy, which the company has been banking on for some time.


Open source software has roots back to the 1970s despite proprietary dominating for decades. Cromier said the method eventually displaced the proprietary dominance, disrupting enterprise IT and laying the groundwork for a multibillion dollar cloud industry.

Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier speaking during a virtual keynote.

“Today open-source developed solutions are everywhere. It’s the engine behind every government, every enterprise, and every organisation … Open source is the backbone of inventions that have changed our lives.” 

Cormier said Red Hat is committed to its open source roots but no one company held the method as a “birthright”.

Local Red Hat executives did note, however, that APAC was one of the regions where there was plenty of room for improvement in open source adoption and development. 


“Just as we don’t want to be locked into software, we don’t want to be locked in the closed infrastructure either.”

Cormier said organisations today operate across bare metal, virtualised infrastructure and the data centre, private clouds, public clouds and edge computing. The diversity favours the organisation rather than IT vendors, according to the Red Hat CEO, because of lower costs and lower barriers to innovation.

“Simply said, hybrid is the new data centre, period. It’s built on open technologies and it must be kept on open technologies,” Cormier said.


Cormier argued the flexibility is also required for where applications are built and deployed, saying they need to work across private and public clouds, and even between the different public cloud providers. 

The interoperability means a consistent experience, operational controls and security for developers and end users, Cormier said.

“From software-as-a-service to infrastructure-as-a-service to platform-as-a-service, today you can get nearly anything as a service.”

But he also noted that some workloads simply do not make sense to reside on the public cloud and they are only a part of the hybrid infrastructure required by enterprises today.

Red Hat, through its partnership with new owners IBM, this year added new tools for managing the popular Kubernetes container across different environments.

“In a hybrid model the user should not have to worry or, frankly, care about where the cloud is or which cloud it is. For all of us running the infrastructure we should be able to choose the right cloud or on-prem technology for the right application.”

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