This week Red Hat announced several new releases of its open source software products and signalled it is betting big on an “open” hybrid cloud future. According to the open source giant it is an environment where public cloud providers will not be able to match its hybrid offerings, despite their claims, largely because of the consistency and flexibility Red Hat will be able to offer enterprise clients.

Both of the major announcements — Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 and OpenShift 4 — included the news the solutions have been redesigned for the hybrid cloud environment. Red Hat executives also revealed the company’s major acquisitions and investments over the last several years have been made to support open hybrid cloud.

Best known for its enterprise grade version of the Linux operating system, Red Hat says the hybrid cloud industry shift is on par with previous uptake of Linux and the open source model of software development, both of which have become industry standards.

IBM independence

Both the trends paid off handsomely for Red Hat, with IBM acquiring the company for a record $34 billion dollar deal last year.

During the company’s annual user conference in Boston this week both Red Hat and IBM CEOs reaffirmed that Red Hat would remain an independent entity. Red had says it will use that independence to maintain focus on hybrid cloud.

Red Hat executives used their respective keynotes to push the open hybrid cloud future message.

“[We are] making hybrid cloud the architecture of the future; [to] make hybrid the new data centre,” Red Hat executive vice president and president, products and technologies Paul Cromier told delegates.

“Going forward with the reach of IBM Red Hat will accelerate even more. This will bring open source innovation to the next generation hybrid data centre, continuing our original mission and goal to bring open source technology to every corner of the planet.”

The future is (open) hybrid

Several major public cloud providers have made moves to replicate their cloud environments in on premise data centre and at the edge labelling it as a hybrid offering. But Cormier says the Red Hat hybrid environment is fundamentally different and while public providers utilise open source software they can’t or won’t offer the application portability to make their hybrid cloud environments truly open.

Public cloud, like private, also can’t address the growing needs of edge computing, Cormier said.

“The enterprise is being stretched to be able to process on site. Whether it’s in a car, a factory, a store or an ATM, usually involving a massive amount of data that just can’t easily be moved.

“Just like these use cases couldn’t be solved in private cloud alone because of things like latency and data movement to address real time requirements, they also can’t be solved with public cloud alone.

“This is why open hybrid is really the model that’s needed.”

With most enterprises employing a hybrid cloud strategy already – Red Hat claims the number is around eight in 10 – hybrid cloud is the likely to continue for some time. Of course many enterprises aren’t really choosing hybrid. Rather it is the result of regulations or legacy technology not fit for off premise. If Red Hat can replicate their open source success in the hybrid market some of that pain will go away and customers will be happy. Its new owners will be too.

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