Telecom vendor partners and CSP customers have nothing to fear from an IBM-owned Red Hat

TBR perspective

Red Hat emphasized that its culture and approach to product development will not change with its acquisition by IBM. Red Hat underscored that it operates independently and continues to stress an open-source approach to management, application development and the strategic direction of the company. The open-source community, to which Red Hat and its employees are major contributors, will remain the primary influence on Red Hat’s product road map.

This is evident in the company’s open hybrid cloud strategy, whereby Red Hat products support hybrid cloud infrastructure from a host of strategic partners, with Red Hat adhering to a principle of partner agnosticism: No one partner is favored over another. Tellingly, during one executive’s presentation, a slide showcased six large customers that Red Hat supported in their migrations to hybrid cloud infrastructures, and the executive could not name the cloud service provider partner. It did not matter, because Red Hat integrates with them all.

This approach will serve Red Hat well as it continues to penetrate the telecom market. Red Hat’s long-standing open-source principles are finally gaining traction among telecom operators and their suppliers as networks become software-defined and virtualized. Operators are increasingly demanding open and interoperable solutions from their vendor partners, and Red Hat is top of mind in procuring these solutions. Rakuten, which is building the first greenfield, cloud-native, virtualized network, is leveraging Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Ceph Storage. TBR expects incumbent operators to emulate Rakuten’s procurement and architecture once the concept is proved. 

Red Hat hosted several dozen industry analysts at its Open Innovation Lab and Executive Briefing Center in Boston. Red Hat executives, including its chief marketing and technology officers, delivered insights on Red Hat’s market position and opportunity as the company carefully manages its integration with IBM (NYSE: IBM), which acquired the open-source company in July. Several products were highlighted — namely OpenShift and Ansible Automation Platform — and a Red Hat travel pricing data customer delved into how Red Hat is enabling its IT transformation, all of which drove home the idea that Red Hat encourages, supports and shepherds adoption of open hybrid cloud.

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