IBM wants to maintain Red Hat “open source innovation”
As it stands, IBM’s cloud customers have moved around 20% of their workloads to the cloud, according to CEO Ginni Rometty. She called that chapter one. Chapter two is moving the other 80%, which she said will get a major boost from IBM’s $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat.
Speaking to CNBC, she said, “For us, it’s all about resetting the cloud landscape…to create the number one company that will be the number one hybrid cloud provider. To move that 80%, [customers]are going to need what this combination brings them. Clients see this very, very clearly. Chapter two is about hybrid cloud. You have to be hybrid, you have to be able to handle, multiple clouds, you have to be open technologies, you have to do multi-cloud management and that’s what we can do.”
Red Hat specializes in use open source software to create enterprise solutions covering Linux, cloud, containers and Kubernetes.
Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said that strong focus on open source will continue as the company becomes a part of IBM. “First off,” he told CNBC, “IBM has been one of the largest supporters of open source for over 20 years. A long time ago IBM committed $1 billion to Linux. Together we’ll by far be the largest contributor to open source software.”
But Red Hat will “remain distinct,” he said. “Red Hat coming in is a neutral sell that works across all platforms. Now we’ll obviously coordinate closely within IBM to be able to drive a lot of incremental value on top of that. It’s about maintaining choice. We’ll work with IBM to both leverage the distribution…but also be able to build unique offerings from IBM on top of that neutral platform.”
Rometty said the goal of the acquisition is to dominate a $1 trillion emerging market. “Clients don’t want lock in,” she said. “This gives them a portable answer. They want to be able to run on-prem, on a private cloud, in a public cloud, multiple public clouds, and that’s what we do together.”
Organizationally, IBM said Red Hat will become a unit within its Hybrid Cloud team led by Whitehurst and existing management. Whitehurst will join IBM senior management and report directly to Rometty.
The companies said they will continue “to build and enhance Red Hat partnerships” with cloud providers AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and Alibaba.
“IBM is committed to being an authentic multi-cloud provider, and we will prioritize the use of Red Hat technology across multiple clouds” Arvind Krishna, Senior Vice President, IBM Hybrid Cloud, said in a statement. “In doing so, IBM will support open source technology wherever it runs, allowing it to scale significantly within commercial settings around the world.”
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