Red Hat, Dell expanding partnership to build private cloud computing

dranii@newsobserver.comDecember 12, 2013 

CEO Jim Whitehurst welcomes guests to the grand opening of the new Red Hat building on E. Davie St. on Monday, June 24 in downtown Raleigh.

AL DRAGO — adrago@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

Red Hat and computer giant Dell have agreed to expand their long-time partnership by collaborating on developing the next generation of Red Hat’s software platform for cloud computing.

Raleigh-based Red Hat and Dell, which is headquartered in Austin, Texas, announced Thursday that they plan to combine their engineering expertise to develop Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4, which is currently in beta and is aimed at corporate customers who want to use so-called private clouds internally. It’s expected to become available next year.

Dell, the world’s No. 3 PC maker, will also be the first company to sell hardware with Red Hat’s open-source cloud software installed. Dell is also offering consulting services that will help corporate customers build and operate cloud computing infrastructures.

The two companies are long-time partners. In 1999, Dell became the first company to sell workstations for corporate use with Red Hat Linux installed.

“Just as we successfully collaborated with Dell to establish Red Hat Enterprise Linux as an enterprise industry standard, we’re now extending our collaboration to help establish Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform as the standard for open private cloud in the enterprise,” Paul Cormier, president of products and technologies for Red Hat, said in a statement.

Officials of the two companies couldn’t be reached for additional comment.

Red Hat shares rose nearly 2 percent in early-morning trading Thursday after AllThingsD, an online technology publication, reported that the alliance was on the verge of being announced. But shares subsequently fell back somewhat and closed at $46.35, up 20 cents. Red Hat shares have risen 12 percent this year.

Red Hat’s open-source software is free, but the company makes money by charging for maintenance and support, and for services such as training and consulting. More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use Red Hat software.

The growing popularity of cloud computing has helped boost Red Hat’s revenue. The company has more than 5,900 employees, including more than 900 at its downtown Raleigh headquarters.

According to Red Hat’s website, 85 percent of its large corporate customers plan to deploy OpenStack.

Dell founder Michael Dell recently took the computer maker private by leading a $25 billion buyout of the business, which has struggled as the PC market has stagnated.

Ranii: 919-829-4877

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