With the acquisition of ManageIQ for $104 million this week, Red Hat is signaling that its cloud ambitions go way beyond Linux.
ManageIQ adds a suite of IT management software to the Red Hat portfolio capable of managing virtual machines from Red Hat, VMware and Microsoft running on both Windows and Linux platforms.
According to Bryan Che, general manager for the cloud business unit at Red Hat, managing instances of private, public and hybrid cloud computing represents the next great management challenge in the enterprise. The acquisition of ManageIQ, says Che, extends Red Hat’s relevance well beyond its own Linux distribution.
Che says IT management in the age of the cloud is fundamentally changing. ManageIQ provides a way to manage IT at a significantly higher level of abstraction that not only reduces costs, it increases IT agility in a way that is too compelling to ignore. Most existing IT environments consist of a hodgepodge of technologies that most IT organizations manually manage using custom scripts. That approach is too slow at a time when IT environments need to scale across multiple instances of cloud computing, says Che.
In the first quarter of 2013, Che says Red Hat will follow up on this acquisition with the introduction of a cloud management framework based on OpenStack that will automate the management of diverse cloud computing platforms. In fact, Che says the only two companies capable of providing a complete cloud computing stack from operating system to management framework are Red Hat and Microsoft, which Che contends means that for all intents and purposes will soon make it a two-horse race in the cloud. It will be interesting to see how that prediction plays out in 2013 given the footprint of rival vendors such as VMware.
In the meantime, IT organizations in 2013 should expect to see a brave new world of IT management, the hallmark of which will be the management of an unprecedented number of application workloads via highly automated self-service capabilities requiring little to no touch by an IT administrator.