Red Hat proposes open source architecture

SAN FRANCISCO (09/29/2003) - Hoping to enhance its credibility among corporate users, Red Hat Inc. plans to construct an Open Source Architecture sculpted around the company's upcoming Linux operating system and middleware pieces that focus on management, security, and clustering capabilities.

The new infrastructure software pieces will sit atop the company's upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 operating system, due by the end of October, and are designed to give users more technical flexibility in piecing together customized solutions and to lower the cost of ownership.

"We want to lay the foundation for bringing together a hierarchy of common software components that enable technologies to be layered modularly, which we think creates great scalability and manageability throughout an infrastructure," said Paul Cormier, Red Hat's vice president of engineering.

The multiphase project starts with the delivery of Enterprise Linux 3, which company officials said supports a record seven different client/server hardware architectures. Phase two will deliver a Web application framework, which Red Hat has been working on through the Object Web consortium and the Apache Software Foundation. Phase three will concentrate on building integrated virtualization and management capabilities including storage, system provisioning, and application resource management.

Some analysts said the move is also designed to help Red Hat become a force in middleware markets and to diminish its reliance on the Linux OS.

"As Linux matures, it effectively makes the kernel less interesting. Red Hat is basically trying to move the action to some of the other open source pieces that are not as mature and therefore can benefit more from some integration and testing," said Gordon Haff, senior analyst with Illuminata Inc.

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