Red Hat CEO: We're the cloud leader -- with Linux

Jim Whitehurst says it's not just Red Hat's products, but its philosophy that place it at the forefront of cloud computing

When you think about the leading cloud computing companies, does the name Red Hat spring to mind? Jim Whitehurst hopes it does. In fact, the CEO of the rapidly growing, Raleigh, NC-based, open source company, is doing everything in his power to ensure that Red Hat has the widest possible portfolio of tools for your private and hybrid cloud -- a collection of technologies that Whitehurst says is only rivaled by Microsoft (without the "walled garden" strategy, of course). In addition to Enterprise Linux -- the flagship product -- Red Hat's growing cloud stack includes tools for server and storage virtualization, management, security, and an "enterprise-ready" version of OpenStack.

In this installment of the IDG Enterprise CEO Interview Series, Whitehurst talked with Chief Content Officer John Gallant about the changing competitive landscape in enterprise software and explained why VMware is now Red Hat's closest rival. He also talked about how Microsoft's transitions to the cloud and a new-generation operating system will benefit Red Hat. Whitehurst also explored why many IT leaders have a fundamentally flawed view of Red Hat's strategy and how his time as an executive with Delta Airlines made him a better tech company CEO.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Is OpenStack the new Linux? Early indicators are good. | Track the latest trends in open source with InfoWorld's Open Sources blog and Technology: Open Source newsletter. ]

IDGE: I think if you asked most people to describe Red Hat, they would probably say, "That's the Linux company." But how do you want CIOs or other technology leaders to describe Red Hat?

Whitehurst: In general, the next generation of IT architecture is being driven by open source -- by and in open source. Right? A whole series of companies are emerging, the Googles and Amazons and the Facebooks, who are driving this next-generation cloud architecture, and they're doing it all in open source.

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