In a move to extend its business beyond the Linux operating system, Red Hat has announced an initiative to deliver open source application server, clustering and systems management software that works seamlessly with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
The first part of the Red Hat Open Source Architecture initiative is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, due in October. The operating system will offer hooks to the other software, which would be delivered as additional subscriptions, Red Hat said.
In addition, hardware platform support in the operating system has been expanded from Intel platforms to also include IBM's zSeries mainframes and iSeries and pSeries PowerPC-based servers, as well as systems based on Advanced Micro Devices' 64-bit Opteron processor, Red Hat said.
The aim of Red Hat's initiative is to set a direction for the open source community to develop enterprise infrastructure components that it will then take and integrate with Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
"Many of the issues with Linux in the enterprise have been the lack of interoperability among components," vice-president of operating system development at Red Hat, Brian Stevens, said. "We hope the same momentum behind the Linux community will drive the applications market."
Today enterprise Linux users who want application server, clustering, or management software typically look to proprietary products from vendors such as Veritas Software, BEA Systems and IBM.
The Red Hat products would compete with those but aren't identical, executive vice-president of engineering at Red Hat, Paul Cormier, said .
"Obviously the open source application server does not have the same features as a BEA or IBM application server," he said. "We are here to give customers the opportunity to have a complete open source solution. The strategy for us here is offering choice."
About three months after the Enterprise Linux 3 release, Red Hat plans to deliver clustering as the first Open Source Architecture add-on.
The plan was to offer 16-node clustering for load balancing, fail-over and storage management, Stevens said.
Within three months after that, Red Hat plans to offer a J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) application server.
This product would be based on JOnAS (Java Open Application Server), from European middleware consortium ObjectWeb, Stevens said. Red Hat last month announced it joined ObjectWeb.
Systems management software that allowed provisioning, upgrading and monitoring of servers was due out in the same time frame as the application server, Red Hat said.
Pricing for the Open Source Architecture additions to Red Hat Enterprise Linux has yet to be determined.