08 January 2014

On Red Hat and CentOS joining forces

Red Hat and CentOS joining forces is a really smart move and it potentially is a win-win scenario for all parties involved: Red Hat, CentOS, community, end-users, FOSS. I won't enter into details, since a lot of people are talking about this already.

However, what baffles me is how little people understand the reasoning. So many comments frame it in the old context: a lot of projects need a no-cost Linux solution, and if they can't use a Red Hat derivative, they will use a Debian flavour and later when money will get involved, they will buy support from Canonical instead of Red Hat. Yes, this is a solid reason, but is the old reason. What we see now is something else.

The real reason for Red Hat embracing CentOS now is written plainly everywhere, from the press release "Red Hat is once again extending its leadership in open source innovation by helping to establish a platform well-suited to the needs of open source developers that integrate technologies in and around the operating system" to the FAQ "Red Hat is taking an active role in the CentOS Project to accelerate the development and broaden the reach of projects such as OpenStack by expanding our base."

These days Red Hat is selling not only the established Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but quoting from the same press release, things like "OpenStack, RDO, Gluster, OpenShift Origin, and oVirt" solutions. Compared with Linux, those technologies have so far less traction but comparable potential. Having CentOS as a strong player and supporting all those technologies will make them more popular and increase the chances for a later sale of more than RHEL.

Everything mentioned above is Free Software, so it can be a win-win for all of us. Of course, there are dangers (GNOME 3, I'm looking at you!) but there are safeguars: if the srpms will be easier to get, projects like Scientific Linux will have the life easier too.

1 comment: