IBM and Red Hat

IBM and Red Hat

I wonder, is IBM (Big Blue) going to be able to keep its mitts off Red Hat (maybe Big Red) despite IBM's executive team committing to leaving Red Hat alone by having "a blue [IBM] line and a red [Red Hat] line."

Red Hat has managed to hit the nail on the head every single time in the last twenty years; however, IBM has managed to miss nearly all of the large nails for the last thirty years.

IBM sold is foundry, sold its PC business, missed the smartphone market, missed the tablet market, missed the cloud business (until 2014 when it purchased SoftLayer) along with many other massive market opportunities missed.

IBM appears to be on a thirty to forty year sleepwalk.

In the last two years, its Power Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) development with NVIDIA's NVLINK and OpenCAPI have proved to be incredibly successful.

The Power ISA is World-leading. Supercomputer manufacturer Cray is in serious trouble with the onset of Power9 in High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications. American laboratories are signing up for supercomputers made up of IBM, Mellanox and NVIDIA hardware.

Red Hat nestles its way into the majority of HPC applications through CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Scientific Linux (SL) being used as the supercomputer's operating system. Red Hat Ceph Storage and Gluster Storage offerings are used for HPC storage applications, furthering Red Hat's revenues for support.

Red Hat embraces open source practices; IBM mostly follows the mainstream Microsoft attitude to prevent open source practices at any cost.

Microsoft has since spectacularly U-turned through their current CEO, Satya Nadella, who has created a more open culture which is accepting in acquiring open projects to further develop and use in Microsoft operating systems and services.

IBM will find it very hard to wreck Red Hat; however, Red Hat will find it difficult to change IBM's culture.

For IBM to change, it needs someone to come into the business, CEO or alternative position, who can revolutionalise the institutionalism within IBM.

When looking at IBM, I do not see a bloated company; however, openness would make for an interesting look at bloat. Pushing project into the public domain allows those employees to maintain the project to continue with community support or move onto other projects allowing the community to support the open source project.