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ChuangTzu 10-28-2018 02:42 PM

IBM to Acquire Red Hat for $34 Billion
Not Aprils Fool!

IBM announced today that it will acquire open source firm Red Hat for approximately $34 billion in cash and debt.

“The acquisition of Red Hat is a game-changer,” IBM chairman Ginni Rometty said in a prepared statement. “IBM will become the world’s number one hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses.”

Steve R. 10-28-2018 03:30 PM

Good news or bad news?

Does the acquisition of open-source companies by companies having a proprietary product footprint mean bad news for the Linux community?
The acquisition of MySQL by Oracle seems to have left a bad taste in the open-source community considering the spinoff - MariaDB.
Recently Microsoft bought GitHub, the effects of that purchase are unknown at this time.

I don't know enough about the IBM culture on whether the acquisition of Red Hat would be good or bad for the Linux community.

ChuangTzu 10-28-2018 03:48 PM


agillator 10-28-2018 09:09 PM

It could go either way. However, IBM has been pretty open over the years, it seems to me. The IBM culture has always been one of supporting customers and being up front with people, so if I were to guess I would have to say I would expect it to benefit the community. For that matter remember when the personal computer movement started. Apple was out there, locked up tighter than a drum so if you wanted to play with home computers to you had to use Apple hardware, Apple software, Apple everything. Then IBM got into the act and decided to open everything up allowing others to make compatible hardware, write software that would run on their machines and eventually actually enabled others to market similar machines. In looking back the 'experts' thought it was probably a bad business decision because eventually the IBM PC lost its market to competitors IBM had allowed to be created and exist. Of course that was the IBM culture. I remember if an IBM mainframe went down the on site technician took it personally that that machine would DARE do that to him. It has been many years but I suspect the IBM culture has not changed that much. My guess, and it is only a guess, is that the Linux community will not be hurt and that it may well benefit greatly. Red Hat has shown open source can be profitable. I suspect IBM may show just how profitable free and open source can truly be. In my day IBM had 90% of the U.S. mainframe market not because their hardware was cutting edge, it wasn't at least not until the 360 came out if then; they were always about half a generation behind in the hardware. It was because their hardware was reliable, their support was superb, and they made up for that half-generation difference with software. Their stuff worked. End of story.

I will be surprised if IBM does not follow Red Hat's pattern of using free and open source to develop their enterprise products and basically make their money off commercial support. That's just a guess, but that's what I expect.

cynwulf 10-29-2018 06:42 AM

This move does make IBM/Red Hat one of the biggest donors by far to the Linux kernel. IBM are already "platinum" donors (alongside MS, Intel, google, et al), Red Hat is a "silver" donor. What else does it mean? I honestly have no idea...

But IBM/Red Hat has very little presence in the TAB or board of directors. But of course "money talks" and the project is really not in a position to just ignore those who pay for everything.

Linux has become vital to business, it's as simple as that. The fickle needs of "community" project distributions have become a secondary concern to the real business needs of the likes of google, who put out the most common Linux product by far.

These kind of acquisitions only tell us that the competitive race to get a slice of the Linux pie is heating up. Microsoft have been making their moves, who can say what will follow. But usually these things set off a "domino effect" as competitors rush to keep up. Resting on laurels and simply doing nothing is never enough in today's cut and thrust global market.

There is no telling where this is all going, no way to tell what the impact on "code" will be or the direction of the Linux kernel project going forward. It's likely that your Linux based OS will continue to "just work" going forward.

The MS Windows I am using right now also just works.

We have to consider that SUSE was also "acquired" about 4 times thus far. It went to Micro Focus International a few years ago (the same company who bought Autonomy from HP Enterprise) who sold it on - and it's currently in the hands of a private equity firm (to be sold on yet again of course).

We can't really say for sure what will happen to Red Hat in the future as a result of this. So there is no real guarantee that Red Hat won't be passed around and asset stripped, etc.

prayag_pjs 10-29-2018 07:09 AM

I would say it will pave way to other Linux Support and Developing companies, if IBM makes RHEL/ IBM-RHEL costly!
May be we all can create a new Linux Development and Support company (just a thought :) )

ag123 10-29-2018 09:17 AM

i'd think it would mostly be cloud services or software as a service kind of venture, e.g. to setup something like aws, google cloud, ms azure, centered around rh enterprise os.

YesItsMe 10-29-2018 09:33 AM

IBM trying to survive Oracle? Ha!

DavidMcCann 10-30-2018 11:52 AM

My two penn'oth

ChuangTzu 10-30-2018 05:35 PM

Found this post from a recently former RedHat employee:

ChuangTzu 10-30-2018 05:42 PM


ttk 10-30-2018 10:04 PM

From (thread of same topic as this one, closed by Jeremy, so continuing here)


Originally Posted by mralk3


Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
Nothing prevents someone from forking the last CentOS release, call it something else, and continue on. It may not end up to be Fedora compatible over time, but if you aren't gonna pay, why would you worry about that?

Originally Posted by kikinovak
Sheer lack of manpower would prevent you from doing that in practice. Right now the CentOS team is a group roughly the size of the Slackware team, whose only scope and motivation is to build a coherent distribution from upstream sources, without any modification except replacing artwork and logos.
Funny this should be mentioned. There was some discussion on the CentOS mailing list recently about systemd and some suggestions that CentOS should be forked to remove it. Sure it would be A LOT of work, but there is some interest to do so. However, demands were made but nobody actually took any action. I doubt anything will ever come of it.
If you are interested in going this route, I would recommend forking ScientificLinux6 rather than CentOS6. SL is more actively fork-friendly, and even provides tools for creating "contexts" and "respins":

If someone hurries, they might be able to whip something out in time to be a systemd-free competitor to RHEL8. Fedora 29 was just released, upon which RHEL8 will likely be based, and that tells you the package versions you'd need it to support:

jens 10-31-2018 09:09 AM


Originally Posted by ttk (Post 5921114)
a systemd-free competitor to RHEL8

CentOS isn't a RHEL "competitor".
Breaking compatibility would defeat its entire purpose of existing.

ttk 10-31-2018 09:40 AM


Originally Posted by jens (Post 5921271)
CentOS isn't a RHEL "competitor".
Breaking compatibility would defeat its entire purpose of existing.

Yes, which is why it would need to be a fork.

Forks are for taking projects in a different direction.

YesItsMe 10-31-2018 09:41 AM

Because there aren't already too many distributions.

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