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  1. ARMONK, N.Y. and RALEIGH, N.C. — July 9, 2019 — Acquisition positions IBM as the leading hybrid cloud provider and accelerates IBM’s high-value business model, extending Red Hat’s open source innovation to a broader range of clients IBM preserves Red Hat’s independence and neutrality; Red Hat will strengthen its existing partnerships to give customers freedom, choice and flexibility Red Hat’s unwavering commitment to open source remains unchanged Together, IBM and Red Hat will deliver next-generation hybrid multicloud platform IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Red Hat announced today that they have closed the transaction under which IBM acquired all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Red Hat for $190.00 per share in cash, representing a total equity value of approximately $34 billion. The acquisition redefines the cloud market for business. Red Hat’s open hybrid cloud technologies are now paired with the unmatched scale and depth of IBM’s innovation and industry expertise, and sales leadership in more than 175 countries. Together, IBM and Red Hat will accelerate innovation by offering a next-generation hybrid multicloud platform. Based on open source technologies, such as Linux and Kubernetes, the platform will allow businesses to securely deploy, run and manage data and applications on-premises and on private and multiple public clouds. "Businesses are starting the next chapter of their digital reinventions, modernizing infrastructure and moving mission-critical workloads across private clouds and multiple clouds from multiple vendors," said Ginni Rometty, IBM chairman, president and CEO. "They need open, flexible technology to manage these hybrid multicloud environments. And they need partners they can trust to manage and secure these systems. IBM and Red Hat are uniquely suited to meet these needs. As the leading hybrid cloud provider, we will help clients forge the technology foundations of their business for decades to come." "When we talk to customers, their challenges are clear: They need to move faster and differentiate through technology. They want to build more collaborative cultures, and they need solutions that give them the flexibility to build and deploy any app or workload, anywhere," said Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO, Red Hat. "We think open source has become the de facto standard in technology because it enables these solutions. Joining forces with IBM gives Red Hat the opportunity to bring more open source innovation to an even broader range of organizations and will enable us to scale to meet the need for hybrid cloud solutions that deliver true choice and agility." Red Hat will continue to be led by Jim Whitehurst and its current management team. Whitehurst is joining IBM’s senior management team, reporting to Ginni Rometty. IBM will maintain Red Hat’s headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, its facilities, brands and practices. Red Hat will operate as a distinct unit within IBM and will be reported as part of IBM’s Cloud and Cognitive Software segment. Both companies have already built leading enterprise cloud businesses with consistent strong revenue growth by helping customers transition their business models to the cloud. IBM’s cloud revenue has grown from 4 percent of total revenue in 2013 to 25 percent today. This growth comes through a comprehensive range of as-a-service offerings and software, services and hardware that enable IBM to advise, build, move and manage cloud solutions across public, private and on-premises environments for customers. IBM cloud revenue for the 12-month period through the first quarter of this year grew to over $19 billion. The Red Hat acquisition is expected to contribute approximately two points of compound annual revenue growth to IBM over a five-year period. Red Hat’s fiscal year 2019 revenue was $3.4 billion, up 15 percent year-over-year. Fiscal first quarter 2020 revenue, reported in June, was $934 million, up 15 percent year-over-year. In that quarter, subscription revenue was up 15 percent year-over-year, including revenue from application development-related and other emerging technology offerings up 24 percent year-over-year. Services revenue also grew 17 percent. The Hybrid Cloud Opportunity Digital reinvention is at an inflection point as businesses enter the next chapter of their cloud journey. Most enterprises today are approximately 20 percent into their transition to the cloud. In this first chapter of their cloud journey, businesses made great strides in reducing costs, boosting productivity and revitalizing their customer-facing innovation programs. Chapter two, however, is about shifting mission-critical workloads to the cloud and optimizing everything from supply chains to core banking systems. To succeed in the next chapter of the cloud, businesses need to manage their entire IT infrastructure, on and off-premises and across different clouds — private and public – in a way that is simple, consistent and integrated. Businesses are seeking one common environment they can build once and deploy in any one of the appropriate footprints to be faster and more agile. IBM’s offerings have evolved to reflect new customer needs and drive greater growth. The acquisition of Red Hat further strengthens IBM as the leader in hybrid cloud for the enterprise. "As organizations seek to increase their pace of innovation to stay competitive, they are looking to open source and a distributed cloud environment to enable a new wave of digital innovation that wasn’t possible before. Over the next five years, IDC expects enterprises to invest heavily in their journeys to the cloud, and innovation on it. A large and increasing portion of this investment will be on open hybrid and multicloud environments that enable them to move apps, data and workloads across different environments," said Frank Gens, Senior Vice President and Chief Analyst, IDC. "With the acquisition of Red Hat, and IBM’s commitment to Red Hat’s independence, IBM is well positioned to help enterprises differentiate themselves in their industry by capitalizing on open source in this emerging hybrid and multicloud world." The collective ability of IBM and Red Hat to unlock the true value of hybrid cloud for businesses is already resonating among customers moving to the next chapter of digital reinvention. "Delta is constantly exploring current and emerging technology as we transform the air travel experience," said Ed Bastian, Delta CEO. "We’ve been working with both IBM and Red Hat for years to deliver on that goal, and as they together build the next generation IT company, they will be an essential part of our digital transformation." "As a long-standing partner of Red Hat and IBM, we look forward to capabilities that these two companies will bring together," said Michael Poser, Managing Director and Chief Information Officer, Enterprise Technology & Services, Morgan Stanley. "We know first-hand how important and impactful cloud technology contributes to unlocking business value." IBM Reinforces Commitment to Open Source and Red Hat Neutrality IBM and Red Hat have deep open source values and experience. The two companies have worked together for more than 20 years to make open source the default choice for modern IT solutions. This includes the importance of open governance and helping open source projects and communities flourish through continued contribution. With Red Hat, IBM has acquired one of the most important software companies in the IT industry. Red Hat’s pioneering business model helped bring open source – including technologies like Linux, Kubernetes, Ansible, Java, Ceph and many more – into the mainstream for enterprises. Today, Linux is the most used platform for development. Red Hat Enterprise Linux alone is expected to contribute to more than $10 trillion worth of global business revenues in 2019. By 2023, an additional 640,000 people are expected to work in Red Hat-related jobs. IBM has committed to scaling and accelerating open source and hybrid cloud for businesses across industries, as well as preserving the independence and neutrality of Red Hat’s open source heritage. This includes its open source community leadership, contributions and development model; product portfolio, services, and go-to-market strategy; robust developer and partner ecosystems, and unique culture. Red Hat’s mission and unwavering commitment to open source will remain unchanged, and Red Hat will continue to offer the choice and flexibility inherent to open source and hybrid IT environments. Red Hat also will continue to build and expand its partnerships, including those with major cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Alibaba. IBM and Red Hat also share a strong commitment to social responsibility and a sense of purpose for applying technology and expertise to help address some of the world’s most significant societal challenges. Together, the two companies have committed to expanding this longstanding commitment through new joint initiatives, addressing education and skills, civic and societal needs and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) workforce development. For more information visit: https://ibm.com/blogs/corporate-social-responsibility/2019/07/be-open-and-change-the-world/ For more information on today’s news, visit: https://newsroom.ibm.com/ and https://www.ibm.com/redhat About IBM For more information about IBM, visit https://www.ibm.com. Source
  2. IBM closes $34 billion deal to buy Red Hat (Reuters) - International Business Machines Corp (IBM.N) said on Tuesday it has closed its $34 billion acquisition of software company Red Hat Inc (RHT.N) as it looks to ramp up its cloud computing business. The logo for IBM is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid Underscoring the drive into high-margin businesses, IBM in October agreed to buy Red Hat, the company’s biggest acquisition in its more than 100-year history. Ginni Rometty, IBM chief executive since 2012, has steered the company toward faster-growing segments such as cloud, software and services and away from traditional hardware products, but not without a bumpy journey. The newer areas of focus have sometimes underwhelmed investors. The company, which won approval for the purchase from EU regulators in late June and U.S. regulators in May, agreed to pay $190 a share for Red Hat, representing a 63 percent premium. Founded in 1993, Red Hat specializes in Linux operating systems, the most popular type of open-source software and an alternative to proprietary software made by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O). IBM has faced years of revenue declines as it transitions from its legacy computer hardware business into new technology products and services. Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst and his management team will remain in place. Whitehurst will join IBM’s senior management team and report to Rometty. IBM will maintain Red Hat’s headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, its facilities, brands and practices and said it operate as a distinct unit within IBM. The companies said IBM and Red Hat will offer “a next-generation hybrid multicloud platform” that will be “based on open source technologies, such as Linux and Kubernetes.” IBM’s cloud strategy has focused on helping companies stitch together multiple cloud platforms rather than compete head on with “hyperscale” cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, a unit of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), Microsoft and Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O). IBM said Red Hat will continue “to build and expand its partnerships, including those with major cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and Alibaba.” Since 2013, IBM’s cloud revenue as a percentage of total revenue has grown six-fold to 25 percent. In the 12 months through the first quarter of 2019, cloud revenue exceeded $19 billion. Red Hat is expected to contribute approximately two points of compound annual revenue growth over a five-year period, IBM said. Source: IBM closes $34 billion deal to buy Red Hat
  3. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - U.S. tech giant International Business Machines Corp is set to secure unconditional EU approval for its $34 billion bid for software company Red Hat, people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday. IBM is seeking to expand its subscription-based software offerings via the deal, its biggest to date, to counter slowing software sales and waning demand for mainframe servers. It would also help it catch up with Amazon, Alphabet Inc and Microsoft in the fast growing cloud computing business. The European Commission, which is scheduled to decide on the deal by June 27, and IBM declined to comment. Founded in 1993, Red Hat specializes in Linux operating systems, the most popular type of open-source software and an alternative to proprietary software made by Microsoft. U.S. regulatory authorities gave the green light to the deal last month without demanding concessions. Source
  4. “The European Commission has approved unconditionally … the proposed acquisition of Red Hat by IBM, both information technology companies based in the US,” a statement from the EU executive said. “The Commission concluded that the transaction would raise no competition concerns,” it added. The commission, the guardian of competition in the EU, took very little time to authorise the operation and has not demanded any concessions from the companies. If approved by authorities worldwide, the tie-up will be the third biggest tech merger in history, according to CNBC. Red Hat said it was the biggest involving a software company. Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services over the internet, including storage and software, and is considered fundamental to a highly connected world. The EU’s anti-trust teams have taken close looks at tech mergers, including Facebook’s buyout of WhatsApp, in which the social network was fined in 2017 for failing to provide correct information. Brussels’ bans on mergers are extremely rare: since the arrival of European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager at the end of 2014, there have only been six. Once known primarily for its computer hardware, IBM has made cloud computing a priority in its growth strategy, like Amazon and Microsoft. Red Hat will continue to operate as a separate unit led by its current management team. Founded in 1993, Red Hat launched its famous version of Linux OS a year later, becoming a pioneering proponent of the open source movement that arose to counter giants like Microsoft whose models were based on keeping their source code secret. The Raleigh, North Carolina based company is today present in 35 countries and employs some 12,000 people, and is one of the best-known open-source players whose customers pay for tailor-made solutions. Source
  5. New Delhi: After the International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) completed the acquisition of Red Hat for $34 billion earlier this month, a top executive from the iconic software company with an open source development model has said that it was a "match made in heaven" that will help it accelerate growth globally, including in India. In India, Red Hat, which specialises in Linux operating systems, has engineering facilities in Pune and Bengaluru. "We do think that there is an opportunity to accelerate growth (after the acquisition) -- not just in the India market, but also in the broader market. But it does exist for sure in India. I think we have an opportunity to scale much more quickly," John Allessio, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global Services, Red Hat Inc, told IANS in a freewheeling chat here. The acquisition by Big Blue won't change Red Hat's "mission", nor will it curtail its contribution to the open source community, Allessio stressed. Raleigh, North Carolina-headquartered Red Hat reported $3.4 billion in revenue in the 2019 financial year -- up 15 per cent year-on-year. "Red Hat has experienced 69 quarters of continuous growth which means every quarter you are hiring people across the word and that is going to continue for sure," Allessio said. "After the acquisition, we are still an independent software company. What changed is that instead of having an external shareholder, we now have an internal shareholder," he explained. Founded in 1993, Red Hat is credited for bringing open source -- including technologies like Linux, Kubernetes, Ansible, Java and Ceph, among others -- into the mainstream for the enterprises. Today, Red Hat products and services are widely used by government agencies as well as emerging companies in technology, finance, healthcare, civil aviation and other industries. Armonk, New York-headquartered IBM particularly hopes that Red Hat's open hybrid Cloud technologies would help it position itself as a leading hybrid Cloud provider. "At the core of what we do is turning projects in the open source communities into products because at the end of the day, our customer is an enterprise software customer," Allessio said. IBM also participates in open source communities, but it does not "productise" the open source projects. Instead, it develops its own proprietary products. "I think it is an opportunity for IBM to learn this DNA of Red Hat -- how do we do it -- and decide -- they have not yet decided -- if this applies to the IBM software development process. IBM has already stated that they are very much interested in our services division," Allessio added. What has fundamentally changed after the acquisition is that IBM is no longer just a business partner for Red Hat, it is now a strategic business partner. "From a go to market to operations, development and support, IBM does not help Red Hat. They help us by being a new strategic business partner," he said, adding that Red Hat will continue to operate with its other business partners. Source
  6. Managed services and software optimized for Red Hat OpenShift and Linux aimed at helping enterprises move to the cloud. Image: IBM CEO Ginni Rometty with Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst It's only been three weeks since IBM closed its $34 billion takeover of Red Hat, and that was as long as the company was willing to wait until it announced its first joint products with the new subsidiary. According to IBM, it has already "transformed its software portfolio to be cloud-native and optimized it to run on Red Hat OpenShift." The new Cloud Paks are containerized software, specialized by workload and optimized to run on Red Hat's implementation of the open source container application platform OpenShift. They are meant to help enterprises move to the cloud. IBM also announced Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud as a fully managed service and Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Z and LinuxONE for its mainframe customers. In addition, it's offering consulting and technology services for Red Hat, utilizing what it says is "one of the world's largest teams of Red Hat-certified consultants and more than 80,000 cloud application services practitioners" to help its customers move to cloud environments and maintain their cloud infrastructures once the move is made. "Red Hat is unlocking innovation with Linux-based technologies, including containers and Kubernetes, which have become the fundamental building blocks of hybrid cloud environments," Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said in a statement. "This open hybrid cloud foundation is what enables the vision of any app, anywhere, anytime. Combined with IBM's strong industry expertise and supported by a vast ecosystem of passionate developers and partners, customers can create modern apps with the technologies of their choice and the flexibility to deploy in the best environment for the app -- whether that is on-premises or across multiple public clouds." The first five Cloud Paks out of the gate are: Cloud Pak for Data, which the company says will simplify and automate deriving insights from data while providing an open and extensible architecture to virtualize data for AI faster. Cloud Pak for Applications to help businesses modernize, build, deploy, and run applications. Cloud Pak for Integration of apps, data, cloud services, and APIs. Cloud Pak for Automation to help transform business processes, decisions, and content. Cloud Pak for Multicloud Management to provide multicloud visibility, governance, and automation. According to IBM, the Cloud Paks provide a common operating model and common set of services with a unified and intuitive dashboard. "IBM is unleashing its software from the data center to fuel the enterprise workload race to the cloud," Arvind Krishna, IBM's senior VP of cloud and cognitive software, said in a statement. "This will further position IBM the industry leader in the more than one-trillion-dollar hybrid cloud opportunity. We are providing the essential tools enterprises need to make their multi-year journey to cloud on common, open standards that can reach across clouds, across applications and across vendors with Red Hat." All in all, the company says the new software and services draw on more than 100 products from IBM's software portfolio that are optimized for Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Source
  7. In late 2017, Microsoft launched Windows 10 on ARM to let users run its operating system on the ARM processor-powered laptops, especially the ones powered by Snapdragon chips. The company also released a bunch of devices in partnership with OEMs like Asus, HP, and Lenovo, and marketed them as “Always Connected Devices.” Earlier this year, when a project named aarch64-laptops started gaining traction on GitHub, it seemed like a great idea to run Linux on ARM laptops. The project initially allowed users to run Ubuntu on Snapdragon-powered laptops like NovaGo TP370QL, HP Envy x2, and Lenovo Mixx 630. Now, it has been revealed that Red Hat is working with Fedora team to bring Fedora Linux to such devices. Red Hat is known for its commitment to the Linux hardware and it seems like this joint effort will be enough to clear different roadblocks. Red Hat’s Peter Robinson, in a tweet, mentioned that such Fedora running ARM laptops are coming “very soon.” What’s next for Linux on ARM? Just recently, we witnessed the release of Fedora 30 Beta and the final release is also around the corner. So don’t expect Fedora on the ARM laptop to ship in this cycle. To start with, the initial focus of this collaboration will be Lenovo devices running Snapdragon 850, which was introduced as a higher-binned version of 845. Yoga C630 and Miix 630 are a couple of great machines with this chip and it would be really interesting to see Linux running on these laptops that deliver ~20 hours battery life on Windows. Overall, it seems like a big development and I’d definitely love to use an ARM-based laptop running Linux. Source
  8. By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols for Linux and Open Source Red Hat's little brother server operating system will now come with a rolling release option: CentOS Stream for developers. If you need enterprise Linux with support, Red Hat wants to sell you Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). If not, Red Hat will be happy if you use CentOS, the RHEL clone. It's not updated as often, but it does the job. Now, Red Hat is switching things up by offering a rolling release version of its popular server operating system: CentOS Stream. A rolling release is one in which all of the operating system -- kernel, libraries utilities and applications -- is continuously updated. Examples of these include Arch, Manjaro, and openSUSE Tumbleweed. The more typical roll-up releases consolidate recent updates into a stable tested operating system. You might well ask why Red Hat would release a version of CentOS, which is the Linux of choice for many hosting companies, data centers, and businesses with in-house Linux experts. The answer, according to Chris Wright, Red Hat's CTO, is it's "a developer-forward distribution that aims to help community members, Red Hat partners and others take full advantage of open source innovation within a more stable and predictable Linux ecosystem. It is a parallel distribution to existing CentOS." It's needed because the server space is changing faster than ever. With the ever accelerating pace of Linux containers, Kubernetes, microservices, serverless and cloud-native services, companies, which want to stay on the leading edge of technology need a distribution that can keep up with these developments. That said, Red Hat's community Linux, Fedora, is still Red Hat's bleeding edge release. In the past, changes in Fedora which worked out were slowly incorporated "downstream" into RHEL. Then, RHEL developers hardened and polished these packages added security updates and integrated them into the broader RHEL ecosystem. Only after that would the RHEL source code be released to CentOS. Now, while Fedora is where the RHEL family starts, CentOS Stream will also play a role in creating the next generation of RHEL. Wright wrote that "developers need something more to address their specific challenges. They require earlier access to code, improved and more transparent collaboration with the broader partner community, and the ability to influence the direction of new RHEL versions. It is these opportunities that CentOS Stream is intended to address." So, if you need a stable RHEL-like operating system, CentOS will still be there for you. But, if you need to keep up with your competitors who are building new cloud and container-based applications, CentOS Stream will work better for you. As Wright said, "The CentOS Stream project sits between the Fedora Project and RHEL in the RHEL Development process, providing a "rolling preview" of future RHEL kernels and features. This enables developers to stay one or two steps ahead of what's coming in RHEL." To be exact, CentOS Stream is an upstream development platform for ecosystem developers. It will be updated several times a day. This is not a production operating system. It's purely a developer's distro. Wright encourages, "users that want to be more tightly involved in driving the future of enterprise Linux, however, to transition to CentOS Stream as the new 'pace-setting' distribution." Old school CentOS isn't going anywhere. Stream is available in parallel with the existing CentOS builds. In other words, "nothing changes for current users of CentOS." Source
  9. IBM said its cloud and cognitive software revenue -- which includes Red Hat -- was up 8.7% to $7.2 billion. IBM published its fourth quarter financial results on Tuesday, with a full quarter of Red Hat now in the fold. The company is showing signs of a return to growth, although year-over-year revenues were up just slightly for the quarter and still down overall for 2019. For Q4, IBM reported a non-GAAP EPS of $4.71 on revenue of $21.8 billion, up 0.1% year-over-year. Analysts were expecting earnings of $4.68 per share on revenue of $21.64 billion. For the full FY 2019, non-GAAP earnings per share came to $12.81 on revenues of $77.1 billion, down 3.1 year-over-year. The fiscal results are in line with analyst estimates. Shares of IBM were up nearly 5% after hours. "We ended 2019 on a strong note, returning to overall revenue growth in the quarter, led by accelerated cloud performance," said IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty. "Looking ahead, this positions us for sustained revenue growth in 2020 as we continue to help our clients shift their mission-critical workloads to the hybrid cloud and scale their efforts to become a cognitive enterprise." Cloud and cognitive software revenue -- which includes Red Hat -- was up 8.7% to $7.2 billion. Red Hat specifically contributed $573 million to IBM's cloud and software sales. Meanwhile, systems revenue climbed 16% led by the IBM Z, IBM's smaller footprint mainframe that utilizes design thinking. Storage systems showed growth but technology services revenue in the quarter fell 4.8%. Global business services sales were down 0.6%. IBM said cloud revenue was $21.2 billion for fiscal 2019, up 11%. Going forward, a goal for IBM will be capitalizing on the expected growth in enterprise software investments. In its latest IT spending forecast, research firm Gartner suggests that software will be the main driver for spending over 2020, reaching 10.5 percent growth. As for the outlook, IBM said it is on track to deliver non-GAAP earnings of at least $13.35 a share with free cash flow of about $12.5 billion for fiscal 2020. "After completing the acquisition of Red Hat, and with strong free cash flow and disciplined financial management, we significantly deleveraged in the second half," said James Kavanaugh, IBM 's chief financial officer. Source
  10. By Asha Barbaschow Microsoft Australia's CTO told Red Hat Forum his company is committed to open source, and that the fundamental mission driven by Satya Nadella is best achieved through democratisation. Microsoft has copped a lot of flack over comments it has made regarding open source in the past; with one in particular made by its former CEO Steve Ballmer back in 2002 that described Linux and the General Public License as cancers. Highlighting the irony that Microsoft was presenting during Red Hat Forum 2019 in Melbourne on Tuesday, Redmond's Australian CTO Lee Hickin said the company has come a long way since those comments were made. "I recognise the irony of Microsoft here at an open source community event. I'm really proud to do that, and I'm humbled and privileged that we can be on the stage with Red Hat to share our story," Hickin said. Hickin has been with Microsoft on and off since 2005, saying that he's seen three leaders and three very different companies. "We're in an amazing place right now with a leader like Satya who really understands what it means to think about where we need to be for our customers, to really transform the company from being essentially the proprietary software company, to being an open source company," he said. "And I say that with my hand on my heart in a very serious way: We are an open source company, we are committed to open source, we're committed to Red Hat, and we're committed to continuing our engagement and our support to a broad open source community through a range of technologies, not least of which GitHub is one." Hickin touched on the mission that Satya Nadela set for Microsoft when he joined as CEO, which was to empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more. "We try to put that in context of how we, or at least I, internalise that thinking, which is [that] it's about democratising access. As a company, our vision is to democratise access to technology so that the rich power of AI, of data platforms, of services, and tools, and technologies -- whether they be ours, our competitors, our partners, open source, non-open source -- making sure that all of that technology is available to everybody in the best, most efficient, most cost effective way," he said. "So that democratisation, that ability, we want to give our customers the tools they need to make them where they are. "I think it's very aligned with how Red Hat operates." While Hickin said the suite of tools that are currently available under Microsoft would have been previously "unthinkable", he said he's proud to say they now exist. According to Hickin, more than 50% of what goes into Azure is from open source partners. "We are not the proprietary Windows company; we are the open source cloud that has a range of services across a whole bunch of tools and technologies," he said. "Azure is an open source platform and open source stack." Asha Barbaschow travelled to Red Hat Forum as a guest of Red Hat. Source
  11. Why Red Hat killed CentOS—a CentOS board member speaks "The CentOS Board doesn't get to decide what Red Hat engineering teams do." Enlarge / CentOS Linux will be sleeping with the fishes in 2022. Aurich Lawson / Getty Images This morning, The Register's Tim Anderson published excerpts of an interview with the CentOS project's Brian Exelbierd. Exelbierd is a member of the CentOS board and its official liaison with Red Hat. Exelbierd spoke to Anderson to give an insider's perspective on Red Hat's effective termination of CentOS Linux in December, in which the open source giant announced CentOS Linux was to be deprecated immediately—with security upgrades to CentOS Linux 8 ending later in 2021 rather than the 2029 end of support date CentOS users expected. The tail mustn’t wag the dog "CentOS is a [Red Hat] sponsored project," Exelbierd told the Register. "We are the funding agent (the entity which receives and disburses grants), and we also happen to be a heavy contributor. We have learned that open source communities do well with independence. We let those governing bodies govern." The devil in these particular details, of course, is that "the CentOS board doesn't get to decide what Red Hat engineering teams do." This is the contribution that Exelbierd mentioned earlier—specifically, the labor of Red Hat engineering teams. According to Exelbierd, Red Hat decided "we're going to make some fundamental changes in how we direct our investment," then "went to the CentOS project and said, here is a thing Red Hat is going to do." That thing was the cessation of Red Hat's support for CentOS Linux while prioritizing its investment in CentOS Stream, which Exelbierd describes as "critical" to Red Hat. "We laid out our case and we said that we're moving our engineering contribution, people time in some cases... we want to call your attention to them because depending on what you decide to do, there are potential liability issues that could result, so we want to make sure you have a plan." Not a sales push, Exelbierd says Exelbierd says that short-term profits—the migration of some end users from free use of CentOS Linux to paid RHEL subscriptions—was not a key motivator for the company. He pointed out that the email address offered for those considering a switch to RHEL doesn't go to the sales department—"it goes to me and two of my colleagues in the business unit," he said. Rather than a bunch of small sales, Exelbierd says looking for feedback—the sort of feedback Red Hat has not traditionally received from CentOS users, most of whom "never called, never write, they don't interact with us." The feedback address, he says, "is the business model. It is absolutely not a mailing list for salespeople [...] nobody wants to go after the person with one server, two servers, 16 servers. There are definitely going to be some folks for whom their CentOS Linux... will become paid RHEL, absolutely. But our goal was not to sit down and make every CentOS Linux user a revenue RHEL customer." Regarding the quality and readiness of code in CentOS Stream, the forward-tracking rolling release CentOS has been replaced with, Exelbierd says "this stuff has been tested. It is not work in progress." If our customers could consume change that fast, it's what we would ship. [A] lot of CentOS Linux users [run] yum update every single night... Stream's going to do the same thing for [them]. [They're] already leading the Stream life, in a lot of ways." Why Red Hat killed CentOS—a CentOS board member speaks
  12. Red Hat introduces free RHEL for open-source, non-profit organizations Some CentOS users still aren't happy, but Red Hat is keeping its promise to open-source organizations that they'll have access to a free version of RHEL. When Red Hat, CentOS's Linux parent company, announced it was "shifting focus from CentOS Linux, the rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to CentOS Stream," CentOS users were not happy. Now, in an effort to mollify them and to keep its promise to open-source organizations, Red Hat is introducing a new, free RHEL for Open Source Infrastructure. If your non-profit organization, project, standard body, or foundation is "engaged with open source," you can get a free RHEL subscription via this program. Earlier this year, Red Hat introduced no-cost RHEL for small production workloads and for customer development teams. So where does this leave the Red Hat operating system family for open-source organizations? Currently, it looks like this: Fedora for driving leading-edge development of Linux operating system improvements and enhancements. CentOS Stream to test applications and workloads against the next release of the world's leading enterprise Linux platform. RHEL for Open Source Infrastructure to give open source communities, projects, foundations, and other organizations a stable foundation for creating and hosting innovative open-source software. And, of course, you can always just pay for RHEL. Jason Brooks, a Red Hat Open Source Program Office Manager explained: Supporting the open-source software ecosystem is a core objective for Red Hat. This isn't a need that revolves solely around making RHEL and other Red Hat solutions supportable in this landscape. We know that we are part of a larger, interdependent ecosystem that we benefit from and which we do our best to foster and support. This support comes in many forms, but often includes helping open source software projects, foundations, and standards bodies access enterprise technologies for development and testing. We frequently provide no-cost access to RHEL to these groups, but the process isn't as formalized, consistent, accessible, or transparent as we'd like it to be. With the announcement that we will be shifting our resources to CentOS Stream at the end of 2021, we want to make sure that those organizations engaged with open source have access to RHEL as they build and test the future of open-source software. In the past, Brooks added, Red Hat did this for open-source organizations, but it wasn't well-organized. Now, "we want to make sure that those organizations engaged with open source have access to RHEL as they build and test the future of open-source software." That said, this version of RHEL won't work for all open-source developer groups today. Brooks explained: "We realize this program doesn't cover situations where open-source projects are using Public CI (continuous integration) infrastructure provided by third-parties. This and other programs are still being worked on. So, we're definitely not yet done expanding RHEL programs to meet community needs and want to hear from you." One organization, at least, is already on board and it likes it a lot. The GNOME Foundation's executive director Neil McGovern, said: As a non-profit, we rely on donations to help us achieve our goal of a world where everyone is empowered by technology they can trust. RHEL subscriptions are an essential part of this. With full operating system management and security updates, we can concentrate on the services we provide to GNOME users and developers without having to worry about the underlying systems. Red Hat has generously provided these services to GNOME at zero cost for years, and we look forward to continuing our relationship for a long time to come. GNOME is also the default desktop in RHEL Workstation. Linux vendors and open-source organizations have long been intertwined with each other. It's all part of the open-source method where even bitter rivals in business work together on the code. Not everyone is ready to sing kumbaya together. As one Reddit CentOS user said, "The only reason these changes happened is because of the backlash." Others, however, pointed out Red Hat had promised from the start when it announced its CentOS changes that it would introduce " low- or no-cost programs for a variety of use cases, including options for open source projects and communities." Still not interested? There are many CentOS alternatives and two new RHEL clones, which duplicate the functionality of the original CentOS -- AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux -- should be ready for production in a few weeks. But, if you are interested in knowing more about RHEL for Open Source Infrastructure? Send Red Hat a note to [email protected] Source: Red Hat introduces free RHEL for open-source, non-profit organizations
  13. Red Hat withdraws from the Free Software Foundation after Stallman’s return Corporate sponsors and board members alike are retreating from RMS-gate. Enlarge / The Free Software Foundation might be happy to have RMS back on its board, but much of the Free Software world feels otherwise. Last week, Richard M. Stallman—father of the GNU Public License that underpins Linux and a significant part of the user-facing software that initially accompanied the Linux kernel—returned to the board of the Free Software Foundation after a two-year hiatus due to his own highly controversial remarks about his perception of Jeffrey Epstein's victims as "[appearing to be] entirely willing." As a result of RMS' reinstatement, Red Hat—the Raleigh, North Carolina-based open source software giant that produces Red Hat Enterprise Linux—has publicly withdrawn funding and support from the Free Software Foundation: Red Hat was appalled to learn that [Stallman] had rejoined the FSF board of directors. As a result, we are immediately suspending all Red Hat funding of the FSF and any FSF-hosted events. Red Hat's relatively brief statement goes on to acknowledge an FSF statement on board governance that appeared on the same day: We will adopt a transparent, formal process for identifying candidates and appointing new board members who are wise, capable, and committed to the FSF's mission. We will establish ways for our supporters to contribute to the discussion. We will require all existing board members to go through this process as soon as possible, in stages, to decide which of them remain on the board. We will add a staff representative to the board of directors. The FSF staff will elect that person. The directors will consult with legal counsel about changes to the organization's by-laws to implement these changes. We have set ourselves a deadline of thirty days for making these changes. But Red Hat says the statement gives it "no reason to believe that [the statement] signals any meaningful commitment to positive change." This sentiment seems to be widely shared by many, including at least one FSF board member—Kat Walsh—who opposed RMS' reinstatement and resigned her board position on the same day as the board's statement and Red Hat's withdrawal. Immediately following Walsh's resignation, the FSF announced the creation of a new board seat, to be filled with someone from FSF union staff; on Sunday, it filled this new seat with senior system administrator Ian Kelling. FSF President Geoffrey Knauth describes the new seat: The board and voting members look forward to having the participation of the staff via this designated seat in our future deliberations. This is an important step in the FSF's effort to recognize and support new leadership, to connect that leadership to the community, to improve transparency and accountability, and to build trust. There is still considerable work to be done, and that work will continue. Knauth, who began serving in his current role as FSF president in August 2020, declared that it's only a temporary gig: I commit myself to resign as an FSF officer, director, and voting member as soon as there is a clear path for new leadership assuring continuity of the FSF’s mission and compliance with fiduciary requirements. The elephant in the room that the FSF's remaining board members seem determined to ignore is the continued presence of Stallman himself—who, along with the rest of the FSF board, will soon need to undergo its new "transparent, formal process for identifying [members] who are wise, capable, and committed to the FSF's mission." Why Stallman? It's probably worth re-examining the FSF's stated mission to understand its choice to reinstate Stallman, who has been widely panned as far too controversial to make an effective software evangelist. The Free Software Foundation is working to secure freedom for computer users by promoting the development and use of free (as in freedom) software and documentation—particularly the GNU operating system—and by campaigning against threats to computer user freedom like Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) and software patents. Although this statement leads with "promoting development and use of [free software]," it immediately veers off into the Stallman-esque weeds with an implicit declaration that the GNU toolkit is an entire "operating system." From there, it moves into "campaigning against" perceived enemies of software freedom rather than campaigning for that freedom itself. The next section, "Our Core Work," moves on from promotion entirely, which we'll summarize here with one bullet point per paragraph: The FSF maintains historic articles The FSF sponsors the GNU software project The FSF holds copyright on large amounts of code The FSF publishes the GNU General Public License The FSF campaigns for free software adoption, and against proprietary software We suspect that closely examining the FSF's own mission statements—as opposed to simply assuming its mission—answers many of the questions about RMS' return. The FSF describes itself as an organization far more concerned with maintaining a part of history it holds dear—and attacking its perceived enemies, whether real or not—than with discovery, outreach, and mentorship to new faces in free software. Red Hat withdraws from the Free Software Foundation after Stallman’s return
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