IBM All In on Open Source with its Acquisition of Red Hat
It’s becoming an increasingly open world as it relates to software development. This openness is giving organizations of all sizes from enterprise to startups the ability to realize a new kind of agility in software development. Red Hat wrote the playbook on commercializing open source software for infrastructure through its supported Linux distro, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).
The news that IBM is spending nearly a third of its market capitalization to acquire Red Hat, while a very significant transaction, is not surprising. IBM had been late to cloud computing but made strategic acquisitions like SoftLayer to establish a seat at the table in a market that has become very lucrative for the likes of AWS, Microsoft, Google and of course IBM. IBM’s announcement is one in a series of moves to establish a stronger and more complete infrastructure offering for its customers.
While the announcement and news coverage of this transaction focuses on how open source technology is powerful in building the cloud of the future, we firmly believe that this applies to the edge as well. Open source has become a de facto cornerstone of Internet infrastructure, validating the open source development model. Without open source we would not have technologies like Apache, DNS, Hadoop and countless others which today are core elements of the modern internet and enterprise. Edgeworx, like Red Hat, is committed to helping developers build novel solutions that are borne from the open source community. Edgeworx, which launched this week, are the creators and maintainers of the Eclipse Foundation ioFog project. ioFog enables developers to rapidly deploy intelligent, connected and secure edge networks built from nodes that are running the ioFog engine.
We are already seeing great traction with customers who are building and deploying edge applications, and the ease of use and robustness is largely a result of the underlying software being open source. While an entirely proprietary approach might enable similar capabilities, our experience over the years is that our users will benefit from a stack that is built with the support of the open source community. Our customers are being successful in focusing their scarce development resources in areas that create value – primarily in the microservices they are implementing on top of ioFog – not in building the infrastructure itself.
At Edgeworx, we are very excited about how the IBM and Red Hat deal validates our core thesis – that building from a foundation of open source is the only way to deliver truly remarkable computing infrastructure. We believe the same trend will play out at the edge. There are 34 billion reasons why open source is the way to go!