Celebrating 10 years of application development solutions at Red Hat

Red Hat is well known for pioneering the adoption of open source technologies in the enterprise. As the world’s first open source software company to earn more than two billion dollars in revenue, we have long enjoyed a position of leadership in an area that is now considered to be the de facto standard for innovation in IT.

In his book, The Open Organization, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst attributes part of Red Hat’s success to the passion of its people. And it’s true. It was the passionate belief of Red Hat’s earliest employees that Linux was not only an alternative to the dominant operating systems in the mid-to-late 90s, but that it could become a viable contender in the enterprise by harnessing the power of passion, openness, and collaboration that are hallmarks of open source. Today, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the world’s leading open source enterprise operating system platform, powering the majority of Fortune 500 industries.

But, 10 years ago, even before we became a leader in operating systems, we recognized that to maintain this momentum, and to truly become a strategic vendor for our customers, we needed to expand our focus. Building off of our leadership in enterprise infrastructure and operating systems, we set our sights on the application development market and acquired JBoss, the company behind the leading open source Java application platform at that time.

It was no longer good enough to win in operating systems. To be truly strategic, and reach the CIO, we needed to win the hearts and minds of software developers as well. Thus began our expansion and our journey into application development solutions.

We closed the JBoss acquisition, Red Hat’s second-largest acquisition to-date, 10 years ago this month. At first, our only product was a Java application server. But since that time we have built the world’s most comprehensive open source application development and middleware product portfolio, giving developers the tools they need to create, integrate, deploy and manage enterprise applications. The technology that was at the core of the JBoss acquisition remains to this day as one of the foundational elements of the Red Hat JBoss Middleware portfolio, which today celebrates a milestone in and of itself with the launch of JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7, giving Java software developers an on-ramp to cloud-native computing and OpenShift.

Not only have we built out a broad set of middleware technologies as part of our developer offerings, we have pushed the boundaries of cloud and mobile as well. Our award-winning container application platform, OpenShift, and mobile application platform, Red Hat Mobile Application Platform, are helping to propel Red Hat—and our customers—into a new era of lightweight, cloud-native, and highly modular applications using microservices and DevOps processes.

In keeping with our open source roots, we were the first vendor to see that strong open source technologies such as Linux containers using the Docker format and Kubernetes were going to be a foundation for cloud-based application platforms. We became among the leading open source contributors to these technologies and we invested in community-based initiatives such as the Open Container Initiative. We bet on these technologies in a major way, to the point of rewriting our entire OpenShift product to integrate these technologies, which are now widely accepted in the marketplace.

In all we have added more than 15 different application development solutions to our portfolio. We have successfully acquired eight different companies offering application development solutions. We expanded our application development relationships with the leading global systems integrators. We created the Red Hat Innovation Labs to help customers with cloud-native apps and DevOps. And, just last week, we acquired a company called 3scale, which gives us cloud-based API management to help our customers in the API economy. This is just the start of our mission to help companies in their digital transformation process.

Our philosophy toward enterprise application development remains the same today as when we first embarked on this journey. That is why we created the Red Hat Developer program and are embracing open source components and tools to help developers be more productive in this new cloud-based world. We are working with Eclipse Che, an open source browser IDE, and things like Jenkins, Maven, and GitHub. All of these technologies are important foundational elements of the developer’s tool chain.

Our success can be measured, in part, by the adoption of our technologies by developers, and the number of open sources projects that we have spawned and contributed. We have seen millions of downloads of JBoss open sources projects. We have deployed more than three million applications in OpenShift Online. We have created or played leadership roles in open source projects such as JBoss Application Server/Wildfly, Drools, jBPM, Camel, ActiveMQ, Kubernetes, Docker, OpenJDK, and many more. In fact, we are even working with Microsoft to help make a newly open sourced .NET a great application development technology on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and OpenShift.

We have taken—and plan to continue to take—bold steps in the application development space. I’ve said it before and will say it again: in the era of digital transformation, every company is becoming a software company, and in 2016 we only see this trend accelerating. We are working to make our mark in a world where apps are king and digital transformation is becoming the rule, rather than the exception. From infrastructure to applications, Red Hat is the only company that offers a comprehensive array of solutions and open source tools for developers.

2006 was a turning point for Red Hat. We are proud of what has been accomplished and celebrate 10 years of serving developers. And yet, this is only the beginning.


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