Deja vu all over again for Red Hat and OpenStack?

Wednesday’s $95 million deal to buy Paris-based eNovance commits Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) even more deeply to OpenStack “cloud computing” solutions as its bet for the future. Two Red Hat executives spell out the reasoning for the deal in a WRAL TechWire Insider exclusive.

This deal follows on the April deal for InkTank and clearly is part of CEO Jim Whitehurst’s strategy to make the Hatters No. 1 in OpenStack cloud solutions while at the same time keeping Linux open source roots. Red Hat Enterprise Linux isn’t going away, but just as Lenovo is transforming itself from a PC-only to PC-plus company, so is Red Hat morphing into Linux-plus.

Recent WRAL TechWire coverage of Red Hat’s OpenStack embrace:

  • Red Hat to acquire eNovance in latest acquisition
  • What InkTank brings to Red Hat’s OpenStack strategy
  • Red Hat now the OpenStack company
  • Red Hat’s strategic play for share of OpenStack market

Red Hat archive: Check out more than a decade of Red Hat stories as reported in WRAL TechWire.

Tim Yeaton, senior vice president of Red Hat’s Infrastructure Group, and Mandeep Chaddha, vice president of Global Operations, talk about the importance of the eNovance deal and how it ties in with the InkTank acquisition.

  • Why is Red Hat continuing to make such a big investment in OpenStack?

Yeaton: We see OpenStack as core to the next generation Cloud-based IT fabric.

It is fundamental to where infrastructure is going. It is therefore one of Red Hat’s most strategic areas of investment, and the acquisitions we have done recently, including Inktank for cloud storage and now eNovance for cloud development and deployment services, expand and accelerate our OpenStack capabilities faster

  • What sets eNovance apart in the OpenStack space?

Chaddha: From a services standpoint, enovance brings a lot of breadth, scale and expertise in building, integrating, and maintaining both private and public cloud environments. They will provide a COE [center of excellence] capability on CICD [continuous integration/continuous design] methodology in customer’s OpenStack environments.

They will help us extend a DeVops capability across a spectrum of developer test and production clouds. (Note: DevOps is a software development method that stresses communication, collaboration and integration between software developers and information technology (IT) operations professionals, as defined at Wikipedia.)

They also bring in a strong Ceph storage capability. (Note: Ceph touts itself as “a unified, distributed storage system designed for excellent performance, reliability and scalability” and “the future of storage.”)

  • What first drew Red Hat’s attention to eNovance?

Chaddha: Their great culture, strong expertise in openstack service space, and strong integration capabilities for the cloud were some of the key factors that attracted us to them.

  • Are the founders and executive team staying in place? Were they key to the deal given their achievements in intellectual property/development?

Chaddha: Yes, the three founders will stay and continue to lead the new OpenStack Services COE that we have created with this acquisition. They were very supportive of the deal as this allows them to expand their mission across many geographies and many customers and partners

  • Will Red Hat expand its presence in France as a result with red Hat personnel other than eNovance? (The company also has offices in Montreal and India.)

Chaddha: We continue to organically grow in France which will continue to move forward.

  • Why expand the relationship from partnership to an outright acquisition? Were other firms offering to buy eNovance? The world knows the OpenStack space is red hot, so to speak.

Yeaton: Our partnership has been continually expanding and our technology collaboration has been deepening.

Given the breathtaking pace of innovation in the OpenStack space and the need to help customers develop, deploy and support enterprise production clouds around the globe, both companies agreed that now was a great time to combine forces.

  • How does this deal compliment or vary from what InkTank brings?

Yeaton: They are very complementary. InkTank provides the Ceph cloud storage product and open source project that is core to OpenStack.

eNovance provides services for building and deploying clouds based on OpenStack, and have very deep expertise in utilizing Ceph storage in their cloud implementations.