RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – An IBM executive has boasted about how fast Big Blue’s year-old “Cloud Private” is growing and is nearly as big as Red Had’s rival OpenShift product in an interview with tech news site LightReading. And there could be fallout.

“That’s going to make things awkward during meetings between the two companies, who are both competitors and partners,” reported Mitch Wagner, executive editor of Light Reading, reported Thursday.

Both companies have a major presence in the Triangle with Red Hat’s headquarters located in Raleigh. And they collaborate on multiple projects.

But Robin Hernandez, director for IBM Private Cloud Offering Management, told Wagner that Big Blue’s offering already had landed hundreds of customers in its first year and was nearly as big as Red Hat’s OpenShift.

Wagner described the comment as a “brag.”

Noted Wagner: “Tip for IBM: Donuts make everything nicer.”