RALEIGH – In the increasingly competitive battle for cloud computing business, Red Hat landed Salesforce, one of the world’s tech leaders, as a client for its leading product Red Hat Enterprise Linux and use in hybrid cloud deployments.

It’s a big win for Red Hat as well with the decision coming after the controversy surrounding its decision in how to deliver RHEL updates via CentOS that set off a firestorm of criticism. The move alters the access to its top-draw product Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to only paying customers.

Looks like Salesfrce is going to be paying. Big time.

How big?

“Salesforce is moving 200,000 systems, representing the entirety of its software estate, to the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux  in an effort to standardize its global hybrid cloud infrastructure.,” reports SDX Central. 

Hybrid cloud represents a mix of private and public cloud services. It’s the hottest sector in the cloud business.

Here’s what Srini Tallapragada, president and chief engineering officer for Salesforce, had to say about the deal:

“Customer centricity lies at the heart of everything we do. With Red Hat Enterprise Linux, our global IT operations will innovate faster than ever to deliver the reliable, scalable experiences our customers demand.”

Typically, Red Hat doesn’t offer quotes from CEO Matt Hicks about a deal. But the Hatters, who are based in Raleigh, released a statement from him:

“As pioneers and leaders in our respective fields, Red Hat and Salesforce have a deep understanding and appreciation for constant transformation and relentless innovation in driving improved customer success. This collaboration highlights this shared commitment, as Salesforce can remain laser-focused on the customer experience, while Red Hat brings its decades of expertise in enterprise open source technologies and hybrid cloud infrastructure in support of their efforts to address dynamic customer needs.”

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The deal was announced Monday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Salesforce is a leader in customer relationship management (CRM).

“The platform enables Salesforce to free up valuable developer resources while at the same time consolidating IT systems, all helping to generate better business outcomes for customers,” Red Hat said in the announcement.

According to Red Hat, benefits of RHEL vs. CentOS Linux include:

● Optimized performance and efficiency across various hardware and software architectures, including ARM, which enables Salesforce engineering teams to more easily adopt breakthrough technologies without incurring new infrastructure demands.

● Meeting customers where they are with a hardened platform that can drive more consistent innovation across the hybrid cloud, from the datacenter to public clouds to the edge, with the capacity to support unique customer use cases regardless of location or scale.

● Improved system security measures with Red Hat Enterprise Linux’s layered approach to IT environment security, including support for many of the latest cryptographic and secure computing innovations.

● Enhanced customer support experiences through Red Hat’s award-winning support team, enabling Salesforce engineering to focus on delivering customer value without being bogged down in the minutiae of managing an operating system at cloud-scale.