Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Dell and Red Hat Will Announce a Big Cloud-Computing Alliance Today

dell_red_hatDell, the newly private computing company, will later today announce an alliance with the software company Red Hat that will become a significant piece of its cloud-computing strategy going forward.

In what one source described as the “closest relationship that Red Hat has ever had,” Dell will announce plans to conduct deep engineering work on Red Hat’s version of OpenStack, the open-source cloud-computing platform.

In a move similar to a broad collaboration they launched around the Linux operating system more than a decade ago, Dell and Red Hat will cooperatively develop an enterprise-grade version of OpenStack based on the latest version, code-named Havana. The announcement will be made at a Dell event in Austin, Texas, later this morning.

Red Hat announced last month that OpenStack would be bundled with its Enterprise Linux Version 6.5. The companies will describe the relationship as “cooperative engineering,” and will announce a series of 10 different OpenStack enhancements they will release within the next 90 days.

Dell will sell hardware with Red Hat’s OpenStack installed, in what’s being described as a typical OEM arrangement, but the relationship will be deeper than that, sources tell AllThingsD. Dell’s services unit will essentially handle service and support efforts for Red Hat’s OpenStack product, even in instances where the customer is not using Dell hardware.

Another key aspect of the plan includes giving OpenStack the ability to work more flexibly with a myriad of public cloud services, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Windows Azure. Rather that build or buy a public cloud service of its own, as rivals Hewlett-Packard and IBM have done, Dell will aim to help customers build their own private clouds based on OpenStack that have the ability to flexibly interact with outside services in “bursts.”

The relationship hearkens back more than a decade to when Dell and Red Hat collaborated closely on the open-source Linux operating system. Red Hat’s implementation of Linux is now generally considered the gold standard for enterprise computing environments. As one source put it: “Red Hat wants to be the arms merchant of choice for OpenStack.”

Industry support has in the last year coalesced significantly around OpenStack. IBM threw its weight behind it in March. HP was an earlier supporter. Even Oracle has jumped on the bandwagon by joining the OpenStack foundation two days ago.

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— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google