The folks at Red Hat have made available Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 6.2 this week, which promises to offer several enhancements across a number of areas, including performance and scalability. For many businesses big and small, RHEL is the go-to Linux distro, and this latest build comes a year after Red Hat introduced RHEL 6.0, which achieved the largest mulit-core Linux configuration results certified to date on the two-tier SAP Sales and Distribution (SD) standard application benchmark, Red Hat claims.
A shaky economy didn't stop Red Hat from raking in the cash during its second quarter ended August 31, 2011, and may have actually contributed to the open source software maker's explosive growth. Red Hat reported more than $281 million in total revenue for Q2, up 28 percent from one year prior. Give most of the credit to subscription revenue, which also ballooned 28 percent year-over-year to $238.3 million.
If Google is one of the most prominent Linux stalwarts around, Android is undoubtedly the public face of its love affair with the open source operating system. But its Linux affection runs deeper than that as the Internet behemoth uses the OS on everything from back-end servers to employee machines. Now, that deep-rooted love is beginning to cost Google, for a jury has fined it $5 million for infringing on a patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,893,120) held by Texas-bases patent troll Bedrock Computer Technologies.
Open-source stalwart Red Hat has announced an expanded partnership with Fujitsu to extend their collaboration to the cloud. These two have been partners for a long time, so it really shouldn't come as a shock that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is now available as a guest operating system on Fujitsu's "On-Demand Virtual System Service" public cloud.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is now available, the open source software developer announced on Wednesday. The much anticipated latest release of Red Hat's flagship operating system introduces hundreds of technical feature enhancements and additions including:
A highly optimized application platform for large-scale, centrally managed enterprise deployments
Enhanced efficiency with the latest generation of highly scalable hardware systems
Industry-leading virtualization performance, flexibility, and security for both host and guest environments
Extensive support for features designed to minimize ecological impact and carbon footprint of IT systems
A platform suitable for long-term, stable deployment while able to incorporate new technologies for physical, virtual, and cloud deployments
More information and pricing info can be found here.
Following the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, some analysts have heralded Oracle as the biggest and baddest open source vendor on the block, but not everyone is buying it. Some, like Paul Cormier, president of products and technologies at Red Hat, don't even consider Oracle to be an open source company at this point, let alone the largest one.
"I wouldn't even consider calling them an open source company at all," Cormier said. "When you're making a choice as a company on what's open and what's closed then your customers suffer."
Cormier went on to accuse Sun of sometimes holding back "the good stuff" from the open source community in developing MySQL, claiming that "open is not just seeing the code. Open is also having a community of developer. OpenSolaris is not open. There is no community other than Sun people developing Solaris."
Cormier did admit that there are some parts of Oracle he would consider open, but nothing that approaches the level of openness at Red Hat.
Red Hat, the enterprise open-source software vendor, announced financial results for its fiscal year 2010 third quarter on Tuesday, noting an 18 percent jump from the same quarter one year ago.
Total revenue for the quarter was $194.3 million, with $164.4 million of that coming from subscriptions. That's a 21 percent year-over-year increase, Red Hat said.
"Continued solid execution drove another quarter of strong results for Red Hat. Our double digit growth in the current economic environment was driven by our compelling value proposition and outstanding service," stated Jim Whitehurst, President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Hat.
Red Hat's net income for the quarter was $16.4 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, compared to $24.3 million, or $0.12 per diluted share in the same quarter one year ago.
According to Red Hat, there aren't enough Itanium-based servers being sold to justify continuing to support the platform, so as of Enterprise Linux 6, Intel's Itanium processor will no longer be supported.
Chris Ingle, research director fo IDC's European Systems Group, says the decision makes perfect economical sense for Red Hat. Ingle points out that it would be hard for Red Hat to pour resources into supporting a version of Enterprise Linux for Itanium, and that it makes more sense to focus on support for x86-based servers.
Red Hat said it will still offer support for Enterprise Linux version 5 on Itanium-based servers until March 2014, and will add new features to version 5 on Itanium and support new hardware in accordance with its standard product lifecycle policy. In addition, some OEMs will offer extended support for version 5 on Itanium until March of 2017, and could also choose to support version 6 on their own.
While Oracle struggles to convince the European Union that acquiring the copyrights to the MySQL code base is in the best interest of all involved, Red Hat isn't waiting around to see if the deal gets sanctioned or not. Instead, the open-source outfit went and invested an unspecified amount in database vendor EnterpriseDB, InfoWorld.com reports.
"EnterpriseDB has clearly established itself as a leading enterprise Postgres company, which is why Red Hat has chosen to partner with and invest in the company. EnterpriseDB is also working to create customer value through a subscription support model. Clearly, this is a model we see as beneficial," said Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat.
The move is also a clear indication that Red Hat is worried about what would become of MySQL once under the reigns of Oracle. Red Hat owes much of its popularity as a server platform to users looking to run the free MySQL piggybacked on top of Red Hat. And no matter what Oracle is saying to the EU, there's a lingering fear that should the takeover go through, Oracle may end up weakening MySQL to prevent it from cutting into the sales of Oracle Database.
EnterpriseDB isn't as widely used as MySQL, though many consider it a better fit for larger enterprise workloads, and it has already been able to win over customers from Oracle. But it's also important to keep in mind that this is an investment, and not an acquisition.
Red Hat, the self proclaimed world's leading open source technology solutions provider, has a bone to pick with not just patent trolls, but shady software patents in general. As such, Red Hat has filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking to ban software patents.
"Red Hat continues its commitment to the free and open source software community by taking a strong position against bad software patents," Red Hat VP Rob Tiller said. "Our patent system is supposed to foster innovation but, for open source and software in general, it does the opposite."
Tiller went on to complain that software patents end up slowing and discouraging software innovation, arguing that "patent trolls" have exploited the current legal system by constructing lawsuits that further confuse the hundreds of thousands of patents that "cover abstract technology in vague and difficult-to-interpret terms."
Red Hat says oral arguments are scheduled for November 9, giving you plenty of time to read the full brief here (PDF).