I’m trying to think of a new name for IBM/RedHat, now the ‘Big Blue’ has acquired RedHat for the mind-boggling 34 billion US dollars.
I’m currently between ‘Big Purple’ or ‘BlueHat’ – $34bn represents almost half of IBMs 2017 turnover figure, so it only seems fair to give RedHat some real estate in the new nickname.
In the grand history of acquisitions, this is up there with the biggest in the technology industry, according to TechCrunch it is, in fact, the third largest after Dell’s acquisition of EMC Data Storage and Avago’s acquisition of Broadcom.
It seems that IBM is placing a massive bet on only a small part of RedHat and acquiring the rest, probably, because ‘them is the rules of the game’. That one small part I speak of is OpenShift which RedHat has been building as a comprehensive enterprise self-contained Kubernetes solution. On the basis that IBM has been lagging in the cloud market and is desperately in need of having a presence in a Microservices world then this is a pretty astute acquisition.
OpenShift has for a long time been one of the worst-kept secrets at RedHat; they haven’t managed to market it as well as CNCF have done with Kubernetes; however it’s a reliable product set that is used by big brands from Barclays to UPS and Hilton to Lufthansa. I hope that IBM can use its global reach to encourage existing mainframe and legacy clients to adopt OpenShift as a cloud platform and start paving the way for a microservices oriented future that allows businesses to be more agile and deliver resilient, observable and performant services on the OpenShift platform.
There is still some fear in the industry that IBM will be the end of RedHat and the products they currently offer such as RHEL and OpenShift will be consigned to the scrapheap along with IBMs mainframe and physical server divisions as part of the great ‘Big Blue’ falling rapidly from a great height whilst contemplating its existence . If that were to happen, I would choose to remember RedHat for what it is now, as a company committed to Open Source and providing a wealth of Open Source solutions such as Ansible that has furthered the cause of DevOps engineers across the industry.
Only time will tell.