Red Hat also unveiled a first formal channel play for building clouds based on the OpenStack hybrid cloud platform.
The program is still limited as Red Hat starts offering partners new certifications and training that will let them be able to stand up an OpenStack cloud, said Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager of Red Hat's virtualization business unit.
"OpenStack is not like loading AOL off a CD," Balakrishnan said. "It's very technical. We are actively seeking a VIP set of partners so we can help them build the skills needed to develop OpenStack."
While Red Hat has already started working with a few large systems integrators to develop proofs-of-concept, this week's new program is aimed at helping more traditional solution providers have an opportunity to eventually build an OpenStack practice, Balakrishnan said.
"The time is right to build the partner ecosystem," he said. "There is enough business to go around that it is time to encourage partners."
Red Hat also used the Red Hat Partner Conference to highlight new channel programs for many components that are part of the OpenStack cloud.
Joseph Fitzgerald, general manager for cloud management products at Red Hat, said his company is rolling out a formal channel program for its CloudForms technology.
Red Hat CloudForms, based on Red Hat's 2012 acquisition of ManageIQ, allows the building of private clouds using the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, with such capabilities as self-service provisioning, workflow processes, capacity and usage control, quota enforcement, intelligent workload placement and post-provisioning operations.
It also works with Amazon EC2 for building hybrid clouds with a unified management console for both on-premise and cloud infrastructures.
Fitzgerald, who was founder and CEO of ManageIQ before the acquisition, said that many of the top vendors offer cloud management technology, including rival VMware via its 2012 acquisition of DynamicOps.
"The difference is that Red Hat took CloudForms open," he said. "Red Hat paid over $100 million for ManageIQ. Now Red Hat wants to make it free."
Red Hat is looking for partners who have infrastructure or Infrastructure-as-a-Service experience, Fitzgerald said.
"Partners focused on apps may not be ideal," he said. "But if they work on virtualization and helping customers move from traditional infrastructure to the cloud, we want to talk to them."
Red Hat is in the process of starting to train partners on Red Hat CloudForms, Lumpkin said. The program will help partners work with all flavors of virtual machines, including those formed with Red Hat, VMware and other platforms, he said.
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