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Red Hat Delivers Integrated JBoss Stack

Red Hat partners can now officially get their hands on subscriptions for the JBoss application server through the Linux vendor's distributors.

The new Red Hat Application Stack subscription, launched Monday, is a certified middleware combo that includes Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the JBoss Application Server (with Apache Tomcat), the JBoss Hibernate mapping and migration tool, and support for MySQL Pro Certified Server or PostgreSQL. The stack is designed to support applications based on Java, LAMP or Linux.

Red Hat partners welcomed the offering, saying it could help inspire open-source development projects in small and midsize businesses that can't stomach the cost of proprietary application servers.

"I think it's got a fit in my SMB market for sure," said Troy Webb, CMO and managing partner at Incentric Solutions, a Red Hat partner in Morrisville, N.C. "I think it has a fit beyond the people that traditionally look at open source. ... This crosses the line."

Steve Soper, director of enterprise software at FusionStorm, a storage and data center integrator in San Francisco, said the offering could help differentiate Red Hat's Linux messaging in an increasingly crowded market. And it comes at a good time: The application server market is under pressure from customers unwilling to keep investing in expensive, proprietary technology, Soper said.

Todd Barr, director of enterprise marketing at Red Hat, Raleigh, N.C., said a basic subscription for the stack, which runs on servers with up to two CPUs, has a starting price of $1,999 per server per year and includes 30 days of phone support, one year of Web support, installation and configuration, and upgrades. The standard-level subscription, which includes 12x5 production support and works on servers with up to four CPUs, costs between $5,000 and $6,000 per server per year. The premium level, with 24x7 mission-critical support, costs less than $10,000, he said.

Red Hat VARs can expect margins in excess of 20 points, similar to those earned for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. But the revenue and profit opportunity lies more in services such as application migration and service-oriented architecture development, Barr noted.

"The sweet spot will be smaller apps for intranet and Internet," he said. "We suspect people won't so much use this at the premium level." At that level, customers are more likely to flip up to individual subscriptions that support more servers, he said.

Future editions of the stack tailored for vertical markets are upcoming, Barr said.

Individual subscriptions for JBoss products at the basic, standard and premium levels also are now available to Red Hat solution providers through the company's major distributors, he said.

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