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Red Hat Expands Partner Reach With New Insight Enterprises Deal

In a new agreement with the open source software pioneer, Insight Enterprises becomes an MSP recruiter for Red Hat’s Certified Cloud and Service Provider Program.

Top-flight solution provider Insight Enterprises took a big step into cloud Tuesday, signing a deal with open-source software vendor Red Hat that allows Insight to act as a distributor to smaller service providers.

As a part of this deal, Insight - No. 14 on CRN's 2015 Solution Provider 500 list - will utilize its large North American client base to recruit and sign up new managed service providers into the Red Hat Certified Cloud and Service Provider (CCSP) program.

Once on board, the Temple Ariz.-based solution provider will work with those MSPs on how to best leverage Red Hat offerings to scale out their infrastructures, build and manage private hybrid cloud solutions, and create new offerings for their portfolios that they can use to build their businesses.

[Related: Insight CEO: Microsoft Cloud Relationship Taking Off, AWS Slower To Launch]

"This opens up a new solution set that Insight can now bring to the MSP market that addresses the need for additional open-stack solutions offerings," said David Mayer, Insight’s vice president of product management for software, in an email to CRN.

Mayer said the deal allows insight to bring new offerings to MSP customers that are building new cloud offerings.

"Now, MSPs can aggregate a broader subset of software licensing usage reports through a single source, which significantly aids in reducing the burdens associated with usage reporting, " he said.

With this deal, Red Hat, based in Raleigh, N.C., will be able execute on accelerating the adoption of open-source hybrid cloud solutions, according to Technology Business Research analyst Andrew Smith.

"[Red Hat] doesn't have the resources to do it alone," he said, "So, partners, (systems integrators), and integrators like Insight have a key role to play … This is certainly a positive development for Insight." he said.

Moving forward, Smith said he expects Red Hat to take a "serious interest" in Insight's success by providing ongoing training and education to it and other partners.

"Big competitors like IBM, Cisco, and Oracle - with lots of money to spend - are quickly developing and deploying their own open source and OpenStack solutions, and Red Hat is keen to get its solutions to the top of partner competency lists to stay ahead of the competition," Smith said.

Insight, for its part, was drawn to this deal, Mayer said, because MSP customers are big consumers of OpenStack solutions that they can use to build up their infrastructures.

As a part of this deal, Red Hat’s CCSP program will be focused on solutions that include the vendor’s Enterprise Linux products, Enterprise Virtualization and OpenStack Platform offerings, CloudForms and JBoss Middleware, he said.

The completion of this collaboration deal comes as Red Hat begins to transfer its current MSP customers to the new CCSP program, following its unveiling in 2015.

"The timing couldn’t be better," Mayer said.

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