Red Hat To Partners: Build Open-Source Practice Fit For Enterprise

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The 2015 Red Hat Partner Conference kicked off Wednesday with a focus on a number of the hottest emerging technologies hitting the enterprise market, and a call from the software vendor to partners to build practices around those open-source products.

Red Hat execs urged the 350 partners attending the summit in Orlando, Fla., to invest in delivering the cutting-edge cloud infrastructure, storage, development platforms and container technologies that business customers are clamoring for.

Red Hat has been busy developing enterprise-ready versions of those technologies, they said, from its OpenStack distribution, to the OpenShift PaaS offering, to deep support for Docker, the Linux container standard that's revolutionizing DevOps.

[Related: Red Hat Goes Atomic With Container-Centric OS]

Red Hat is helping its channel take "these cool, sexy things that people are talking about" and sell them "with real products, with a real company behind them, all of the downstream lifecycle management and all of the things you would expect behind an enterprise-class product," Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst told CRN in an interview after delivering his keynote.

Whitehurst said what Red Hat does best -- and what serves as a powerful message for partners to take to customers -- is enabling enterprises to on-ramp those powerful open-source technologies with confidence.

The very nature of the open-source movement has drastically changed in the past five years, Whitehurst said. Once, it was about providing cheaper alternatives to proprietary solutions -- today, it's where all the innovation is happening.

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