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Red Hat Expands Hybrid Cloud Partner Certifications, Support Services

Simplifying partner participation and assistance is the goal of the revamped Red Hat partner program.

Todd R. Weiss

March 5, 2020

5 Min Read
Hybrid clouds
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Red Hat channel partners that aim to grow their hybrid cloud services for customers now can take advantage of a wide range of new partner benefits unveiled by Red Hat, including an enhanced OpenShift Operator Certification, improved Red Hat OpenShift promotional and market support, and updated tools and resources through the company’s Partner Connect website.

The new partner features also now allow certified containers based on the Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI) to be included in Red Hat Enterprise Linux UBI-based container images for redistribution through the official Red Hat and third-party container registries, the company said.

In addition, Red Hat Linux channel partners will gain enhancements to the company’s OpenShift Operator Certification through increased technical assistance as well as more tooling and workflows that aim to help accelerate the certification process for Kubernetes Operators. Broadened promotional and sales support will also be provided through the Red Hat Partner Connect website to enable deeper customer adoption and deployments on Red Hat OpenShift, according to the company.

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Red Hat’s Lars Herrmann

“We’re aligning how we partner with other companies with our open hybrid cloud strategy,” Lars Herrmann, the senior director of technology partnerships for Red Hat, told Channel Futures. “We want to make it easier for other companies to drive their businesses on Red Hat’s hybrid cloud strategy.”

The changes and improvements in the partner program are in response to requests and comments from partners, said Herrmann.

“A lot of our partners gave us the feedback that they think it was complicated to work with Red Hat,” while many businesses have been finding that it is challenging to bring together new technologies and make them work well together, he said. “We tried to make that easier for them.”

Another reason of the partner improvements is that more and more products and services are shifting to dynamic cloud consumption and to digital marketplaces, and the changes will make these transitions easier for partners, said Herrmann.

“We will try to give prescriptive guidance and best practices to help them do things more efficiently,” he said.

The changes in the container certifications process is one example of this, by allowing partners to make changes in container packages for customers and then distributing them to anyone without charge, said Herrmann.

“This is taking what Red Hat starts with and makes changes that customers need. This is new — it was introduced last year as a limited set of technologies and is now being extended to all Red Hat Enterprise Linux partners,” he added.

The partner improvements in the Partner Connect website also are seeing changes meant to make the site much easier to use by reorganizing it from its former layout, which was based on whether partners were resellers, VARs, systems integrators and other types of businesses. Those traditional partner categories and site organization have been changed to reflect a more direct build, sell or service portal, said Herrmann.

“We have recognized that this older approach no longer fits the way it used to,” he said. “Business models shift fast, so changing it to a build, sell and services methodology allows partners to choose how they want to work with the company.”

In the past, partners said they had struggled to figure out …

… which Red Hat channel programs would work well for them, he said.

“The vision is to change the partner program into this activities-based program, which will create business opportunities with partners,” said Herrmann.

Kiran Kamreddy, principal product manager for Red Hat partner and SaaS vendor MarkLogic, told Channel Futures that the improved Red Hat partner program will be beneficial for his company, which offers a variety of SaaS applications.

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MarkLogic’s Kiran Kamreddy

“It brings many things under one roof, so that it becomes easy and streamlined for companies to get their own offerings officially certified with Red Hat,” said Kamreddy. “The Red Hat container certifications and the Universal Base Image (UBI) has enabled us to accelerate the path to deliver container based software for our customers’ production environments and offer reliability, security, and performance without worrying about the Red Hat support for underlying operating components.”

The new partner offerings from the company will assist MarkLogic in better serving its customers, he said. “Getting containers based deployments certified and moving to production environments with customers has always been challenging to coordinate supportability across multiple vendors. This new partner program really simplifies the certification across the entire stack and gives the peace of mind to customers.”

Al Gillen, an analyst with IDC, said the partner program refinements is an effort by Red Hat to emphasize the value proposition that a commercially-acceptable infrastructure built on Red Hat products offers to its partner community.

“The benefits include a reliable, predictable and lifecycle-controlled environment where partner organizations can build their success on top of Red Hat’s products, including the Red Hat Universal Base Image,” said Gillen. “Not every application needs a well-known, widely used commercial platform beneath it, but for those that gain benefit from such an environment, Red Hat wants its partners to recognize Red Hat as an attractive choice.”

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and eWEEK.com, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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