Red Hat Looking At Systems Management Market?

Red Hat is looking to potentially push further beyond its Linux heritage. Specifically, Red Hat is taking a look at the systems management market and has been evaluating a potential acquisition in Silicon Valley, according to two sources familiar with Red Hat's thinking. Here are the details, and the potential implications for managed services providers.

Red Hat already has a three-pronged business strategy. In addition to its (1) Red Hat Linux business, the company also has a growing (2) JBoss middleware business and a fledgling (3) Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) business. The company has stated that it may make also make business intelligence  moves.

But now, two sources in the open source industry say Red Hat has been taking a closer look at a systems management software company in Silicon Valley. One of the sources is in the Linux industry. The other is in the systems management industry. And both are familiar with Red Hat's M&A thinking.

The potential target company has about 30 to 40 employees and generates roughly 40 percent of its revenues from channel partners, sources say. Moreover, the potential target company is expected to work more closely with MSPs in the second half of 2010.

As of press time, Red Hat did not reply to a request for comment. But I'll do more digging at Red Hat Summit, which kicks off this week in Boston. Also, Red Hat is expected to announce quarterly results on Tuesday, June 22.

Reality Check

Meanwhile, open source has had mixed momentum in the MSP market. On the one hand, several open source systems management software companies have attracted MSP partners. But overall, most of the major MSP software platforms remain closed source.

We'll be back with more updates once we've had a chance to poke around at Red Hat Summit.

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