Red Hat Partner Program Promotes Virtualization
Red Hat continues to stretch beyond its Linux and JBoss middleware heritage to focus on virtualization. The latest evidence: Red Hat has launched an enhanced Partner Program that has three specializations. (1) Linux infrastructure, (2) middleware and (3) … wait for it… virtualization. Here’s the scoop and the implications for channel partners.
According to a Red Hat press release, the enhanced Partner Program is:
“redesigned to give Red Hat’s business partners additional economic, sales, marketing and technical benefits through the introduction of a new partner level and solution specializations. The Red Hat Partner Program will now include a Premier Business Partner level in addition to Advanced and Ready classifications. The program will also feature Infrastructure, Middleware & Virtualization specializations.”
Ah, the specializations certainly caught The VAR Guy’s attention. Alas, some customers and many channel partners still consider Red Hat a Linux-centric company. But in reality, JBoss middleware is Red Hat’s fastest-growing business. And virtualization , including Red Hat’s Sept. 2008 acquisition of Qumranet, represents a huge opportunity for Red Hat.
During Red Hat Summit 2009 (Sept. 1-4, Chicag0), The VAR Guy expects Red Hat to discuss an updated desktop (and server) virtualization strategy. Also of note: VMware’s VMworld is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in Chicago. By launching the revamped partner program — with a virtualization focus — now, Red Hat gets its strategic messaging out to channel partners ahead of the two big conferences.
The VAR Guy isn’t suggesting that Red Hat is de-emphasizing Linux. Rather, he thinks Red Hat is giving equal time to its three core areas of focus. Roger Egan, Red Hat’s VP of North American Channels, offered some clues about the company’s channel direction in this Aug. 6 FastChat video.
Three Pillars for Success
Fast forward to the present and Red Hat is ready to discuss three channel specializations in greater detail. According to a Red Hat press release the strategy includes:
- Infrastructure Specialization: This specialization is intended for partners with proven expertise on Red Hat Infrastructure Solutions; including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform, Red Hat Network Satellite, Red Hat Global File System, Red Hat Cluster Suite and Red Hat MRG. This specialization requires partners to maintain at least two Channel Sales Certified employees and one Red Hat Certified Technician.
- Middleware Specialization: This specialization is intended for partners with proven middleware solution expertise on JBoss Enterprise Middleware solutions; including JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, JBoss BRMS, JBoss Operations Network, JBoss Developer Studio, JBoss SOA Platform and JBoss Data Services Platform. Partners with this specialization will have at least two Channel Middleware Sales Certified employees and one JBoss Administrator.
- Virtualization Specialization: This specialization is for partners who have demonstrated expertise in Red Hat’s virtualization offerings at both the sales and technical level. This specialization requires partners to maintain two Channel Sales Certified employees and one Red Hat Certified Engineer with a focus on virtualization training.
Meanwhile, Red Hat also continues to work closely with the Open Source Channel Alliance, a group launched by Red Hat and Synnex to promote open source applications to roughly 15,000 Synnex resellers.