IBM has been supporting Red Hat for over 10 years and has established a well-known reputation as one of the most notable corporate sponsors of Linux in general. This year at Red Hat Summit 2014, The CUBE hosts John Furrier and Stu Miniman had a chat with Scott Firth, IBM’s Director of Software-Defined Environments, about the growth of the IBM-Red Hat partnership and how the two companies are shaping the landscape of software-defined environments.
Firth began by talking about the evolution of Linux as an enterprise OS. He described it as “almost a toy” 14 years ago when IBM decided to invest a billion dollars in it. It was a time when many did not think that was a good idea, but IBM had a vision of a time when companies would be driven to collaborate on innovation rather than chiefly competing for it.
As open source software for the cloud continues to evolve, Firth explained, the community will take it to the next level, Open Stack being the chief example. “Ask 10 people what you mean by cloud, you’ll get 10 different answers. My definition of cloud is it’s a way to transform IT”.
IBM sees its role in transforming IT as the provider of tools to make it easier, simpler and more accessible to end users. The cloud will not completely replace the data center, but rather the two are part of a continuum. Companies are focused on data and how they interact with it. In some cases, it might be more secure and practical to host some data on-premise, whereas other portions of data might be more comfortable in the cloud. IBM’s job, he said, is to make sure it is easy to move back and forth between the two.
That interoperability is where software-defined environments begin. Organizations want to find ways to make compute, storage and networking work well together and be more efficient. IBM is working with Red Hat to treat data like a natural resource and turn that resource into something productive in the cloud and beyond.