back to article Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz

IBM intends to acquire enterprise Linux maker Red Hat for $34bn (£27bn). Following rumors of a deal over the weekend, Big Blue announced the move here, in the past hour, and Red Hat's take is here. IBM made an offer of $190 per issued and outstanding Red Hat share, which was accepted: the current price stands at $116. …

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"I can never forget that IBM made their mark by using their database skills to help the NAZI regime eliminate the Jews from Germany or at least try to do so."

That was in another country which no longer exists; and the people involved are dead.

Let's focus on what IBM is doing now, not what Watson was up to 80 years ago.

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Tabulators.

Who knows, if nazis had to run 3rd reich on a seqrl db theyd have ben tied up for 20 years.

No heinz, redo the schema to put poland with france. Itll save some memory.

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Godwin's law

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This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

I can never forget that IBM made their mark by using their database skills to help the NAZI regime eliminate the Jews from Germany or at least try to do so.

If they had been using the present-day IBM for technical services, the war would have been over much much quicker.

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Anonymous Coward

Goodbye CentOS

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Might be a REALLYgood time to fork CentOS before IBM pulls an OpenSolaris on it. Same thing with Fedora.

Kind of sad really, when I used Linux CentOS and Fedora were my go-to distros.

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Unhappy

Goodbye Centos

Centos is owned by RedHat now. So why on earth would IBM bother keeping it?

Plus, of course, all the support and coding will be done in India now.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Goodbye Centos

Can't we just fork Centos ?

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Surely its hello CentOS?

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Re: Goodbye Centos

"Centos is owned by RedHat now."

RedHat is The Upstream Vendor of Scintific Linux. What happens to them if IBM turn nasty?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Scientific Linux

Scientific Linux is a good idea in theory, dreadful in practice.

The idea of a research/academic-software-focused distro is a good one: unfortunately (I say unfortunately, but it's certainly what I would do myself), increasing numbers of researchers are now developing their pet projects on Debian or Ubuntu, and so therefore often only make .deb packages available.

Anyone who has had any involvement in research software knows that if you find yourself in the position of needing to compile someone else's pet project from source, you are often in for an even more bumpy ride than usual.

And the lack of compatible RPM packages just encourages more and more researchers to go where the packages (and the free-ness) are, namely Debian and friends, which continue to gather momentum, while Red Hat continues to stagnate.

Red Hat may be very stable for running servers (as long as you don't need anything reasonably new (not bleeding edge, but at least newer than three years old)), but I have never really seen the attraction in it myself (especially as there isn't much of a "community" feeling around it, as its commercial focus gets in the way).

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IBM is to FOSS as oil is to water

IBM is possibly the most anti-FOSS company in the world today. Their absolute hatred of the GPL, everything. IBM is completely patent centric. They are preparing for the next true global war which they believe will be fought on top of proprietary closed technology and the winner will be the company with the most patents. There were days that I actually admired the folks at Red Hat, they have now revealed their true nature.

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Re: IBM is to FOSS as oil is to water

If Trump walks away from the WTO, there go US patents in much of the world. It'll be back to the Cold War era when the USSR and China ignored US IP. Except this time, the power of the anti-US side will be much greater. Governments of other countries will have to take sides.

Currently the US doesn't control ARM and Huawei is heading to be a full stack company. Nice little tech sector you got there, US, wouldn't want anything to happen to it. Oh, my brother's clumsy, he knocked over your Apple. Never mind, for only two trillion dollars and your firstborn you can stay in business...patents will have to go, of course.

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Re: IBM is to FOSS as oil is to water

It'll be back to the Cold War era when the USSR and China ignored US IP.

Then judging by the news of all the IP theft going on, the Cold War never ended.

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Re: IBM is to FOSS as oil is to water

IBM is possibly the most anti-FOSS company in the world today. Their absolute hatred of the GPL, everything.

Just because one hates the GPL doesn't make one anti-open source, but even that claim isn't true. IBM was making code open source before the term was even coined. Hence we got Apache, Postfix and REXX and a heap of other goodies. It was also one of the first companies to make significant contributions to Linux.

The real issue is that for seveal years IBM has been looking for a new corporate strategy and has thrown a lot of people under the bus on the way. It's difficult to see this purchase, for which they have significantly overpaid (well over 10 x revenues) brining the breakthrough.

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Re: IBM is to FOSS as oil is to water

"Then judging by the news of all the IP theft going on, the Cold War never ended."

You're not entirely right.

During the Cold War, the USSR and China ignored patents because it was good Communist doctrine that all ideas belonged to the proletariat.

Since the Cold War, they ignore patents because it's good capitalist doctrine to pinch anything that is not nailed down.

During the 19th century US industrial growth was assisted by a general ignoring of other countries' patents and copyrights. This changed rapidly once the US had its own to protect. It's just part of the way things are.

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Re: IBM is to FOSS as oil is to water

"Hence we got Apache, Postfix"

Apache & Postfix are from IBM?

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Big Brother

Re: IBM is to FOSS as oil is to water

Wietse Venema used to work at IBM, and apparently started writing Postfix while he was there.

Apache I don't know about.

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Re: IBM is to FOSS as oil is to water

Apache & Postfix are from IBM?

I couldn't swear it but I'm pretty sure both were released as "EWS" and IBM may even have had a hand in setting up the Apache Foundation. It did have a fine tradition of releasing stuff it didn't intend to pursue commercially: EWS was all about absolving IBM of any liability.

I think the problem now is that just does a lot less research and is less savvy than, say Google, in getting developers to work on Watson than TensorFlow.

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TVU
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Re: IBM is to FOSS as oil is to water

"IBM is possibly the most anti-FOSS company in the world today. Their absolute hatred of the GPL, everything. IBM is completely patent centric"

I recognise those descriptions but they actually apply to Oracle these days.

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another buy out of my bread and butter

I used to be a Solaris admin. Now I am a linux admin in a red hat shop. Sun was bought by Oracle and more or less died a death. Will the same happen now? I know that Sun and RH are _very_ differeht beasts but I am thinking that now is the time to stop playing on the merry go round called systems administration.

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Re: another buy out of my bread and butter

Solaris and Redhat are very different in that Solaris worked on proprietary hardware for alot of it's life....that caused it's downfall IMHO. Redhat has always been "open"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: another buy out of my bread and butter

Solaris worked on proprietary hardware for alot of it's life.

Solaris 2 has been available on standard x86 hardware since 1993, only a few months after it was released for SPARC (which is not proprietary, by the way, it's an open architecture).

That incidentally makes it about the same age as Red Hat.

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Re: another buy out of my bread and butter

As I recall, Sun killed the x86 version to boost sales of their Cobalt Linux.

It did boost sales of Linux alright - SuSE Linux, RedHat Linux . . .

Cobalt Linux died, Sun revived x86 and then shot themselves in the other foot by charging for patches when others were free.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: another buy out of my bread and butter

As I recall, Sun killed the x86 version to boost sales of their Cobalt Linux.

Not really That was how some papers spun it back around 2002 with Solaris 9, but internally (I worked on Solaris x86 projects) that puzzled people, because we didn't see things change much. Some of the download options for general use changed, IIRC, which caused confusion. Solaris 2.0 came out on SPARC, 2.1-2.3 had an x86 fork, for 2.4 the fork rejoined to a common code base, and it's been like that ever since. There was a 2.5.1 offshoot for PowerPC that went nowhere, though.

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How about JBoss vs. WebFear?

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Anonymous Coward

Don't become a Mad Hatter

Dear Red Hatters, welcome to the world of battery hens, all clucking and clicking away to produce the elusive golden egg while the axe looms over their heads. Even if your mental health survives, you will become chicken feed by the time you are middle aged. IBM doesn't have a heart; get out while you can. Follow the example of IBMers in Australia who are jumping ship in their droves, leaving behind a crippled, demoralised workforce. Don't become a Mad Hatter.

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Unhappy

Farewell RedHat, I hardly knew ye

RH CDs got my first Linux PCs up. Really liked the earlier versions before I found the one or two true Linices. Debian and flavour of week. :-) I suspect that IBM will also continue lowering its AIX sales push in favour of RH derived linux. The loss of AIX will be a lot of nails in the coffin of a truly flexible commercial Unix. That loss will have devastating effects on whats left of IBMs future.

OTOH, Devuan may benefit which is a benefit. Centos may have an interesting time dealing with IBM though.

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Poettering

Let’s hope they don’t let Poettering near the OS/2 source code. Instead of OS/2 Warp, we’ll get OS/2 Impulse Red Hat edition, now with PulseAudio and systemd!

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Re: Poettering

OS/2 and Poettering? Best joke I've ever heard!

(It'd be interesting if somebody locked them both up in an office and see what happens!)

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Good Bye Red Hat

It has been nice to know you. Itsy Bitsy Morons will the death of you by sheer incompetence and negligence.

I wonder what will happen with Fedora and Centos going forward as I doubt Ginni will understand the importance of the projects to the Red Hat ecosystem. They both serve very good outreach roles to the wider Linux community who would normally not use Red Hat.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good Bye Red Hat

@A_Yank_Lurker

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Yup!! I'm f**ked! I've used RedHat since 1999 -- RH5.2 through RH9, then Fedora Core 5 to F28, which I'm using to write this.

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The retail RH releases were excellent, particularly RH9. Fedora has been up and down, but recent releases (F24 and up) have all been solid. It says something for the RedHat crew that I've been able to to everything I needed to do with a very low (personal) maintenance load, even though Fedora is branded as "bleeding edge".

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I await the future of RedHat and Fedora with extreme trepidation. Is this the end of my twenty year relationship? I hope not......

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Anonymous Coward

Countless examples of bad news for acquired company

I was part of a decent sized acquisition they did. Sales was all gone or left within 3 months, then core founders, then engineering...ibm came in and crushed culture and business. Revenues dropped and I was on many calls where “we thought you were dead” was how the things started. I left after trying to find an envelope to mail out some customer assets in. Was told no more local office supplies but I could request one via online work order. I say screw this and left. Should have started looking after the announcement but gave it time. Never again. Same promises and press releases over a decade later. Things will change dramatically, you will assimilate, innovation is tangled with arrogant bureaucracy, and the thing you loved about your company dies. The former ceo and founders will stay on for a year then leave. Sorry for those that wanted good news.

As to the redhat product and portfolio, it will stall on any innovation for years. Support for customers will dwindle slowly. New features micromanaged. Get ready for difficult contracting and IBM client execs holding deals hostage unless you buy other ibm products and services. I just don’t know where this ends well for RHEL shops.

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Anonymous Coward

Patents

That’s what ibm really wanted here.

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Re: Patents

IBM already had access to Red Hat's patents, including for patent defence purposes. Look up "open innovation network".

This acquisition is about: (1) IBM needing growth, or at least a plausible scenario for growth. (2) Red Hat wanting an easy expansion of its sales channels, again for growth. (3) Red Hat stockholders being given an offer they can't refuse.

This acquisition is not about: cultural change at IBM. Which is why the acquisition will 'fail'. The bottom line is that engineering matters at the moment (see: Google, Amazon), and IBM sacked their engineering culture across the past two decades. To be successful IBM need to get that culture back, and acquiring Red Hat gives IBM the opportunity to create a product-building, client-service culture within IBM. Except that IBM aren't taking the opportunity, so there's a large risk the reverse will happen -- the acquisition will destroy Red Hat's engineering- and service-oriented culture.

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SVV
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Amidst all the wailing and knashing of teeth here

about the supposedly irrelevant hugely profitable tech company IBM, there are at least a few potentially intriguing possibilities that spring to mind from this significantly expensive takeover.

What about IBM deciding to roll over some of the more impressive and efficient capabilities of AIX into the open source Linux in order to make it even more attractive and useful? Some of their other closely intertwined products too? What if they have projects with seriously viable or at least valuable potential in the desktop or mobile arenas? There's some big fish that could be worried by questions like these, and companies driven back towards IBM products and services if traction gets gained. I have no opinion on whether such a strategy could work or not over time, but the scale of this shows that at least an awful lot of time will have been devoted to such discussions.

In the meantime, the Red Hat staff can get used to the idea of writing Redbooks.

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Devil

Re: Amidst all the wailing and knashing of teeth here

> IBM deciding to roll over some of the more impressive and efficient capabilities of AIX

What would those be, exactly? Please do enlighten us.

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Re: Amidst all the wailing and knashing of teeth here

AIX Features that have no common Linux equivalent.

Live OS upgrades

Active Memory Expansion (Inline memory compression)

Active Memory Sharing (connect swap device to hypervisor and let OS overcommit memory)

Memory De-duplication

Great Cohesive admin framework

ASO/DSO (automatically tune the operating system for the workload)

Workload Partitions

Suspend / Resume

Great Filesystem (JFS2) and volume manager

"ODM" as opposed to DevFS

Transactional Memory

Support for CPU embedded accelerators

Memory Protection Keys

etc..

etc..

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Meh

Re: Amidst all the wailing and knashing of teeth here

@ST. Let me count the ways...

On line and in use file system resizing, Had this for decades in some form. In use swap partition changes Brilliant visualization via the RH based hypervisor. Change memory or CPU allocation on the fly. Set up pools of memory and CPU to allow resources to be dynamically re-allocated within pool limits on as needed basis among virtual servers. Online patching. ie no required reboots. Storage virtualisation good but everyone has that now via storage fabrics. None of this matters as AIX sys-admins of my acquaintance agree IBM wants to kill AIX and use Linux only. Cost cutting perhaps or fools seldom differ ? The best argument I can find is that migration costs between OS, let alone hardware is always stupendous, especially if IBM is involved.

Granted the capabilities of AIX are now simulated in the "cloud" for basic X86 the AIX advantage is minimal for all but biggest organisations. However those really big orgs don't change basic infrastructure lightly or easily.

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Re: Amidst all the wailing and knashing of teeth here

Live OS upgrades -- Live Patching for kernel, userspace is a WIP and high risk

Active Memory Expansion -- zswap depending on exact requirements

Active Memory Sharing -- Not sure, could be done with swap files depending on requirements

Memory De-duplication -- KSM for anonymous, file-backed is a mixed bag

Great Cohesive admin framework -- undefined what this means exactly but admittedly how to tune certain parameters lacks consistency

ASO/DSO -- tuned but by and large, live monitoring for automatic tuning goes to hell if the workload does not behave as expected

Workload Partitions -- cgroups, capabilities and semantics of the isolation varies depending on the resource so it does depend on requirements

Suspend / Resume -- close the laptop lid, otherwise depends on the hardware and whether the firmware can handle being fully suspended or not.

Great Filesystem (JFS2) and volume manager -- variety of choices, depends on requirements

"ODM" as opposed to DevFS -- devfs hasn't used in years

Transactional Memory -- supported but hardware support has been iffy so while the software can use it, the hardware does not always behave correctly or gets disabled in a microcode update

Support for CPU embedded accelerators -- driver-specific so depends on whether you mean something ppc64 specific or a missing driver for an x86 accelerator

Memory Protection Keys -- already there

There are things that AIX does better due to the tight integration with hardware and the ability to always control the entire software stack but a number of the "enterprise" features you claim are missing do exist albeit with different terminology and sometimes capabilities. Often, the priority that support is improved depends on how many customers actually request it as opposed to just filling out checkboxes that sound Enterprisy

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Re: Amidst all the wailing and knashing of teeth here

Linux has long had pretty much everything you say it doesn't:

Live OS upgrades: KSplice has been around for a decade.

Inline memory compression: Compcache / zram has been around for a decade, also.

Hypervisor overcommit memory: KVM has had over-commit for at least a decade, Xen even longer. VMware longer still.

ASO/DSO (automatically tune the operating system: Linux systems need vastly less (if any) tuning of parameters, compared to traditional crufty Unix systems.

Workload Partitions: Linux has rather advanced containers in OpenVZ/LXC/Xen for over a decade.

Suspend / Resume: KVM/LXC/etc. suspend / resume just fine.

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Anonymous Coward

The kraken versus the container ship

This could be interesting: will the systemd kraken manage to wrap its tentacles around the big blue container ship and bring it to a halt, or will the container ship turn out to be well armed and fatally harpoon the kraken (causing much rejoicing in the rest of the Linux world)?

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Happy

disappointed...

Honestly, this is a time for optimism: if they manage to get rid of Lennart Poettering, everything else will be tolerable!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: disappointed...

I regret I can only upvote you once.

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*if*

you can change the past so that a "proper replacement" isn't automatically expected to do lots of things that systemd does. That damage is done. We got "better is worse" and enough people liked it-- good luck trying to go back to "worse is better"

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Pint

Re: *if*

Try this?

https://www.freebsd.org/

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BSD

I have been considering as I only just discovered this nonsense

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Re: disappointed...

...if they manage to get rid of Lennart Poettering...

...he'll go and "work" elsewhere.

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