back to article As Red Hat prepares to become part of Big Blue, its financials look as solid as Linux kernel 2.4

Before it is subsumed by a sea of big-suited IBM blueness, Red Hat somehow managed to miss its own forecasts while turning in some otherwise sturdy financial numbers on Monday. For the three months to February 28, its final quarter of its fiscal 2019, Red Hat reported a 14 per cent year-on-year hike in revenue to $879m, one …

  1. Admiral Grace Hopper

    Gluster

    It’s a shame that the IBM takeover has lead Red Hat to dial down their enthusiasm for promoting Gluster. I hope that they continue active support and development into RHEL8, but the noises that they are making are not encouraging.

    1. returnofthemus

      Re: Gluster

      No real match for Spectrum Scale formerly GPFS, but customers' will still have a choice ;-)

  2. EricM
    FAIL

    Wise move financially? Perhaps. Culturally? Nope ....

    The culture you need to maintain to retain staff in a company that is actively developing on the bleeding edge of IT and the culture of IBM ( or any on of the remaining IT dinosaurs) are two very different things.

    Let's see what happens to RedHat's innovative drive - and revenue - once the standard IBM management techniques regarding (or better: disregarding) their human ressources kicks in.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Wise move financially? Perhaps. Culturally? Nope ....

      The time that RH will continue to thrive inside IBM will depend upon how the latter decides to operate the RH division.

      If it is done at arms length then there is no reason for it to carry on making lots of money for IBM BUT... if Ginny and co decide to integrate it right into IBM culture then there will be a big rush for the doors by many key players. Then what IBM? Another Opps and then savage cuts to staff and profits as is happening to the rest of IBM? Can (lay off) anyone over 40? Yeah that is working out really well isn't it Ginny???

      Only time will tell.

      But IBM hands off Fedora ok!

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Wise move financially? Perhaps. Culturally? Nope ....

        You can bank on the fact the IBM culture will be forced on Red Hat.

        And that will be the end of Red Hat.

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: Wise move financially? Perhaps. Culturally? Nope ....

          SHOUTS - hear, hear.

          Exactly what I was going to say :)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wise move financially? Perhaps. Culturally? Nope ....

          As one who has been in that position - yes, RH will get assimilated. It won't happen overnight, and you will get lulled into a false sense of security. Until the ax starts its periodic descent on unsuspecting heads and the daily terror of working for Big Blue becomes the new normal. (Exceptions for executives of course.)

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Wise move financially? Perhaps. Culturally? Nope ....

      Not entirely.

      IBM has long been the home of big chunks of bleeding edge and open source work.

      And Red Hat has more-or-less always been Linux's corporate hat.

      The two companies have a long history of collaboration: staff from both contribute to the same projects in an open source framework, including Linux itself.

      There may be some upheavals, but this doesn't look to me like a complete clash of cultures.

      And as for Fedora, isn't that a community effort outside corporate control?

    3. Julz Bronze badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Wise move financially? Perhaps. Culturally? Nope ....

      Wen't so well for Informix and Cognos.

      1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

        Re: Wise move financially? Perhaps. Culturally? Nope ....

        And Lotus, too. I mean, Notes is (sort of) still around but some of us still miss SmartSuite...

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Wise move financially? Perhaps. Culturally? Nope ....

      "Let's see what happens to RedHat's innovative drive - and revenue - once the standard IBM management techniques regarding (or better: disregarding) their human ressources kicks in."

      yeah, "big company" H.R. is pretty bad in my opinion. Theyll start by having clueless mooks filtering all of the resumes for the right key words and tricky phrases (or something equally moronic) which is likely to filter out the best people in favor of those who know how to milk the system...

      (yeah I have a pretty low opinion of H.R. droids)

      What I wonder, however, is how the 'culture of IBM' will affect some of the things that SOME call "innovation" but _I_ call "in the way". You know, like:

      a) systemd

      b) wayland

      etc.

      I have a strong suspicion that IBM may use RH as a vehicle towards providing an alternative to Win-10-nic. One can only hope...

  3. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

    Can somebody explain the Linux Kernel 2.4 reference?

    1. gerdesj Silver badge
      Linux

      The Linux 2.4 kernel is still in use by some and considered quite stable by now.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        2.4 was used in a lot of wirless access points a decade or so ago. It was pretty tiny, fit inside a 4M flash on broadcom-based systems. I think OpenWRT started out with 2.6 as I recall, and a lot of Linksys routers used 2.6 rather than 2.4 at that time. But yeah, that was the last time I did anything with 2.4, on wifi routers, 10+ years ago.

        2.4 had the advantage of being extremely stable, yeah, in operation as well as development. It wasn't "a moving target".

      2. fredesmite Bronze badge

        not too long ago

        2.4 and 2.6.3x are the largest installed Linux kernels running in production worldwide .

    2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      Linux Kernel 2.4 reference

      The jump from kernel 2.4 to kernel 2.6 was a very significant change in many different areas, e.g., preemptive multitasking, PAE, NPTL, IB, ext4, XFS (later in the cycle), ALSA, SELinux, etc. Version 2.6 was considered so stable that the previous model, where even minor versions (2.4) were production and odd (2.5) were development, was abandoned (-rc release candidates were introduced instead). 2.6 was also a lot faster, at least on the newer CPUs of the time.

      Despite all that, many, many people were very reluctant to switch production servers from 2.4 to 2.6, for a very long time, saying that they cared more about stability and uptime and stuff like that than improvements, and basically adhering to "if it ain't broke, don't upgrade it" philosophy. 2.4 was "good enough", stable enough, solid enough. Like the current RHAT financials, I suppose.

  4. Norman Nescio Silver badge

    Culture assimilation

    It will be interesting to see how things go regarding the assimilation of Lennart Poettering into IBM. Few companies make good on the promise of the continuing independence of recently acquired divisions, so unless Mr Poettering's behaviours are compatible with IBM's culture, I would expect a parting of the ways at some point, especially as I regard it as unlikely that he would be willing to make significant changes in his personal deportment to suit IBM. Similar considerations apply to other well-known personalities in Red Hat, such as Kay Sievers.

    We live in interesting times for the future of the Linux software ecosystem.

    1. Symon Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Culture assimilation

      I think you have it the wrong way round. Poettering will subsume IBM into a new entity, possibly named systemIBMd . And there will be no text records to show it. Chomp chomp chomp.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Culture assimilation

      It'd be the ultimate in irony if Poettering didn't get along with a large, monolithic, you'll-do-it-our-way corporate structure replacing one that had placed more value on the flexibility of separate but interconnected parts... wouldn't it?

      If there's an appropriate circle of hell for him in the afterlife, it ought to be called "IBM".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Culture assimilation

        @ "ultimate in irony": I cannot upvote that post enough!

        If the assimilation of Red Hat "unfortunately" results in the deprecation, termination and destruction of systemd, that can only be a good thing for Linux and unix overall...

  5. ecofeco Silver badge

    Goodbye Red Hat

    It was nice while it lasted.

    And no. IBM will bork Red Hat like they do everything else.

    1. Persona Bronze badge

      Re: Goodbye Red Hat

      Which is one of the reasons why what they paid for Red Hat is too much.

    2. Halfmad Silver badge

      Re: Goodbye Red Hat

      Taking bets on how many staff IBM dump in the first 12 months? I'm guessing at least 25%

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Goodbye Red Hat

        "Taking bets on how many staff IBM dump in the first 12 months? I'm guessing at least 25%"

        That would be overdoing it a bit with over 30% leaving already in that same time period for other reasons than being dumped.

        1. fredesmite Bronze badge

          Re: Goodbye Red Hat

          You can be sure the pencil pushers ,HR , and bean counters will be in the first wave ,followed by offspring even more development roles..

          If you look at the open RH job reqs (as I have ) over the years ..most development and QA are offshore .

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Goodbye Red Hat

        > Taking bets on how many staff IBM dump in the first 12 months?

        Likely none. IBM don't generally start eyeing the new hires corpses of the recently deceased latest round of unfortunates for 2 years.

        After 2 years though, it won't be pretty.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux rescued IBM, so it's a good move

    You might want to read "Who says elephants can't dance" by Louis Gerstner (yes, that one). If it hadn't been for Linux and IBM's ability to virtualise, IBM would have died quite a while back.

    It makes sense for IBM to re-acquire an Operating System - their OS/2 was not bad, but they got utterly shafted by Microsoft on it. Big Blue re-entering that market is going to make things a lot more interesting. It will also piss off Microsoft, which is always to be encouraged IMHO :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux rescued IBM, so it's a good move

      Re-acquire? IBM has a dozen OSs at the moment. They could port AIX to x86 if they wanted to. There’s already AIX-5L for Linux compatibility...

      1. fobobob

        Re: Linux rescued IBM, so it's a good move

        AIX for PS/2 was a thing, though it doesn't seem to have survived into the Pentium age.

      2. fredesmite Bronze badge

        Re: Linux rescued IBM, so it's a good move

        Actually ..IBM repackages a hugh selection of Linux RPMs for AIX . They have a Linux kernel interface

  7. trev101

    As long as IBM improves on the RedHat Linux offering it will good for both companies. If IBM has any ambitions to offer good prospects for Redhat Linux in the desktop world it could start with getting Adobe to develop it's suite of software for Linux. That will sway a lot of people away from Microsoft.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who's helping who?

    Let's all take note of how independent Redhat fared before the sale completion.

    Even if things go bad, Ginny's been reloaded with a whole new group of people to "resource action" off for the sake of financial appearances.

  9. earl grey Silver badge
    Trollface

    sad about that picture

    too much like Carmen Sandiego with a bad afternoon shadow.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    recent IBM experience

    I've been a customer of softlayer for a number of years and from time to time logged support calls for network issues and the such, all responded to within a reasonable time frame, then softlayer became part of ibm cloud, logged a support ticket 2 days ago, no response, no response to support chat, managed to eventually talk on chat to an 'account' person which finally got me a response from support.

    Basically it appears unless you pay for support now, you get none. Not sure when it changed but needless to say not impressed. Sure you can log a support ticket but on basic support there is no SLA so it appears tickets just got ignored.

    Not sure what the point of a service is when it can't be used. 24 hours waiting for a network routing issue to be fixed........

    'Advanced support' starts at $200 per month

  11. Iceman3000

    RedHat needs to be free! IBM is too old and stale.

    IBM will kill RedHat’s innovation!

    Set Red Hat Free!!!

    1. The Pi Man

      Well I guess the option is to take RHEL and fork it?

      Don’t Red Hat also bankroll Centos these days?

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        I google'd and found pcworld and computerworld articles [appeared to be the same article] saying that RH was taking a more active role in CentOS. So probably, yeah.

        This is probably like Microsoft assimilating github - I'll play "wait and see" before making any real judgements, but so far I'm not disappointed. I still have a lot on github. Not gonna stop using it any time soon.

        And so with RH and I guess CentOS too, I suspect that nothing bad will happen any time soon. If anything it puts them in a position to become an alternative to Windows for _EVERYTHING_. I could see IBM doing that. Yep.

    2. RancidRodent

      Kill Innovation?

      Kill innovation? IBM wrote Eclipse and then handed it to open-source, IBM are one of the leading blockchain developers. IBM has invented more ground-breaking hardware and software than practically any other company in the world, the worlds' first hard-drive, RAM, the RISC CPU, the floppy disc drive, relational database, magnetic stripe card, scanning tunnelling microscope, the universal product code, the first chess computer to beat an active world chess champion - a quarter century solid of filing more patents than any other company. They've been running virtual machines since 1972!

      Today's IBM mainframes can move an active Red-Hat Linux guest in real time from one physical machine to another without interrupting service - what other platform can do that? I call that innovative! Today's IBM mainframes have hardware assistance (specialist instructions) to accelerate Java - does x86?

      1. NinjasFTW

        Re: Kill Innovation?

        Not my speciality but a couple of years ago our virtualisation guys moved 200 VMs from one physical ESX cluster to another with no interruption so i don't think its that uncommon

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Kill Innovation?

        Today's IBM mainframes can move an active Red-Hat Linux guest in real time from one physical machine to another without interrupting service - what other platform can do that?

        vmware?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Kill Innovation?

        > Today's IBM mainframes can move an active Red-Hat Linux guest in real time from one physical machine to another without interrupting service - what other platform can do that?

        Literally every virtualisation platform, for the last decade or so? KVM, Xen, VMware, probably Hyper-V too though I've never used it.

    3. rmason Silver badge

      @Iceman3000

      RHEL needs to remain doing what it's doing.

      CentOS, if you don't want RHEL but want the same guts, you want CentOS.

  12. RancidRodent

    The 2.4 planets align!

    Talking about the RH 2.4 kernel, z/OS 2.4 (IBM's core mainframe OS) will directly host RHEL virtual machines meaning you don't have to run bare-bones or go down the DPM or z/VM route reducing the skill-sets required in your shop to support RH.

    1. Dave 13

      Re: The 2.4 planets align!

      So.. BB wants folks run RH on a $2m plus MF and not a $50k X86 server from Lenovo? How original.

  13. Bryan Hall

    OEL

    You're all missing the point.

    IBM is buying RH so they can sue Oracle for offering essentially RHEL with free patches as Oracle Linux. It uses the same APIs and everything...

    :-)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Presto chango..

    What survives from this buyout needs to look a lot more like RH and a lot less like IBM. IBM as a going concern is cancerous and void of value.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019