Red Hat and the CentOS Project are working together to build a new CentOS that can drive the development and adoption of next-generation open-source technologies.
Red Hat said the collaboration strengthens its business model by extending its open-source development ecosystem. Red Hat expects that taking a role as a catalyst within the CentOS community will help the company accelerate development of enterprise-grade subscription solutions for customers and partners, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, Red Hat JBoss Middleware, OpenShift by Red Hat, and Red Hat Storage.
"It is core to our beliefs that when people who share goals or problems are free to connect and work together, their pooled innovations can change the world,” said Brian Stevens, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Red Hat. “We believe the open source development process produces better code, and a community of users creates an audience that makes code impactful. Cloud technologies are moving quickly, and increasingly, that code is first landing in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.”
A Key Project
Looking backward helps predict the path forward. Red Hat formed the Fedora Project 10 years ago to deliver advanced features for Linux. Just as a traditional operating system relies on the hardware beneath it, the company said so too do projects such as cloud, virtualization, and software-defined networking rely on the foundation of an operating system.
As Red Hat sees it, fast development pace and openness to change make Fedora an excellent place for operating system innovations and related projects. Likewise, by taking an active role in the CentOS Project, Red Hat is demonstrating its commitment to open source innovation by helping to establish a platform well-suited to the needs of open source developers that integrate technologies in and around the operating system.
Al Gillen, program vice president of System Software at IDC, called CentOS one of the major non-commercial distributions in the industry, and a key adjacent project for many Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers.
“This relationship helps strengthen the CentOS community, and will ensure that CentOS benefits directly from the community-centric development approach that Red Hat both understands and heavily supports,” he said. “Given the growing opportunities for Linux in the market today in areas such as OpenStack, cloud and big data, a stronger CentOS technology backed by the CentOS community -- including Red Hat -- is a positive development that helps the overall industry."
Here are some specifics: Red Hat will contribute its resources and expertise in building thriving open-source communities to the new CentOS Project to help establish more open project governance and a roadmap, broaden opportunities for participation, open pathways for contribution, and provide new ways for CentOS users and contributors to bring the power of open-source innovation to all areas of the software stack.
With Red Hat's contributions and investment, the CentOS Project is expected to expand and accelerate, serving the needs of community members who require different or faster-moving components layered on top of CentOS, expanding on existing efforts to collaborate with open-source projects such as OpenStack, RDO, Gluster, OpenShift Origin, and oVirt.
We asked Brad Shimmin, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, for his take on the partnership. He told us the alliance of these similar communities is good for customers on both sides.
“If you are in the CentOS community you no longer have to wait for and be at arm’s length from Red Hat in terms of getting some of the technologies that flow from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux platform into CentOS,” Shimmin said. “And if you are in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux community, this means it’s gong to be more likely that some of the work that’s being done in the CentOS community is going to find its way into your distribution.”