CIOs committing more to Red Hat, open source

Article Source The Open Road
April 9, 2009, 10:07 am

Like begets like, and in the software world, open-source purchasing begets even more open-source purchases.

At least, that’s the lesson I take from a recent Piper Jaffray report that suggests JBoss customers plan to invest heavily in Red Hat technology.

Independent software vendors that are gaining/losing IT budget share

(Credit: Piper Jaffray Research)

Not only are JBoss customers more likely to buy deeply into Red Hat, which is not surprising (though for Red Hat, it must be gratifying), but they’re also more likely to buy MySQL and less likely to buy from Microsoft.

This can’t be good news for Microsoft, and it probably is one reason the company has become so aggressive with its intellectual-property portfolio.

The data also underscores IT’s natural inclination to buy into open source in ever-increasing degrees. Once an enterprise has one good experience with open source, it wants to have many more, as this chart from IDC suggests:

This corroborates Forrester’s more recent data, which suggests that widespread plans to adopt open source within enterprises.

Back to Red Hat. It appears particularly well-positioned to benefit from increasing interest in open source, as Piper Jaffray notes:

The strong showing of support for Red Hat from a broad sample of large, sophisticated IT vendors is highly noteworthy….Red Hat’s unique ability to leverage advancements from the open-source community creates a superior price-performance equation for customers. In turn, this superior price-performance experience drives Red Hat’s ability to become an increasingly pervasive layer of enterprise-computing infrastructure.

We believe that Red Hat’s message is resonating well across its core Linux operating system, its JBoss middleware offerings, and its early-stage virtualization capabilities. Finally, the survey results show existing customers plan to spend more with Red Hat, and in combination with recent Q4 customer deal metrics, (all top 25 deals renewed at 132 percent of prior year’s value, and 2 of the top 30 deals involved free to paid migrations) support our thesis that Red Hat is gaining market share during this downturn.

It’s a good time to be Red Hat, or to be affiliated with Red Hat’s open-source ecosystem. I’ve talked before about the possibility of an industry duopoly between Microsoft and open source. Perhaps that duopoly really will be between Red Hat and Microsoft.

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