Red Hat is to buy systems integrator Amentra and use it to create a consulting division pushing service-oriented architecture implementations based on Red Hat's JBoss middleware.
The purchase is part of Red Hat's ongoing drive to get open-source code, and JBoss in particular, into enterprise service-oriented architecture (SOA) projects.
"The depth of solution-oriented consulting services provided by Amentra will help enterprises begin deploying JBoss," said Craig Muzilla, vice president of middleware at Red Hat, in the announcement.
Amentra, originally called Distributed Objex, has 140 staff, and describes its consultancy as using a "mentoring" approach, which trains its clients' staff in open source and SOA methods, so they can modernise IT structures and gain long-term skills to use after the Amentra people leave.
Amentra complements Red Hat's existing strengths and will operate as an independent business, forming part of a JBoss-promotion initiative called "Enterprise Acceleration", launched at February's JBoss World user conference. Red Hat is buying the company, rather than partnering with it, because Amentra is focused on the Red Hat ecosystem, the company said, and the move follows a trend in open source for small companies to be acquired.
Red Hat would not reveal how much it is paying for the company. In 2007, Amentra had $21m (£10m) revenue, and its customers include Verizon and Capital One.