In a blockbuster container and Kubernetes deal, Red Hat acquires CoreOS

This deal brings Red Hat, the leading Linux company, and CoreOS, a leading container and Kubernetes company, together.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Red Hat announced that it is acquiring CoreOS, an innovator and leader in Kubernetes and container-native solutions, for $250 million. This deal will be completed shortly.

By combining CoreOS's complementary capabilities with Red Hat's already broad Kubernetes and container-based portfolio, such as Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat aims to further improve its position as a hybrid cloud and container powerhouse.

CoreOS's technologies, including Tectonic, its Kubernetes distribution, and Container Linux, its lightweight, container-friendly Linux, will be combined with Red Hat's Kubernetes and container-native product portfolio.

In a blog post, CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi explained, "Red Hat and CoreOS's relationship began many years ago as open-source collaborators developing some of the key innovations in containers and distributed systems, making automated operations a reality. Since that time, we have both become leaders in the communities that are driving these innovations, including Kubernetes, the Open Container Initiative (OCI), and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF)."

Since its start less than five years ago, CoreOS has become one of the dominant players in containers and the cloud container orchestration leader Kubernetes. Therefore, Polvi continued, "We see tremendous opportunity as we join Red Hat given our shared open-source philosophies and complementary product portfolios. Like CoreOS, Red Hat is a recognized leader in open-source container technology. We look forward to becoming part of the Red Hat family to further accelerate innovation and provide greater value to customers."

Looking ahead, Red Hat believes the combination of CoreOS's technologies and staff will give it the resources it needs to become the top open-source container and container management company. This, in turn, will help Red Hat turn into even more of a cloud power.

As Paul Cormier, Red Hat's president of Products and Technologies, said in a statement, "The next era of technology is being driven by container-based applications that span multi and hybrid cloud environments, including physical, virtual, private cloud, and public cloud platforms. Kubernetes, containers, and Linux are at the heart of this transformation, and, like Red Hat, CoreOS has been a leader in both the upstream open-source communities that are fueling these innovations and its work to bring enterprise-grade Kubernetes to customers. We believe this acquisition cements Red Hat as a cornerstone of hybrid cloud and modern app deployments."

He's not wrong.

As for CoreOS's existing products, Red Hat's specific plans and timeline around integrating products and migrating customers to any combined offerings will be determined over the coming months. In the short run, "CoreOS will continue to honor subscriptions and provide service and support as required through and following the closing of the acquisition."

Why is Red Hat making this move? Joe Fernandes, Red Hat's OpenShift Product Management senior director, explained in a blog, "More than four years ago Red Hat made a bet. We bet big on containers as the future for how applications would be built, deployed, and managed across the hybrid cloud. We bet on the emergence of new industry standards for container runtime, format, orchestration, and distribution. We bet on key projects like Kubernetes to be the core of Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. And ultimately, we bet on Linux as the foundation for this innovation, as it has been for so so many other innovations over the past 20-plus years."

So, Fernandes concluded, "Ultimately, in betting on CoreOS we are betting on ourselves. We are doubling down on the commitment to open-source innovation and open collaboration with communities and customers that are at the heart of who we are as a company. We are betting on our proven ability to take open-source projects and build world-class enterprise products. In other words, we are betting on all the things that make us Red Hat."

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