Red Hat: JBoss lands big deals; RHEL 6 'most ambitious' release

Red Hat's JBoss middleware is landing big greenfield deals as well wins with established outfits like the NYSE Euronext. Meanwhile, Red Hat says its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 be cloud ready.

Red Hat's JBoss middleware is landing big greenfield deals as well wins with established outfits like the NYSE Euronext. Meanwhile, Red Hat says its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 will be its most ambitious release and designed for virtual, cloud and physical IT environments.

The company reported net income of $24.1 million, or 12 cents a share for its fiscal first quarter. Excluding one-time items, Red Hat reported earnings of 18 cents a share, in line with Wall Street estimates. Revenue for the quarter was $209.1 million, up 20 percent from a year ago.

In other words, Red Hat's quarter was typical. It was solid with no drama from the world's most successful Linux company.

On a conference call, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst delivered a lot of color about middleware wins, its first 8 figure deal and the company's future.

Among the key themes:

JBoss is gaining momentum. Whitehurst said Red Hat secured its first eight-figure customer win and middleware was a big part of the equation. Whitehurst said:

Demand was further highlighted by winning the largest deal in our history in the past quarter, an eight-figure deal with a mainstream customer which was primarily middleware. Second, we saw consistent traction with our free to paid initiative, with one of the largest deals in the quarter being a free to paid win. Yesterday we also announced a major win with the NYSE Euronext. After evaluating the free dot org version of JBoss in their test and development environments versus proprietary solutions, the NYSE Euronext looked to Red Hat to provide enterprise class support for production workloads on Enterprise JBoss. As they migrated production workloads to paid JBoss subscriptions, they continue to reap major benefits, including cost savings of up to 50% to 60% from the simplicity and flexibility of the architecture.

The eight-figure JBoss deal was a greenfield implementation after a long proof of concept period, said Red Hat CFO Charlie Peters. Cloud computing as a demand driver. Red Hat's developer powwow this week will have a heavy cloud computing theme. Whitehurst said:

Cloud Computing will be a major theme at the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World this week. With focus on leveraging our broad ecosystem enabling developers and providing improved service delivery, we will announce initiatives that are designed to make Cloud Computing more consumable for the enterprise. We will also take this opportunity to update everyone on our latest product innovations and technology roadmap, including the latest version of our operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, which is currently in beta. We anticipate that RHEL 6 will be one of our most ambitious, important platform releases to date. The architecture of RHEL 6 is designed to address in the shift in the modern IT environment, whether physical, virtual or cloud. The major themes of a future release include pervasive virtualization, improved scalability and availability, increased power efficiency, and delivery of some of the latest software technology.

Speaking of RHEL 6, which is in beta. The actual release is coming in "the not-too-distant future." Whitehurst added that green IT and power management will be a big part of RHEL 6.

Application portability in cloud computing matters. Whitehurst was asked about the importance of cloud computing and application portability. He said:

(Application portability) is at the heart of what we do. We have done it for years just bare metal with the ability to have choice at the hardware level. And we are doing it now on the cloud side. One example is our Certified Cloud Program, where clouds like Amazon, IBM, NTT, if they are running a stack that we have certified, we are certifying an application that will run on Red Hat -- that is certified for Red Hat, will run on those clouds, certified and we will tech support you on it. So we are working very hard to bring choice into cloud. Cloud has the potential to be the mother of all lock-in if we are not careful. So it is a core source of value that we are bringing.