Red Hat sets up hosting program to boost Enterprise Linux

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Linux vendor Red Hat is gearing up to announce several hosting partners as part of a new hosting-based program to increase sales of its Enterprise Linux portfolio.

Linux vendor Red Hat is gearing up to announce several hosting partners as part of a new hosting-based program to increase sales of its Enterprise Linux portfolio.

Sandeep Chandiramani, partners and alliances director at Red Hat, said the company was launching a hosting partner program in Australia, as part of the Asia-Pacific leg of its global hosting partner program rollout.

“This is an easy way for our customers to embrace Enterprise Linux,” he said. “We are talking to a couple of [potential hosting partner] companies, but we can't discuss them yet.”

No upper limit had been set on the number of hosting partners that would be signed. However, overall Red Hat expected to grow its local partner community across all its programs from nine to around 15, Chandiramani said.

“It really depends on the demand out there,” he added.

Red Hat felt that a hosting partner program would help increase sales of its Enterprise Linux and Networking applications, he said.

“Current customers don't want to keep IT resources in-house,” Chandiramani said. “Current customers have their websites hosted by partners, but with platforms other than Linux.”

The new hosting program would also strengthen the Red Hat brand as customers could have Red Hat-branded back-up, he said.

“Enterprise Linux primarily operates within the Unix space. Customers get the reliability of open source, the security and the maintenance as benefits,” Chandiramani said.

Red Hat Linux was more reliable because it had hundreds of thousands of developers contributing to the system, which made it easier to iron out bugs prior to market release, he claimed.

“With current systems, you might not have to reboot even after one or two years,” he said.

Red Hat officially launched its local Business Partner program on 17 June.

The vendor was already experiencing 100 percent growth, quarter on quarter, using the Australian channel via broad-based distributor Ingram Micro, Chandiramani said.

Local figures weren't available, he said.

Globally, Red Hat reported US$41.6 million in revenue for the quarter ending 31 May 2004, up 13 percent on the previous quarter and 53 percent on the previous year's quarter.

That revenue included net income of US$10.7 million, up 113 percent on the previous quarter's income.

Oracle and Red Hat recently launched a joint Enterprise Applications Porting (LEAP) centre in Singapore. The vendors have tipped the LEAP centre as a tool for growing the number of ISVs and system integrators building for Linux.

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