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Red Hat’s ecosystem initiative gains momentum with new partnerships with SAP, Oracle, and Google Cloud

Open Hybrid Cloud, a strategy for architecting, developing, and operating a hybrid mix of applications, delivering a flexible cloud experience with the agility, stability, security, control, and scale required for digital business transformation, is the North Star for IBM and Red Hat. Open Hybrid Cloud is a computing model that combines the benefits of public and private clouds and on-premises and edge infrastructure. It is a complex paradigm to comprehend, and Open Hybrid Cloud is a multifaceted and challenging undertaking for all organizations. However, one of the critical advantages of an Open Hybrid cloud is that it enables organizations to leverage the power of a partner ecosystem. And empowering a robust ecosystem that delivers Open Hybrid Cloud is the guiding principle of Stefanie Chiras, SVP, Red Hat Partner Ecosystem Success. In a discussion with me, she said, “Red Hat’s strategy on Open Hybrid Cloud is dependent upon our ecosystem; the value of it only gets delivered with our ecosystem. And as we tout the value of the flexibility, the scalability, having a secure, security-focused mindset, being driven by the platform, but that optionality that comes with it is only delivered through the ecosystem.”

Red Hat’s ecosystem initiative is powering on with three key announcements:

1. Red Hat partnership with SAP for RISE with SAP
2. Red Hat partnership with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
3. Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform on Google Cloud Marketplace

Why is Red Hat’s partnership for RHEL for ‘RISE With SAP’ a significant announcement?

Red Hat and SAP have expanded their partnership to broaden the usage and support of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), improve business operations, enable cloud transformation, and promote IT innovation. As part of the expanded ecosystem partnership, SAP's internal IT architecture and SAP Enterprise Cloud Services portfolio is expected to move to RHEL. In addition, with the deployment of ‘RISE with SAP,’ RHEL will be the preferred operating system for net new businesses making it easier for SAP customers to operate in a hybrid cloud environment. This is a significant ecosystem announcement and a major win for Red Hat since SAP and SUSE have collaborated as part of a strategic relationship since 2011. Red Hat's announcement of a partnership with SAP for its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) for SAP solutions is noteworthy for multiple reasons:

  • Collaboration between two industry leaders: By joining forces, the two companies have combined their expertise to offer a comprehensive solution for SAP Business Applications.
  • Strengthen performance and scalability: The partnership ensures that customers can use an enterprise-grade Linux platform to perform real-time analytics, achieve greater scalability, and provide enhanced security features enabling better performance and reliability for SAP applications.
  • Support for hybrid cloud: The partnership guarantees that customers can enjoy the advantages of hybrid cloud deployment while maintaining the security and compliance of their SAP workloads.
  • Greater choice and flexibility: The partnership offers and allows expanded deployment on-premise, cloud, or hybrid environments, empowering customers to select a model that best fits their requirements.
  • Enhanced customer experience: The partnership offers customers a cohesive and fully supported stack for their SAP deployments, simplifying complexity and enhancing user experience.

SAP has been working to onboard both existing and new customers onto the SAP S/4HANA Cloud platform. However, businesses are hesitant, not because they doubt the product's capabilities, but because they're wary of the enormous overhaul, i.e., ERP transformation, and expenditures in terms of time and resources. To address these concerns, SAP created ‘RISE with SAP.’ ‘RISE with SAP’ is an exhaustive suite of Business Transformation as a Service (BTaaS) offerings that allow businesses the required agility and innovation and help fulfill all business transformation requirements by leveraging the power of the SAP platform through bundling existing SAP tools, technologies, and intelligence into a subscription-based offering.

With the help of Red Hat's knowledge and support, channel partners can provide their clients with a complete ‘RISE with SAP’ solution comprising software, infrastructure, and consulting services. Doing so can expand their revenue streams and strengthen their client relationships.

Why is Red Hat’s partnership for RHEL for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure a major announcement?

Red Hat and Oracle have entered a multi-stage alliance that offers customers a wider choice of operating systems through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Earlier, customers with RHEL licenses had to run only on non-OCI platforms due to a lack of certifications and support. This collaboration will now assist in license portability with a jointly supported platform and enable organizations to undertake the digital transformation and migration of applications to the cloud, thereby standardizing cloud operations. Linux is a core operating system for enterprise IT organizations due to its secure, cloud-native compatibility and production-grade features based on open-source development processes. Enterprises can choose from several options for Linux and related support services, with Red Hat Enterprise Linux being the most common as it is the most extensive commercial Linux distribution. The announcement of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on OCI helps customers preserve their one Linux strategy, now including OCI. In addition, this expanded partnership makes sense as both companies serve 90% of the Fortune 500. The partnership with Red Hat is significant in many ways:

  • Changing market perception for Oracle: To grow its OCI business, Oracle must appeal to the broadest number of customers, including those using the most extensive commercial Linux distribution, Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  • Strengthening the relationship: The expanded partnership between Red Hat and Oracle strengthens their 20-year relationship and builds on their long-standing collaboration, which has benefited the customers of both companies.
  • Simplifying edge computing deployment: Red Hat's optimization of RHEL for edge deployment, including support for smaller configurations, efficient OTA updates, and intelligent rollbacks, provides expanded opportunities for OCI customers.
  • Financially viable and tailor-made solutions: The partnership's unique commercial terms provide financial benefits to customers. Oracle’s pricing model allows them to customize the CPU or storage they need, unlike other public clouds with fixed VM sizes.

With approximately 90% of Fortune 500 companies depending on Red Hat and Oracle solutions, this collaboration facilitates system integrators to offer their customers the combined capabilities of Oracle and Red Hat. In addition, the partnership further expands Red Hat’s presence in cloud infrastructure while leveraging its open-source expertise to improve the cloud environment for customers. Meanwhile, Oracle can enhance its cloud offerings and benefit from Red Hat's presence in its cloud and Red Hat’s leadership in open-source technologies to drive innovation and competitiveness.

Channel partners can now provide their clients with the market-leading Linux, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, in a cloud that delivers many Oracle products they may already be consuming on-premises.

Why is the availability of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform on Google Marketplace an important announcement?

As businesses acknowledge the importance of cost control and competitiveness, they are increasing their investment in automating their cloud infrastructure. With the added complexity of managing multiple cloud footprints, businesses require adaptable, inventive technology that optimizes their current knowledge and resources. Platforms such as Red Hat’s Ansible Automation Platform and Google Cloud Marketplace play a critical role by joining forces, making it easier for users to automate and manage their IT infrastructure by leveraging a cloud-native architecture for greater scalability.

Red Hat’s Ansible Automation Platform’s availability on Google Marketplace has several benefits.

  • Increased visibility: Increased visibility and accessibility among a broader range of users, including those already using Google Cloud Platform or searching for automation solutions on the marketplace.
  • Improved user experience: Integrating the Ansible Automation Platform with Google Cloud Platform services allows for a seamless user experience, making it easier to deploy, manage, and monitor IT resources across different environments.
  • Security at scale: Co-developed and security-tested by both Google and Red Hat, the Red Hat Ansible Certified Content Collection for Google Cloud enables secure content to run when and where needed. IT teams can also integrate automation with existing governance at scale as demand requires.
  • Cost-effective: Users can take advantage of the cost-effective pricing options available on Google Marketplace, including pay-as-you-go and the ability to count Ansible Automation Platform toward any existing enterprise committed spend agreements with Google, which can help reduce their overall IT costs.
  • Greater flexibility: The platform provides greater flexibility and scalability, allowing users to automate their IT infrastructure management from anywhere, whether on-premises, in a specific region, on a worldwide business network, or on the farthest edge nodes.

By introducing the Ansible Automation Platform on Google Cloud, Red Hat has reinforced its dedication to providing its customers with various options for the hybrid cloud. This makes it simpler for customers to acquire and implement Red Hat solutions on top cloud providers.

Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform on Google Marketplace can help customers. Channel partners improve automation, reduce costs by streamlining their IT operations and reducing the time and effort required to manage infrastructure, enhance productivity by focusing on more strategic initiatives, foster collaboration, increase flexibility, and access a large ecosystem of resources and expertise, thereby leveraging best practices and staying up-to-date with the latest trends in automation.

Final Techaisle Take

A partner ecosystem is a network of vendors, service providers, developers, and customers collaborating and co-creating value for each other. Some benefits of a partner ecosystem for an Open Hybrid cloud are product and solution offering innovation, enabling interoperability and integration, delivering cloud-managed services and business outcome support, and increasing business growth and market reach. With the recent announcements, Red Hat is focusing on its three leading platforms – RHEL, OpenShift, and Ansible Automation Platform – accelerating its multi-partner focus, regardless of the partner type (or partner business model) and providing visible, tangible changes in how the ecosystem co-creates business outcomes with and for the customer. Red Hat aims to accelerate application development and delivery with OpenShift, simplified, secure, consistent infrastructure with RHEL, and automation with the Ansible Automation Platform.

Red Hat has pulled together the organization to focus on a partner ecosystem to address critical questions:

  • Is the ecosystem strategy balanced with the market makers?
  • Is Red Hat working with the partners that are important to its other partners?
  • Are the partners helping customers realize the value and reduce time to the outcome?
  • Is Red Hat creating the capabilities with the partners that matter to them, whether it be the hyperscalers, an ISV like SAP, or a cloud provider like Oracle Cloud?

The aphorism attributed to Chinese philosopher Laoze, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," is often used to encourage the launch of this type of complex initiative. But the rebuttal of data scientist Randal Olsen – "Really, that's not true. Every major journey begins with a plan" – are more helpful to partner executives looking to establish a transformation strategy. The plan of Stefanie Chiras and her team is to catalyze all of the connections between different partner types. The team is succeeding.

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