Yesterday, Red Hat announced that it will acquire JBoss.
A couple of things that come to my mind though:
- Impact on Proprietary software: Lot of enterprise customers were deploying commercial products on Linux (Red Hat or otherwise). With JBoss bundled with Red Hat, It’ll make things slightly difficult for them because they’ll have additional convincing to do. For example, why is IBM Portal Server on Red Hat better than the already bundled JBoss portal on Red Hat, especially since there will be common support and the whole stack would be certified by Red Hat.
- Impact on Open Source software: Red Hat Customers considering Open Source software will have little incentive to consider other Open Source products because JBoss will be bundled as part of offering and it now has all the major components – an application server, portal and content management, BPM and integration.
- Impact on JBoss: JBoss portal server works only on JBoss application server. However, it can run on any OS. Will Red Hat support windows versions/installations of JBoss?
- Impact on Red Hat: Everyone’s been saying that standalone middleware products will be part of infrastructure. This will catapult Red Hat to a position where it can offer a serious competition to Sun-JES, Microsoft-.Net and IBM-Websphere. Red Hat also had some of the application components like content management and they’ll probably want to rationalize the overlap. They also used to support a competing Open Source product called Jonas. Will they continue doing that?
There will also be an impact on market dynamics. IBM had been a strong partner with Red Hat. However, with Red Hat going with JBoss, IBM might have to look for other Linux vendors (Novell/SuSE?). Other vendors like Sun who had products that run on Red Hat might also have to rethink. Oracle, which was supposedly in the fray to buy JBoss will also need to do something for its open source strategy. Will they buy Red Hat itself?
In other news this month, IBM released WebSphere Portal Server 6.0. Among other things, it includes a work flow builder, IBM Workplace Web Content Management and a tighter integration with Bowstreet.