IBM/Red Hat open hybrid-cloud application market

The IBM/Red Hat Marketplace features more than 50 commercial partner products

A businessman stands in front of maze strewn with clouds.
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IBM and its Red Hat company have opened up what they call a one-stop-shop for customers looking to build, deploy and manage hybrid-cloud applications on-premises or in multicloud environments.

With Red Hat Marketplace, enterprise customers can find and buy the  tools and services they need to build cloud-native applications across public and private cloud environments through one curated repository, Red Hat executives said.

IBM and Red Hat executives said the enterprise software and service marketplace is specifically aimed at hybrid-cloud computing customers.

“Previously, cloud marketplaces offered third-party products to run in a given public cloud, but the configurations used for one cloud may not transfer to another,” wrote Craig Muzilla, senior vice president of Red Hat's Core Products and Cloud Services Business Group, in a blog and during a conference call about the announcement. The marketplace is anchored by offerings certified for Red Hat OpenShift and its Kubernetes Operator Framework that can be used across any cloud, on premises or not, Muzilla said.

Marketplace moves IBM down the path it promised when it bought Red hat for $34 billion last year and said it would use the Linux powerhouse's open-source know-how to grow larger scale hybrid-cloud customer projects and to create a web of partnerships to simplify carrying them out.

Marketplace helps create that ecosystem by offering more than 50 commercial products from partners across 12 different categories, such as security, database, artificial intelligence and machine learning from independent software vendors such as Anchore, Cockroach Labs, CognitiveScale, Couchbase, Dynatrace, KubeMQ, MemSQL, MongoDB, and StorageOS.

“The hybrid-cloud nature of the Marketplace makes it easier for our partners to offer their applications and services to a broader set of organizations across a wide range of deployment options,” wrote Muzilla. “With Marketplace, Red Hat partners don’t need to worry about tailoring an application for a specific cloud or for data-center workloads; their Operator-based application runs anywhere OpenShift does with the backing of Red Hat.”

There is also a private marketplace option, Red Hat Select, that will be managed by IBM, aimed at companies that want to build customized applications with pre-approved software and services. It includes all the same features of Red Hat Marketplace with the added benefit to personalize the site and software selections, Muzilla stated. The Select option, which costs more, also lets customers track usage and spending by departments of all the software deployed across hybrid-cloud environments.

IBM has been clear about wanting to take command of the hybrid-cloud arena and battling cloud market dominators such as Google, AWS, Microsoft, VMware and other challengers such as HP.

“There’s a unique window of opportunity for IBM and Red Hat to establish Linux, containers and Kubernetes as the new standard. We can make Red Hat OpenShift the default choice for hybrid cloud in the same way that Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the default choice for the operating system,” said Arvind Krishna when he became IBM’s new CEO in April.

During IBM’s second-quarter financial call in July, Krishna said: “Hybrid cloud is the dominant force driving change in our industry, but it’s far from universal adoption. Only 20% of the workloads have moved to the cloud. The other 80% are mission-critical workloads that are far more difficult to move. There is a massive opportunity in front of us to capture these workloads.”

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