Red Hat recently said that it would introduce several enterprise software products aimed at giving companies an open-source option for system management and other big-picture enterprise computing tasks.Diverging from its core business of offering a Linux operating system distribution, Red Hat plans to introduce an application server, server clustering software and a system management application, all based on open source code.These new applications will be able to tie into Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, which is due out this month. The latest version of Red Hat's enterprise server will include support for IBM's non-Intel server platforms - iSeries, pSeries and mainframes - as well as servers using the 64-bit Opteron chip from Advanced Micro Devices.Three months after the release of the new server operating system, Red Hat plans to roll out a clustering product that can tie up to 16 nodes together for load balancing, fail-over and distributed storage. Next will come an application server based on Java 2 Enterprise Edition. This product could compete with application servers such as IBM's WebSphere and Sun's SunONE platform.A systems management software from Red Hat will follow. Similar to products from Computer Associates and HP for Linux, this platform could be used to install applications across Red Hat Enterprise Linux servers, configure and maintain Linux boxes and monitor server activity and performance.Red Hat says its goal is to give enterprise customers an open-source choice for these kinds of applications. As Red Hat shifts its focus into this proprietary market, it could be interested to see the reactions from such firms as IBM, CA, HP and Veritas - which have been very cozy with Red Hat in the past.