Red Hat doubles down on cloud development investment

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For a while now, I’ve been saying Red Hat, The Linux Company, wants to become Red Hat, The Cloud Company. And I think I’m on to something.

The first billion-dollar open-source company recently announced it was acquiring Codenvy.

Codenvy is a well-regarded provider of cloud-native development tools. The company’s cloud-based, integrated development environment (IDE) enables developers to create modern container-based and cloud-native applications without blood, sweat and tears. The program is built on top of the open-source Eclipse Che project.

But, Codenvy/Eclipse Che is not just an IDE. As Red Hat’s senior director of developer programs, Harry Mower, blogged, “Codenvy is much more than a cloud IDE. At the heart of Codenvy’s technology is a workspace management system that allows developers to get up and running instantly without the need to setup a local development environment.”

Moreover, Mower continued, “This container-based workspace approach reduces the time it takes developers to get started and minimizes the risk of inconsistencies between development and production environments. By extending this workspace management technology and incorporating it into our developer tools and platforms, we help ensure that every developer is working with the correct technology stacks, across the entire team, with the click of a button.”

In addition, he says, “It removes the need to setup local VMs and docker instances enabling developers to create multi-container development environments without ever typing docker commands or editing kubernetes files. This is one of the biggest pain points we hear from customers and we think that this has huge potential for simplifying the developer experience.”

This is all true, and not marketing hype. I’m looking forward to seeing how Red Hat delivers on this promise.

If you were watching Red Hat closely, you could have seen this coming.

Back in early May, Red Hat announced its newest developer project: This new approach to planning, creating and deploying hybrid cloud services was based on — wait for it — Eclipse Che. Before that, Red Hat, Codenvy and Microsoft came together to create The Language Server Protocol, an open-source program to define a JavaScript Object Notation (JSON)-based data exchange protocol for language servers to “provide a common way to integrate programming languages across code editors and IDEs.” Red Hat then joined the Eclipse Che community.

Developers should like this move because as Tyler Jewell, Eclipse Che project lead and Codenvy CEO, said, “Cloud workspaces make contributing to software projects easy. It’s a simple concept that drove growth in and open source Eclipse Che. Our container-based approach to development aligns with Red Hat’s focus on improving security features, reliability and performance in its container offerings. Joining Red Hat opens up opportunities to expand our reach among developers, giving them modern tools to build containerized apps from within their Web browser.”

This is all part of Red Hat’s bigger plans for the cloud that began in earnest in 2012 when the company declared it was betting all its cloud chips on OpenStack. In 2015, Red Hat bought Ansible, one of the major DevOps programs. Late last year, Red Hat moved its full JBoss Middleware stack to its OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud.

So, here we are today. As a company built on delivering code, Red Hat became the Linux power. It’s taking that same approach — investing in programming and DevOps tools — to the cloud.

I expect the company will do very, very well in this new market.


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