Red Hat acquires Permabit to put the squeeze on RHEL

Stallman says ZFS-on-Linux is impossible ... now Red Hat has dedupe without GNU legals


Red Hat has acquired “the assets and technology of Permabit Technology Corporation”, a data-shrinking concern, for an undisclosed sum.

Permabit offers data de-duplication and compression software and recently cooked ready-to-run Linux kernel modules of its wares after previously focusing on sales to OEMs.

Red Hat has now decided that its Enterprise Linux (RHEL) needs what Permabit had. The company will add Permabit technology to RHEL and emerge ready “to better enable enterprise digital transformation through more efficient storage options.”

Red Hat thinks Permabit will make it a better platform for containers or hyperconverged infrastructure because the latter company's technology can “increase the amount of storage available to applications without increasing the amount of physical storage.”

What? Who are you? Where am I? Sorry. Dozed off there, because de-dupe and compression are technologies that storage buyers just expect to see on a feature list. They are important, but anodyne.

Another reason for the buy may be that one way to get de-dupe into Linux is with ZFS. But no less an entity than Richard Stallman has declared that tactic impossible on licensing grounds. Could Red Hat have found a way to add necessary and expected features to RHEL while also avoiding a brush with GNU legalese?

Red Hat said the transaction will have no material impact to guidance for its second fiscal quarter. ®

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