The long-term strategy behind IBM's Red Hat purchase

Senior veep for software raps about containers and OpenShift to Wall Street


IBM's senior veep of software reiterated for Wall Street this week that OpenShift is the linchpin of Big Blue's overall multi-cloud strategy.

Speaking at Morgan Stanley's Technology, Media and Telecom conference, Tom Rosamilia said the OpenShift container management family, developed by Red Hat that IBM bought in 2019, was key to containerizing Big Blue's Cloud Pak software so that it's easier to run wherever customers choose. That could be on or off-premises, or a hybrid of the two.

"By rebasing our Cloud Paks on OpenShift, we've now moved all of our middleware to an environment where I can deploy on AWS, I can deploy it on Azure, I can deploy it on the IBM Cloud, and I can deploy it on prem," Rosamilia said.

This containerization of apps is crucial to IBM's pivot to offering software for hybrid multi-cloud environments. Rosamilia said its applications and services, packaged in Red Hat OpenShift containers, are completely platform-agnostic.

IBM's desire to transform itself into a hybrid cloud-first company has been ongoing for some time. IBM's Z and Cloud modernization center, where Big Blue's customers can go to get help transitioning from on-prem to the cloud, is one example of that strategy, which Rosamilia said has become the norm across industries. 

"Five years ago we were fighting an uphill battle, talking about hybrid cloud as a destination … nowadays we have zero of those conversations," Rosamilia said. Instead, businesses are now trying to figure out how to modernize their hardware for on-prem work and determine what can be shifted to the cloud. And IBM wants to be there to catch them, Red Hats in hand.

Rosamilia reported that Red Hat grew 21 percent in the fourth quarter of 2021, making it a leading part of his promise to investors in October 2021 to get IBM as a whole to mid-single digit revenue growth between 2022 and 2024. 

Speaking of investors, IBM's finances, losses, and executive pay have made headlines as of late. The IT giant recently moved to appease shareholders upset about a massive payout to former Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst by promising them it wouldn't do the same thing again, and in November it spun off its managed infrastructure wing.

IBM's strategy has been one of continued takeovers according to Rosamilia. He noted that the US corp has executed more than 20 tuck-in acquisitions since the beginning of 2020, around half of which were software companies. 

Rosamilia said that many of the acquisitions were in the automation space as well as cybersecurity. IBM even acquired one of McDonald's drive-thru tech companies and a software dashboard outfit, too, the code from which it plans to integrate into its own products. 

IBM's acquisitions and progress on bringing the world over to its flavor of hybrid cloud won't completely erase its problems. The biz still faces blowback from the aforementioned Red Hat exec payout, as well as an ongoing age-discrimination lawsuit that alleges CEO Arvind Krishna was part of an internal drive to replace older workers with younger ones. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022