Arrived in Dublin the 5th of June at 6:00PM local time for the Red Hat EMEA Partner Summit 2011, we did the booth setup with my colleague and friend Arnaud Meurant in less than 1 hour with a demo DL 980 G7 unit and a working DL 380 G6 with RHEL 6.1, KVM and SR-IOV demos thanks to Intel Gigabit cards that my other colleague and friend Jean-Marc Andre had build up.
We then attended the keynote sessions of the evening.
Petra Heinrich VP Partners and Alliances EMEA for Red Hat said, not without humour, that the sun was now declining and clouds coming, as usual during the Red Hat Partner Summit !
Red Hat’s own Ronan Kirby then made a presentation of Ireland and Old Ireland explaining the mixed origins of the country (Celts, Vivkings, Normans, Brits, …).
He metioned the 960 multinationals employing 138000 people in R&D and IT.(compared to the 4 Million people in the country)
Joel Berman, VP Global Field Marketing, introduced the ecosystem of partners (16 sponsors helped make that event happened). And this year HP was Gold sponsor for the first time !
Joel always make a very relax but still very professionnal introduction to sessions (not counting some ecellent jokes on the IT world). One sentence I noted from his first speech about Cloud was: “You don’t call it fog computing because marketing guy are not that stupid”.
Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat CEO, then made the keynote, starting by showing how new communication means are supporting the movement in Egypt, Tunisia, … People are looking for transparency and accountability. Social changes are driving the political changes. Where and how innovation occurs has changed.
He underlined that there is Way too much hyper around cloud. It’s a paradigm shift as large as moving from the mainframe to client server. Cloud is important due to the fact it is a user driven innovation. At Google, Facebook, … Open Source helped users made what they wanted. No vendor was doing that. And they can’t control it. And no one knows where it goes.
One of the area supported by cloud is collaboration. Engineers of Google, Facebook share technologies. They first need to improve techno, doing what is right, before fighting with each other.
Then it’s transparency. The wining model is the best architecture of participation. Not only the best technologists. Red Hat doesn’t need to have everything at hands, but the right relationships to create technology that will solve users problems.
Finally choice. From CIO’s perspective paying up front to hope it works is painful. So they feel locked and frustrated. Each provider will have to show where they bring value.
All these points are also qualities of Open Source.
In a world of cloud the HyperVisor is becoming more important than the OS (as it was before). And the choice is not feature/functionality but whether we create the next Microsoft, or favour collaboration around open alternatives allowing a vibrant ecosystem.
Apps need to be written once and run on every cloud, not locked on one.
Jim did a very enlightening talk, which is bringing a real vision, and not only a bunch of empty statements. I think his contribution to make Red Hat a successful company was visible to everybody attending.
Scott Crenshaw, VP Cloud BU at Red Hat, then took over. For him, this year Cloud will move from PoC to production. However customer do not have more budget (+4% max) so yhey’ll move money from old SW to cloud SW. Red Hat is here to help their partners winning business and money in the change.
He then presented CLoudForms (IaaS) and OpenShift (PaaS) and the Open Virtualization Alliance whose HP is a governing member.
Scott then promoted cloud as lowering cost and transforming IT speed and agility.
Technology issues are much simpler in cloud than the political and cultural (buying online instead of internaly). Cloud also presents threats to xSP (disintermediation, pre-built solution reducing need of integrators). Red Hat commitment is to help partners becoming expoerts so they are the one in front of their customers. Because partners already know their customers, especially around verticals solutions.
I found it was difficult to come after Jim to speak again of cloud, where he put the bar very high while here we were back to more classical concepts and content. I was lucky enough to also be introduced afterwards more precisely into CloudForms and OpenShfit, so I know now what is behind, which wasn’t completely the case after this presentation.
Then after multiple interactions on the HP/Intel booth till 11:00PM, it was time to go back to hotel and finish the presentation for the day after 😉