Red Hat: Exclusive Interview for LxA

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We continue with our series of interviews, this time it is the turn of the free software giant Red Hat. An interesting exclusive interview for our LxA blog in which we had the great opportunity to interview Julia Bernal, Country Manager of Red Hat for Spain and Portugal. In it we have given a review of the world of open source technologies in general and delved a little into the personal in terms of Julia Bernal. If you did not know this great woman, I invite you to continue reading our interview ...

In addition, we have also been able to do some questions to Miguel Ángel Díaz, also belonging to the Red Hat structure in our country, specifically Business Development Manager, AppDev & Middleware. With him, we have delved a little more into the technical aspect as you can see in the last questions of the interview. So you have no excuse not to continue reading to learn a little more from the inside of this gigantic company so important in the world of free software.

Interview with Julia Bernal:

Julia Bernal

Linux Addicts: Tell us, who is Julia Bernal?

Julie Bernal: I am from Burgos, born in Roa, I was raised in a family that has instilled in me perseverance and the ability to choose to decide my own path independently. In this search for my identity I found an exciting career such as computer science that I studied at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. This profession satisfies my curiosity not only for innovations, but also for people, places and the possibility of changing the world in a certain way through technology, helping and facilitating organizations to reinvent themselves every day.

LxW: What is your role within Red Hat?

JB: Since I assumed the leadership of Red Hat in Spain and Portugal, I have directed the company's strategy with the firm intention of strengthening our partnership with clients and organizations that are embarking on their path towards digital transformation.

LxW: When and how did you join the company?

JB: I joined Red Hat as Commercial Director in April 2016 and seven months later I was appointed Country Manager for Spain and Portugal. As I mentioned at the beginning, my motivation has always been my passion for technology and people combined with my vocation to serve clients. Working in a company like Red Hat, a leader in enterprise open source, makes it easy to apply the collaborative principles of open source to work as a team, inspiring and motivating people inside and outside the organization.

LxW: Committed question, hahaha. Before getting this position, did you use a Linux distribution and free software?

JB: Linux is at the heart of devices of all kinds, without knowing it you are using Linux every day, in office environments since my time at Sun Microsystems I used the open office and other open tools.

LxW: When did your interest in technology arise?

JB: I couldn't tell you exactly. In my family there has been no scientific or technological trajectory. I just remember that when it came time for me to choose a higher degree, computing began to appear as a new and innovative career, and at that moment my brother encouraged me to choose it, which I am very happy about. What I can say is that since the first day I started working, more than 25 years ago, I have not been bored for a single day. It is an exciting career, in which I have had different positions: I have been a programmer, an analyst, etc. I have been following a very complete trajectory going through all the positions from the bottom to the executive positions.

LxW: We all know Red Hat, and as it is well reflected on your website, you create software for companies under an open-source model, but what would you say is the main philosophy of the company? What essence do you breathe when you are inside it?

JB: Red Hat's philosophy is based on collaboration, transparency, and the freedom to speak up and make mistakes. These values ​​generate open exchange, participation, meritocracy and community, and this allows the best ideas to emerge no matter where they come from. In this spirit, we stimulate the joint work of users, customers and technology companies around the world to facilitate and accelerate innovation. It is about constant development and improvement, sharing, learning, perfecting and taking advantage of the work of others. It is a form of collective learning, but it is also a way of accumulating and sharing knowledge.

LxW: Making a profit is no easy task for any company, and Red Hat has also had to forge a path in an industry where most software is free. In fact, many were skeptical about the possibility of making money with free software. Do you think it is especially difficult to keep afloat a company whose main asset is free software?

JB: Red Hat is an enterprise software company with an open source development model, part of the open source community, which has thousands of contributors, and results in finished products that have been tried, tested, and secure. We are involved in many open source communities, building and refining the technologies that make up today's technology environment. From operating system to storage, middleware and containers, everything from management to automation, Red Hat is creating open source solutions with certifications, services and support for the enterprise.
This open source software does not require a license fee, which is a clear advantage when evaluating the cost of implementation, along with the development savings represented by a community-based distribution. Instead, our business model is subscription-based. A subscription to Red Hat enables customers to download tested and certified business software that provides access to the technical documentation, stability, and security they need to confidently deploy these products, even in their most critical environments. They receive technical support on an ongoing basis. If you look at Red hat's financial results, you can see that we are successful not only in keeping the company afloat, but also in growing it. We just had 65 consecutive quarters of growth. And in the second quarter of fiscal 2019, we have reported total revenue of $ 823 million, 14% more than in the same period of the previous year. The deferred revenue balance at the end of the quarter was 2,4 billion dollars, 17% more than in the same period of the previous year, or 19% in constant currency. As our CEO Jim Whitehurst commented, the expansion of our technology portfolio has increased our strategic importance with clients, which is evidenced by the fact that the number of transactions has doubled in this second quarter compared to the previous year, above the five million dollars. Customers continue to prioritize their digital transformation initiatives, and are embracing the technologies that enable Red Hat's hybrid cloud to modernize their applications and drive greater efficiency and effectiveness in their businesses.

LxW: And even more so in these times where even proprietary software companies are offering their products for free?

JB: Open source is really everywhere (this can be seen, for example, in the success of Kubernetes for container orchestration or in Apache Hadoop for big data and the Android mobile operating system) and is the standard for innovation and rapid iteration of new services. The growth and demand for open source continues. The challenge for companies is how these technologies are adopted, implemented and managed so that they are stable and secure. This is where Red Hat comes in.
At Red Hat we are fully committed to the open source community. The development of the open source model is the key to our success. We not only sell open source software, but we also contribute hundreds of open source projects that drive these solutions. While open source was initially seen as an engine for commoditization and cost reduction, today open source is literally the source of innovation in all areas of technology, including cloud computing, containers, data analytics, mobile devices, IoT and more. This commitment to contribution translates into knowledge, leadership and influence in the communities in which we participate. This is directly reflected in the value we can provide to customers.

LxW: I bet when Bob Young and Marc Ewing founded the company in 1993 they did not imagine that they would now go public and grow to be such a huge company. Perhaps at the time Red Hat arrived there was not so much competition ... do you now notice a greater pressure from your competitors?

JB: It's hard to believe that even the founders of Red Hat could have imagined all the ways open source (and Red Hat) would transform the tech industry. It's amazing how our customers use open source solutions to grow and succeed, and we continue to be inspired by the innovations emerging from the open source communities that are shaping the future of technology.
Tech trends come and go. In the past two years, the trend has shifted from virtualization to hybrid cloud. And for a long time, Red Hat has said that the real focus should be on hybrids. We believed that cloud deployment should be hybrid, and multicloud (a mix of multiple public clouds) because enterprise customers have shown us how much they value variety, flexibility, choice, and security. We have focused on creating a broad portfolio with hybrid as key, focusing on management and automation. Today, the entire industry talks about hybrid as a predominant computing model for the next generation of applications. According to Gartner, Inc., “The cloud adoption landscape is hybrid and multi-cloud. By 2020, 75% of organizations will have implemented a hybrid or multicloud cloud model ”. And it is the customers who select and choose where to deploy their loads. Along with trends, the competitive environment is continually changing. For example, containers are an emerging area. We've worked hard to help make containers and Kubernetes an enterprise-ready technology that is flexible and scalable to support the growth of cloud-native workloads, and also stable enough for the demanding needs of businesses. modern. The Red Hat OpenShift container platform is designed to be our answer to IT needs, to develop and deploy applications quickly and easily on any infrastructure, whether public or private cloud. Our efforts have been recognized with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, which is regarded among vendors as the "pack leader" in The Forrester New Wave (™): Enterprise Container Platform Software Suites, Report Q4 2018. As open innovation continues to drive major trends in technology, Red Hat is committed to staying at the front and center of that movement.

LxW: However, I have never been pro-monopolies. I think that the fiercer and more numerous the competition, the better for the customer, since it forces companies to create better products. Dont you think

JB: Competition is good for the consumer. We value options for our clients and they have many options! Our partners and our competition face this new world. When they are least able to scale or offer hybrid cloud, they turn to Red Hat. Red Hat aims to provide the common platform that offers a stable, consistent, and trusted fabric that spans this hybrid environment, regardless of the underlying hardware, service, or vendor. This is why alliances are so important to us, making sure that our technology and that of other vendors in the environment work well together. In our recently announced quarterly results, in the second quarter of our fiscal year 2019, 75% of our business came from the channel while 25% of our direct sales force. As an example we can say that in October we announced a collaboration with NVIDIA to bring a new wave of innovation around emerging workloads such as artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning and data science for enterprise data centers around the world. world. The driving force behind this effort is certification of the world's leading enterprise Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, on NVIDIA® DGX- ™ systems. This certification provides a foundation for the rest of the Red Hat product portfolio, including the OpenShift Container platform, which will be jointly deployed and supported on NVIDIA AI supercomputers. We also partner with our competitors, as we believe that the problems we have to solve in the complexities of today's world are too great for a single company. The industry ecosystem must work together to ensure open standards and strong integration that help companies have that freedom of choice and flexibility.

Interview with Miguel Ángel Díaz:

MIguel Angle Diaz

Linux Addicts: Your main product is RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Lately I see an inordinate interest from companies in two sectors especially: virtualization and cloud. Good, in part they go very hand in hand. In your case, you are also taking the RHEL distribution in this direction. Certain?

Miguel Angel: Correct, but not only is it not that we are taking RHEL in that direction, it is that it is the basis on which they are based. RHEL is the foundation of the cloud, for two reasons: 1) It is the Linux distribution that is most installed in the public cloud in virtual machines, according to the study carried out by the consulting firm Management Insight Technologies and sponsored by Red Hat, and 2) is the foundation of our container platform, Openshift Container Platform. A new report from IDC positions Red Hat as a driving force for Linux in the global market for server operating environments and a powerful player in server operating systems in general. According to the "Worldwide Server Operating Environments Market Shares, 2017," a global report on the market size of server operating systems from research firm IDC [2], Red Hat maintained a 32.7% share of server operating environments worldwide in 2017. Within the Linux segment, IDC found that adoption of Red Hat Enterprise Linux grew by almost 20% in 2017. This growth is a sign of wider adoption of Linux for general business use. This includes the Red Hat cloud and virtualization platforms, such as Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Virtualization. Red Hat Virtualization is a Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) -based virtualization platform built into Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It is designed to enable customers to modernize traditional applications for greater efficiency, while creating a launch pad for container-based cloud-native application innovation. The Red Hat OpenShift container platform is a container-centric, hybrid cloud solution built on different open source projects: Linux containers, Kubernetes, Elasticsearch-Fluentd-Kibana… and based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat OpenShift is designed to provide a single foundation to faster build, deploy, and scale on a hybrid cloud infrastructure. We at Red Hat already believed that Linux, specifically enterprise-grade Linux such as that offered by Red Hat Enterprise Linux, would provide the platform for the modern enterprise. The IDC report indicates that this transition is not about to happen, but is happening right now. From Linux and Kubernetes containers to big data and deep learning / artificial intelligence applications, Linux provides a flexible, adaptable, and open hub for organizations on which they can build their future. [2] Source: Global market share of operating systems and subsystems, 2017, IDC, 2018

LxW: In fact, you also have WildFly (Jboss), for the blooming cloud. Can you explain to us what benefits this project brings to apps?

MA: Software has become a key space for differentiation and competitiveness among today's companies. The quicker a company can bring new ideas to market, turn around in response to changing market conditions, and deliver experiences that satisfy customers, the higher the likelihood of success. Change is a constant reality for these organizations. It is disruptive and demands more agility and efficiency in the application development approach. In addition to the pressure to deliver applications faster, development teams must ensure that the applications they are building can provide the performance, reliability, and scale that operations teams need, and that they address security and compliance requirements. To meet these needs, Red Hat offers a range of middleware tools for organizations to build, integrate, automate, deploy, and manage mission-critical applications. The Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBoss EAP), based on the WildFly Application Server Community project, anchors these needs and extends the value of the number of Linux workloads to Java, whether on the on premises or in virtual environments, or in a public, private or hybrid cloud. These tools are flexible, lightweight, and optimized for clouds and containers, enabling organizations to use and extend their application investments as they begin the transition to cloud-native architectures and programming paradigms such as microservices, containers, or serverless. The implementation of these middleware tools in Red Hat OpenShift builds further on the strength of Red Hat's technology portfolio and offers additional benefits, including an optimized developer experience that is based on services and the overall environment of DevOps.

LxW: And what about big data or AI. Are these technologies Red Hat is interested in?

MA: Data analytics, machine learning and AI represent a fundamental transformation that, in the next decade, will affect every aspect of society, business and industry. This transformation will fundamentally change how we interact with computers - for example, how we develop, maintain and operate systems, as well as how companies serve their customers. The impact of AI will be visible in the software industry long before, in the analog world, deeply affecting open source in general, as well as Red Hat, its ecosystem and its user base. This change offers a great opportunity for Red Hat to deliver unique value to our customers. Red Hat is working to enable AI workflows from hardware enablement and infrastructure tier, and moving to container development platform. In fact, in Spain, we currently have clients who perform analysis with Apache Spark in production environments on Openshift.

LxW: Having a large company like Red Hat on the free software side is something very positive… Are you also thinking of entering the free hardware or robotics sector with a project?

MA: Red Hat goes where the customer's needs are - so we look at projects that are growing and in demand for businesses. For areas outside of our direct involvement, we partner with the vast existing environment, as we've already mentioned above. Certainly, there are some interesting examples of the impact that open source is having on technology, and more so on society. Red Hat recently made a short video as part of their documentary series Open Source Stories on how citizen scientists are using open source to make breakthrough discoveries. You can see it here:

LxW: I would like to know your opinion on the future of computing. I see how companies like Microsoft seem to have hinted that Windows 10 would be the last version of Windows, that convergence has not finished taking shape, that a lot of emphasis is being placed on cloud services, etc. Do you think we are going into a future where our desktops and mobile devices are mere clients to access all resources remotely, even operating systems (eg: eyeOS-style)?

MA: We do not necessarily envision the devices as mere clients. We are looking at a distributed computing model that will be very flexible in the processes running on those devices, what resources are consumed from the data center and the cloud, and what resources are located at the edge or near the edge. We see this flexibility being achieved by adopting a container-based model that leverages the orchestration capabilities of Kubernetes in conjunction with automated systems management tools.

A pleasure to know the position of Red Hat, I hope you liked our interview. Do not forget to leave the comments...

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