The strategy calls for developing open-source products that run on top of Red Hat's version of Linux. "Microsoft's approach is to stuff everything into the operating system," Cormier says. "Our approach is layering. We're taking a modular approach."
In a few weeks, Red Hat will debut file-clustering software to supplement the basic clustering capabilities already built into Linux, Cormier says. That will be followed early next year with an open-source application server based on the Tomcat open-source app server and incorporating technology Red Hat is developing with the ObjectWeb consortium. New open-source provisioning software, used when setting up a server, will be ready around the same time, Cormier says.
The goal is to make it easier for customers to assemble a Linux-based IT architecture, Szulik says. Noting that integration services is a $6 billion to $8 billion annual business, he adds: "I think customers are getting tired of that [integration] challenge."
Next month, Red Hat will debut a slimmed-down version of Linux for blade servers and computing appliances. The company is also revving up a program called Fedora to put newly developed technology online that will give customers a chance to test and even add to the products.