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Red Hat / Qumranet Deal Adds Fuel to the Virtualization Fire
http://tinyurl.com/5l8r3y


Open-source giant Red Hat (RHT) has upped the ante in the PC desktop virtualization market with its acquisition of Qumranet, Inc. in a $107-million deal announced this week.

This acquisition clearly ups the ante in the race for Desktop Virtualization Infrastructure (VDI) solutions. I used to call VDI "desktop as a service (DaaS)," and still think that works pretty well. Anyway, the Red Hat purchase comes on the heels of HP's major virtualization push announced this week, which includes a large VDI component.

The Red Hat purchase of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Qumranet's kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) platform and SolidICE VDI solution is targeted at enterprise customers seeking to cut the total cost of providing applications, web access and runtime features to the client edge.

The acquisition of Qumranet gives the Raleigh, N.C.-based Red Hat a more comprehensive portfolio of virtualization offerings, including:

* An open-source operating system with built-in virtualization.

* An embedded hypervisor that supports major operating systems.

* A consistent management platform for both virtual and physical systems.

* A cloud and grid management solution.

* Advanced, high-speed inter-application messaging.

* An integrated security infrastructure.

SolidICE debuted in April, just weeks before Citrix (CTXS) unveiled its updated XenDesktop, putting Qumranet -- and now Red Hat -- head-to-head with Citrix and VMWare (VMW) in the desktop virtualization arena. Microsoft (MSFT) may well take its forthcoming Hyper-V in a VDI direction, but for now seems content on partnering with Citrix on VDI. Sun Microsystems (JAVA) should own this market, but opted to hand over Java to the world and buy a tape drive company instead.

...

Red Hat says that it doesn't expect the acquisition to contribute anything substantial to its bottom line in the fiscal year that ends February 29, 2009, but after that the company is looking at $20 million in added revenue the following year.


In a nutshell, Qumranet and VDI fit Red Hat to a "T" -- with the service and maintance of centralized server-based clients just gravy on the already robust Red Hat infrastructure support business. VDI allows Red Hat to take its model to the PC, without leaving the datacenter. And it allows the promulgation of Linux for the client OS in much more expedient fashion than taking on Redmond on the desktop.
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